This is another amazing book by the New York Times bestselling author Rick Riordan. He wrote the Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, and The Kane Chronicles series, as well as Percy Jackson’s Guide to Greek Gods and Percy Jackson’s Guide to Greek Heroes. The Percy Jackson and the Olympians books have even been made into movies. I previously reviewed The Kane Chronicles and Percy Jackson’s Guide to Greek Gods.
The story begins with Magnus, a 16-year-old homeless boy living on the streets after giant wolves kill his mother. He has uncles, but his mom told him not to associate with them, especially his uncle Randolph. One day he learned that Rudolph and his cousin Annabeth are looking for him. He soon finds himself in Randolph’s mansion where his uncle rambles on about Norse gods and mythology. He tells Magnus about how monsters are stirring for Ragnarok, the Norse version of doomsday, and that to stop Ragnarok from occurring, Magnus must find a special weapon that has been lost for years. Why Magnus? Well, its because the weapon is the sword of Frey, God of summer and rain, and Magnus is Frey’s son!
I really like the characters in this book. Sam, one of the main characters, is the intelligent one who provides information on myths to help Magnus and his friends on their quest. She’s also somewhat of a tomboy and is really good at combat. At one point in the story, they go to the mythological world where their dwarf-friend, Blitzen, lives. Dwarves live in dark places because light turns them to stone. They are also natural blacksmiths and everything they make is one of a kind. I think its especially neat that dwarves believe that if something is good enough to be made it is good enough to have a name.
As for Magnus Chase, he is a lot like the famous Percy Jackson most kids know. They are both sarcastic and brave, both teenaged demigods, and most of all, they both have to save the world. But, they are also quite different. Percy’s story begins when he is 12, but Magnus’s story begins when Magnus is 16. Percy has inborn water-related powers, while Magnus doesn’t have any powers at birth. But Magnus develops special fighting powers after he dies. Yes, he dies early in the book, but that’s part of the plot.
The plot in the story is similar to the one in Percy Jackson. They both have the main characters traveling around the globe and into the mythological worlds to find magical objects that will help them save something or someone from obliteration. And they both have side adventures where they have to go on missions to find these things for those who can help them on their main quest.
I think its pretty cool that all of the Rick Riordan mythology books take place in the same mortal world. In fact, although the characters in the books don’t always know that there are other groups of gods and different mythologies, they co-exist in Riordan’s books. Riordan even wrote short side stories about Percy and Annabeth meeting with Carter and Sadie, from the Kane Chronicles; the ancient Greeks and Romans actually know about each other in Riordan’s main books; and Annabeth Chase, from the Percy Jackson’s stories, is actually Magnus’s cousin and a rather important character in this story.
I think kids, especially boys, ages 9-13 will like this book, as well as anyone who liked the other Rick Riordan books. And, if you want more information about Norse mythology, you can go to this website.