Book Review: “The Sword of Summer” by Rick Riordan

***Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you wish to not know what goes on throughout this book, read the synopsis and don’t read any other part of this review.***

Synopsis:

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .”

Characters:

Magnus: he is our main protagonist and he is the son of Frey. He is sarcastic, funny, and I really enjoy his character. He has to go find the Sword of Summer and stop Surt from freeing Fenris Wolf and starting Ragnarok.

Hearth: he is an elf who has been protecting Magnus for two years unbeknowst to Magnus and he is aiding Magnus in stopping Ragnarok. He knows a little bit of magic and because of that, he has been shamed from his family. He is also deaf so everything he says is in sign language.

Blitz: he is a dwarf who has been protecting Magnus for two years unbeknowst to Magnus and he aids Magnus in stopping Ragnarok. He loves clothes and is great at making clothes and fashion. He dreams of opening his own clothing store.

Sam: she is a Valkyrie who I really like. She is definitely on the good side and is really well developed. She is aiding Magnus in stopping Ragnarok from happening.

Surt: he is a fire giant and he is the antagonist of our story. He wants to start Ragnarok by freeing Fenris Wolf. He is willing to do anything to make it happen.

Plot:

So the story starts off with Magnus being homeless and hearing about his cousin Annabeth and two of his uncles looking for him. He snoops at one of his uncles’ houses and finds some rune stones and his Uncle (Rudolph) finds him there and they take off because people are trying to kill him. They end up fighting this fire giant named Surt (after Magnus summons the Sword of Summer from the bottom of the river and cleans it up a bit) and though Magnus does kill him (temporarily), he also dies and is rescued by a Valkyrie named Sam who takes him to the Valhalla to become a warrior called an einherji (really it is a soldier) that defends the worlds when Ragnarok (Doom’s Day) happens.

So he goes to dinner there that night and Gunilla (another Valkyrie; daughter of Thor) wanted to sabotage Sam because she is Loki’s daughter so she tampers with the video of his battle so it looks like he didn’t really kill Surt. Long story short: They banish her from being a Valkyrie. Then the Norns come to read his fate (which never happens) and they say he is Frey’s son and that it was a mistake for him to be at Valhalla, but it cannot be undone.

They read this prophesy and that’s that. Later he goes to battle with his hallmates and he discovers he can use magic and has healing abilities and then he is killed (and later wakes up; you’re immortal when you’re at Valhalla). So his friends from the homeless shelter (Blitz and Hearth) come down the World Tree to get him out of there so he can refind the Sword of Summer (it sort of disappeared).

They reveal what they are and get the hell out of dodge (after running from the squirrel; still unclear as to what the hell that is; his hallmates help him escape). They end up going to his viewing (before; now that would be hard to explain) to look for the sword, but it isn’t there. Annabeth shows up and hugs him and says there’s a safe place for him (obviously Camp Half-Blood; we all know he’ll end up there eventually), but he says he needs to do this on his own, but don’t tell anyone that she saw him.

So he leaves and finds a knocked out Hearth (Sam knocked him out) and then they follow her (turns out she is looking for the Sword too) and they meet up with Blitz and talk to Capo (their boss), which is just a head and it is really disgusting. He talks about how they need to find the Sword and have only a week to do it before Ragnarok happens (which will happens when Surt frees the Fenris Wolf, which is bound by unbreakable rope except by the Sword of Summer). So they leave and go to get something to eat when this eagle/pigeon/giant kidnaps Magnus and makes him swear (by his troth) that he goes to find him this immortal apple when he finds the Sword (he tells him it is in Ran’s net).

So the others find him, they go fishing to lure her by getting a sea monster to come up and bargain with her to get the sword and the apple. He brings the apple back to the giant (Utgard-Loki) and he leaves and whatnot. Sam leaves and they find some place to crash for the night. They do and decide the next morning they will jump to the Dwarf World.

So they meet up with Sam and there’s this statue with nine ducks and each duck is the entrance to one of the nine worlds. And they get there and Magnus is trying to open one of the entrances to the nine worlds when the Valhalla finds them and they have to fight while Magnus gets the entrance open. Hearth uses magic to give Magnus a few extra seconds and he collapses, but Magnus does get it open and they get through just in time.

So they’re on the World Tree for a bit, having gone one branch down when Hearth is sucked through one of the plants on it. Or maybe it was the tree. Honestly, it was pretty confusing for me. And then the Squirrel (Ratatosk) comes barreling towards them and Sam covers her and Hearth with some sort of blanket to shield them from the Squirrel and Blitz and Magnus escape through an entrance to the Folkvanger (they really weren’t going to go there, but it does end up helping them on their quest) and they meet the godess Freya (Frey’s sister) who turns out to be Blitz’s mom (so they are actually cousins, which is pretty cool).

So she says that they need to get a new rope because Surt will inevitably free Fenris Wolf with or without the Sword of Summer. They also need to get Freya earrings and the person they have to go to to get both things wants Blitz dead. To pay for both, Freya cries red gold, drops them into a bag and hands them to Magnus and Blitz. Then they set off to get the rope and earrings (really Freya just sends them there)

They get there and the dwarf (he’s referred to as Junior) says he already has one made and he’ll give them the earrings, but only if Blitz will participate in the “Making”, which is a competition where the two dwarves have to make three things (craftmanship) and the loser is decapitated. Blitz says he is no good at craftmanship and he will die.

So they do the competition and a horsefly keeps biting Junior and making him destroy his creations. So Blitz ends up winning. His first item was an expanding duck. The next was a bullet proof tie. The last was a chain mail vest. So later it turns out the horsefly was actually Sam (she can shape-shift, apparently) and they get chased by a bunch of angry dwarves. Hearth runs in some weird direction (but meets back up with them later), Blitz is taken by Freya to deliver the earrings, and Sam and Magnus are cornered (did I mention the sword started talking earlier?).

The sword disarms everyone and then Hearth, Sam, Magnus, and the sword (who prefers to be called Jack) run for their lives. They jump off of a cliff rather than be murdered and then Magnus (while dead) gets a visit from Loki who tells him not to trust the gods and really think about what he’s doing. If Fenris Wolf gets free, so does Loki, but Loki doesn’t want Ragnarok to happen, but he does end up revealing how and why he is bound.

So then Magnus wakes up and heals Sam so she wakes up. It takes him a bit because of all the pain Hearth has centered around him, but Magnus heals him enough to wake him up. Then Jack leads the way to Thor.

So they meet Thor and he somehow talks them into going to find his lost hammer (and Blitz drops in…literally) and if they get it from this giant fortress (as in it houses a family of giants), then he will tell them where Fenris Wolf is.

So they sleep and then they start towards the fortress (climbing a mountain and riding a stallion with eight legs). They get there and see that Gunilla was captured by the giants. They enter as “guests” and get to talking to two giantesses and eventually the giantesses break the guest agreement and Jack (with the help of Magnus) killed them both.

And then their daddy comes home. They barter with him and somehow end up playing “catch” to get Thor’s hammer (they have to last at least ten minutes; in catch you throw red hot coals). They trick him into throwing the coals at the pillars around the room to make it collapse on top of him. Then Gunilla shows herself, saying she is going to take them back to Valhalla, but Sam reaches forward and presses her wristband, which instantly takes her back to Valhalla.

They go to the room and see Thor’s staff (not his hammer) and Thor shows up, takes it, and teleports them to where they need to go (there’s an intervention with Hel and Magnus where she offers to reunite Magnus with his mom, but he ultimately refuses). He ends up at Sam’s old school and they go to look for Blitz and Hearth. They find them and they go to the dwarf that will take them to the island (he is a notorious murderer and they have to watch themselves).

So they get to the island and find the Fenris Wolf. Gunilla and Magnus’s old hallmates show up (man, that bitch is really starting to get on my nerves) and says they are aiding the enemy. So his hallmates turn on Gunilla because they are more loyal to Magnus than to her and the Surt and the firegiants show up and she decides to help them fight them while Magnus, Hearth, Blitz, and Sam rebind Fenris Wolf.

So long-story short: they end up binding Fenris and forcing Surt to go back to his fire giant place or whatever. Magnus is very weak (he used a lot of magic to bind Fenris) and Gunilla is dead along with three other Valkyrie (I am not crying over her death or anything). So they all head onto the ship his hallmates brought and Halfborn is dying so Magnus heals him, using the last of his strength. He wakes up and sees his dad and they hug and whatnot (I really like him) and he ends up back at the ship then they get to Valhalla and X reveals that he is actually Odin.

He says he will teach Hearth all about rune magic in Asgard and Blitz can open his own shop. Sam will work personally for Odin (dangerous jobs) and Magnus will stay an einherji. Everyone is happy and whatnot and then it cuts to where Magnus is at his mom’s memorial. Annabeth is there and they talk and it looks like they’re both going to spill the beans about the gods.

And then we get to the epilogue. Looks like Loki really was manipulating Magnus in trying to get the sword and everything. Even had Randolph doing it. And he is still making him do it. Never trusted either of them. And then I screamed (in my head; I was in class. Now that would have been awkward…) because THAT COULD NOT BE THE ENDING. BUT ITS RICK RIORDAN. SO IT IS.

My Thoughts:

I can honestly tell you this will probably be one of my favorite reads of 2016. It was so great. The world was developed super well as well as the characters and the events that happened…I just really enjoyed this book. I literally could not put it down. It made me laugh, it made me pissed off, and it just gave me all the feels. I can’t believe I didn’t pick it up sooner! Just a truly fantastic and fabulous read.

9
5/5 hearts

Love You All to Luna and Back,

Allie

 

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