book review

The Sword of Summer

You may or may not know that I’m a huge Rick Riordan fan.

So obviously, I devoured The Sword of Summer when it finally came out. I mean, come on! It was about Norse Gods, crazy dead heroes and Annabeth Chase (sort of). What more could you want in a book?

The Sword of Summer tells the story of Magnus Chase – a sixteen year old living on the streets of Boston. Life is pretty rough for him, and things only get worse when he wakes up one day to find out people are trying to kill him. As a result, he discovers a whole new side of his family (hint: it’s do with the Norse gods), and ends up going on a crazy adventure with an elf, a dwarf and a Valkyrie. All in all, it’s a classic Riordan rollercoaster.

So what can I say about this book?

It follows the classic Riordan formula. Teenager finds out that they’re a demigod, teenager meets new friends (possibly also demigods), teenager goes on quest. It’s true that The Sword of Summer follows this recipe, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad book. There’s a whole lot of fun along the way as Magnus gets to know his travelling companions, and because this is a Riordan book, I laughed out loud so many times. It’s hilarious.

I’ve mentioned Magnus briefly, so let’s have a look at the characters. 

  • First up, Magnus Chase (who just happens to be Annabeth’s cousin). He is one of the most sarcastic characters ever and he’s brilliant. He’s pretty different from Percy, so it was great getting to know him.
  • Annabeth Chase (she totally counts). Basically, Annabeth gets a cameo WHICH IS AWESOME AND I SQUEALED WITH EXCITEMENT WHEN I SAW HER NAME. Umm, yeah, I’m an Annabeth fan and she was great in this book.
  • Samirah al-Abbas is a sweetheart who acts really serious, but she’s super adorable. She’s also both a Muslim and a Valkyrie (she can fly and she guides dead heroes to Valhalla). Basically, you’ll love her. Her and Magnus’ friendship works so well.
  • Blitz (a dwarf) and Hearth (an elf), although they start off as a couple of homeless guys who’ve essentially adopted Magnus. But yeah, it turns out that they’re very much involved in the world of Norse gods and they have a lot of banter going on. Again, these two are a lot of fun to read about.

Although sometimes there were unnecessary side-plots, the general story was very entertaining. The combination of humour and meeting various gods worked really well, and Riordan does a great job building Magnus’ world.

To be honest, I only had one real problem with the book. As I’ve mentioned, Sam is a Muslim (which is great, because books need more diversity when it comes to religion). However,  I don’t really understand what her beliefs are in the book. She knows about the Norse Gods – she’s related to them – so I couldn’t help but wonder how she fits her own religion around that. Anyhow, I’m not sure that’s going to be discussed in the series at all, so what are your thoughts on it?

All in all, it was a really fun read and I’m looking forward to delving deeper into the world of Magnus Chase.

2 thoughts on “The Sword of Summer”

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