Marshmallow reviews The Ship of the Dead (Book 3 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan

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 reviews The Ship of the Dead (Book 3 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Ship of the Dead (Book 3 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan.

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 is reading The Ship of the Dead (Book 3 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading The Ship of the Dead (Book 3 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan.

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%.

Marshmallow rates The Ship of the Dead (Book 3 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates The Ship of the Dead (Book 3 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan 100%.

Marshmallow reviews The Hammer of Thor (Book 2 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan

Two weeks ago, Marshmallow reviewed The Sword of Summer, the first book of Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. Today she reviews the second book in this trilogy: The Hammer of Thor. Sprinkles, who is currently reading the book, is asking questions and taking notes.

Marshmallow reviews The Hammer of Thor (Book 2 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews The Hammer of Thor (Book 2 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan.

Sprinkles: So Marshmallow, tell our readers about this book.

Marshmallow: If you like magic and mythology and fantasy and friendship and other books by Rick Riordan, then this might be the book for you! But of course first you should read The Sword of Summer, the first book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series.

S: Yes, and I did. Your review was convincing enough to get me to read that. And of course then I had to dive right into this second book. But I am not done yet. So please do tell our readers about the story line, but without too many spoilers.

M: Okay, will do. In the beginning of the book, Magnus Chase is planning to meet Samirah Al-Abbas for coffee to talk about a mysterious, important issue. Samirah is suddenly called away to help reap a soul. Remember that Samirah (Sam) is a valkyrie whose job is to bring the honorable dead to Hotel Valhalla. And she was the valkyrie who selected Magnus for Valhalla when he died in the first book.

Before she leaves, Sam says that an undercover operative will meet him at the café. While Magnus is waiting for her to return, he sees the undercover operative, Otis. Otis is one of the two goats of Thor we met in the first book. His job is to pull Thor’s chariot and provide him with goat meat. (Otis and his brother Marvin are eaten every night and resurrected every morning.) Otis is not exactly the greatest with disguises. he wears a coat, a hat, and sunglasses. Otis informs Magnus that Thor’s hammer is missing, unofficially. Thor doesn’t want his enemies to know that his main weapon of power is missing.

S: Okay, so we learn already that Thor’s hammer is missing and that is the main quest of this book.

M: Yes. Actually we had learned that Thor was missing his hammer in the first book. But now it is absolutely essential that Sam and Magnus and their friends Blitz the Dwarf and Hearthstone the Elf find it, and find it soon. Or Sam is going to have to marry a giant!

Marshmallow is reading The Hammer of Thor (Book 2 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading The Hammer of Thor (Book 2 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan.

S: Okay, I actually got that far in the book but maybe we don’t want to give away a lot more than that.

M: Yes, true. We already set up the main story line of the book.

S: And I’m guessing that the rest is just fun and adventure and danger and all that stuff all intertwined with mythology that we have come to love in Riordan’s other books?

M: Yes.

S: Among the Riordan characters that you have read about so far, how does Magnus rank?

M: He is a good person and has natural reactions to things, and he tries to be thoughtful and sensitive. His sense of humor is similar to Percy Jackson‘s.

S: I noticed that too. I guess two narrators written by the same author can have some similarities in voice.

M: Yes, but you do know that they are definitely different people. Percy was a lot more naive and rash. And Magnus is a lot more mature in many ways.

S: Yes, and the third first-person voice we read from Riordan was Apollo / Lester from Trials of Apollo series, and that guy was the most immature of all, at least in the beginning.

M: More arrogant than immature, I’d say. Percy and Magnus are not arrogant.

S: Agreed. Okay, I can’t wait to get back to reading the book. So let us wrap up this review quickly. If you were to rate this book on a scale of 1 to 100 percent, what would you rate it at?

M: 95%.

S: And what do you want to tell our readers?

M: Stay tuned for more amazing reviews from the book bunnies!

Marshmallow rates The Hammer of Thor (Book 2 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan 95%.
Marshmallow rates The Hammer of Thor (Book 2 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series) by Rick Riordan 95%.

Marshmallow reviews Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Marshmallow has read and reviewed a large number of books by Rick Riordan already. Most recently she began reading the Magnus Chase series. Today she shares her thoughts on the first book of this series: The Sword of Summer.

(Marshmallow reviewed three books from Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series; check out her reviews of The Lightning ThiefThe Sea of Monsters, and The Titan’s Curse. Caramel reviewed the graphic novel versions of the same three. See his reviews of  The Lightning ThiefThe Sea of Monsters, and The Titan’s Curse.

Marshmallow also reviewed all five books of Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series: The Lost HeroThe Son of NeptuneThe Mark of AthenaThe House of Hades, and The Blood of Olympus.

She also reviewed all five books of the Trials of Apollo series: The Hidden OracleThe Dark ProphecyThe Burning MazeThe Tyrant’s Tomb, and The Tower of Nero.

You might also like to check out Marshmallow’s reviews of Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods,  Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes, and The Demigod Diaries.)

Marshmallow reviews Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow reviews Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan.

Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you like reading about mythology and/or have enjoyed some of Rick Riordan’s previous books, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Magnus Chase (the cousin of Annabeth Chase, one of my favorite characters from Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series) finally goes to his uncle Randolph’s house. His whole life his mother told him not to. She tried to distance herself from Randolph.

The book starts two years after the death of Magnus Chase’s mother. Magnus has been living on the streets because he doesn’t want to go to his uncle. But then he sees his other uncle and his cousin Annabeth looking for him. They were sent by Randolph to look for Magnus. Magnus breaks into Randolph’s house to find the reason why. He meets Randolph, and this uncle his mother told him to avoid at all costs tells him remarkable things.

According to Randolph, the Norse gods are real, and Magnus is descended from one of them. (Sound familiar? Yes, so in the vein of the previous Riordan series, we are again thinking of ancient myths; this time, though, the mythology we are diving into is the Norse one.)

Marshmallow is reading Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan.
Marshmallow is reading Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan.

Randolph drives Magnus to Longfellow Bridge and tells him that he needs to retrieve a sword from the bottom of the bay, a sword that belonged to Magnus’s father. Magnus retrieves the sword, and just in time. A fire giant appears on the bridge and starts to destroy it. Magnus attacks the giant, whose name is Surt, and is mortally wounded. Big spoiler alert! Magnus dies, though he takes Surt down with him. 

Magnus wakes up in a hotel: Hotel Valhalla. He learns that this is the place where the einherjar, the chosen warriors of Odin, wait for Ragnarök, the final battle in which the gods will die and all nine of the Norse worlds will end. Magnus is brought to the hotel by Samirah Al-Abbas, better known as Sam. Sam is a Valkyrie whose job is to bring the honorable dead to Valhalla.

However, Magnus cannot stay in Valhalla for long. His two friends, Blitzen and Hearthstone, who lived on the street with him appear and tell him that they are actually a dwarf and an elf, respectively. They convince him to leave Hotel Valhalla and they set out. Magnus and his friends must retrieve the sword he had found in the harbor. When he plummeted from the bridge with Surt, he had lost the sword.

When the trio retrieve the sword, they find out that there is a much larger problem going on. But I can’t tell what it is, you have to read the book!

Marshmallow’s Review: The Sword of Summer is a great book. It has the same humor and magic as Riordan’s other books. I thought that all of the characters are likable and maybe relatable at some level, though their lives are so different from the general population’s.

I thought the plot was well written. Also I found this book to be a great entry point into the nine worlds of Norse mythology. I had not read much about Norse mythology before so the whole context was new and it was quite exciting to learn.

I admit that I hesitated a while before diving into the Magnus Chase series. I have really loved the stories of the Greek demigods in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and the Roman demigods in the Heroes of Olympus series. I was not ready to let them go and dive into a new world and get immersed in the adventures of a totally new set of characters. I was skeptical that I could enjoy them as much. But The Sword of Summer was just as exciting and just as captivating as the other Riordan books, and I can’t wait to read and tell you about the rest of the books in the series.

I recommend this book highly to younger readers and older ones alike. I know for example that Sprinkles will love it.

Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.

Marshmallow rates Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan 100%.
Marshmallow rates Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan 100%.