Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Winner of the 2017 Stonewall Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature, Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor marks Rick Riordan’s return to the world of Asgard. Picking up right after their triumph at the end of the previous story, Magnus Chase and company must now retrieve Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, before the giants invade and destroy Earth. So overall, just your average day really. Filled with Riordan’s trademark research, interpretative genius, and wit, The Hammer of Thor will satisfy die-hard fans and likely make some new ones, as he tackles issues of race, religion, representation, and gender.

The story begins as, once more, the world is hurtling toward catastrophe. To avert this event, Magnus has a meeting with an informant to learn Mjolnir’s whereabouts. Unfortunately, part way through their conversation the informant is attacked by an assassin. This sparks our hero’s quest, as he tries to track down the identity of the assassin; help his elven friend Hearth deal with his tyrannical father; assist in saving Samirah and a new einherji, Alex, from their scheming godly parent; and find Mjolnir; all while trying to prevent Ragnarok.

As this epic adventure unfolds, it becomes clear that Riordan is not only focused on telling a fun and action filled story, but also on pushing boundaries and creating characters who reflect a diverse society. His inclusion of a Muslim Valkyrie and a gender-fluid hero feel incredibly timely and illustrate the power of representative literature. Riordan does an excellent job dealing with the hero’s gender-fluidity, taking time to fully flesh out the character, while also giving readers a helpful template for having conversations about a friend’s gender identity. In Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor, Rick Riordan has produced another fantastic, multilayered reimagining of Norse mythology that will keep fans reading late into the night and eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series. Suggested for ages 10 and up. 

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