Friday, November 20, 2015
First Read Friday: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase & The Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan
Title: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase & The Gods of Asgard #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney - Hyperion Books
Published: October 6, 2015
Number of Pages: 528
Genre(s): Mythology, Fantasy, YA
Date Read: November 1, 2015
Magnus Chasehas just turned 16, but he's not like most other 16 year olds, Magnus has been living on the streets of Boston, on his own for the last two years since his Mother died. Well actually she didn't just die, she was killed, by inexplicable wolves. So Magnus hates wolves with a passion now, and really who could blame him. For many teens who've just turned 16 their looking forward to a birthday party with lots of their friends, and maybe learning how to drive. Magnus is just looking for his next meal and to stay out of trouble. Magnus doesn't get what he wants though because apparently turning 16 triggers something, something that he doesn't understand, some sort of destiny. Somehow he ends up on a bridge fighting a fire giant for a barnacle covered sword, while being defended by his two homeless friends who are wielding a make way for ducklings sign and a toy store bow and arrow, after listening to an Uncle he hasn't trusted since long before his Mom was killed.
After his fight on the bridge Magnus finds his way to the einherji where the strange things just keep on coming, and the more answers he gets the more confused he gets. The aforementioned homeless friends come to rescue him, and it turns out they've been protecting him from unseen enemies all along, and they're not really homeless humans either, one is a deaf elf and the other is a fashion conscious dwarf who turns to stone in the sunlight. They set off on a quest to find Frey's Sword of Summer and keep Surt from releasing Fenris Wolf and starting Ragnarok. Will they succeed?
I have been waiting for a Rick Riordan Norse mythology series since The Kane Chronicles (KC) so when this was first announced I was freaking out and I have been so excited for it. I followed all the progress updates on Facebook, I gleefully and eagerly counted down the days until the release date. I was jealous that my friend Rachel got her copy before me and resisted the urge to ask her for spoilers beyond telling me exactly HOW Magnus is related to Annabeth (it had been circulating for months that he was going to be her brother so I HAD to know whether he was or not and I was impatient). I hurried to finish the book I was reading when it was released and then the book that I had gotten while reading that book (Chess Queen Enigma) so that I could get myself a copy of Magnus and read it. So to say I had expectations and high hopes it putting it rather mildly. But oh man did it ever live up to my expectations. Once I got it it was near next to impossible to put it down. I would think about reading it while I was at work. I loved every single page of it, it hooked me right from the beginning and just stayed awesome all the way through.
Rick Riordan just has a thoroughly enjoyable writing style, he's informative and educational while being highly entertaining. His humour is spot on and perfectly irreverent which I love. My favourite chapter title in the book for example is the one where is breaks the fourth wall "Hearthstone passes out even more than Jason Grace (Though I have no idea who that is)". I was really looking forward to seeing how Riordan would make Magnus stand out from Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus (PJ/HoO) and the KC because he did so well at keeping those two mythologies from being too similar even though they were both dealing with the same type of character really (modern teenagers with ties of some sort to mythological gods/goddesses). In PJ/HoO, you'll recall, the kids were all children of first the Greek and then the Roman aspects of the Greek/Roman pantheons (Thanks for catching that I typed Freek instead of Greek the second time there Google) while in the KC the teens were descendants of Egyptian magicians who could channel the auras and powers of the Egyptian pantheon. What he does with Magnus and his companions definitely stands on it's own from the previous two series and perfectly fits the Norse mythology.
As with his other two previous series the world of Norse mythology is well woven into the modern world, this time in Boston instead of a borough of New York. I'm sure given Magnus's connection to Annabeth that as the series goes on we'll get more and more references to people and events from the other series' especially PJ/HoO and I am really looking forward to that. I don't know how many books Riordan has planned for this particular series but I plan to read all of them.