Magnus Chase, son of Frey, the Norse god of summer and health, is gone. When he died, he became an einheri, one of the warriors who perished in battle. The einherjar’s spirits reside in Valhalla. Ever since he passed away, Magnus has been put in more dangerous situations than anybody could imagine. At the outset of the story, Loki, the trickster god, is preparing to set sail on his ship with a crew of zombie vikings to start the apocalypse (Ragnarok). Magnus must stop Loki or all of the nine worlds will come to an end!
“The Ship of the Dead” is the third book in the series “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard.” This book can stand alone, though it is better as a whole if you have read the first two. The story follows Magnus Chase on his journey to stop Loki, sailing on a boat gifted to him by his father, with his friends Mallory Keen, Halfborn Gunderson, Thomas Jefferson Jr., and Alex Fierro. In a rash, unpredictable move, Magnus promises to challenge Loki to a flyting, or insult contest. The problem is that if he loses, he gets reduced to a weak, tiny version of himself; and Magnus isn’t that great with words. To make things worse, Loki is a silver-tongued insult master. Will Magnus find a way to defeat Loki? Or will all the worlds be condemned to death?
Rick Riordan, as always, is a master with words. His wit, sarcasm, and hilarious chapter titles will keep you laughing until the very end. Like all Riordan’s other characters, Magnus Chase is a complex individual whose thoughts and internal struggles are unbelievably realistic. Riordan’s characters will captivate you from the very start, from Magnus’ thoughts on Alex Fierro, the gender-fluid child of Loki, to his loyalty and friendship with his fellow einherjar. The mythology seems very thoroughly researched, with the characters from the aesir (gods) to the jotuns (giants) appearing in the original Norse mythology.
From the beginning to the very end, “The Ship of the Dead” will intrigue you, with plot twists that seemingly come out of nowhere. I would recommend this book to ages 10+ for a minimal amount of mature content and language. An extremely good read, this book is one worth purchasing!