Publisher's Note:  

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother's mysterious death, he's lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he's tracked down by an uncle he barely knows-a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1: The Sword of Summer

by Rick Riordan

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Overall Review:  

Rick Riordan is back, but with the Norse Gods this time in a new series Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard.  Overall, Riordan goes with the formula that has been successful for him in the past.  Readers who loved his other books will most likely enjoy this one, too, as it has his trademark humor and character banter.  It is the dry, sarcastic dialogue, the current-day references, and the somewhat irreverent comedy that makes this book so entertaining to readers.  The main character, Magnus Chase, can banter with the best of them (think Spiderman). 

Magnus is sixteen, a little older than the characters in Riordan's previous books.  Magnus has an interesting start and there is a cameo appearance by a cousin who readers will quickly identify.  Both are nice touches.  The book wraps up tidily, with just a small teaser at the end to make sure the reader understands there really will be more to this series.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  10 religious exclamations; 5 mild obscenities; 1 scatological word.

Violence/Gore:  Report/references to the murder of a character's mother; references to fantasy violence; report of death of a character's family, no details; explosions and destruction of property; extended descriptive battle scene involving fighting with fire, swords, etc.--a nose is hacked off, a fireball burns organs of a character, etc.; dead person impaled by a spear and cleaned up by wolves; reports of death/dying; extended scene of dead battling each other with mention of blood, hacking off of body parts, etc.; character examines a corpse in a coffin while looking for an object; fight involving kicking, pushing, ax, knife--resulting in minor injuries; a decapitated talking head; prophecies of the end of the world; character dragged by mythical creature, creature whacked with sword, minor injuries incurred; decapitated animal head used for fishing is described; confrontation involving throwing of hammers, axes, etc.; brief scene of pursuit with intent to kill; a vessel is made of the fingernails and toenails of dead men; the telling of Norse mythology stories (violence almost always included); mythical creatures killed by sword, two separate instances; animals are butchered and eaten, not particularly descriptive, but characters chatted with animals before butchering so it seemed a bit personal; structure collapses on mythical creature resulting in death; recount of the Battle of Bunker Hill; verbal threats; report of fight to the death with a mythical creature; multi-page battle scene, mostly in general terms, involving magic, swords, biting, etc. resulting in injuries and death with the mention of blood; immortal being inflicts a burn on the face of a human as punishment, brief description.

Sex/Nudity:  Report a boy kissed a girl when he was in 7th grade; character says her mother was not married when she had her; joke about Vikings wearing metal bras; implication/understanding that a boy's parents weren't married; passing reference to the god Loki being the mother of someone and not wanting to go into it; character puts arm around another; reference many times to the off-spring of God-Human pairings.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death, murder, death of a parent, homelessness, economic disparity, prejudice, unwed parents.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Characters drink mead; teenager reports that he has tried alcohol; a god is said to be "into" brewing and micro-brewery.

Reviewed By Cindy
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