I read the first book in this series, The Sword of Summer, earlier this year and gave it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed it but something just didn’t quite click for me. This book clicked entirely. I don’t know if that’s because it is actually a better book or if it’s just me getting used to the world, but I loved this book much more than the first.
Plot and World Building
The plot of any Rick Riordan book is always going to be fun and this one did not disappoint. The incorporation of Norse gods and myths was as witty and engaging as ever. Rick Riordan has been doing long enough that he knows perfectly well how to describe a scene and create an engaging world for his characters to inhabit. The plot was entertaining and kept me guessing until the very end.
The characters in this story are fantastic and I am growing quite attached to them. I could talk about everyone individually, but I really just want to focus on our new character, Alex, who is gender fluid. I have personally never read a book about a gender fluid character, nor have I met someone who identifies that way in real life, so it was very eye opening for me to learn more about people who identify as Alex does. I think Rick Riordan did a fantastic job of explaining Alex’s sexuality in a way that felt natural and avoided a large info-dump of information. Magnus really ends up asking all of the questions that we as readers would have liked to ask Alex ourselves, and that serves to educate people about gender fluid people while also moving the story along in a realistic way. Also, Alex was just an all around fun character so I’m glad he/she was added to our band of heroes.