The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

The Sword of Summer, by Rick Riordan offers a hilarious insight into Norse mythology in a terrific tale of adventure, wit, and battles, but is almost too similar to his previous books. Riordan’s novel begins off with a fast paced introduction, where readers may start off confused and bewildered at what is going on. Soon into the novel, characters begin to develop and an intricate story is told. Readers of Riordan’s previous works may find this book repetitive due to its similarity in voice and general storyline.
Magnus Chase, the main character, is introduced as a homeless boy living on the streets, who just so happens to be related to Annabeth Chase of the Percy Jackson series. His dad is the Norse god Frey. Although Magnus may not be Percy Jackson, strickling similar characteristics can be found between the two of them—especially in the fact that both can come up with extremely smart-alecky comments on the spot. This can be especially painful, as the resulting puns and jokes are extremely sarcastic and ridiculous at times.
Magnus dies in the very start of the book, to the hands a fire giant named Surt. He is resurrected in Hotel Valhalla, where all the einherjar (heroes of Norse who have died in battle) live. Magnus is put on a mission to obtain the Sword of Summer, which once was his father’s. Magnus gets help from 3 companions, Samirah Al-Abbas, a Muslim girl who was a former Valkyrie (which enables her to fly), a dwarf named Blitzen, and a elf with rune magic powers named Hearthstone. Together, the four characters go through the hardships typical for any Riordan book to obtain the the Sword of Summer and prevent Ragnarok , the final battle at the end of the world.
Although The Sword of Summer may seem a light-hearted adventure novel, it offers insights into the the world of homelessness as well as the lives of American Muslims. Riordan uses the development of Magnus and Samirah, to develop these two messages. At times, these themes seem to be almost forced into the book, as a way so Riordan can have represent diversity, much like the revelation of Nico’s sexuality in the Percy Jackson series. This is extremely distracting to the overarching storyline.
Overall, The Sword of Summer is a decent book for younger audiences. The book can be entertaining, but seems mostly repetitive because of the similarity to previous works of Riordan. This book is recommended for young readers who are looking for an interesting read or for fans of Riordan.