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Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Reviewed by Hargun

 magnus chase and the gods of asgard

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The sword of summer written by Rick Riordan, is in my opinion, one of the best  mythology books out there, especially for teenagers. It is first of the three book series. The book is about a sixteen-year-old homeless, orphan named Magnus Chase who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. When a tragedy occurs, his whole life changes.

On Earth, Magnus was treated like any homeless person; ignored. When he got killed in a fight, he becomes an einherji, which is a great hero who has died with bravery on Earth. He then becomes a part of Odin’s eternal army to prepare for Ragnarok. Einherjar, which are great heroes who have died with bravery on Earth, live in Hotel Valhalla. They train day and night for Ragnarok, which is the “death of major Norse Gods, the burning of the nine realms or worlds, and the submersion of the world in water”. The bravest soldiers will join Odin, Thor, and many giants to stop Loki, who is Odin’s son and Thor’s half-blooded, brother. In Valhalla, Magnus finds out that he is a demigod and has special powers that he has to learn to wield. In Valhalla, they do not age and cannot be killed.. Even if someone tries to kill anyone in Valhalla, the person who got “killed” would resurrect within a few hours.

When Magnus starts to settle in more, Odin gives him his very own guide, named Sam. Sam is there to help Magnus for anything he needs including battle training. One day, Sam takes Magnus to a restaurant and a guy spears and kills some people. Instead of showing fear everyone in the restaurant starts laughing, including Sam. Magnus is confused as to why they are laughing because someone just killed some people. Sam told Magnus that in Valhalla, nobody really dies and that they will resurrect within a few hours because that is how Odin created Valhalla. Later, the people of Valhalla come to a party and Magnus gets to see Thor for the first time of his life. Thor was having fun and drinking at the party, and people were requesting him to use his special power. Thor then sticks his hand out and his hammer comes to his hand at rapid speed and everyone was chanting his name, including Magnus.

One day, Odin tells Magnus the story of the sword of summer, and he tells him  that many people have tried to take the sword out of the ground, but all have failed. He told Magnus that he would have to look for it all over the nine worlds and try to take it out. Magnus reached the location of the sword, put his hands on the sword, pulled it with all his might, and the sword came out of the ground. Odin knew he was worthy, and from there, Odin said he would have to train with the sword. That’s when Magnus started participating in battles with the sword as his weapon. Sam teaches Magnus how to use his sword in battle. He teaches him how to attack and defend with it, and Magnus was happy that he knew how to use a sword. Then, a dwarf comes and challenges Magnus to a battle for the sword and Magnus agrees to it. They start to battle and from everything that Sam taught Magnus, he beat the dwarf and was happy that he had accomplished something. He goes against giants, dragons, sea monsters, and other opponents, and surprisingly, none have defeated him in a battle.

On the day of his biggest battle, on the island Lyngvi, Magnus and his friends meet the Fernis Wolf. Fernis admits that he had wolves sent to kill his mother, which triggers Magnus. Since his friend Jack wanted to cut his bonds with Fernis, he runs after him, but Magnus has to hold him back because he knew he would get himself killed. Then Gunilla, the daughter of Thor, and two other Valkyries are there to arrest Magnus and his friends for leaving Valhalla without permission. One of Magnus’s friends then decides that instead of arresting him and his friends, they should help to defeat Fernis Wolf once and for all. Gunilla and the two Valkyries agree to the idea and go after Surt, who is another strong enemy like Fernis Wolf. Magnus manages to get Jack to tie the Andskoti, which is a really strong rope, around Fernis, and he is fully tied. The group goes to Gunilla, but they realize they are too late because Surt has killed Gunilla and the two other Valkyries. Magnus sends Surt and the other enemies to another world and they escape the island on a boat. With the last bit of strength, Magnus manages to heal his friends Halfborn who was dying. Later then, Magnus knocks out and meets his dad, Frey, who tells Magnus to contact his cousin, Annabeth. When Magnus wakes up, he finds out that everyone has been told to come to the feast hall to decide his or her fate. Odin gives all the heroes gifts and lets Sam become a Valkyrie and work under him for top-secret missions. Magnus is given the opportunity to return to the human world, but Magnus declines the offer. He manages to leave the funeral for the fallen Valkyries in battle, saying that he has an “appointment”. He meets up with Annabeth, they scatter the ashes of Magnus’s mother, and they both decide that they have to have a long talk regarding everything that has happened in each other’s life.

Magnus Chase and Gods of Asgard: the sword of summer is one of the best action books that I have read. I highly recommend it to teenagers with the interest of books that contain action and Greek mythology. Rick Riordan is a very famous author for writing mythological books, and in my eyes, he is one of the best and most creative authors out there. If you are interested and decide to read the whole Magnus Chase series, the second book is called, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor, and the last book of the amazing series is called, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Ship of the Dead. The author does a great job in writing a very detailed and descriptive manner in which the reader is provided with the ability to picture everything that is happening. Therefore, the rating for this book is 5/5 stars in my eyes.                      

Check out Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer at the Newport Beach Public Library.

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