As you know, I've been celebrating the tenth anniversary of the first of the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan. But this month I'm taking a sidetrack to introduce you to Riordan's brand new series starring a brand new demigod.
Although Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer, was released just this week, I was lucky enough to have had a chance to listen to an advanced copy of the audiobook. I'm trilled to tell all you Percy Jackson fans that Rick Riordan has done it again.
Magnus and Percy share a few common traits: both are demigods, neither of them knew it until they were teens, and each was raised by a single mother. But there's where most of the similarities end. Magnus is a whole new character and the Gods of Asgard series is not simply a reworking of a familiar story.
Magnus is a sixteen-year-old who has been taking care of himself for a couple of years. He has a sarcastic sense of humor and is more than a little streetwise. The Norse gods have distinct personalities and their universe is vast, spanning nine worlds and embracing a number of species, such as dwarfs, elves, and giants.
I don't want to say too much about the story, because it's so much fun to watch the action and puzzles unfold and to meet the characters on their own ground. Instead, here are ten things I love about Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard:
- The plot: All the action and humor and great characters that you'd expect from Rick Riordan.
- Magnus Chase: Smart and resourceful; a survivor; a good friend; and dead (which we learn on page 1)
- Valhalla: not what you've imagined; and you do want the key to the minibar
- The Norns: the three women who determine the fate of gods and humans -- oh how I like their cryptic prophesies (see photo at right; click to enlarge)
- Samirah: junior Valkyrie who loves to fly, who wears a magical hijab, and who attends private high school in Boston
- Blitzen: the dwarf who wants to design fashionable chain mail clothing because who doesn't want to look good when heading off to battle
- Hearthstone: the elf who is determined to bring back the almost lost art of rune magic; he was born deaf but can read lips and uses sign language
- The Norse gods: Odin, Loki, Frey, and more -- some of whom may be walking among us (well, at least on the streets of Boston)
- The wolves: don't ask, just run
- Jack: the talking sword, who can be deadly but is also a good friend
If you want to see what your own name or that of your blog looks like in runes, check out the Nova site.
The Giveaway. Because I can't wait for you to meet Magnus (click the image to learn more about him) and all his friends, I'm sending my thanks to Disney-Hyperion, who is offering one of my readers with a US mailing address a copy of Rick Riordan's new book, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer.
All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is to fill out the following form. I'll pick a winner via random number generator on October 15. Once the winner has been confirmed and his or her address has been passed along to the publisher, I'll erase all personal information from my computer. Good luck!