Magnus Chase and The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan Review: Hilarious Norse Mythology

October 8, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Magnus Chase and The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan Review: Hilarious Norse MythologyThe Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
on October 6, 2015
Source: Publisher
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson
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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 an uncle he's never met - a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle 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 . . .

Magnus Chase is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. So many scenes made me laugh out loud, from the fashionable dwarf Blitzen, to the TV addicted Thor, to the scary giant squirrel and the most hilarious talking sword in existence. I’ve only ever encountered one other talking sword before, but Jack is hilarious, with a mind of his own and some fancy skills, like flying up giant’s noses.

I didn’t think I knew much about Norse mythology, but thanks to Marvel, I’m familiar with Thor, Odin, Loki and the world of Asgard. Not only does the book cover creative re-imaginings of these great Norse gods, with Vikings, dwarves, elves and magic, it also updates it with hilarious pop culture references and the use of smart phones and Wifi. I learnt so much about Norse mythology here, through the runes used, the language, the Gods and Goddesses that ruled over different worlds and the strange creatures that were about. From the Valhalla with Odin’s warriors, to Valkyries that would handpick brave souls from the battlefield, the setting was like a feast for a fantasy lover like me.

I imagined the sword and me sitting side by side in a movie theater, a tub of popcorn between us. I imagined dragging the sword on a leash, taking it for a walk through the park. “How do I befriend a sword?” 

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The book is set out like a constantly growing adventure, but there is so much jampacked here that you’ll go from one hilarious situation to another. Often in the book I couldn’t believe what had just happened, as they got more and more ridiculous and I just couldn’t stop laughing. There’s also lots of mention of food here, which is my favourite!

From a homeless teen living on the streets to a hero of Asgard, Magnus isn’t a typical hero. He’s humble, grateful for what he has and the questing he has to do as a warrior in Valhalla. He’s also completely hilarious, brave and doesn’t stand down from a challenge. I liked how his natural stance wasn’t to charge into battle and fight, but to look at the situation in a different light. In fact, he gets out of most situations with pure bravado, comedy, sarcasm and underlying rage at times. Magnus is a great new hero, however like Percy, I do think he’s a bit TOO perfect.

Blitz: “For instance, I could fix your disgraceful outfit. No one wears a brown peacoat with a green headscarf.”
Percy: “A dwarf in sunglasses and a ski mask is giving me fashion advice.”
Blitz: “I have daylight issues!”

The characters in Magnus Chase are diverse, flamboyant and had big personalities, which made them really memorable. We had the dwarf Blitz, who had an eye for fashion, the deaf night elf Hearth, who uses sign language, and the muslim Valkyrie Sam, who is dedicated to her quest despite all odds. I loved all of their dialogue and how hilarious they all were together, but they also had some depth as well.

The only downside about this book is that with all the random occurrences happening, sometimes I felt they were going a bit off track to the original quest. I couldn’t see how some of the zany things were related, and the sheer volume of these made the book a bit longer.

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There is never a dull moment in Magnus Chase, with the hilarious adventure, snarky dialogue and diverse characters. With Rick Riordan’s fantastic, conversational writing, I just wanted to keep reading and discovering more witty banter, funny ridiculous situations and more Norse mythology. A fantastic start to a great new series, I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me this book for review.

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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42 responses to “Magnus Chase and The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan Review: Hilarious Norse Mythology

  1. Laura Plus Books

    You've definitely made me super interested in this book! I've still never read a Rick Riordan and so I think this is a great place to start for me. Especially since I already have a copy sitting on my shelf. I have to hit up some sand and just read for awhile!

  2. I don't know what's wrong wrong with me, but I am so behind on Rick Riordan books! I haven't finished the Heroes of Olympus series,or the Red Pyramid one. Ahh. I'm so glad that the hilarity isn't lost in this book, and hat you got to learn loads about Norse mythology. Great review, Jeann!

  3. Romi

    I've been seeing everyone really hyped up about this, but… I knew practically nothing about it! I haven't really ever read Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson wasn't my cup of tea, but this sounds pretty hilarious. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! Not having read the synopsis, I can't say I'm clear, totally, on what it's actually about, but it seems like people are just loving it! That should probably be quite enough!
    Lovely review, Jeann. xx
    My recent post Perceivable Intensities (1)

  4. Ugh, is it bad that I still haven't picked up a Rick Riordan book yet? But he seems to pump them out like there's no tomorrow, and I just cannot keep up! 🙁 So glad to hear that this one is so funny! I'm only familiar with the Marvel stories as well, but would be interesting to read about the other people in Norse myths!

    • WOAH JOY you need to pick one up now! This one is amazing, and the plus is that it's the start of a new series, so you don't have to read his other books.

  5. I knew you'd love this Jeann, it's all those superhero outfits you have 😀

    I think the best thing about The Sword of Summer was most definitely the humour, it's one aspect that Riordan seems to be so effortless at and is always spot on. I thought it was a little too drawn out in places too and seemed to drag in the last quarter, but still so incredibly entertaining and YA for a new Riordan series. Although, did you hear about his spin off set in Percy's world? I don't think he can compete with my love for Percy, sorry Magnus 😀

    Awesome review Jeann and thrilled that you loved it too <3 <3
    My recent post Greetings! It is I

    • YESSS the humour was definitely the best, I can't stop thinking about how the end of the book ended up with "a bet" but when you read the chapter title you know what happens. I did, the Camp Half Blood series would be amazing!

  6. I feel like there were a few too many side quests, but I really loved this book! Definitely my second favorite after the PJO series; it's a bit better than the Heroes of Olympus. What really stood out to me is that the diversity in this book felt SO much more natural than in HoO. It wasn't a "one of each" sort of thing, which I really appreciated.
    My recent post Middle Grade Mini Reviews

    • Yeah, it was a bit draggy with all the sidequests, lucky it was fun at that time. I did like it a lot, I haven't read Heroes of Olympus yet though. The diversity did feel really natural, which was really awesome.

  7. amanda_gray

    Gah, I just – I'm not sure on this book. I've been reading it for like, 3 weeks, and I like it, I'm just not loving it. I hate that. Everyone is finding it hilarious.. The most I've done is smirk. I just don't know what it is. BUT STILL, I like it, and I like your review, thank for sharing Jeann! 🙂
    My recent post Nellie and Co. Reader Survey 2015

    • Such a shame Amanda, sometimes you just can't get into a book though! No problems, I hope you'll be able to get into it.

    • Hehehhe he was such a fantastic character! I know what you mean, the Aussie cover seems like it's targeted towards a younger demographic (fans of the Percy series)

  8. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Well I have yet to finish reading the Percy Jackson books, but now I have another series of his I want to read. This sounds fantastic! I'm not as familiar with Norse mythology either, so I would be glad to learn more in such a fun way. I love the sound of a book with a lot of snark and banter. 🙂
    My recent post Making Waves (4)

  9. I think I am one of the few people who has never read a Rick Riordan book. I just don't know if they're for me.

    I don't laugh easily at things that are supposed to be funny, and it makes me a bit wary that all of his books are supposed to have a lot of humour in them. Humour so often falls flat for me, and I would hate for that to happen.

    I don't think I will pick this one up (I think if I was going to try a Riordan book, it might be Percy Jackson) because it doesn't sound very "me", but I am glad you enjoyed it, Jeann! 😀
    My recent post Review: Willful Machines by Tim Floreen

    • Ah, I could totally understand Chiara, sometimes you just know when a book isn't for you, no matter how much others enjoyed it. LOL I'm actually the same when it comes to comedy movies…books sometimes amuse me though 😉

  10. Zoe

    Ugh…I'm so sorry Jeann. I can't believe I did that. That's what I get for doing comments at 5 in the morning. *facepalm*

    • Hahah understandable Zoe! LOL both Cait and I loved this book, so I can see why 😀 As long as you're keen on picking it up heheh!

  11. Zoe

    YES. I am so glad you liked this so much Cait! To be completely honest, I’ve been a bit hesitant about reading this when it comes out because I’m worried that it won’t be quite as good as the Percy Jackson series, but you’ve eased my fears. (Although, I felt the same way when I started Heroes of Olympus, and, alas, look where I am now). So glad that Annabeth is in this (my spirit character TBH) and that there were some Percy Jackson cameos as well. Thanks for sharing Cait and, as always, fabulous review my twin! ♥

  12. Braine-Talk Supe

    Sounds amazing! I wonder what pantheon he's going to do next… Also, I wish he does a collaboration with Michael Scott.

  13. AHHH I LOVED IT SO MUCH TOO!! <3 It's nearly my favourite Riordan book of <I>ever (Blood of Olympus just wins by a teeny tiny amount because I adore Leo the most) but omg this was so hysterically funny! 😀 I loved the chapter titles and Magnus and Sam (and the magical hijab!) and I loved that it was friendship and magic focused and fajdklafd yes, just so much love.