Monday, April 5, 2021

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan


Have you ever read a book and thought to yourself, "Man, I would have loved this when I was a kid?" Because that was kind of how I felt about THE SWORD OF SUMMER by Rick Riordan. I recently got a box set of the first book in each of Riordan's series from the publisher to review, and since the only book I've ever read by this author was THE LIGHTNING THIEF, I was interested to see if his other books were worth getting into because I have a lot of friends who are super into Riordan's work and basically swear by it.

I think a lot of the people who really like him are younger than me, because Percy Jackson came out when I was already an older teen and it's really more of a middle grade book. Unlike Percy, Magnus Chase is about Norse mythology and revolves around a Kurt Cobain-lookalike named Magnus who is the demigod son of the god Frey. So already, it's similar to Percy. Also like Percy, Magnus is the teenage chosen one who has been selected to prevent a calamitous coup between the feuding gods that has the potential to destroy humanity. In this case, it's the reclamation of a mystic sword to prevent Ragnarok.

After rage-quitting The Trials of Apollo, my hopes for THE SWORD OF SUMMER were not high, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that this was a nonstop adventure with tons of action, a surprising cast of diverse characters, and that trademark snarky protagonist that Riordan is pretty well known for. Sometimes Magnus's inner monologue got a little tedious (and does it romanticize homelessness? Kind of), but I did think he was a pretty likable character and his narrative kept the story moving, which is a feat in a book that is as long as this one.

I personally think the book was a little too long. Sometimes it felt like Riordan was a little in love with his own "banter," and I found myself rolling my eyes and reminding myself who the target audience is, because man, it definitely vibes like a very young teen book. The Norse elements were very well-researched, though, and I thought that Riordan did a good job packaging the material in a way that is accessible to young teens, especially since Loki is a gender-fluid trickster who was known to shape-shift into the opposite gender to beget more children. That's kind of glossed over in this book (for obvious reasons), but if you know the mythology, it's definitely a wink-wink-nudge-nudge moment.

So far, this is my favorite book by this author.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!  

3 out of 5 stars

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