Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Book Review: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1) by Rick Riordan

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BOOK review
Started on: 24 December 2018
Finished on: 8 January 2019

Title: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 497 pages / 491 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: Rp 189,000 (http://www.periplus.com/)

Rating: 4.5/5
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"Myths are simply stories about truths we've forgotten."
Since his mother's mysterious death involving wolves, Magnus Chase lived alone on the streets of Boston trying to survive day by day. Until one day, his uncle named Randolph managed to track him down. Randolph tells him about the fact that Magnus is a son of a Norse god, and all the Viking myths are true. To prevent Ragnarok (the doomsday of all Nine Realms), Magnus must search for a weapon that's been lost for thousands of years—the Sword of Summer. But he never thought that it means Magnus had to die before he is able to fulfill his quest.

"My name is Magnus Chase. I’m sixteen years old. This is the story of how my life went downhill after I got myself killed."

It's been sooo long since I last read a fantasy book series and I almost forgot how much it is to read one! One of my reading goals this year is to read more book series that's been waiting on my bookshelves to be read. And thus I'm starting off the year reading the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. I've been a huge fan of Rick Riordan's writing since Percy Jackson and the Olympians series—one of my favorite book series of all time, so it wasn't that difficult to enjoy this book right from the start. But I have to say, since I was unfamiliar with Norse mythology, some things are a bit more complicated for me to understand. There are a lot of Norse vocabulary that I'm not familiar with, so it took a while for me to get used to. Then again, Rick Riordan always has a way of explaining mythology that makes it interesting to read—just like he did in his previous books 😊.
The thing about fate, Magnus: even if we can't change the big picture, our choices can alter the details.That's how we rebel against destiny, how we make our mark. What will you choose to do?”
The whole story is narrated by the main character, Magnus Chase, a sixteen-year-old who's the son of a Norse god. I was quite surprised that Magnus had to die at the beginning of the story, because usually the main character never dies 😂. But turns out his death brings him to Valhalla, where deceased brave heroes are received and they prepare themselves for Ragnarok (doomsday of all the Nine Worlds). For the most part of this book, Magnus is trying to figure his way around the Nine Worlds and discovering his skills that he inherited as a son of a Norse god. In this first book, I don't think Magnus has shown a distinct personality that made him stood out. But maybe this opinion of mine will change as I read through the whole series.

Instead of Magnus, I'd want to highlight his sidekicks who stood out a bit more for me because of their diversity! First of all, I want to mention Samirah al-Abbas, a Valkyrie who brings Magnus to Valhalla. I think this is the first time I've read a fantasy book involving a devout Muslim girl who wears her hijab everywhere she goes. The next one is Blitzen and Hearthstone—my favorite duo! Blitz is a dwarf who wants to pursue a career in fashion, unlike all the other dwarves in Nidavellir. I think he represents those who went against the current and strives to pursue his own passion. The last one, Hearth is an elf who's born deaf and speaks with sign language. I don't know why, but Hearth is the most endearing character in this book for me personally. He has a very tender heart and he's very compassionate too. Hearth has a dark past that will hopefully be explained in the next book, since we already got a glimpse of Blitz family and his past. I really admire Rick Riordan for always creating diverse characters in his books. 😊
"Such is human memory... you forget the truth and believe what makes you feel better."
"I am Hel,” she agreed. “Sometimes called Hela, though most mortals dare not speak my name at all. No jokes, Magnus Chase? Who the Hel are you? What the Hel do you want? You look Hela bad. I was expecting more bravado."
Aside from the main characters, I want to talk a little bit about the Norse gods. Most of them are not like what I imagined them to be 😂. Magnus admits that even he himself expected the Norse gods to be like what he's seen in the movie franchise. The first one who's completely different from what I imagined is, Thor, the god of thunder. I believe Rick Riordan put his own spin on all the Norse gods too. Because in this book, Thor likes to watch TV shows through his hammer 😂 and he likes to fart 🤣🤣. Also, Thor apparently lost his hammer (which will lead to the second book in this series, The Hammer of Thor), which I never knew could happen. I thought he's able to summon his hammer wherever it is, but he can't. Odin, the Allfather, is a bit quirky because he loves to give a motivational speech along with a PowerPoint presentation 🤣. The last one is Loki, who's just as deceptive and tricky as the movie version, but now I know he's actually bound on a rock with a poisonous snake dripping venom on his face. This one I've checked on the internet and is actually true, unlike all the other things I mentioned in this review 😂. I'm looking forward to getting to know more about the Norse gods as the story progresses.
“Somebody once told me that a hero's bravery has to be unplanned - a genuine response to a crisis. It has to come from the heart, without any thought of reward.

Overall, The Sword of Summer was so much fun to read—just like Rick Riordan's other books. I always love his writing style and humor. I definitely laughed a lot while reading this book. Even though I was struggling with all the Norse vocabularies at the start of the book, I'm glad I pushed through and read it until the end. The glossary at the end of the book is really helpful for me to remind myself what each word meant. This first book introduced us to the characters, the Nine Worlds, and the Norse gods. Right now I'm currently reading the second book, and I can't wait to see what kind of crazy adventures will Magnus have to go through with his friends 🤩.
by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

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