Marshmallow has reviewed The Sword of Summer, the first book of Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, as well as The Hammer of Thor, the second book in the series. Today she reviews The Ship of the Dead, the third and last book about the adventures of Magnus Chase, the dead son of Frey.
Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like books about Norse mythology, friendship, or other books by Rick Riordan, then this might be the book for you.
Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Magnus Chase, the son of Frey who recently became an einherji after dying, is preparing to embark on a journey with his friends/companions to save the world. Loki, the god of trickery, is trying to start Ragnarok, the destruction of the world according to Norse mythology. Magnus and his crew plan to sail on a boat given to them by Frey. They will travel to the farthest borders of Jotunheim, the home of the giants, and Niflheim, the world of ice, fog, and mist, to prevent Loki from starting Ragnarok by beating him in a flytiing, withthe help of Kvasir’s Mead, and capturing him in a magical nutshell, thus stopping Naglfar (the ship of human nails which is carrying monsters and undead to start Ragnarok) from sailing. (Yes, there are a lot of things to keep track of! But bear with me.)
On his ship Magnus Chase has brought seven companions. Samirah Al-Abbas is a Muslim Valkyrie. Hearthstone is a deaf/mute elf who works with rune-magic. Blitzen is a dwarf who is a master fashion adviser. Mallory Keen, Halfborn Gunderson, Alex Fierro, and Thomas Jefferson Jr. are all Magnus’s fellow einherjar. Mallory died in 1972 on the day that became known as Bloody Friday during the explosion of a bomb while she was trying to defuse it. Halfborn Gunderson lived in the time of the Vikings. Alex Fierro is a gender-fluid child of Loki who was living on the streets for two years before she died protecting another person. Thomas Jefferson Jr. was a Union soldier in the American Civil War who died fighting for freedom.
In the previous two books, Magnus and his companions have traveled to many of the different Norse worlds. (There are nine in total.) In this final book of the series, Magnus and his friends need to travel between some of the remaining ones to find Kvansir’s Mead, the drink which will supposedly make him very poetic. Everyone believes this is his only hope to win his flyting fight with Loki.
Marshmallow’s Review: The Ship of the Dead is a great book and a satisfying finale to Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series.
I thought that each of the characters developed throughout the series, and I liked that we finally got to learn more about and understand the pasts of some of Magnus’s companions. Their backgrounds were woven into real events in history (for some of them).
I also liked how Rick Riordan ties these books in with some of his other series. Several characters we’ve seen before appeared in this book. This third book starts with Percy Jackson, for example, trying to teach Magnus about sea-faring. It was also interesting to see what was happening in Magnus’s world when other things were happening in say *hint* *hint* Apollo’s/Lester’s world.
All in all, I thought that the ending of The Ship of the Dead made for a satisfying finale to the series. And I strongly recommend reading the full Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series.
To get the most out of this book, I strongly recommend that you read the previous two books in this series before getting into this one. It might even be a good idea to read all of the previous series, but that may not be fully necessary. It won’t make too much of a difference; you can still read the book without getting confused, there are only a few references that you can skip over. However, the previous series are amazing, so reading them would be a great experience! And why not get the whole picture of how the world could be full of these conflicting, overlapping, wildly imaginative mythologies all coexisting at the same time?
Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.