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Im a huge Rick Riordan fan and Ive been waiting for this book for a while, those who have been waiting as well wont be disappointed. Im personally impressed; I know that the structure of the story is going to be similar to others of Riordan, but even with the structure similar, its still a page turner, but this time in the context of Norse mythology. It initially appears to be a long book, but, it is an easy read that goes fast; I didnt want to put it down and read it in one night. For those who are not familiar with Rick Riordans writings, this is a perfectly fine book to jump into Riordans 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. Its 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 isnt 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 Magnuss 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 Im curious. Check it out!
From School Library Journal Gr 5 Up—Fans of Percy Jackson and “Kane Chronicles” (both, Disney-Hyperion) books will not be disappointed in Riordan’s newest series, which is based on Norse mythology. Magnus Chase, 16, has been an orphan living on the streets of Boston for the past two years. Ever since the mysterious death of his mother, he has tried to stay ahead of anyone who might be looking for him. When his Uncle Randolph tracks him down and begins talking about his birthright—an ancient sword—Magnus’s world changes forever. But Randolph is not the only one searching for the sword. A Fire Giant destined to wield it as part of doomsday is hot on their trail. Dying and winding up at the Hotel Valhalla is only the beginning of this teen’s (after)life. With an epic plot, engaging (and diverse) characters, and tons of wisecracking humor, Riordan’s latest is a page-turner. Those new to the author’s past series can jump right in; fans of his previous works will be happy to see clever nods and references to the other in-universe books. VERDICT Ravenous Riordan fans are likely to begin lining up for this on the publication date; be prepared for long holds lists on this one.—Patrick Tierney, Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary School, Providence, RI
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1: The Sword of Summer Hardcover – October 6, 2015 by Rick Riordan (Author) Review
You can tell Riordan is through in his mythology research and uses that knowledge to build stories that draw readers in and teach them a little mythology while entertaining them. In the line of Percy Jackson series (Greek and Roman mythology) and the Kane’s series (Egyptian mythology), he has done the same with Norse mythology with a little spin to it. 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! -Read Reviews-
Rick Riordan writes another epic set in the Percyverse. This time the theme is the Norse Gods, and while Marvel has fleshed them out very well, Rick does an excellent job of differentiating the Percy Aesir from their Disney counterparts. The most interesting character is Samara, who faces racism in the mortal world for being a Muslim, and racism in Valhalla for being a daughter of Loki. Rick approaches her and her heritage with respect. This book also features an appearance by Magnus’ cousin Annabeth, the daughter of Athena and heroine from the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series. All this does is to tease Rick’s fans of an Avenger’s-style Percy team up. This book is a fantastic read from beginning to end, and you’re left at how you can’t help but marvel at Rick’s knowledge of all things mythological.
Tags: Action & Adventure, Action & Adventure - General, Ages 9-12 Fiction, Book 1: The Sword of Summer, Children: Grades 4-6, Children's Books, Disney-Hyperion, Fables, Fables - Norse, Fantasy & Magic, General, Juvenile Fiction, Juvenile Folk Tales, Legends, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Mythology, Myths, Norse, Rick Riordan, Teenage), Traditional stories (Children's