“Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die…”
Whether you have read his books or just heard others rave about them, you most likely know of Rick Riordan. Most notably acknowledged for his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, this incredible author is known for writing fictional books based off of ancient mythology. Before this new book, he had only written about Egyptian, Greek, and Roman mythology, and few thought that he would not travel to another branch. So many were surprised when Riordan announced that he was writing a new series about a hero named Magnus Chase, who finds out that he is the son of a Norse God. Writing books based on Norse mythology has always been his dream, and it came true on October 6, 2015, when The Sword of Summer, his first book on Norse mythology, was published.
Ever since his mom’s mysterious death, Magnus Chase has been homeless. Living on the streets and getting his necessities by ‘borrowing’ from undeserving people has been his life for two years, when one day that seems to be like any other, takes an unimaginable turn. His Uncle Randolph, who his mom always warned him to stay away from, is looking for him, and when trying to get away, Magus falls right into his clutches. His uncle starts raving about Norse mythology, and although Magnus wants to believe that all he is saying is just the hysteria of a crazy man, puzzle pieces are coming together in his head. In this book, characters travel throughout the nine worlds to get advice from the Gods and slow down the Doomsday that is fated to happen. The characters learn about the values of friendship and sacrifice, and how it isn’t always easy to make the right decisions.
Being a huge fan, I bought the book immediately. Similar to his other stories, it appeals to a large range of ages, however, you may be happy to discover that this one has a bit more cursing and violence description than you would expect, though much less than some other YA books. It is written in a modern setting, and is constantly making hilarious references to pop culture. Possible readers are sometimes discouraged to read his books because Riordan enjoys ending most of his books on cliff hangers that traumatize the readers. However, this is not something that you have to worry about in Sword of Summer. Though the ending does leave you with a few unanswered questions and eager for the next book, it is wrapped up really well. If you have read some of his other books, especially Percy Jackson or Heroes of Olympus, it is easy to find several similarities between the characters, however they also have their differences. I urge you to try not and compare Magnus to Percy or other of his previous character to this books, because as I said, they are different, and if you are too busy comparing them you won’t be able to appreciate their individual value. If you have read any of his other books, it goes along the same lines that the main character is brave, has faults that he is not ashamed to admit to, and is absolutely hilarious. Like Percy Jackson, Sword of Summer is written in a first person perspective. It’s great because it really gives you the chance to connect and understand Magnus. He also has loyal, complex, and diverse friends, who all have their own internal struggles, but are willing to follow him to the end.
This is an amazing book that I seriously recommend reading. It is a wonderful, hilarious read, and will make you laugh out loud, and maybe even cry too. Many critics are saying that this book is the start to his best series yet, and everyone that has read it cannot wait for the next one.
Rick Riordan also has many more books ahead, including the second book in the series, The Hammer of Thor, coming October 2016, and the first of another series called The Trials of Apollo, coming May 2016 centered around Apollo, the Greek God of medicine, poetry, the sun, and much more.