The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Series: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
Genres: Action/Adventure, Young Adult
Maturity Level: 2
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Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.
One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.
The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.
When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.
Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .
Rick Riordan never fails to deliver a novel full of humor, action, and friendship while also teaching young readers about mythology. The Sword of Summer introduces the Norse gods, which is cool because aside from what we “learned” in the Marvel cinematic universe, we probably don’t know much about these guys. Like all of Riordan’s books, it’s fun, exciting, silly, and a little bit deep.
Yes, deep. In particular The Sword of Summer addresses the age old concept of might verses right. Just because I am strong enough to do something, does that mean I should. And is it okay that the strong are the ones with the power? It also explores the idea of predestination, or fate. Am I in control of my own destiny, or is what is going to happen to me already set in stone? Or maybe is it something in between? These are concepts I think it’s important for young people to understand or at least have thought about. And I think it’s cool that Rick Riordan introduces them, instead of just writing exciting fluff.
However, I think it is the weakest of Riordan’s books so far. It did everything right, except for giving Magnus Chase his own unique voice. Magnus read exactly like Percy Jackson, right down to not being able to pronounce anything. This was especially disappointing in light of the Heroes of Olympus series where Riordan was able to create so many lovable characters that were so distinct. The Sword of Summer also followed a very formulaic plot line, so so so similar to the original Percy Jackson series. It just felt … old. Sorry Uncle Rick.
That being said, I think Sword of Summer would be a great book for any young reader. I meet a lot of kids that haven’t read any of the old Percy Jackson books because they are just now old enough to start getting into these sorts of books. And there’s no reason they wouldn’t enjoy this book as much as any of his others. Read on kiddos! You’re in for a treat.