Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
Genres: YA, Mythology, Fantasy
Source: Received in exchange for review
Goodreads | Purchase
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.
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.
EXCUST ME MY HEART JUST STOPPED. RICK RIORDAN, YOU ARE SNEAAAAAKY.
“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.
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!
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!~
Latest posts by Melanie (see all)
- Giveaway: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare - February 14, 2016
- Midnight Blogging 101: The Thing About ARCs - January 16, 2016
- YA Midnight Reads is looking for a new co-blogger! - January 9, 2016
- Mel’s 2016 Resolutions (That Hopefully Will Last the Year) - January 7, 2016