Sarcasm, humble and human fears are some of the words that broadly describe Magnus Chase, the new hero in the Norse World (he is Annabeth’s cousin). One thing that strikes me again and again through this series is an old phrase. It goes something along the lines: ‘ones who have leadership thrust upon them make the best leaders.’ A adolescent with a deep love for his family is thrown into the rough world and he comes out shining, maybe a little rough around the edges. Ok, maybe a lot.
Rick Riordan is one of my favorites when its Demigod fantasy books. His trademark style is first person and we continue seeing the world through his character’s eyes. Seeing the Nine Realms through Magnus Chase’s perspective is an absolute joy-ride.
About the Story
The story starts with Magnus Chase’s death. Quite fresh. Huh? Wait till you see Valhalla, world tree, giant realm and dwarf realm, through Magnus’ eyes.
The story starts when Magnus retrieves the Sword of Summer and his world is turned upside down. He not only lands in Valhalla but faces humiliation for not being heroic enough. Then starts the real journey, something that would be called an official quest in Percy’s Greek God world. All of his friends play a proper part of their own with elf magic, dwarf blacksmith techniques and Valkyrie’s help. Together they encounter Ran, killer dwarf twins, Thor, Freya and a giant. Magnus gets a few special visits from Loki and Frey (his father) as well.
In the end, Odin rewards them all and maybe the path to future problems can be a tiny (just a tiny) bit easier.
After everything I have said, do we even need to talk about Magnus Chase? Well, I will give you a brief introduction. He is a pretty simple person actually. If there is anything simpler than Percy, Magnus is it. As for his friends, Samariah, Hearth and Blitz are some of the best people one could ask for when walking through thick and thin. Without them, the story wouldn’t be as much fun.
Things I didn’t add before: caring, brave when angry, stupid actions, mental imaginary of any situation is funny and then his incapability to hold a grudge. Slow witted but careful and observant.
P.S: He loves Faldan’s falafal
The religious conflict between cultures is one thing she faces. Other: lying at home to keep keep up her Valkyrie status and duties. She is brave, a shapeshifter (a characteristic inherited from her father), has an amazing hijab, resilient and overall impressive. Her liking for the Faldan boy, Amir, adds a soft flavor to all her bold qualities.
The magical elf has no ability to hear and talk. While you may feel sympathetic towards him, he can easily whoop your ass with a single Norse rune stone. That is just the cream of his ability when it comes to magic. There are repercussions of course, but the elf can handle a few wobbly leg problems easily. Many a times he saves Magnus’ head with time-stopping (Dr. Strange), realm travelling (Thor) and much more. Is anyone getting multiple Marvel feels or is it just me?
Son of Freya, is almost a cousin to Magnus but one with a sense of fashion and a good hand in blacksmith techniques. To save himself and his companions, he fashions a armor jacket and bulletproof tie which not only gets him out of sticky situations but also earns him a sponsorship from Odin. Like what?
The man is in favor of Ragnarok. He is suffering, angry and troublesome. But the mischief god is just as complicated as any god. Though he isn’t willing Ragnarok to be here just yet! He often pops in and out of Magnus’ near death experiences and is fondly hated by his daughter (Sam). Loki is written all over the story, from Samairah-Al-Abbas, Fenrir Wolf, the sleeping serpent, Randolph Chase and Surt to dream walking, influencing Odin, working on Ragnarok and more.
The Sword of Summer: Jack
The Sword of Summer, one of Frey’s object is another main character in the story that plays a major role alongside it’s new master in stopping Fenrir Wolf (and thus Ragnarok). Jack is nice, a little angry at Magnus’ father, Frey for letting him go in favor of love. All the things he does take a heavy swing on Magnus too. They are developing mutual brotherly respect at this point.
Randolph tries his best but his rotten luck and Valkyrie’s involvement ended up having him earn poison from Loki. Maybe he will work double time in the coming series to serve the mischief god.
Then there is Annabeth! After having her fare share into Roman and Egyptian mythologies (apart from her Greek heritage), she is about to get a taste into the Norse world with her close cousin so deeply involved. Frey also indicated that she will be a major help in the future. I think Magnus and Percy will get along nicely.
Gurillia, the Valkyrie captain is blinded by her betrayal of love in the past which puts her against Sam. She isn’t complicated apart from her reason. From her own standpoint, she is right but too hard headed until the end when she picks the right side and dies as a hero of battle.
Ran: I have no idea what to make of this minor goddess. Let’s call her a collector! A Junkie collector at sea.
This series was hilarious and thrilling with equal parts fun and adventure. There was danger lurking (Ragnarok) but the story never let me feel the magnitude of the problem. But as the series ended in Loki’s gruesome punishment to Randolph, the threat and danger may feel nearer and more real in the coming series.
I look forward to the ride.