by Fiona Higgins – Staff Reporter
Anyone who grew up loving Greek mythology has probably heard of or read the series Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The popular young adult series by author Rick Riordan captivated young audiences with its witty characters, harrowing adventures and intriguing concepts in 2005, continuing on until 2009 with Percy Jackson and The Last Olympian.
Then, a year later, another series emerged by Riordan; The Heroes of Olympus. Using the original cast and including many more, Riordan took us all on another journey of epic proportions. Still, though, he wasn’t done yet, and after the final book in the series The Blood of Olympus came out, we discovered another series; Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, with the first book being called Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer.
In an abrupt change from Greek to Norse mythology, Riordan swept audiences away with a brand new cast of characters including the titular Magnus, a demigod and the protagonist. All the new characters do not disappoint in the least.
In Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer, Magnus has been stranded on the streets for two years, ever since his mother died. Out of nowhere, his estranged uncle takes an interest in finding him and uses him to find a lost sword. From there, it is a whirlwind of breathtaking events, one after another, building up Magnus’ relationships between Samirah, a middle-eastern Valkyrie, Blitz and Hearth, a guardian dwarf and elf respectively, and Loki, God of mischief, lies, and evil.
One of Riordan’s specialties are witty dialogue and complex characters, and he does not disappoint. The narrative is flowing and never feels awkward or like it is stalling for time, and the characters never once felt like they were forced. They seem very genuine and relatable, making it that much easier to dive into the story headfirst.
Rick Riordan is a former teacher, having taught history and English in multiple middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and Texas. While teaching, he wrote an award-winning mysteries series entitled Tres Navarre. This series won Riordan the top three national awards in the genre, called the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus. According to Riordan, the inspiration for his children’s novels came from stories he told his son before bed. He now lives in Boston and writes full time with his wife and two sons.
When I was younger, I was extremely into Greek Mythology, and was a little unsure going into the first book of the Magnus Chase series. After all, Norse mythology wasn’t something I was familiar with. After only a few chapters, though, I fell in love with this book the same way that I did with the Percy Jackson series. Its sarcastic characters and exciting story are completely captivating, and they make you forget that you are even reading to begin with, instead making you feel like you’re involved in it. You will not regret picking up a copy of this book.