Rick Riordan’s latest foray into the world of mythology encompasses the Norse gods. In fact, The Sword of Summer is similar to his Percy Jackson series in that Magnus Chase is a demigod – the son of a Norse god and a human.
The difference is that Magnus is homeless. He’s living on the streets because his mother was killed a couple of years before the story opens. The other difference is that Magnus is killed in the opening chapter.
No really. He is.
How does Riordan write another several hundred pages? Magnus lives as an einherji, a soldier of the god Odin. He is supposed to be training for the last great battle while living in Valhalla (paradise for Odin’s warriors).
Of course, he can’t just stay in Valhalla. Magnus breaks out and ends up going on a quest to keep the end of the world from happening. Meanwhile, he realizes his homeless friends are really an elf and a dwarf in disguise, he joins forces with a Valkyrie, and meets several Norse gods (who are not necessarily anything like the Avenger movies).
This high-adventure and rather violent story isn’t much different than Percy Jackson, except in characters and settings. Much better reading than Riordan’s Kane Chronicles, based on the Egyptian gods.
Recommended for ages 10 and up.