Revisiting parts of the Percy Jackson universe these past months as part of the Percy Pack has been fun. I first picked up Percy Jackson when I was a college freshman, and his adventure resonated with me even though he was several years younger than me. So, unlike many young folks, I can’t say that I grew up with Percy, but I did love Riordan’s series. I was excited to check out his newest series, this time following Norse mythology. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard is maturer and darker than Percy Jackson, but still has Riordan’s now-trademark humor and suspenseful moments.
The Sword of Summer is the first book of the series, and it begins with Magnus Chase dying. That’s not a spoiler. Magnus Chase dies and goes to Valhalla, where the dead, brave Viking warriors are. He travels through the Viking worlds, learning about legends and myths. Similar to Percy Jackson, the gods are ornery, funny, full of revenge–you name it. (If you aren’t too familiar with Norse mythology, it’s a fun way to learn about it.) As expected, it’s up to Magnus to save the day. (And in case you were wondering, Magnus is related to Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson; they’re cousins.)
This first book follows a familiar formula, and I’m sure the rest of the series will follow suit. Normally, that would be frustrating, but Riordan knows how to make his stories really entertaining. His strength is in his characters, who are fully-realized and genuine. Magnus is a 16-year-old, and Riordan finds the right balance of humor and angst to make him sound like a teenager. Also, Riordan earns major points for writing a diverse set of characters very well. (Learn more about the characters here!)
The non-stop adventure will keep you reading and eventually invested in Magnus Chase’s story. It will definitely appeal to Percy Jackson fans, who grew up with the book and are looking for something a little older and grittier.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan is now available in stores.
We have received books, merchandise and prizing from Disney-Hyperion in exchange for this post.