Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer – Rick Riordan

This book was sent to me by Penguin Random House India in exchange of an honest review

Rick Riordan is primarily famous for his Percy Jackson books – now also a movie (or maybe two). But as true fans (like my brother) will tell you, the movie does not live up to the book. I have never read the Percy Jackson books, but I have seen the movie and I must point out that Pierce Brosnan looked extremely foolish as a centaur which managed to completely turn me off the whole enterprise.

This is the story of Magnus Chase who also happens to be a demi- God, only he is Nordic. The book helped to brush up my very limited knowledge of the Nordic Folklore and can thus also be considered an educational tool in a pinch.

So, Magnus Chase is living on the streets when we meet him, a brutal life for even grown up people and especially dangerous for kids. Predictably, not long into the book, he dies.

That, however, is not where his story ends, but, unaccountably by mere mortal standards, begins. He is transported to Valhalla and there meets other heroes who have all died while carrying out heroic deeds and are now training to fight in the epic battle between good and evil, whenever it may occur. That some of them have been waiting for centuries is only a tiny technicality. Also, nobody can die in Valhalla so they carry their ‘mock drills’ for battle preparation to new heights.

There is some confusion regarding Magnus Chase when he steps into this world as his ‘heroic’ deed is not deemed heroic enough for those hallowed halls. Extremely embarrassing for all involved. He makes new friends and finds old ones and then embarks on a secret quest into the nine worlds of Nordic lore. As the name suggests, the quest is for the sword of summer that belongs to Chase’s father Frey, a reclusive Norse God.

The narrative is a first person account and told much in the way a teenager would converse. I especially liked the chapter headings – Β very succinct. The book is definitely something anyone over 10 years can enjoy. And, nowadays, maybe even less. This style of writing is always a quick and easy read. I feel I use this phrase ‘quick and easy read’ for numerous books I review and must get awfully repetitive, but it feels so appropriate to describe the writing style and definitely delivers the message. A lot of people I know will never touch a book that they know needs some effort to understand or even grasp the core message of the story.

I liked the story and the Magnus Chase character and since I didn’t like the Percy Jackson movie, I think this series will be better than the earlier ones. There appears to be a cross-over being presented in the two storylines and I am not very sure how effective it will be. I mean, wouldn’t it have been better to let Magnus Chase develop a little on his own. I guess, we must wait and find out from the next installment in the series. So far, so good.

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3 thoughts on “Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer – Rick Riordan

  1. Oh, while I do love me some Nordic or Greek Mythology, a thought occurred to me while reading your review: wish there were books like Magnus Chase/Percy Jackson, but based on mythology of some other parts of the world.. I’d imagine native Americans and Australians, India, China, all of Africa, the Middle-Eastern and the native Siberians have some wonderful and interesting mythologies only waiting to be used in popular children’s literature. Someone needs to pick up a pen! πŸ™‚

    Somehow I never read Percy Jackson (haven’t seen the movie either and your impression of it is plenty of disencouraging), which is strange considering I used to be a huge Greek mythology geek as a teenager. Used to literally track an encyclopaedia article by article and writing out anything related in a note book. Fun times.

    .. sorry, just rambling on on my own here πŸ™‚ Great review as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But I completely agree. I was thinking exactly the same thing. With 330 million Hindu Gods can you imagine the untamed market for books that deal with them πŸ˜‰ . Yup, these series are for an extremely young age group which makes it not so interesting as say the Game of Thrones series.

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      1. Exactly! And from Asia, so far only Japanese mythology does get some attention, mostly thanks to the popularity of their animation. But there’s so much more and different cultures and old legend that could be explored. Oh. Need to get my encyclopaedia out again!

        I don’t actually mind children’s books and re-read some every now and then, and last summer even found a new children’s fantasy series to enjoy (the Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney) of which I devoured six books out of 13 in one go before I felt it was getting old. But yeah, Percy Jackson never really got my attention. Maybe I should give both Percy and Magnus a go some time πŸ™‚

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