Review: Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase is a homeless kid. But that’s not the worst of it. It turns out that he’s the son of a Norse god. 

To make matters worse, Magnus Chase is not only homeless and the son of a mythological being. 

He’s also dead.


I wanted to love this book. I wanted this to be a book that I wouldn’t spare any second thoughts in buying. Maybe it’s my Rick Riordan/Percy Jackson biases kicking in, but I thought this would be a sure-win in my heart.

I was disappointed.

The good:

  1. There were nods to the PJO fandom

It might have hurt my little fangirl heart when I heard that Magnus hated blue. I might have let out a dramatic gasp when I read that line. And the pen sword. Pfft. No it was not an overreaction. But there are hints that Annabeth will make future appearances and that chapter title of Jason Grace? That was kind of cool.

2. Magnus Chase is not Percy Jackson

I’ve read some reviews where people thought the two were interchangeable but I didn’t find that to be an issue at all. Magnus had a more of a mature voice and there was a rougher edge to his character that I thought wasn’t present in Percy.

3. Diversity!

In quite a few aspects. There’s a deaf elf and a Muslim demigod so yay for that. And a dwarf (who we all assume must be tough and likes their hammers) who wants nothing more than to design some cool ties. Rick Riordan tore down all of those stereotypes. And I liked how it never felt hammered in.

4. No romance

I liked how there was no romantic love-line between Magnus and Sam. Although, I can’t say for sure whether that is going to continue or not. I like that Sam is in love with another guy but I wonder if something is going to happen in the next few books that might make Sam and Magnus a couple. Not saying that that’s the only option but I’m (maybe) worried that that is the route the series will go.

Some things I wasn’t as thrilled about:

  1. Magnus doesn’t do anything

Okay. That may be putting it harshly. He does do stuff. But nothing memorable. I guess that’s my biggest issue with this book: nothing in particular stuck out to me. He gave me some Jason Grace vibes where his friends do most of the heavy-lifting. And the problem is heightened when you have a sword who doesn’t need the wielder to actively use it. It’s nice that Riordan is not trying to go for the action-type hero but I was underwhelmed by the lack of doing.

2. The mythology

NOTHING STUCK IN MY BRAIN. Maybe that’s just me. Maybe it’s because I have a stronger interest in Greek and Roman mythology. Maybe the Greek/Roman mythology was more memorable because I read the PJO series when I was young and my brain was more malleable.

It took me so long to read this book because I had to flip back and forth between the glossary and the page I was reading, in order for me to follow along and even after I finished the book, I didn’t remember much about Norse mythology.

3. It wasn’t funny

I never laughed at any of the jokes. Usually, I’m half-crying when I read the PJO books but the jokes here felt a bit forced. I’ve consulted some younger readers and they absolutely loved the humour in this so maybe it’s my old age talking.

4. No emotional connection to the characters

I liked most of the storylines that were told such as Sam’s arranged marriage (and how she genuinely likes the guy so bonus), Blitz’s dad and his dream of fashion design, and especially Hearth’s story. Unfortunately, I felt like the characters weren’t developed enough for me to form any emotional attachment to them. Although my heart ached for Hearth.

Rating: 2.5-3 stars

I really want to apologize for the lack of posts and updates on this blog. It’s not only school that’s eating up my time, it’s work as well (close to 30 hours a week…). I’ve been trying to shorten my workload but the nature of my job makes it difficult for me to do so. The only time I can read is on the bus and I get dizzy easily. I’ll try my best to keep this blog as active as I can. Thank you for reading.




6 thoughts on “Review: Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

  1. Okay not gonna lie my heart cried a little when I saw your rating (yes I am a badass and I skipped to your rating first before reading your review). I totally agree with you – Magnus and Percy aren’t the same! They have a few overlapping personalities but it’s not like you can expect Rick to write a complete anti-Percy. That would just be… weird. AND YES THE PJO NODS. THERE WERE SO MANY FEELS. Sorry that you didn’t feel emotionally invested in the characters! 😦

    I hope your next read is better, Hilary <33


  2. Awk, I’m sad you didn’t enjoy this one. 😥 I absolutely loved it and it’s actually one of my top favourite Riordan books. buuuuut I’ve been reading all his books NOW. Like as an adult. So I don’t know what it’d be like growing up with the series and how my feelings might change towards it as I got older?! I FEEL YA THERE. Also I didn’t think Magnus and Percy were similar either! Magnus had more of an edge for sure *nods* A little more bitterness with his sarcasm? Whereas Percy was adorkable.
    Anyway, I hope your next read is better!!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!


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