I first read The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan in April 2018, and this review was originally posted on my Goodreads account then. Some minor edits have been made to this review.
The Sword of Summer, the first book of Riordan’s new series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, is so much fun! The characters were all great, the mythology elements were delightfully weird and entertaining, and the plot was well-written and exciting. Riordan has done it again.
Magnus is a great character, with lots of dry wit and sarcasm, plus a genuinely nice personality. He’s a bit fumbling — as anyone suddenly thrown into a world of Norse gods would be — but also brave and smart. His friends are also a great bunch: Samirah is so so so cool, Blitz is endearing, Hearth is wonderful, Jack is a delight, and the other einherjar are a fun bunch. The other characters who appear are also a great cast.
I don’t know as much about Norse as I do Greek and Roman, but this was a fun adventure and a good introduction to this particular mythology. We see faces we know of from other popular modern stories such as Loki and Thor, and also meet some other figures like Freya and fire giants. As usual with Riordan’s books, I also appreciate this book not just for an amusing and well-written modernization of ancient mythologies for teens but also for a diverse cast. In this one we have a kind-hearted homeless kid, a savvy and intelligent Muslim girl, and a brave and selfless deaf magician. These are under-represented groups in popular literature, and so it was wonderful to see them portrayed so thoughtfully and so well here.
I can’t wait to read the sequel, which I will be starting in the next few days.
Also as odd as it is to say, I low-key ship Jack and the Arrow of Dodona from Trials of Apollo (don’t judge me).
Overall rating: 9/10
If you liked this review, follow me! And let me know what your favorite mythological story is!