REVIEW: Magnus Chase and The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Updated: Jan 1
Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer is the first book in the Magnus Chase series that follows Norse mythology. You might recognise Magnus’ last name, and the reason why that would be is because of another character in Riordan’s universe. This would be Annabeth Chase. Annabeth and Magnus are related through her father and his mother, with the parents being brother and sister, making them first cousins.
We open our story with his mother, Natalie having died two years ago and Magnus has been living on the streets ever since. Unexpectedly, his family go searching for him. His uncle Randolph catches him breaking in to his house and confronts him on Longfellow Bridge to explain that Magnus is the Son of a Norse, giving him powers. Randolph tells him that he must retrieve an ancient sword, known as sumarbrander, the sword of summer. But unfortunately, a monster comes to him and destroys the bridge. He protects other pedestrians and wounds the monster and takes him over the side of the bridge. Then he dies.
Magnus awakes in the Hotel Valhalla as an einherjar, pronounced as in-hair-ye, where he is told that he will spend eternity preparing for Ragnarok. Such a great way to spend your afterlife huh? He is introduced to a bunch of characters including, the Valkyrie Sam who saved him and brought him to Valhalla, and the hall mates on his floor.
During the welcome party for Magnus, the three Norns pronounce him a son of Frey and deliver a prophecy to all of them. Alas, the prophecy is confusing and so the ruling council banish Sam, for bringing Magnus to Valhalla as he was wrongly chosen.
We meet up with Magnus’ human friends who are anything but human. Hearth and Blitz disguised themselves to be among Magnus but in fact Hearth is an elf and Blitz is a dwarf. They meet up with Sam in Midgard (Earth) and find the god Mimir who tasks them with finding the Sword of Summer, and rebind Fenris Wolf. Some chaos ensues along the way because of course this is a Rick Riordan novel. Should we expect any less? The successfully rebind Fenris Wolf but there is somebody causing the mayhem, Loki. Loki berates Randolph for not being able to stop Magnus from rebinding Fenris and implies that his family will be in danger if he does not comply with what Loki wants.
However, despite being praised a hero from even Odin himself, spoiler alert, Odin was one of his hall mates, Magnus decides that he likes his afterlife as an Einherjar but decides to go to Boston and the two hold a funeral for his mother, Natalie Chase. Through talking, they find out that they are both Demi gods. Apparently the gods liked the chase family after all.
I was so happy to be in the world that Rick Riordan has created again. Though it does not follow Percy, I believe that because it has that connection with Annabeth, it has gained more of an attention than what it would do without it. People grew to love the gang of heroes but also loved Riordan’s work but I am not sure how many would have read this without some sort of connection to the gang that we all know and love. Riordan always keeps me entertained with these books as they are easy to get into and easy to get into. They grip you into the pages. As this is written for middle graders, Riordan needs to keep their attention as those of that age tend to not concentrate on reading as much as adults do but as such, it grips all of us into its pages and is an excellent read for all ages.
4 out of 5 stars.