MagnusMagnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard:  Book I The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

The latest book by Rick Riordan is always a cause for celebration–but especially when it is the start of a new series.  I have loved previous series that took us deep into ancient myths:  the Greeks, the Romans, and the Egyptians.  Fasten your seat belts for this exploration and update into the 21st century of the Norse gods and myths.  I can’t believe I am saying this, but I think this may be the best series yet! (And be sure to check out our suggestions for further resources here and here. )

Some of the premises that are behind the other series are the same:  the myths of the ancient civilizations are actually true.  In this case, it’s the Norse myths.  The Gods of Asgard are preparing for war.  It’s up to  the contemporary demi-Gods to enter the fray.  Enter an intriguing new protagonist:  Magnus Chase.  After his mother’s mysterious death a couple of years ago, he has been surviving by his wits and courage, homeless on the streets of Boston.

And this experience serves him well as he is thrust into a search for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.  In fact, he must search through the Nine Worlds, meeting and befriending trolls, giants, and Valkyries along the way.  Oh, yeah, and making lots of enemies as well.  Along this adventure, we readers are treated to the world of Norse mythology, and a wide range of fascinating characters.  I appreciate learning the differences from the Thor of screen and comic book fame and the Thor of the Vikings.  Loki is as two-faced, treacherous, and oddly compelling as any film or book depiction.

I love that one of the hero-helpers that befriends Magnus is deaf and is a courageous figure in his own right.  Lots of humor, exciting twists and turns–and even connections across the other series:  it turns out Annabelle is Magnus’s first cousin! No hesitations in recommending this new series, and look for our suggestions for further resources and books to enhance your reading experience.


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