This is the second book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series that finally showed up from the library. The kids and I fought over who got to read it first. Miss Adventure and I ended up sharing, and losing each other’s bookmarks regularly in the process
Genre: YA urban fantasy
Length: 459 pages
Setting: Asgard, Alfheim, Jutenheim, and Midgard, six weeks after the events of The Sword of Summer
Summary: Sam is having difficulties, and not just because she’s so busy doing Valkyrie work and schoolwork. It seems that Loki, her father, has promised her in marriage to the giant Thrym, in return for Thor’s hammer. If they can just find the hammer before the wedding, all will be well. Too bad the wight’s barrow they were sent to contains the sword Skofnung and several undead, but no hammer. Loki, though Magnus’ uncle Randolph, steals the sword and stabs Blitzen in order to force Hearthstone to get the Skofnung Stone from his father to heal Blitzen. Sam has also added a new einheiji to Valhalla – her sibling Alex. Alex is also a child of Loki, and has inherited Loki’s gender fluidity as well as shape-changing abilities. The wedding is still on, and although they have gods on standby to follow them to Thor’s hammer’s location, Loki still manages to escape his bonds.
Final thoughts: Riordan certainly knows how to write a driving plot. Once the action and excitement starts, the characters barely have time to rest and think about what’s going on, which plays into Loki’s hands perfectly.We know Loki’s end plan, and the characters know Loki’s end plan, but they are helpless to stop it from happening.
Riordan is also making an effort to increase the diversity of his characters. Magnus was homeless until he became an einheiji, Sam is Muslim, and now we add Alex, a gender-fluid character who switches between male and female. I found it interesting that there was a Norse term for Alex – an argr. As one of the einheiji says, “Gender-fluid people are hardly a new thing.” Magnus isn’t always sure how to treat Alex, but that’s mostly because Alex is so prickly.
Title comes from: The major plot of the book is looking for Thor’s hammer, that he once again managed to lose.
Reading challenges fulfilled: book #6 for the year, an R in my author Reading the Alphabet Challenge (what’s will all the H titled books? I’ve read six books this year, and half of the titles start with H!), and #3 for the Finish the Series Challenge (although the reason I haven’t finished this series is it hasn’t all been published yet, not because I haven’t gotten around to it)
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