Honestly – I only picked this book up because it was two dollars and because I love the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. I gave the Kane Chronicles a go and didn’t really enjoy it, so when I heard that Rick Riordan was starting yet another series, I was sceptical. But hey, you can’t say no to cheap books!
And oh my god. I enjoyed this book so much! It has everything the other books have – sass, humour, plot twists and all the feels. Riordan keeps referencing his other characters, too, in an incredibly funny way that had me literally snorting. Never did this book feel dragged out or boring; rather, it had me burning through the pages and finishing this book in about two days.
I’ve heard people talking about the incredible representation in Riordan’s new books, but this is the first time I truly experienced it. And it is wonderful. Absolutely incredible. Minorities are included in the cast of this novel without it being talked about, and without special emphasis. Whether you look at the fact that Hearthstone’s deafness saves him from the influence of Fenrir’s sweet words, enabling him to save his friends, or the way Sam uses her magical hijab as a way to camouflage herself when she is in danger – I absolutely loved it.
I just realized that I literally haven’t talked about the plot of this book so far; in ‘The Sword of Summer’, Magnus Chase (yes, cousin of Annabeth Chase), orphaned since his mother was killed by wolves two years before and living rough on the streets of Boston, finds out that he’s the son of a Norse God, and that he’s the only one who can reclaim the lost Sword of Summer. As a lot of parties are interested in the sword, he is forced to run, until he is tracked down by a dark Fire Lord and killed. But this is only the beginning of his story.
I absolutely love Norse history, and the way Rick Riordan tells it is as interesting as it is funny. I love that I always come out of these books having learned something about ancient beliefs and cultures, even if it’s only facts you can throw at your friends with random ‘Did you know…?”s. I’ve always had a vague idea about Norse mythology (after seeing Thor and Vikings, basically), but it was so interesting to see the bigger picture and get an overview.
I think one of the reasons why I didn’t enjoy the Kane Chronicles that much is because the main characters are so young. I’m not saying that characters have to be my age to make me enjoy the book, but some of their actions just seemed so unnecessarily immature. While Magnus is only 16 years old, too, most of the other characters in this book are much older, and he never really seemed like a child to me.
To sum it up, I really, really enjoyed this book and will definitely pick up the sequel. And Annabeth is in this. So there’s that.