MAGNUS CHASE and the GODS of ASGARD: THE SHIP OF THE DEAD

It’s MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY!

We come to the final book in this epic North Mythology series. Magnus is 16 and I would have put his character solidly in the YA category. But rules are made to be broken and Chase’s thoughts and actions seem more like a 12-year-old at times plus his hilarious narration keeps the story flowing with laugh out loud moments. I can understand the decision to market this toward the 10-14 year old age group (The story also picked up the honor of 2017’s best MG book from Goodreads)

This is a completely separate adventure from books one and two. If you haven’t read the those and dive into THE SHIP OF THE DEAD, you might feel a little lost at first but references to the past fill in the holes. There’s also a twelve page glossary and pronunciation guide in the back that you’ll be referring to often. World building at its finest.

Chase and his band of friends include dwarfs, elves, hand maidens, and a talking sword. Add in a few sons and daughters of the gods and he’s ready to sail. Their adventure takes them to a far away land to stop Loki, the god of mischief, magic, and artifice. It’s a difficult journey fighting off evil along the way. In the end Chase must face the evil Loki in a battle—not with weapons but with words of insult. Whoever makes the other person feel smaller with carefully timed  zingers will win. Although Loki’s crew of giants will take much more to conquer than put downs.

There’s diversity, action, and even one character, Alex, who is fluid-gender—and can be a male or female depending on the situation. Despite their differences these seven brave souls get along and support each other. Something this world needs a lot more of these days.

This is epic in size, but it’s just what fantasy lovers crave.

PUBLICATION DATE: 2017   PAGE COUNT: 432

FULL PLOT (from Amazon)

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?

FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT:

MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD:

THE SHIP OF THE DEAD

  1. The characters are a breath of fresh air, each with their own problems but coming together to work as a team. Their skin color, religion, or how they got to this point is insignificant in their little group.
  2. Magnus Chase has many insecurities and its a joy to follow how he covers himself. He’s supposed to be hero but his actions often say otherwise. Kids will see themselves in many of the scenes. Kind and caring, my aunt would say What a sweet boy!
  3. Magnus has a crush and the romance is portrayed in a cute, lighthearted way. His feelings are confused and its spot on to how most would deal with this new liking.
  4. The series is over but you never know. There’s a tiny opening at the end that leads to the possibility we’ll see more of Magnus Chase.
  5. The ending had me cheering for all that is right in this mythical world in hopes some of it will rub off in our real one.

A SAMPLE OF CHASE MAGNUS SPEAK: 

Our host/captor, the frothy-daddy giant guy, stood before us, his arms crossed, his brow knit. He was now only twice as tall as a human. The cuffs of his army-green skinny jeans were turned up over pointy black boots. His suit vest was buttoned over a white dress shirt, the sleeves pushed back to show lots of swirling runic tattoos on his forearms. With his panama hat and his gold-rimmed glasses, he looked like an agitated Whole Foods shopper, stuck in the express line behind a bunch of people with too many items, when all he wanted to do was purchase his macrobiotic smoothie and leave.

A FEW WORDS FROM Rick Riordan

Normally it takes me one full year to write each book. I’m trying my best to speed that up, but it’s a slow process to make a book and get it right. Readers will always be able to read faster than I can write. Believe me, I want the books to be done as much as you do. I’m not keeping any complete manuscripts locked up on my computer just to be mean. If the book isn’t out yet, that’s because it isn’t done yet! (For more visit Rick’s website)

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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5 Responses to MAGNUS CHASE and the GODS of ASGARD: THE SHIP OF THE DEAD

  1. Elves, dwarfs, and a talking sword–you’ve got me sold on this one. I’m going to try to pick up this series. Thanks.

  2. I haven’t read any of Riordan’s books, but a neighbor’s grandson cornered me and started talking about his mythological books — his eyes danced and he told me in great detail about the books and how much he learned about mythology. So, I think it’s time I read his series.

  3. I loved Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. This one sounds fun. Maybe I can find some time for it. Thanks for telling me about it.

  4. Susan says:

    Thanks for all this great information, Greg! I like that it features a diverse group of characters. While books still have a long way to go re diverse characters, it seems like these days if there’s more than three characters it’s obligatory for the author to make at least one non-white and non-heterosexual.

  5. Zoie says:

    I’ve been hearing so so much about Rick Riordan’s new books, and now I feel so behind in reading them! I used to be the biggest fan and would be devour his books each time a new one came out, but for some reason I now find myself so behind 😅 Your review reminded me to pick up Riordan’s books again, though, and I’m excited to be awash in my childhood love for these books again. Great review!

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