By Qandeel Alam
Rick Riordan does it again as he launches his new trilogy based on the Norse Mythology. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Riordan’s works then I’m not sure what you are doing with your life but I suggest you go to the nearest book store and buy his Percy Jackson series! His books are always jam packed with action, drama, suspence and with a sprinkling of humor, that are sure to keep you up at night and burst into fits of laughter at the most unexpected of moments. Some of you might have seen the Percy Jackson movie but I can assure you the books are VERY different. (I think it goes without saying but NEVER judge a book by its movie. It’s an unforgivable sin.)
Moving on, Rick Riordan is also famously called the Master of Myth because the cool thing about his stories is that they are always based on ancient Mythology but with a modern twist. He started with the Greeks in Percy Jackson, moved onto the Romans with The Heroes of Olympus series and then came the Kane Chronicles based on Egyptian Mythology. And now we have Magnus Chase, swinging his Viking sword with his super awesome side kicks, a deaf elf that appatrently is a master at magic and a dwarf with a misplaced fashion snese. Also did I mention that there is a Muslim Valkyrie? Yeah her name is Samirah Al-Abbas (also called Sam) and for those of you who don’t know, a Valkyrie was supposed to be a super powerful female warrior who watched over heroes in battle and rewarded those who died bravely by transporting them to Valhala (a Nordic version of heaven for soldiers).
And if that doesn’t seal the deal we also have a Fire Giant who wants to start Ragnarök (doomsday), a half troll named X, a ferocious squirell that lives in the world tree, a Nordic version of the invisibility cloak, a suicidal goat, the world’s best falafel shop and a guest appearance by Thor himself (No, not Chris Hemsworth, this Thor is a LITTLE different…). All in all it’s a fun read and I would definitely recommend it.
If you have read the Percy Jackson series then you obviously know who Annabeth Chase is well, Magnus is her cousin! And she also makes an appearance at the very start and at the end of the book!
Okay so we have Norse Mythology and we have Thor so you must be wondering where Loki is. Well he does make a few stops to say hello but my words of advice: DO NOT TRUST HIM! After all he is a trickster and he’s very un Tom Hiddleston-like (you know what everything you know about Norse Mythology from watching the Marvel franchise about Thor just put it aside for a moment because its NOTHING like the actual stories). Here is what Samirah and Magnus have to say about Loki: “He likes to be noticed. He’s not exactly low-key.” “I get it,” I said. “Loki. Low-key.” (Every line in italics is an actual line from the book)
Now we get to Magnus Chase himself, he’s your average 16 year old (unlike Percy who was 12 at the start of his books) who lives on the streets after his mother died two years ago (who kills her is revealed in the book but this is a spoier-free review). He’s a fun protaginist and since the book is in first person we are seeing the world from his point-of-view. And his name is not Mangus, rhymes with Angus, no its Magnus rhymes with Swagness. (And that’s an actual line in the book no kidding)
Anyway now that we have gotten the main charcters out there, the actual story itself is centered on a magical sword (yes the Sword of Summers also called Sumarbrander but now he prefers to go by Jack) which everybody basically wants but Magnus currently has. And the Sword can talk! Suffice to say, Jack the Sword is pretty cool. But sometimes he can be a bit of a handful, here is what Magnus says about his sword; “The thing about talking swords…it’s hard to tell when they’re kidding. They have no facial expressions. Or faces.”
Also there is this prophecy about Magnus that was made by the Norns (three witch ladies who spin the wheel of fate) at his welcoming dinner at Hotel Valhala that goes something like, “Wrongly chosen, wrongly slain, a hero Valhalla cannot contain. Nine days hence the sun must go east, ere Sword of Summer unbinds the beast.”
So I believe that’s all! To sum it up in a few words Magnus Chase is a fun interesting read that I highly recommend. The story, plot and charcters all are very unique and Mr. Riordan’s writing style will keep you on your tippy toes. The book will make you cry, laugh and scream in fustration so what are you waiting for? And the good news is that this is only book one in a triloy. Book two is titled the Hammer of Thor and will be realeased in October 2016.