Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer – Rick Riordan`s Nordic Masterpiece

I am currently reading my 3rd Rick Riordan series. His work never ceases to amaze me. However, let me go back to the summertime and Magnus Chase. In this article, I am going to review the first Magnus Chase book entitled “Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer”.

Unexpected beginning

The book is set in Boston, where we meet our soon-to-be 16 year old protagonist Magnus. Oddly enough, we meet him under the bridge. Why, you might ask? Well, Magnus has been homeless ever since he lost his mom to some weird circumstances 2 years ago. Everything is normal (as much as it can be when you are homeless), until some random guy kicks Magnus and says: ”They are after you”.

Suddenly, Magnus’ uncle appears. After this, he fights a fire giant Surtr. Shockingly, Magnus dies. Yes, you read that correctly. Rick Riordan kills his protagonist in the very first few chapters. After he is resurrected to Valhalla by a valkyrie called “Samirah al-Abbas”, the quest to find his father’s sword and prevent Ragnarok (Armageddon) begins.

Humorous portrayal of characters

There are a lot of reasons why I like this book. The principal one would be the humor. Riordan really knows how to make his characters funny without offending anybody in the process. The way he portrays gods is absolutely hilarious. Take Thor for an example. We are all used to Chris Hemsworth and his muscular and brave Thor. However, in this book, Thor is, well…I will just quote Riordan fandom. “Thor is actually a very obtuse, temperamental god and can swear a lot. He is fond of watching popular TV shows on Netflix. Thor has a bad habit of passing gas or belching in public. He’s also prone to smashing things.”

Not only does Riordan make fun of gods but also other characters are treated in the same way.

The other important reason I like this book are its characters. Not only does Riordan make fun of gods but also other characters are treated in the same way. I will just briefly mention some of them. There is a deaf elf Hearthstone and his best friend Blitzen, who is also a dwarf. Then the short tempered Mallory Keen, a young viking Halfborn Gunderson and Thomas Jefferson Jr., who is always ready to charge with his trusty bayonet. Besides their comic characteristics, the characters have depth and are well embedded in the story. 

Great narration

Now for my final reason…it’s simply Magnus and his brilliant way of narrating the story. I can’t count how many times his narration kept me in my seat just not wanting to finish reading. What I like about his narration is how it is really down to earth. There is no over explaining. The same thing goes for his descriptions, which are very visual and precise. There are no second guesses or predictions. I think that narration is the key point for this book. Sure, you can have an interesting setting and funny characters, but narration is the “glue” that sticks everything together.

Why read it

So, this is everything I have to say about “Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer”. How to persuade you to read this book? Do you like norse mythology and a “fantastical” setting with a lot of action? This is a book for you. Do you just want a book about some teenagers saving a word? This is a book for you. You will notice that in this review I didn’t really go deep into the plot and I spent most of the time explaining why I liked this book. I did that, so if anybody gets the urge to read the book after this review, they can enjoy the story without many spoilers. 

With this, I am wrapping up my book review. You should give this book a shot. It’s an action comedy with a talking sword as a character. What? I didn’t  mention the sword? Well, you can’t find everything out in a book review. Sometimes, you really have to actually read the book.

Written by Petar Potočnik

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