Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 1 The Sword of Summer

by Rick Riordan

Paperback, 2017

Status

Available

Collection

Publication

Disney-Hyperion (2017), Edition: Reprint, 544 pages

Description

"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 barely knows-a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph 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 ..."--Publisher.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member jugglingpaynes
To begin with, I had no intention to read The Sword of Summer, the first book in Rick Riordan's latest series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. I've been suffering series fatigue since The Heroes of Olympus went on for two books longer than I thought it would. I decided to give it a try for two reasons: This one would follow Norse mythology and I had the chance to read a review copy. When I end up reading passages out loud and begging my family to read it, I know I have a winner. I am glad I gave this book a chance.

Magnus Chase is a sixteen-year-old Bostonian who has been homeless since his mother died two years earlier. (I think of him as an older, rougher version of Percy Jackson at the beginning of The Lightning Thief.) The Sword of Summer begins with Magnus explaining that he dies. This is not a spoiler, it's right there in the first chapter title. Life changes when he is brought to Valhalla by a Valkyrie because of his heroic death.

Mr. Riordan is definitely well-versed in his Norse mythology and he does a great job of weaving the legends into this contemporary story. His interpretations of different Norse gods, giants, and other magical creatures really fleshes out the story and makes the book hard to put down. I also appreciate the return to the first person narrative and funny chapter titles like "Norns, Why Did It Have to Be Norns?" or "Hey, I Know You're Dead, But Call Me Maybe." These features drew me into The Lightning Thief, and I'm happy they are back. Also, if you happen to miss your favorite demigods from previous series, you may have guessed (I didn't) that there is a cameo at the beginning and end of this book. There are also a number of inside jokes for the fans.

To sum up, The Sword of Summer is a wonderful, fast-paced read. If you liked Percy Jackson or you are interested in Norse mythology I recommend giving this book a try.
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LibraryThing member foggidawn
Magnus Chase has been on his own since his mom died, living on the streets of Boston. When his homeless buddies tell him that his uncle is looking for him, Magnus knows he's in trouble. Soon, he finds himself in an action-packed chase-and-fight sequence that results in his death. Now, usually it's not a good thing when a book's hero dies less than 50 pages into the story -- but Magnus has previously unsuspected ties to Norse mythology, so when he dies heroically, a Valkyrie whisks him away to Valhalla, where he joins the hordes of heroes awaiting Ragnarok. There's just one problem: Magnus has some unfinished business on Earth. Could it be that he's one hero that Valhalla just can't hold?

To me, this book feels like a return to Riordan's strengths. While I enjoyed the Heroes of Olympus series, it did have some weaknesses -- particularly when it came to the sheer number of point-of-view characters. This book zeros back in on a single first-person perspective (a friend who also read the book refers to Magnus as "an older, rougher Percy Jackson," and I think that sums him up pretty well, though there's still nothing content-wise to discomfit upper-elementary and middle-school readers). Riordan also brings back the witty chapter titles that will have some readers (or at least this one) snorting with laughter at times. The pace is a breakneck as ever, with the usual assortment of monsters and villains, just from further north this time. Riordan works his usual magic with the mythology, seamlessly blending it into the modern world with plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor to hold everything together. There are also a few sly references to Riordan's earlier works, not to mention a cameo appearance by a certain other Chase -- readers who haven't encountered those earlier books won't feel lost, but Riordan's fans will love those little inside jokes. Bottom line: if you like Riordan's style, you'll definitely like this book -- and if you've never picked up the others, you can start here without worrying about what you've missed in earlier books.
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LibraryThing member ERose207
I enjoyed Magnus as a character. His sarcastic nature made me laugh. I also loved seeing Annabeth again. I hope there is increasing overlap with the Greek/Roman lines in upcoming books. The Norse language is a pronunciation nightmare. I got hung up on several words and names throughout the story. All in all though I liked the book a lot.… (more)
LibraryThing member benuathanasia
O...M...G...
The chapter titles alone make this book worth it. My cats probably think I'm insane given the amount of times I burst out in maniacal giggles.

I got in a fight with someone a few weeks ago about Game of Thrones and how it feels like everyone GRR Martin kills is simply death fodder. The person I was arguing with said I must be soulless to not feel something for character fleshed out over the course of thousands of pages. Sword of Summer kind of helps proves my point - Just because you know a character for thousands of pages doesn't make them meaningful. It doesn't mean the writer is particularly good at creating characters. Riordan makes character I can care for instantly. Hell, he even made me mourn for a character I didn't particularly like. I fell in love with so many character we only see for a few pages (or a paragraph or two in the case of Ratatosk).

The only complaint I really have is the fact that they kept referring to Fenrir as Fenrir Wolf. After the first twelve times I think the audience gets the picture - he's a wolf. I've never elsewhere seen him referred to as Fenrir Wolf as though Wolf were his surname - and I grew up on Norse mythology (a picture of a nude Thor fighting Jormundgand was my first porn...*sigh* memories...).
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LibraryThing member JanesList
This book was a huge disappointment. I will be curious to see what they do in the next book because they do seem to be involving Annabeth. The book didn't travel as much as Riordan's books usually do (they essentially stayed in Boston while travelling the worlds of Asgard), the Norse gods are less familiar (and so there isn't that same fun of recognizing people/stories), but those on their own shouldn't have affected the book that poorly. I think it was that there just wasn't a strong spark. I felt like Magnus was going to do the right thing and it was going to work out, and I was just waiting for it to happen. But the book's heart wasn't in it. The jokes weren't as sharp, etc, and sometimes when we killed monsters I felt like perhaps there could have been a cleverer way. There were some interesting characters and I did like some of the Boston references, because I live north of Boston, but I just didn't have any edge of the seat, or many laugh out loud, moments. I expected more.… (more)
LibraryThing member jessicadelellis
I've never read any of Rick Riordan's books, but this was such a fun book. I loved how hilarious it was. I laughed many times.

I also loved how it features a people of color and a character with a hearing disability.

I was scared this book would be too childish because it is middle grade, but it wasn't.… (more)
LibraryThing member remikit
I liked it and it was laugh out loud funny, but I hope he doesn't go over the top on the in-jokes or the jokes in line about his other series, etc. I loved Piers Anthony books early on. Later Piers Anthony just seemed too much: too punny, too 'wink, wink' and just weren't funny after a while.
LibraryThing member robenc
I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I have previous read the first book in the Percy Jackson series and the first book in the Kane Chronicles but I believe I liked this one the best. I was not a huge fan of Riordan's depiction of the gods or even Valhalla but I did enjoy the main characters - Magnus, Sam, Hearth, and Blitz. It should be popular with Percy Jackson fans.… (more)
LibraryThing member CherrieWalker
Amazing book I can't wait for the next one in the series, you also don't need to of read the Percy Jackson books to be able to understand this series which is great
LibraryThing member ChrisWeir
First in a series by Rick Riordan that will entail the Norse Gods. The lead character in this one is Magnus Chase as the title implies. He is a 16 year old boy who is living on the streets homeless after the death of his mother. The book starts with a line about him dying and being resurrected all within the same day, which does happen. Is an interesting book overall, but does become a bit formulaic. He ties in Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson books as well. Very engaging overall, was 300 page into it in the first sitting but am hoping that following books in series do not read too much like his previous works.… (more)
LibraryThing member fyrefly98
Summary: 16-year-old Magnus Chase is homeless, since his mother died in mysterious circumstances two years prior. One day, his Uncle Randolph - a man he barely knows, and one his mother didn't trust - lets slip that Magnus's father is actually a Norse god, and that he needs to find the lost Sword of Summer before anyone else can. However, Randolph isn't the only one searching for the sword; Magnus gets into a confrontation with a fire giant on a Boston bridge. Magnus dies in the confrontation, and is carried to Hotel Valhalla by the valkyrie Samirah, a daughter of Loki, and therefore generally considered untrustworthy. But when a prophecy surfaces that hints that Magnus is not worthy of the hero's afterlife, Sam is exiled. But Magnus is determined to prove himself by finding the Sword, assisted by two of his homeless friends (who turn out to be a dwarf and an elf) and Sam, and they'll trek across each of the Nine Worlds if that's what it takes to find the sword, keep Fenris Wolf from being freed, and thereby preventing Ragnarok - the end of the world.

Review: I had about as much fun with this book as I expected - which is to say, a lot! I was really excited when I found out that Riordan was doing a series based around Norse mythology, which I know better than Egyptian mythology (although not nearly as well as Greek/Roman mythology). But, in his usual style, Riordan explains stuff well enough that I never felt lost (it's not like Magnus knows all that much about the Norse gods to start out with, either), plus I get that little thrill of recognition whenever I did catch some deeper significance. This book can be read completely independently of Riordan's other books, although there are some threads that tie them together (Magnus is Annabeth Chase's cousin, for example). I was also really impressed that Riordan killed off his protagonist so soon into the book - it makes sense in retrospect (How else are you going to get him to Valhalla?) but at the time, I was very much "Wait a minute! You can't do that! Can you? He didn't really just die, did he?" The story, like all of Riordan's books, is fast paced and funny and featuring an interesting (and diverse) supporting cast, and I'm excited to see where else this series goes. (Although I may brush up on my Norse mythology basics in the meantime.) 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: If you like Riordan's other books, or Norse mythology with a modern twist, then this is definitely a series you should check out.
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LibraryThing member amcheri
Was a fun book to listen to with my son. The narrator wasn't great but we still enjoyed the story and will probably continue with the series.
LibraryThing member katieloucks
I wasn't sure how Riordan would tie in Annabeth, but I think he did a decent job of it. Overall, a decent book.
LibraryThing member DebbieMcCauley
Since his mother died in a fire that Magnus Chase barely escaped, he has been keeping his head down and living on the streets of Boston. His mother always warned him that his relatives are dangerous, and one day he finds out he is the son of a Norse god. Trolls, giants and other monsters are preparing for Fenris Wolf to loosen his bonds and kickstart Ragnarok, the end of the world as we know it. Can Magnus find a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years, his only hope against Fenris? The start of another great series from Rick Riordan.… (more)
LibraryThing member NicoleSch
I enjoyed this book, I really did, but it’s practically Percy Jackson with Norse gods. Heroes go on quest. Heroes have to deal with weirdly funny dangerous situations. Heroes barely stop the end of the world. Heroes get ready for next battle to save the world. Magnus was the same snarky, humorous, sassy, sarcastic guy as Percy Jackson was (okay, maybe just a little bit sassier.) There were a few unique characters (Hearthstone, for one) but mostly they were variations of Percy Jackson characters with different faces. I will continue to read the books for two reasons, the first being that, for some reason, I enjoyed this book, even if it was a repeat, and the second being that there is a good chance that the next book will not follow the same Percy Jackson formula, what with Annabeth showing up and all. Maybe the next book, instead of being another near miss with Ragnarok, will have a battle between the Norse gods and the Greek/Roman gods. Or the children of those gods trying to stop a battle between them. I guess I sort of want to see what Annabeth, Percy and the other Olympian characters are up to, and I want to see what sort of weird reactions occur when Magnus and Annabeth find out about the different sets of gods.… (more)
LibraryThing member bostonian71
Another fun, jam-packed take on mythology. Riordan is launching a whole new mini-universe with this series, so the cast of characters is a bit crowded (I had trouble keeping track of all the gods, Valkyries, etc.), and the world-hopping can get confusing. I also got a little tired of the in-jokes, because a) they got old pretty quickly and b) I would've liked Magnus Chase to stand on his own, and not to have to compare himself, even unconsciously, to other characters in order to define himself. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing how this series plays itself out, especially with Annabeth (aka the kick-ass child of Athena) taking part.… (more)
LibraryThing member PardaMustang
***A copy of this book was purchased with my own funds with no expectations of a review on the author's part.***

Riordan has done it again! I absolutely love his work this far, and have been hoping to see him tackle Norse and Celtic myth. One half of my dream has come true :) Perhaps in the very near future the other half will as well.

This story follows Magnus Chase. As typical of Riordan’s books, our protagonist is a demigod that has no idea of his true parentage. I adore that Riordan links his stories, making it clear that it is all one world and you may come across people and places from previous books.

This book is chock-full of the wit and sarcasm that defines Riordan’s writing style. As with his other books, snippets of old myth are re-invented in terms of our new hero, and the modern world. My favourite from this novel is the re-inventing of the tale of the theft of Idun’s apples, replacing Loki with Magnus.

If you enjoyed the Percy Jackson novels and the Kane Chronicles series, you are sure to love the first Magnus Chase book.
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LibraryThing member JRlibrary
Magnus Chase has just turned 16 when his life on the streets gets interrupted by his uncle and cousin searching for him. Shortly after that, in Lightning Thief fashion, Magnus finds out that he is the son of a Viking god and only he has the power to summon the sword of summer and save the nine worlds from being ripped apart during Ragnarok, the day of doom. This book, the first of three, is surprisingly funny and fast paced. There are some delightful characters and I'm definitely going to be reading book two.… (more)
LibraryThing member mmoj
I enjoyed this book. Is it similar to Percy Jackson? Yes but that shouldn't stop you from reading because the book is fun. And there are enough differences to enjoy. I could be a bit biased as I love Norse Mythology and I think it's great that the female lead's family is from Baghdad (a spin-off story with a whole new mythos?).

What I like about these stories, and that I find lacking in many modern stories, is that there is Hope.
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LibraryThing member AlbaArango
Magnus Chase has been a troubled kid since his mother’s death, living alone on the streets and trying to keep out of conflict with the police. Then, one day, everything changes. He learns he is the son of a Norse god. Oh, and all the Viking myths are true. Unfortunately, so is Ragnarok (aka Doomsday) and he, Magnus Chase, is the only one who can prevent it.

What I liked: great main character. Magnus is sarcastic (something I love) and snarky. All the characters, good and bad, are unique. I love Riordan’s writing style (he is my favorite author) and I loved learning about Norse mythology, something I knew very little about. As always, I love that his main characters are from a variety of different backgrounds, and this book is no different (from a Middle-Eastern girl to a mute elf that uses sign language). Fabulous.

What I did not like: the book was just too long. The writing was great, but there were way too many action scenes. It was like watching an action movie that was more action than character development. By around page 300, I was ready for the final battle/showdown, but I still had 200 pages left to read. I understand that there were many characters to introduce, but fully developing fewer characters would’ve been more enjoyable and allowed the story to be less choppy.

Still, I did enjoy the book.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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LibraryThing member MackintoshL
Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan is an amazing book. It is the first book in the Magnus Chase series. It tells you about the wacky life of a (recently turned) sixteen year old boy named Magnus Chase. First thing that starts his day wrong is that his least favorite uncle shows up and tells him that his long lost dad is a Norse God named Frey and he says he has to get the Sword of Summer out of a river. Afterward a weirdo flaming guy shows up with a few henchmen so Magnus and the flaming weirdo (named Surt) fight and Magnus falls off the bridge they were fighting on and dies. The end. Well not really… he goes to a odd land and gets into some trouble but if you want more, go get the book! I am not spoiling anything!

Book review by Anastasia K. (4th)
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LibraryThing member philae_02
After enjoying the Percy Jackson series, the Kane Chronicles, I was excited to hear of a brand new series involving Norse mythology. Riordan once again transforms and transfixes his readers with just the right amount of action, character development, and mythology to captivate his readers. The story revolves around Magnus Chase, the son of Frey, and his quest to reclaim his father’s sword: the Sword of Summer. He is destined to be involved in the start of Ragnarok, but can he and his friends, an ex-Valkyrie, a dwarf, and an elf, change fate? A fantastic read!… (more)
LibraryThing member JBarringer
This series seems to be the modern, gloomy, last hope before doomsday version of Riordan's fantasy stories, a mood very appropriate for our current era, where this imminent, unavoidable, unbeatable doomsday feels very real, and where whatever efforts we put toward making the world better seem to make only the most minuscule, temporary difference in the face of the racist, sexist, war-mongering powers running too much of the Western world, including the US, with nuclear war threatening on the distant horizon and non-nuclear conflicts brewing on several fronts. One can only hope that Magnus Chase's world can find a happy ending, and perhaps inspire more of us in our world to see the possibility of a happy ending in ours.… (more)
LibraryThing member cyderry
Rick Riordan has a Greek demigod series, (Percy Jackson) a Eqyptian god series (Kane Chronicles) and now we have the Norse God series with Magnus Chase. There is a connection through all the different series but I have always enjoyed mythology so learning about the Norse Gods will be fun.
LibraryThing member bookishpeach240
Can't wait to see more Annabeth in the next book!!

Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

2015

Physical description

544 p.; 5.25 inches

ISBN

1423163370 / 9781423163374

Barcode

551
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