The Magnus Chase series by Rick Riordan
Available on Amazon.com: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
WOW. There are only a select few books that make me apply true emphasis of the word Wow to a book after reading but Rick Riordan definitely deserves it.
His new vision of the Norse Gods and their adventures and aspects is as vibrant as the Bitfrost rainbow bridge, his humour is full of absolute geniuses using surprise and unexpected combinations. I haven't laughed so much reading a book as I have with this one. I loved every single character both bad and good. I salute him for adding a good deal of diversity in the mix with a Muslim Valkyrie and a Deaf Elf Magician. I really genuinely thoroughly enjoyed reading every word, line and chapter of this book. His descriptions, dialogue and the fantastic character of Magnus is a true delight to read and connect with. As soon as I reached the last page I immediately placed a Pre-Order on the second book which is out in October. Highly recommended for all ages.
Thor's hammer is missing again . The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon--the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn't just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can't retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer's return is the gods' worst enemy, Loki--and the price he wants is very high.
Another gripping and hugely entertaining read. The most original and humorous reimagining of Norse mythology in recent years but also deals with such real human issues from honour to family to love to diversity and equality. Highly recommended reading for everyone and anyone. Packed full of action, drama, tension - pure non-stop page turning storytelling and it seems to be building to an even bigger climax in the yet to come 3rd book. Can't wait! A pure joy to read from start to end. Fun for all ages.
Magnus Chase, a once-homeless teen, is a resident of the Hotel Valhalla and one of Odin's chosen warriors. As the son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus isn't naturally inclined to fighting. But he has strong and steadfast friends, including Hearthstone the elf, Blitzen the dwarf, and Samirah the Valkyrie, and together they have achieved brave deeds, such as defeating Fenris Wolf and battling giants for Thor's hammer, Mjolnir. Now Magnus faces his most dangerous trial yet. His cousin, Annabeth, recruits her boyfriend, Percy Jackson, to give Magnus some pointers, but will his training be enough? Loki is free from his chains. He's readying Naglfar , the Ship of the Dead, complete with a host of giants and zombies, to sail against the Asgardian gods and begin the final battle of Ragnarok. It's up to Magnus and his friends to stop him, but to do so they will have to sail across the oceans of Midgard, Jotunheim, and Niflheim in a desperate race to reach Naglfar before it's ready to sail. Along the way, they will face angry sea gods, hostile giants, and an evil fire-breathing dragon. Magnus's biggest challenge will be facing his own inner demons. Does he have what it takes to outwit the wily trickster god?
I am personally heart-broken that this is the final book in the most fun-diverse-saga-loving norse fantasy trilogy.
As in the previous books the fate of the world, humans and gods rests on Magnus's shoulders but thanks to some very quirky magical objects - including a banana yellow boat that can fold away into a handkerchief - and of course his incredible group of friends including an American Civil War soldier, a Viking boy, an Irish girl caught up in the IRA, a Muslim Valkyrie, a Dwarf tailor, a deaf Elf mage and Shape-Shifter Gender-fluid daughter/son of Loki.
As in the previous books there is lots of danger on Magnus & Co's journey to stop Loki and his Ship of the Dead leaving the icy north. Indeed the reader and Magnus go on quite a journey courtesy of the banana yellow boat. From the bottom of the ocean in Grand-father Njord's hall and his troublesome seven daught ers, the Waves, across the world to York, England, aka Jorvik and a brief cameo from the legendary Jorvik Viking Centre (albeit involving an ancient stone giant - and clay model making), across the sea again to Gunderson's home in Norway and beyond to the ultimate show-down between Magnus & Co vs. Loki & Giants & Undead... and I am pleased to say also featuring giant rubber ducks! Yes - only the magical mind of Rick Riordan could involve rubber ducks in the most epic of battles. There is much more action and adventure involved but I won't reveal all the details but the ones named are some of my favourite bits.
I also, as a fan of the genuine old Norse myths and legends, really appreciated the various references and even replica versions of said tales being enacted by Magnus & Co throughout the book. So it proved to be a genuine delight of original lore and pure imagination.
Throughout it all of course is endless laughter, friendship, loyalty, bravery, cleverness, magic, a bit of mayhem and love.
This final book truly was EPIC in all it's mere four letters and 100% full meaning - I can only hope that this isn't a forever goodbye to Magnus & Co. I really kind of love having them in my life.
Want to adventure throught the lands of the Vikings? The height of the Vikings is an amazing period of time and there is a lot of great fiction that is based on historical facts from that period and place. Rebecca Wilson has written a guide to the genre and to some of the best works in the genre.
If you are fascinated by the subject of Vikings you should check out her blog at: http://www.soulchaserbecky.blogspot.com/
You can follow her on Twitter @soulchaserbecky.
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