After dealing with the Greek gods in the Percy Jackson books, the Roman gods in Heroes of Olympus, and the Egyptian pantheon in the Kane Chronicles, Rick Riordan has a new series out, and it’s probably inevitable that he would look north to the colourful characters who populate the halls of Asgard.
This new book follows familiar territory for readers of Riordan’s books. Magnus Chase is a teenage boy who’s been homeless on the streets of Boston ever since his beloved mother died several years ago. Magnus never knew his dad, and as it turns out there’s a very good reason for that: his dad’s a Norse god. When an unfortunate encounter gains him an entry to Valhalla (and his own personal Valkyrie), Magnus learns the truth about his complicated family tree and, of course, learns that he has to save the world.
Riordan’s trademark humour, and his ability to weave ancient myths into the fabric of modern teen life, carries this book as it has all the others. I find these books very funny, enjoyable, and a great way for kids to learn about mythology. Fortunately there are enough polytheistic religions (with a history of human-god interaction to produce demigod children) to keep him busy for awhile. I’m hoping after Asgard, we’ll get to explore the gods and goddesses of Hinduism, which may give Riordan enough material to keep writing till he’s ready for his next reincarnation.