By Emmaline Rogers
Beloved fiction author Rick Riordan released his latest book a couple of weeks ago on October 4th. Read more to learn more about The Hammer of Thor and for a review of the novel.
The Hammer of Thor, written by Rick Riordan and dedicated to J. R. R. Tolkien, is the second book of the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series about the Norse gods. This is Riordan’s fourth series about demigods, their parents, monsters, and all the trouble teenagers with half of a god’s power can stir up.
Magnus Chase, the main character of the series, is the cousin of the famous Annabeth Chase of Riordan’s first series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Magnus is accompanied on his adventures by his close friends: Sam, a dwarf named Blitzen, Hearthstone a deaf elf, and the new gender-fluid soul in Valhalla Alex Fierro. They learn to work together, despite several fiery attitudes and awkward conversations.
Hammer explores the idea of equality. For example, one of the book’s main characters, Sam, practices Islam. She wears a hijab at all times except in front of her family, and several times in the book she goes off to the side to pray, asking a friend to guard her while she does. Riordan has the characters discuss their religious differences in scene where Sam and Magnus talk about the existence of the gods and how that meshes with Sam’s firm Muslim beliefs. Sam tells Magnus that she believes the Norse gods are only powerful beings created by Allah, but that Allah rules supreme over all. This is in sharp contrast to the atheist Magnus, who believes in no gods. Through these dialogues the characters learn to respect individual beliefs, never disrespecting one another or pressuring each other to alter his/her beliefs.
Additionally, Riordan explores the complexities of being transgender through the character Valhalla Alex Fierro. Alex has to make sure to tell the other adventurers what gender s/he is every morning. This gender fluidity is something that Alex’s parents could never accept.
Readers who enjoy strong character development will enjoy The Hammer of Thor. This will come as a surprise to Riordan’s readers since it is different from the other plot driven books in the other series he has written. In fact, since Riordan has written so many books, many fans who were worried that the new series would be dull, but, his emphasis on character, pop culture references and liberal use of sarcasm (teenagers’ favorite literary device) keeps this new series fresh. Riordan has worked his magic once again, writing a unique story that only he could tell.