Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Sword of Summer

The Sword of Summer
(Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1)
Rick Riordan
Disney Hyperion, 2015. Fiction. 497 p.

Here is the first book in a new series by Rick Riordan.  Magnus is a homeless teen.  He never knew his father, and his mother was killed in a disturbing and mysterious incident involving wolves some years before.  One day Magnus is discovered by his uncles and cousin (Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson books) and finds out that his father was actually one of the Norse Gods. Before he knows what is happening,  he is fighting monsters from Norse mythology and trying to prevent the release of the mythical wolf who is the harbinger of Ragnarok.

Does this sound like a Norse version of Percy Jackson? Well, it is, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It has the same fast-paced, episodic fantasy action as Riordan's other books.  There is also a lot of pithy humor, sometimes at the expense of the Percy Jackson world.  Magnus is a little rougher around the edges than Percy or Jason, as one might expect from a boy who had been living on the streets, but there is nothing here that makes it inappropriate for most upper grade school and middle school readers. Riordan fans will eat this up and ask for more. This book is available from the library in print, on CD and as an audio download.

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