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Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 1 The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 1) (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (1)) Paperback – April 4, 2017
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"With an epic plot, engaging (and diverse) characters, and tons of wisecracking humor, Riordan's latest is a page-turner."―School Library Journal
"A whirlwind of myth, action, and wry sarcasm, perfect for readers hungry for a new hit of that Percy Jackson-type magic."―Horn Book
"Riordan offers a terrific cast that is effortlessly diverse--all of the allies stand as independent, well-constructed characters who each bring entirely different skills, histories, interests, and personalities to the group."―Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This is a highly entertaining, tongue-in-cheek romp. Magnus is a witty and likable teen who proves himself worthy of redemption. The novel expertly sets up for book two and will be adored by boys and girls alike."―Voice of Youth Advocates
About the Author
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His heroes seem to have a few common themes -personal tragedy (i.e. The death of a parent or some thing in that line), no knowledge of their true parentage, and a quest of some sort that awakens their potential strength. Also humour/sarcastic nature.
This book doesn't disappoint. I found myself reading this book in the voice of my 18 year old son, who still loves reading these books. It's a quick read after reading books at Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or Game of Thrones.
For pre-teens and children interested in mythology, this is a good read. Not everyone lives, but it's not as violent as GoT nor as gory. It shows character development in both the hero and his friends and those around him. The villains are not 2D, but have plenty of depth and sometimes make you wonder what their angle are. Even those who seem to be on their side makes you wonder about their true intentions.
I would recommend Roirdan's books; even to the most reluctant readers!
My two oldest children love books and I constantly balance my desire to let them read as much as they want with other more prosaic things like eating regular meals and somewhat sane bedtimes. My third child, not so much.
We have tried everything to entice my 10 year old son to read for pleasure. We have filled the house with age appropriate books. I read to him. I make him read to me. I let him stay up past his bedtime if he uses that time to read. I offered him money...
Even if I got my son started reading a book and even if he enjoyed it, he never read for very long and he would never go back and pick up the book again. He says he "forgets" that he had been enjoying the book he was reading.
Everything changed when I handed my son Rick Riordan's "Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard." With chapter names like "Good Morning, You Are Going to Die" and "I've Always Wanted to Destroy a Bridge," my son found himself intrigued from the start. The story's action started immediately and continued to the end of the book. My 10 year old nonreader didn't want to put the book down. I even caught him under his covers reading with a flashlight a couple of times. He finished the book without any prompting. Then he did the unthinkable: he read it again.
Needless to say we are eagerly awaiting book 2 of this series. In the meantime we are looking at other books by this author.
For those who are not familiar with Rick Riordan’s writings, this is a perfectly fine book to jump into Riordan’s fantasy world, there is no benefit gained in having read his other books that deal with heroes from Greek, Roman, or Egyptian mythology. The characters stand alone in their identities and are all affiliated with Norse mythology. The protagonist, Magnus, is quickly discovered in the story to have a background not quite like others, more so in his parenting and lineage; his father is a Norse god. As a result of this lineage, there are obligations that Magnus is thrust with, and the story is a modern day interaction of Magnus through components of Norse mythology, ranging from characters to weaponry of the ancient belief system. The story is told with humor, but also does a great job in outlining and establishing some of the belief systems of Norse mythology, such as the pantheon of the gods and goddesses.
The characters have a different personality, much like those we meet out of Camp Jupiter vs. Camp Half Blood. The story takes place in Norse mythology, which I personally do not have as strong of a familiarity with, and allowed for a new sense of novelty in the story that has the format of hero discovered, hero goes to “camp,” and hero goes on quest. The introduction of the new characters was nice and it created a sense of anticipation about who maybe a bit more friendly than others. Overall, the relationship with the gods themselves is a bit more casual, even if the society itself is more regimented.
A discussion board commenter alluded to the possibility of a relationship between these books and that with Camp Half-Blood, from the start of the book there is a pleasant surprise in that Magnus does have a cousin who attends Camp Half-Blood, but rather than long-term interaction with him/her, there is just a brief reference too at both the beginning and the end of the story.
It’s a hard story to talk about because of the potential to give so much away about who is related to who, and familiarity with some of the Norse gods would reveal some of the plot elements. However, a unique aspect of the Norse mythology is that the fates of the gods are much clearer, with a level of clarity and absolutism in the roles that each one knows that he/she plays, even in the final battle (Ragnok which isn’t the final battle in this book).
Know that the structure is similar to the books in the past, the characters who are introduced throughout this book are unique in their own ways, especially Magnus’s new companions and, I especially enjoyed the history and sense of honor associated with the Valkyrie corps, especially Samirah al-Abbas, who identifies from a Muslim family.
Anyway, enjoy a way! I have some Norse mythology to learn about now that I’m curious.
Top international reviews
Sword of Summer has a fantastic cast, who are introduced at a good pace so that you don't instantly forget everyone's names or get bored of any one of them. Mr Riordan has clearly done his research in building his characters, and I find it makes the cast one of the most believable and relatable I have ever encountered.
As always Rick Riordan writes in a way that frequently makes you laugh and sometimes makes you think, and keeps you hooked past the end of the book. I reread this book as soon as I finished it, and I hope this series continues for many, many more volumes.
Review My first experience of Rick Riordan's work was The Lightning Thief which I thought was ok. It was years ago when I read it so I can't remember specifics but I think I felt it was trying too hard to be the next Harry Potter.
The Sword of Summer, while following a similar formula, was a lot better. It helped that I have more knowledge of and more interest in Norse mythology than Greek mythology. I really liked the humour: the chapter titles, Magnus' sassiness and Valhalla. It was a little bit info-dumpy at times and occasionally it felt like Riordan did CTRL+H (find and replace) changing Percy to Magnus, Greek Gods to Norse. But overall enjoyable and I think I would have enjoyed it more if if I was just a bit younger when I first read it.
His new vision of the Norse Gods and their adventures and aspects is as vibrant as the Bitfrost rainbow bridge, his humour is full of absolute geniuses using surprise and unexpected combinations. I haven't laughed so much reading a book as I have with this one. I loved every single character both bad and good. I salute him for adding a good deal of diversity in the mix with a Muslim Valkyrie and a Deaf Elf Magician. I really genuinely thoroughly enjoyed reading every word, line and chapter of this book. His descriptions, dialogue and the fantastic character of Magnus is a true delight to read and connect with. As soon as I reached the last page I immediately placed a Pre-Order on the second book which is out in October. Highly recommended for all ages.
by Jo age 12
It's a great adventure, structurally very similar to the Percy books and the Kane books, but it's a more mature bit of writing and the most amusing yet. I'm a bit sad there's no second story lined up for next year to order...