The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Book 1 in the Magnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard series
Genre: upper middle-grade fantasy/mythology
Percy Jackson was one of the first series I read, and the one that really sparked my love of books. I started reading The Lightning Thief when I was seven, and since then Rick has always been one of my all-time favorite authors. I love all his books, and I was so excited when I heard he was writing another book. But I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical because I’d never really been interested in Norse mythology. But now I know there was no reason to be skeptical, because this book was absolutely amazing! 😍
Throughout the story Rick keeps up his steady, trademark sense of humor. It’s always something to look forward to when you’re reading one of his books. One of the parts I found most amusing was:
“Could you do a glamour and turn into something smaller?” I asked it. “Preferably not a chain, since it’s no longer the 1990s?”
The sword didn’t reply (duh), but I imagined it was humming at a more interrogative pitch, like, Such as what?
“I dunno. Something pocket-size and innocuous. A pen, maybe?
The sword pulsed, almost like it was laughing. I imagined it saying, A pen sword. That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
So sneaky, Rick! Honestly, reading that brought back memories of reading the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series.
Another thing that brought back memories was the goofy chapter titles. I’m so glad Rick decided to bring them back, because I missed them in HoO (and I imagine there would’ve been some funny ones!). I loved them all, but some of my favorites were: “Make Way for Ducklings, or They Will Smack You Upside the Head“, “Phil the Potato Meets His Doom“, “Hey, I Know You’re Dead, But Call Me Maybe“, “I Psychoanalyze A Goat“, and “Hearthstone Passes Out Even More than Jason Grace (Though I Have No Idea Who That Is)“. 😂
The characters are diverse and incredibly realistic and unique. Magnus is a snarky teen leading a troubled life, Samirah is a Muslim girl with old-fashioned grandparents and a second life as Magnus’ Valkyrie (sort of), Blitz is a fashion-conscious dwarf (who I think resembles Magnus Bane from TMI/TID, if he were a dwarf rather than a warlock), and Hearth is a deaf/mute elf that’s working on mastering rune magic. Together they’ve got to stop the Fenris Wolf from breaking free, stop Surt from torching the world, and basically prevent Ragnarok. They’re an awesome team, strengthened by the help of Jack (a cool, talking magical sword) and a handful of the Norse gods, who I thought were really funny and well-written (Thor in particular!).
Overall, The Sword of Summer was fantastic. For me, it was a great introduction to Norse mythology, and it was just so fun and enjoyable to read. I loved the last chapter and the epilogue! Without spoiling anything, all I’ll say is that I know Magnus lost that bet (without the chapter title’s help), and I was definitely not expecting that epilogue! I was left needing to know more, although I can at least be thankful this cliffhanger was far more subtle than some of Rick’s other books (like The Mark of Athena!). I absolutely can’t wait to read The Hammer of Thor when it comes out next October! 😃
Until next time– Olivia ❤️ (my Twitter)