I’m a huge Rick Riordan fan and I’ve been waiting for this book for a while, those who have been waiting as well won’t be disappointed. I’m personally impressed; I know that the structure of the story is going to be similar to others of Riordan, but even with the structure similar, it’s still a page turner, but this time in the context of Norse mythology. It initially appears to be a long book, but, it is an easy read that goes fast; I didn’t want to put it down and read it in one night.
For those who are not familiar with Rick Riordan’s writings, this is a perfectly fine book to jump into Riordan’s fantasy world, there is no benefit gained in having read his other books that deal with heroes from Greek, Roman, or Egyptian mythology. The characters stand alone in their identities and are all affiliated with Norse mythology. The protagonist, Magnus, is quickly discovered in the story to have a background not quite like others, more so in his parenting and lineage; his father is a Norse god. As a result of this lineage, there are obligations that Magnus is thrust with, and the story is a modern day interaction of Magnus through components of Norse mythology, ranging from characters to weaponry of the ancient belief system. The story is told with humor, but also does a great job in outlining and establishing some of the belief systems of Norse mythology, such as the pantheon of the gods and goddesses.
The characters have a different personality, much like those we meet out of Camp Jupiter vs. Camp Half Blood. The story takes place in Norse mythology, which I personally do not have as strong of a familiarity with, and allowed for a new sense of novelty in the story that has the format of hero discovered, hero goes to “camp,” and hero goes on quest. The introduction of the new characters was nice and it created a sense of anticipation about who maybe a bit more friendly than others. Overall, the relationship with the gods themselves is a bit more casual, even if the society itself is more regimented.
A discussion board commenter alluded to the possibility of a relationship between these books and that with Camp Half-Blood, from the start of the book there is a pleasant surprise in that Magnus does have a cousin who attends Camp Half-Blood, but rather than long-term interaction with him/her, there is just a brief reference too at both the beginning and the end of the story.
It’s a hard story to talk about because of the potential to give so much away about who is related to who, and familiarity with some of the Norse gods would reveal some of the plot elements. However, a unique aspect of the Norse mythology is that the fates of the gods are much clearer, with a level of clarity and absolutism in the roles that each one knows that he/she plays, even in the final battle (Ragnok which isn’t the final battle in this book).
Know that the structure is similar to the books in the past, the characters who are introduced throughout this book are unique in their own ways, especially Magnus’s new companions and, I especially enjoyed the history and sense of honor associated with the Valkyrie corps, especially Samirah al-Abbas, who identifies from a Muslim family.
Anyway, enjoy a way! I have some Norse mythology to learn about now that I’m curious.