By: Melanie | October 3, 2015 | (63) Comments

Review: The Sword of Summer by Rick RiordanThe Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
Genres: YA, Mythology, Fantasy
Pages: 528
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother's mysterious death, he's lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he's tracked down by an uncle he's never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

*This review is spoiler-free*

Rick Riordan’s books were some of the first novels I read as a reader, and throughout these past years, his books have always remained my all time favourites. Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, Kane Chronicles, and now you can add Magnus Chase to that list of awesome. Why? BECAUSE THE SWORD OF SUMMER WAS FANTABULOUS.

In fact, I loved this book so much that I bookmarked all the funny bits + my favourite parts… which was basically the whole book. Whoops.

Bookmarks The Sword of Summer

Just a note: The Sword of Summer is perfectly readable and spoiler free if you have not read any Percy Jackson book. But, it would certainly add to the enjoyment of the novel if you did because in usual Riordan style, there’s some inside jokes here and there.

CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW WE GET ANNABETH CAMEOS?!?!? She doesn’t have a role in the main plotline of the story but she’s there and as fabulous as she is and I totally flailed each time she popped up.

The Percy Jackson and Magnus Chase books do have parallels and similarities, but it didn’t feel like I was just reading the same book with different names. While both books have gods and goddesses and demigods and monsters and badass characters and truck loads of humour… yet the characters themselves were all very much unique as well as the plotline and world building etc.

Talking about Riordan’s out-of-this-world sense of humour, can we just admire it for a while?

“Could you do a glamour and turn into something smaller?” I asked it. “Preferably not a chain, since it’s no longer the 1990s?”
The sword didn’t reply (duh), but I imagined it was humming at a more interrogative pitch, like, Such as what?
“I dunno. Something pocket-size and innocuous. A pen, maybe?
The sword pulsed, almost like it was laughing. I imagined it saying, A pen sword. That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.


“This is an important battle – the fire lord Surt, Fenris Wolf. Surely that’s worthy of your attention.”
Thor’s right eye twitched. “That’s a fine offer. Really. I’d love to, but I have another pressing appointment – ”
Game of Thrones,” Marvin explained.
“Shut up!”

And let’s not forget chapter titles like this: “The Man with the Metal Bra”, “You Had One Job”, “Hearthstone Passes Out Even More than Jason Grace (Though I Have No Idea Who That Is)” (!!!!!) and “How to Kill Giants Politely”.

Other than his funny dialogue, one of the strongest aspects of The Sword of Summer is in its diverse set of characters. Samirah al-Abbas, who is Magnus’ Valkyrie, is a young Muslim girl and wears a hijab. She’s in an arranged marriage that she’s happy is happening (she’s in luuuuurve) and has big dreams for her future. There’s also Blitz (a dwarf) and Hearth (an elf, who also happens to be deaf), and they just bring another level of hilarity to the novel. They pretend to be homeless dudes when they were undercover, looking after Magnus before he was introduced to the whole world of Vikings and monsters and magic.

I will say there is ZERO romance in this book, which I did quite like because dammit, not EVERY romance just happens to begin at the start of a series. Thanks for keeping it realistic, Riordan. I do hope there is a romance in the future books, and I can sorta see one (but maybe that’s my crazy fangirl mind speaking) – we shall see!

The Sword of Summer Percy Jackson

So why not a full 5 stars?

1. I feel like Magnus character could use some more brushing up and development. I love his goofy snarkiness, but feel as if I don’t know him all that well other than his funny side of his personality.

2. I feel like the last 1/4 to 1/5 was less enjoyable than rest of the book. I felt a little bored, and you can even tell from my bookmarks because there is less in that area.

BUT that being said, The Sword of Summer lived up to my expectations and I loved this book through and through. Diverse and lovable characters, complex world-building, hilarious dialogue (in usual Riordan fashion)… hands down one of my favourite books of 2015. BRING ON BOOK 2.

~Thanks to Penguin Australia for sending the review copy!~

4.5 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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63 Responses to Review: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

  1. It’s kind of a crime that I haven’t read any of his books yet, right?
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…{Bookish Babble} Updates on my Writing Projects!My Profile

  2. Claire says:

    Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! It’s been published? I’ve been waiting so long I didn’t realize it finally came out! I just kind of forgot about it! I NEED TO GO READ IT!
    Claire recently posted…Review 34. Red QueenMy Profile

  3. Hilary says:

    I CHOKED at the pen sword part. There might be tears in my eyes right now. I am super happy to hear that this is different from Percy Jackson because that was one of my main concerns: whether Magnus would just be a rip-off from Percy but it’s good to hear otherwise!
    Hilary recently posted…Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny HanMy Profile

  4. Never really read any of the books but I Loved the Percy film series. So I think I will have to keep an eye out for this series. I know many people at my work loved it. Lovely review.
    Emma @ Never Judge a Book by its Cover recently posted…ARC REVIEW – THE WHITE ROSE by Amy EwingMy Profile

  5. This looks like a book my sister Jess would love! Especially with all the humor and similarities to the Percy Jackson series. I know she loved that series and pretty much everything written by Rick Riordan. I’m not sure if she’s aware of this one or not. I’ll have to make sure she gets to reading this one! Thanks for the review
    Stephanie@ThesePaperHearts recently posted…15 YA Book Releases to Look Forward to in October 2015My Profile

  6. I’m so jealous that you got to read this already! I can’t wait! Thanks for not spoiling anything. Yay for Annabeth cameos! I’ve found that the first book in any Riordan series is the weakest. So I have high hopes for this series!
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…The Croak Trilogy By Gina DamicoMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Well at least it’s being published tomorrow! YAYAYAY!! Heh, no problem. It sucks to be spoiled so I try not to. Yeah, that is actually quite an accurate observation. Here’s to hoping the rest of the series is even more fabulous!

  7. YOU HAVE CONVINCED ME, MEL. I love all of these things – Norse gods, hilarity, diversity, lack of romance…looks like my PERFECT book!
    Emily @ Loony Literate recently posted…Can You Grow Out of Books You Used to Love?My Profile

  8. YES. I am so glad you liked this so much Mel! To be completely honest, I’ve been a bit hesitant about reading this when it comes out because I’m worried that it won’t be quite as good as the Percy Jackson series, but you’ve eased my fears. (Although, I felt the same way when I started Heroes of Olympus, and, alas, look where I am now). So glad that Annabeth is in this (my spirit character TBH) and that there were some Percy Jackson cameos as well (loved the pen reference). Thanks for sharing Mel and, as always, fabulous review! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…Endings: Happy or Sad?My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, that has always been my worry – especially when I found out about his new Roman demigod series that’s releasing early next year. Like YES I AM EXCITED but also very nervous and hesitant. The pen reference is so freaking golden, honestly. Thanks, Zoe <33

  9. Vane says:

    Pssst, I’ve never read anything by Rick Riordan. I’m not *that* excited for this bok, but I really want to try out the Percy Jackson series. Plus, I think I read in your GR profile it’s your mission to make every human being read that series. 😛
    Vane recently posted…Review: The TunnelMy Profile

    • Melanie says:


  10. Kelly says:

    Wasn’t it glorious Mel, I loved it too, but not totally either. It felt very Percy Jackson, like Riordan old school and had that awesome humour in there too which I felt was missing from Heroes of Olympus a little. That scene with Blitz and Hearth on the bridge when they rocked up, that made me laugh and I knew this was going to be an incredible read. And Annabeth! I needed that little bit of familiarity to really connect to the storyline. Although I liked Magnus, I thought it was all the secondary characters that really lifted The Sword of Summer up. I knew you’d love this Mel. I’m so excited to see where Riordan is taking the series. Incredible review poppet <3 <3 LOVED IT!
    Kelly recently posted…Illuminae… Aussie Epicness!My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah HoO wasn’t as funny as his other books but I didn’t really mind because it was definitely a bit darker but still had it’s great moments. Yes when Blitz and Hearth had the duckling outfit thing on OH MY GOD I nearly cried of laughter.

  11. Cassie says:

    YESSSSSS!!! This book was FABULOUS!! I adored every page of it!
    And the Percy Jackson references were spectacular! I got so excited every time I saw one. (Especially that Jason Grace reference…loved it)

    I can’t wait for the next book!
    Cassie recently posted…Wait, it’s October? When did that happen?My Profile

  12. SQUEE!!! I can’t wait to read this! Rick Riordan is one of my favorite authors and the Percy Jackson series is one of my all-time favorites so I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE.

    Also: I see what he did with the pen there. And Jason Grace. VERY SNEAKY.
    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #81 – Oops I broke my book buying ban but NO REGRETS.My Profile

  13. I am attempting to get into the Percy Jackson series. Wish me luck! Typically not my type of reads, to be honest. 🙂
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…Photo Vomit [25]: On InstagramMy Profile

  14. Ah, one of those authors that I’ve heard about forever but have yet to get into. The quotes made me chuckle – I do want to try out Riordan’s books at some point, since I love stories based on mythology.
    Lily @ Rock, Paperback, Scissors recently posted…There might still be nothing between them but loyalty and love and mutual incomprehension.My Profile

  15. Sarah says:

    “She’s in an arranged marriage that she’s happy is happening (she’s in luuuuurve)”
    I can’t believe in this sh*t, as a muslim i feel like this is not okay for a YA or any kind of book

    • Melanie says:

      Sorry you feel this way, Sarah. But arranged marriages do exist in real life, and I feel that books, and YA for that matter should have an honest and realistic portrayal of real life which this book does provide. I personally don’t know much about arranged marriages so I cannot say much more on this matter, but sorry once again that the fact that there is the inclusion of arranged marriages has angered/upset you so much.

  16. Amelia K. says:

    OMG you already read this?? So jealous. But at least it’s releasing tomorrow so I can go and buy myself a copy, hehe. And by the looks of your review, I’m very excited!! So great to hear that Magnus Chase wasn’t a disappointment and had the same Uncle rick humor per usual 😀 Lovely review as usual, and wonderful pics!

  17. Oh lol those quotes are too funny and YES VERY SNEAKY OF RICK RIORDAN TO HAVE THOSE PJO REFERENCES. I can’t wait to see them for myself when I read this. I was going to buy it tomorrow but I have no time 🙁 I will have to wait until the weekend, I guess!
    Haha I can totally imagine you forseeing a ship 😛 I hope it happens for your sake!
    Great review Mel <3

  18. Lily B says:

    I am so fully planning on reading some of his books, but oh my goodness, this does sound fabulous, thank you for sharing the quotes! funny
    Lily B recently posted…It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?My Profile

  19. I’m reading this at the moment and it’s absolutely hilarious! So many hilarious parts and I loved the references to Percy as well! Lovely review Mel 🙂
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…BookTube Video: September Recap & October TBRMy Profile

  20. I think I would enjoy this book so much. I loved PJ! Annabeth cameo?! WOW! I am looking forward to reading this book. I want to laugh with everyone who read this book 🙂
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Review 261 : The Young Elites by Marie LuMy Profile

  21. Annabeth has cameo’s in the book? I was not expecting that at all. I feel like I’ve grown up with the Percy Jackson books so Rick Riordan will always have a special place in my bookish heart. I’ve always been intrigued by the Norse mythology and to combine them with Riordan’s writing seems like a recipe for success. I look forward to getting my hands on this book.
    Lois @ My Midnight Musing recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Habits I Need to QuitMy Profile

  22. I’m glad to know you liked this because i also LOVE riordan and I am so excited to read it. It sounds great and funny 🙂 Awesome review!
    Shar@weavingwaveswords recently posted…Blue Lily, Lily Blue ReviewMy Profile

  23. Can I just say I am SO excited at the idea that this is romance-free? Remember how awesome Harry Potter was and how long JK took to introduce romantic elements. Ginny had a crush on Harry, Harry had a crush on Cho, and that was about it for the first five books. When you’re faced with an action-packed adventure, the LAST thing on your mind would probably be getting with your co-heroes, and I wish more YA novels (especially series) acknowledged that. Thanks for the in-depth discussion of this book! 😀
    Audrey Greathouse recently posted…I Guess I’m a Nomad a.k.a. Where the HECK I’ve BEENMy Profile

  24. YES I know this book will be fab and hilarious! I have yet to read it but I’m planning to as soon as I finished my exams xD I already have a feeling that I’m going to love it. Anyway, great review Mel <33
    Tiffany @ The Bookish Thought recently posted…Monthly Recap : SeptemberMy Profile

  25. Ah man. I feel like I’m the only human being on the planet who hasn’t read Percy Jackson yet 🙁 I SHALL SOON BECAUSE this sounds AMAZING. Woohoo awesome review, Mel!
    Madiha@Symphony of Words recently posted…ARC Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola YoonMy Profile

  26. oh my GODDDDDDDDD I’m dying. I just got a hold of this yesterday, and you know how much I love Rick Riordan. I’m trying not too hype it up for myself but IT’S KIND OF HARD TO NOT THINK ABOUT IT.
    I’m so glad you enjoyed this, and I can only hope it lives up to my expectations.
    Daniel @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Review 262 : Haze by Paula WestonMy Profile

  27. Tasya says:

    I really can’t wait to buy this and read this! I mean I literally know nothing about norse mythology (except for loki and thor HEHE) and Rick’s book usually gives lots of new information to me! And I really like his fun and amazing writing style. Great review! 🙂
    Tasya recently posted…Features: 15 Most Beautiful Bookstore In the WorldMy Profile

  28. Eep I still need to read this! I love books that have witty dialogue and hilarious passages so I’m sure this will be a hit for me 🙂 One of my best friends has been saying to me to read the Percy Jackson series for aaages as well. I know how much you love them too so I must fix that ASAP 🙂

  29. Greg says:

    I haven’t read any Riordan but I am planning on this one. I like the Norse angle, and it looks funny.
    Greg recently posted…Beyond the BooksMy Profile

  30. Lily says:

    Ahhh it’s been so long since i visited you (or anyone in the blogosphere really) I’ve missed you and your awesome review guys (this goes for everyone on the blog!)
    I haven’t read any book by Rick Riordan yet *hides* I know he’s a favourite and i alway see his books at work but i just haven’t tried anything by him yet! I shall fix thats soon though!
    Lily recently posted…An open letter to Leah Raeder, for the awesomeness that is Cam Girl.My Profile

  31. Jacqueline says:

    Your review was great! I have read every Rick Riordan book (except from his earlier novels) and I agree with mostly everything you said! Although I believe Magnus was more mature Percy 2.0, his witty lines did make me crack up at times. Love your blog by the way!
    Jacqueline recently posted…The Sword of Summer | Review/DiscussionMy Profile

  32. I NEED TO READ THIS BOOK! I LOVE the PJO series, and these quotes sound hilarious! I don’t know how anything can pass out more gracefully than Jason Grace, though xD
    Nikki @ Brittany’s Book Rambles recently posted…Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace ARC ReviewMy Profile

  33. Mateen says:

    hi matthias du hast ja schon mit jitka gesprochen … ich würde mich sehr freuen, wenn im frühsommer 2013 die »patterns« einzug halten könnten in die wezultnbe.herisicher gruß aus F,andreas

  34. I’ll try to put this to good use immediately.

  35. aku pingin tuh dapet sms merah, tapi mungkin nggak ya? lha wong HP-ku masih HP Kuno tuh, layarnya masih monochrome, apa bisa jadi merah yaa….!?

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