Saturday, March 12, 2016

Review | Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer

“Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .”

(Summary from Goodreads)

I’ve actually never read any of the Rick Riordan books before this one *raises hands in surrender* I know, it’s terrible. For a crazy book lover like me, it’s hard to believe I’ve never even given Percy Jackson much of a thought. To be honest, I wasn’t even planning on reading “The Sword of Summer” until I received it as a gift from my boss at a work Christmas party. That was the moment that I knew I needed to read it. I had no excuse.

After only a few chapters, I was suppressing laughter while I was on the bus, quoting humorous lines and trying to convince people to read it so I could talk about it with them. Probably my favourite bit of humour involved Magnus Chase calling a fire giant “the High King Roasty Toasty”. That line was impossible to hold in laughter for and I got a few glances from strangers.

Here Are a Few of My Favourite Things

(and by a few, I mean five)

1) Probably my favourite aspect of the novel was the world building. I absolutely adored the travel between the different realms and the world tree had me in awe. Between the creatures and the social classes in Valhalla, I honestly felt like Rick Riordan transported me into a world I could believe in.

To make things better, In the back of the copy I have, there’s a full colour map of the World Tree that I gushed over for a good chunk of time.

2) The mythology elements piqued my interest. I know little to nothing about any sort of mythology whether it be Greek, Roman or in this case, Norse. I truly enjoyed learning more about the different mythological creatures and symbols. One of the things that drew me back to the book each day was the idea that I'd get to learn more about the different gods who's names I'd only heard in marvel movies. (By the way, Thor and Loki are nothing like you know)

3) The ending was super action packed! I couldn’t put the book down once the characters reached their final destination and the final moments left me a little bit breathless. Oh! I also almost cried. Almost. If you've known me for awhile, you'll know that that's a big deal for me ;)

4) The characters. All of them were so different. There was an elf that communicated through sign language, a trendy dwarf who wasn’t nearly as good at crafting as dwarves usually are, a muslim girl who’s head scarf was also used for camouflage and Magnus of course is an orphaned street-kid. Could you get a more diverse group? The great think about the diversity in the group was that it didn't feel forced and beyond that, a lot of stereotypes were shattered. I applaud Rick Riordan for that.

Following a band of underdogs had me cheering each and every one them on. Success seemed impossible but that’s what I loved most about this group.

5) Magnus and I share a birthday! January 13th for the win! I have to admit, it's definitely something that makes me love the book that much more ^_^

Here Are a Few of My Not So Favourite Things

1) It was pretty long. I know they needed to follow clues but I mostly just wanted them to get to that climax moment. I feel as though one of their stops could have been cut especially since sometimes I got the impression that a certain stop was placed only so a specific character could reveal their backstory. This bothered me a put it mildly.

2) Dialogue dumping: it’s like info dumping but it’s just characters talking to each other about things that the author thinks the reader should know. I skimmed over a lot of these parts. I just wanted action—which was definitely there but it always was broken up by long talks about one of the character’s pasts.

3) There was so many conversations where we got to know the side characters that I never really felt like I got to know Magnus as deeply as I would've liked. Don't get me wrong, the voice in this story is fabulous. I can still hear Magnus's sass in my mind. Rather, I didn't feel like I was in his heart all the time.

I love feeling what characters feel but with Magnus, it seemed as though I was distanced from him. It made it hard to get invested in the battles since I wasn't always sure that Magnus was worried about their situation even though he very well may have been.

The reason why I liked the ending so much was probably because I actually felt that Magnus was legitimately fearful—I knew I was in not only his head at that point, but his heart too.

So should you read it?

“The Sword of Summer” is a super easy read. I’d recommend it to any late elementary or junior high student (9-16) who loves Percy Jackson or even any junior high student who hasn’t read it but has always wanted to. If you’re older than 16 and hate excessive gore but love a good adventure story, if you don’t like jump scares and but still love books that excite you, this is the book for you. Anyone who loves a good dose of humour will also enjoy this book.

Overall, I’ll give “The Sword of Summer” 3.5 out of 5 stars and yes, I'll likely be reading the next book.

About the Author

“Rick Riordan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the Kane Chronicles, the Heroes of Olympus, and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. He is also the author of the multi-award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults.

For fifteen years, Rick taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. While teaching in San Antonio, Saint Mary’s Hall honored him with the school’s first Master Teacher Award.

While teaching full time, Riordan began writing mystery novels for grownups. His Tres Navarre series went on to win the top three national awards in the mystery genre – the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus. Riordan turned to children's fiction when he started The Lightning Thief as a bedtime story for his oldest son.

Today over forty million copies of his Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles, and Heroes of Olympus books are in print in the United States, and rights have been sold into more than 37 countries. Rick is also the author of The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones, another #1 New York Times bestseller

Rick Riordan now writes full-time. He lives in Boston with his wife and two sons”

Have you read The Sword or Summer? If you have, what did you think of it? If you haven't, do you think you will in the future? 

Keep on reading, Wordlings! 


  1. Great review, Cassia! I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I'd really like to read this book, because as you know I love mythologies. XD Thanks for sharing!

    1. Why thank you :) Yeah you're love of mythology would probably find this super fascinating!