Review Blog

Jan 17 2016

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

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Penguin, Random House; 2015. ISBN 9780141342429
(Age: YA) Recommended. Themes: Norse Mythology; Adventure; Overcoming obstacles; Bravery. Rick Riordan takes the reader on an adventure into Norse mythology with the character Magnus Chase. Magnus is a young teen who is living a miserable existence - homeless and orphaned in horrifying circumstances, when he becomes caught up in an adventure into the world of mythology. His life of adversity and endurance on the streets prepares him for the journey into the world of the dead, with dwarfs, giants, Valkyries and other mythological figures. He becomes a key to prevent significant disaster from overtaking all in the alternative worlds of Norse afterlife.
This is an amazing and magical adventure/quest story. Rick Riordan has mastered the genre of mythological adventure. Young readers who began the journey of discovery of Mythology with Percy Jackson will be delighted that there is another area of mythology to explore in this latest mystery exploration. Riordan writes with humorous moments scattered through the text, and even weaves current cultural references (eg a Powerpoint presentation by a Norse god) into the alternate worlds. Essentially though this is an engaging and exciting quest adventure, requiring the central character to display great bravery as he faces extreme opposition with the help of a few faithful side-kicks, all of whom are unlikely heroes, but display their worth as they support Magnus, the reluctant hero.
This book is quite a lengthy tome, and is well crafted. It is worth recommending to YA readers who like this style of magically-influenced fantasy. It is exciting and entertaining even for an adult reader, but will be most enjoyed by fantasy lovers, who also enjoy discovering aspects of mythology from other cultures. There is another book in the series due in 2016.
Carolyn Hull

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