November 4, 2016

The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the God’s of Asgard) by Rick Riordan

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:57 am by suebe2

the_hammer_of_thorThe Hammer of Thor
Series: Magnus Chase and the God’s of Asgard
by Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase isn’t sure what to expect when his valkyrie, Sam, invites him to meet her for coffee. She’s been distracted lately and he’s hoping to find out what’s going on.  What he isn’t expecting is to encounter a goat assassin who leads him on a chase across the roof tops of Boston.

Suffice it so say that The Hammer of Thor is every bit as zany as The Sword of Summer which ends about two months before this book begins.  In this volume, readers learn more about the elf Hearthstone and his family as well as Sam, the Muslim valkyrie.  Yes, you read that right.  She’s both a valkyrie, carrying deceased warriors to Asgard, but also a dutiful Muslim.

But she’s also the chosen bride of a vengeful stone giant.  Magnus has to find a way to help her escape matrimony and also locate Thor’s missing hammer.  All of this means having to work with the latest resident of Asgard, Alex.  Like Sam, Alex is a child of Loki but Alex is every bit as variable as their father.

Ok, I admit it.  I so want to discuss a particular point in the story but just deleted a few sentences.  Suffice it to say that Riordan gets into some aspects of Loki’s background that I knew about and was wondering if the author would find a way to address.

Alex is gender fluid which makes her . . . or him . . . a hard character to interpret.  Some days Alex is definitely male.  Others she is undoubtably female which plays directly into the group’s plans to defeat Loki and his stone giant allies.

I have to say that I actually liked this book better than The Sword of Summer.  I was definitely in the mood for both adventure and humor and Riordan wove both into this story.

If your young reader isn’t family with Magnus Chase, pick up these books to share.  Stories that feature mythology are fabulously popular right now and I love this character.  Magnus is a character who works hard to be true to his friends, doesn’t turn his back on his family, all the while struggling to discover who he really is.

Need a Christmas gift idea? Pick up this fast paced story and share it with the young reader in your life.


January 21, 2016

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 5:01 am by suebe2

The Sword of Summer
Book 1 in Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
by Rick Riordan

Life isn’t easy on the streets but Magnus has been homeless for two years.  He knows who will give him food, where to find a mostly safe place to sleep and how to avoid the cops.  Then one of his friends hands him a missing person flier.  Magnus can’t believe it.  After two years, his uncle is looking for him.

Magnus spies on his uncle and his cousin Annabeth but his mother told him to avoid her brothers.  He doesn’t really know why but he decides that he needs to know what is going on and breaks into his uncle’s house.

Uncle Randolph catches him in the house and starts to tell him about their family’s history.  They are descended from Vikings.  There is a missing sword.  The only one who can find it is Magnus and, fortunately, the sword is in the Boston area, just a few blocks away.

Soon Magnus finds himself on a bridge holding a corroded piece of metal.  His uncle claims it is an ancient sword and it is all Magnus has to fend off the deadly fire giant that is standing right in front of him.  When his attempt to dice up the giant fails, Magnus’ soul is snatched up by a Valkeyrie who takes him to Asgard.  If he can prove he is a hero, he will have a place there.  If not . . . he doesn’t even want to consider the alternative.

If this sounds a lot like Percy Jackson, don’t be shocked.  Riordan has found his niche and young readers love him for it.  Although Percy Jackson is all about the Greek gods and Magnus Chase is about the Norse, the two worlds overlap.  Annabeth, Magnus’ cousin, is Annabeth daughter of Athena from Percy Jackson.  If you’re expecting the book to be 100% original, you might be disappointed.  Instead, go into it understanding that the two series overlap.

As always, the story is full of Riordan’s quirky brand of humor.  His secondary characters especially seem to be designed to make us laugh. My favorite? Half Born the Beserker.  Or maybe Loki.  His Loki is very bit the amazing trickster that I expected — alluring, coniving and just a little scary.  Riordan has done an admirable job in creating a full range of characters so that both boys and girls will be drawn into the story.  Share it with the young fantasy lover in your life.




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