If your family has enjoyed following the adventures of Harry Potter throughout his seven years at Hogwarts, globetrotted with Amy and Dan Cahill in their quest for the 39 Clues, and couldn’t wait to see what mythological Greek creatures and gods Percy might encounter next in Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, then chances are you’re going to love Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard.
For the past couple weeks I’ve been sworn to secrecy about Magnus Chase. Our numbered special limited advance edition came with an entire list of dos and don’ts that have prevented me from sharing any details that might spoil the plot but today is the day. The first book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, The Sword of Summer, is officially out today!
If you pre-ordered the first book in the Magnus Chase trilogy, chances are it will arrive sometime today but if your kids can’t wait, they can read chapters 1-5 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard thanks to a free download they can get here, hear Rick Riordan read part of the first chapter, watch this book trailer to be even more excited when your copy lands at your doorstep.
Not familiar with Magnus Chase?
If your kids have been wandering around the house talking about Magnus Chase but haven’t given you the full explanation here’s the official description of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer:
Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants, and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarök, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die…
3 Ways to Learn About Norse Mythology
Since I’m not one to spoil the plot of a brand new book, I won’t be telling you what happens but I will tell you that this series that centers around Norse gods. We’re familiar with Greek and Roman gods but Norse mythology is completely new to us. Thankfully there are some great resources that can acquaint you with Norse mythology:
- TeachMama‘s Amy Mascott published Norse Mythology 101: Prep and Background for Reading Magnus Chase that can be a helpful guide before diving into Rick Riordan’s new trilogy or a way to better understand the characters and where everyone fits into the Norse mythology family tree.
- The free Sword of Summer Lores Activity Kit is an 11 page printable guide that provides a deeper dive into the Norse. Along with ideas for a Norse feast, it acquaints you with runes (Norse runic alphabet), the 9 realms of existence represented by the Yggdrasil world tree, and allows you to see how Norse trading and exploring influenced other areas of the world.
- Follow @RickRiordan on Instagram and @CampHalfBlood on Twitter for a series of scene-setters and #NorseCrashCourse content.
Get to Know the Characters
Another great way to build some background knowledge to prepare for reading this Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard is to download these 5 character cards:
This post was written as part of an uncompensated partnership with Disney-Hyperion where I received a numbered special limited advance edition of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard and Percy Jackson related products for my participation. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are included in this post.