Rick Riordan previews Magnus Chase: The Hammer of Thor

April 28, 2016 - fall Denim

These days Thor is a domicile name. Chris Hemsworth’s issuing hair and prominent muscles have embedded a Norse God of rumble into complicated cocktail enlightenment alongside Tom Hiddleston’s shaping contriver God Loki. But Marvel isn’t a usually one remixing Norse mythology. Rick Riordan, who formerly revamped Greek and Egyptian mythologies with Percy Jackson a Olympians and The Kane Chronicles, is now holding on a Norse pantheon.

His Magnus Chase series kicked off final Oct with The Sword of Summer, introducing readers to a eponymous Kurt Cobain-looking protagonist, a homeless teen whose life altered perpetually when he was killed in a streets of Boston by an immorality glow giant. Luckily, this is Norse mythology we’re articulate about, where upheld heroes get sent to Valhalla. Magnus became an einherjar, one of Odin’s selected warriors. Together with a Valkyrie Samirah, a dwarf Blitzen, and a still elfin named Hearthstone, Magnus traversed a good universe tree and scuttled his enemies’ skeleton to revive a grievous Fenris Wolf. 

This tumble brings a sequel, The Hammer of Thor. As a pretension suggests, a book will collect adult one of a unused tract threads from The Sword of Summer — namely, a matter of a blank Mjolnir. Blitzen and Hearthstone are nowhere to be found while Samirah looks to be collapsing underneath a weight of her report – something any stressed-out teen can describe to – withdrawal Magnus to start out on this poser himself. 

Riordan spoke with EW about a new book, balancing Magnus Chase with his other array The Trials of Apollo. We’re also vehement to exhibit an disdainful mention from The Hammer of Thor, and a cover above

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This array seems to revolve privately around special artifacts from Norse mythology: initial a sword of summer, now a produce of Thor. What’s a highlight of that?
RICK RIORDAN: we always try to go where a misconceptions take me. Norse mythology, even some-more than Greek, is unequivocally focused on “who stole my stuff?” One of a many famous examples is a story of how Thor’s produce was stolen, and what he had to do to get it back. That parable serves as a ubiquitous story arc for Magnus’ second adventure. Vikings took their weapons unequivocally seriously, that is distinct given their lives literally depended on a peculiarity of their arms. A good arms would have a name, and be flushed with a spirits of ancestors or degraded enemies. Given this, it’s no advise that a Viking’s ultimate calamity would be to arise adult and find that their hammer, or sword, or favorite crawl had been stolen by some mischievous foe.

Magnus positively seems some-more gentle during a commencement of this book. How has his conditions changed, physically and mentally, given The Sword of Summer?
About 6 weeks has upheld given The Sword of Summer, giving Magnus a possibility to settle in to Valhalla and get used to his new powers as one of Odin’s selected warriors. He is some-more gentle with his new life, nonetheless during a same time there is a appearing clarity that bigger problems are entrance his way. Loki is still plotting, Ragnarok is still entrance eventually, and dual of Magnus’s best friends have not contacted him in weeks. It’s a good thing Magnus is flourishing some-more absolute as an einherji, given he’ll need all of his new powers for what comes next.

It feels like usually a few months given The Sword of Summer came out. How shortly do we start formulation a subsequent book in a array once we finish one?
I am always meditative and formulating ideas, nonetheless we am currently sophistry dual opposite series, The Trials of Apollo and Magnus Chase, so we take a few months from one and spin to a other, spending roughly half a year on each. This can make it tough to change gears, nonetheless we like a challenge. No one forced me to do dual array behind to back. we do it given we unequivocally suffer essay these stories and we theory we flower on being busy.

This section introduces a suspicion of a barrow-wight. Is explaining Norse concepts harder than when we work with Greek misconceptions (which seem to be somewhat some-more familiar)?
It is a bigger “ask” to design readers to come along on a Norse adventure, yes. Those stories are not as informed solely in a twisted (though enjoyable) Marvel versions. But afterwards again, when we initial wrote The Lightning Thief many people asked me if that was a plea given so few readers were informed with those myths. Now it seems readers are utterly familiar! we have been agreeably astounded by how many Percy Jackson fans are also utterly peaceful to follow Magnus Chase on his adventures. we usually try to make a ancient stories as fun and permitted as we can in a complicated setting, while staying loyal to a simple structure and characters of a myths, and wish a readers will wish to try that universe with me. 

Excerpt from Magnus Chase: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Chapter One: Could You Please Stop Killing My Goat?

LESSON LEARNED: If we take a Valkyrie out for coffee, you’ll get stranded with a check and a upheld body.

I hadn’t seen Samirah al-Abbas in roughly 6 weeks, so when she called out of a blue and pronounced we indispensable to speak about a matter of life and death, we concluded right away.

(Technically I’m already dead, that means a whole life-and-death thing didn’t apply, nonetheless still … Sam sounded anxious.)

She hadn’t nonetheless arrived when we got to a Thinking Cup on Newbury Street. The place was packaged as usual, so we queued adult for coffee. A few seconds later, Sam flew in, literally, right over a heads of a café patrons.

Nobody batted an eye. Regular mortals aren’t good during estimate enchanting stuff, that is fortunate, given differently Bostonians would spend many of their time using around in a panic from giants, trolls, ogres, and einherjar with conflict axes and lattes.

Sam landed subsequent to me in her propagandize uniform—white sneakers, khaki slacks, and a long-sleeve navy shirt with a King Academy logo. A immature hijab lonesome her hair. An ax hung from her belt. we was flattering certain a ax wasn’t customary dress code.

As blissful as we was to see her, we remarkable that a skin underneath her eyes was darker than usual. She was moving on her feet.

“Hey,” we said. “You demeanour terrible.”
“Nice to see you, too, Magnus.”
“No, we meant … not terrible like different than normal terrible. Just terrible like exhausted.”

“Should we get we a trowel so we can puncture that hole a small deeper?”

I lifted my hands in surrender. “Where have we been a final month and a half?”

Her shoulders tightened. “My bid this division has been murdering me. I’m education kids after school. Then, as we competence remember, there’s my part-time pursuit reaping souls of a upheld and using tip tip missions for Odin.”

“You kids currently and your bustling schedules.”

“On tip of all that … there’s moody school.”

“Flight school?” We shuffled brazen with a line. “Like airplanes?”

I knew Sam’s suspicion was to turn a veteran commander someday, nonetheless we hadn’t satisfied she was already holding lessons. “You can do that during sixteen?”

Her eyes sparkled with excitement. “My grandparents could never have afforded it, nonetheless a Fadhlans have this crony who runs a moody school. They finally assured Jid and Bibi—”

“Ah.” we grinned. “So a lessons were a present from Amir.”

Sam blushed. She’s a usually teen we know who has a betrothed, and it’s lovable how perplexed she gets when she talks about Amir Fadhlan.

“Those lessons were a many thoughtful, a many demure …” She sighed wistfully. “But adequate of that. we didn’t pierce we here to speak about my schedule. We have an adviser to meet.”

“An informant?”

“This could be a mangle I’ve been watchful for. If his information is good—”

Sam’s phone buzzed. She fished it out of her pocket, checked a screen, and cursed. “I have to go.”

“You usually got here.”

“Valkyrie business. Possible formula three-eight-one: drastic genocide in progress.”

“You’re creation that up.”
“I’m not.”
“So … what, somebody thinks they’re about to die and they content we ‘Going down! Need Valkyrie ASAP!’ followed by a garland of sad-face emoticons?”

“I seem to remember holding your soul to Valhalla. You didn’t content me.”

“No, nonetheless I’m special.”

“Just get a list outside,” she said. “Meet my informant. I’ll be behind as shortly as we can.”

“I don’t even know what your adviser looks like.”

“You’ll commend him when we see him,” Sam promised. “Be brave. Also, get me a scone.”

She flew out of a emporium like Super Muslima, withdrawal me to compensate for a order.

I got dual vast coffees and dual scones and found a list outside.

Spring had arrived early in Boston. Patches of unwashed sleet still clung to a curbs like dental plaque, nonetheless a cherry trees popped with white and red buds. Flowery pastel wardrobe dis- plays bloomed in a windows of high-end boutiques. Tourists strolled by enjoying a sunshine.

Sitting outside, gentle in my creatively laundered jeans, T-shirt, and denim jacket, we satisfied this would be a initial open in 3 years that we hadn’t been homeless.

Last March, we had been scrounging from Dumpsters. I’d been sleeping underneath a overpass in a Public Garden, unresolved out with my buddies Hearth and Blitz, avoiding a cops and usually perplexing to stay alive.

Then, dual months ago, we died fighting a glow giant. I’d woken adult in a Hotel Valhalla as one of Odin’s einherjar warriors.

Now we had purify clothes. we took a showering each day. we slept in a gentle bed each night. we could lay during this café table, eating food I’d indeed paid for, and not worry about when a staff would force me to pierce along.

Since my rebirth, I’d gotten used to a lot of uncanny stuff. I’d trafficked a Nine Worlds assembly Norse gods, elves, dwarves, and a garland of monsters with names we couldn’t pronounce. I’d scored a enchanting sword that currently hung around my neck in a form of a runestone pendant. I’d even had a mind-melting review with my cousin Annabeth about a Greek gods who hung out in New York and done her life difficult. Apparently North America was lousy with ancient gods. We had a full-blown infestation.

All of that I’d schooled to accept.

But being behind in Boston on a good open day, unresolved out like a unchanging mortal kid?

That felt strange.

I scanned a throng of pedestrians, looking for Sam’s informant. You’ll commend him when we see him, she’d promised. we wondered what kind of information this man had, and because Sam deliberate it life-and-death.

My gawk bound on a storefront during a finish of a block. Over a doorway, a brass-and-silver pointer still gleamed proudly: Blitzen’s Best, nonetheless a emporium was shuttered. The front doorway window was paper-covered over on a inside, with a summary fast scrawled in red marker: Closed for remodeling. Back soon!

I’d been anticipating to ask Samirah about that. we had no suspicion because my aged crony Blitz had abruptly disappeared. One day a few weeks ago, I’d usually walked by a emporium and found it closed. Since then, there’d been no word from Blitzen or Hearthstone, that wasn’t like them.

Thinking about this done me so rapt we roughly didn’t see a adviser until he was right on tip of me. But Sam was correct: He kind of stood out. It’s not each day we see a goat in a ditch coat.

A porkpie shawl was wedged between his curly horns. A span of sunglasses perched on his nose. His ditch cloak kept removing tangled in his behind hooves.

Despite his crafty disguise, we famous him. I’d killed and eaten this sold goat on another world, that is a arrange of fastening knowledge we don’t forget.

“Otis,” we said.

“Shhh,” he said. “I’m incognito. Call me … Otis.”

“I’m not certain that’s how incognito works, nonetheless okay.”

Otis, aka Otis, climbed into a chair I’d indifferent for Sam. He sat on his behind haunches and put his front hooves on a table. “Where is a Valkyrie? Is she incognito, too?” He peered during a nearest fritter bag as if Sam competence be stealing inside.

“Samirah had to go reap a soul,” we said. “She’ll be behind soon.”

“It contingency be good carrying a purpose in life,” Otis sighed. “Well, appreciate we for a food.”

“That’s not for—”

Otis snapped adult Sam’s scone bag and began to eat it, paper and all.

At a list subsequent to us, an comparison integrate glanced during my goat crony and smiled. Maybe their mortal senses viewed him as a lovable child or a humorous pet dog.

“So.” we had a tough time examination Otis assimilate a pastry, spraying crumbs opposite a lapels of his ditch coat. “You had something to tell us?”

Otis belched. “It’s about my master.”
Otis flinched. “Yes, him.”
If we worked for a rumble god, we would have flinched when we listened Thor’s name, too. Otis and his brother, Marvin, pulled a god’s chariot. They also supposing Thor with a everlasting supply of goat meat. Each night, Thor killed and ate them for dinner. Each morning, Thor resurrected them. This is because we should go to college, kids—so when we grow adult we do not have to take a pursuit as a enchanting goat.

“I finally have a lead,” Otis said, “on that certain intent my master is missing.”

“You meant his ham—?”
“Don’t contend it aloud!” Otis warned. “But, approbation … his ham.”
I flashed behind to January, when I’d initial met a rumble god. Good times around a campfire, listening to Thor fart, speak about his favorite TV shows, fart, protest about his blank hammer, that he used to kill giants and tide his favorite TV shows, and fart.

“It’s still missing?” we asked.

Otis clacked his front hooves on a tabletop. “Well, not officially, of course. If a giants knew for certain that Thor was though his you-know-what, they would invade a mortal worlds, destroy everything, and send me into a unequivocally low funk. But unofficially … yes. We’ve been acid for months with no luck. Thor’s enemies are removing bolder. They clarity weak- ness. we told my therapist it reminds me of when we was a child in a goat coop and a bullies were sizing me up.” Otis got a lost demeanour in his yellow slit-pupil eyes. “I consider that’s when my dire highlight started.”

This was my evidence to spend a subsequent several hours articulate to Otis about his feelings. Being a terrible person, we did not do that.

“Otis,” we said, “the final time we saw you, we found Thor a good iron staff to use as a backup weapon. He’s not accurately defenseless.”

“No, nonetheless a staff is not as good as a … ham. It doesn’t enthuse a same fear in a giants. Also, Thor gets fractious perplexing to watch his shows on a staff. The shade is little and a fortitude is terrible. we don’t like it when Thor is cranky. It creates it tough for me to find my happy space.”

A lot about this did not make sense: because Thor would have so many difficulty locating his possess hammer; how he could presumably have kept a detriment a tip from a giants for so long; and a suspicion that Otis a goat would have a happy space.

 “So Thor wants a help,” we guessed.

“Not officially.”

“Of march not. We’ll all have to wear ditch coats and glasses.”

“That’s an glorious idea,” Otis said. “Anyway, we told a Valkyrie we would keep her updated given she is in assign of Odin’s … we know, special missions. This is a initial good lead I’ve gotten to a plcae of a certain object. My source is reliable. He’s another goat who goes to a same psychiatrist. He overheard some speak in his barnyard.”

“You wish us to lane down a lead formed on barnyard report we listened in your psychiatrist’s watchful room.”

“That would be great.” Otis leaned so distant brazen we was fearful he competence tumble out of his chair. “But you’re going to have to be careful.”

It took all my bid not to laugh. I’d played catch-the- lava-ball with glow giants. I’d eagle-skied over a rooftops of Boston. I’d pulled a World Serpent out of Massachusetts Bay and degraded Fenris Wolf with a round of yarn. Now this goat was revelation me to be careful.

“So where is a ham?” we asked. “Jotunheim? Niflheim? Thorfartheim?”

“You’re teasing.” Otis’s sunglasses slipped laterally on his snout. “But a ham is in a opposite dangerous location. It’s in Provincetown.”

“Provincetown,” we repeated. “On a tip of Cape Cod.”

I had deceptive memories of a place. My mom had taken me there for a weekend one summer when we was about eight. we remembered beaches, saltwater taffy, lobster rolls, and a garland of art galleries. The many dangerous thing we’d encountered was a seagull with irked bowel syndrome.

Otis lowered his voice. “There is a barrow in Provincetown— a wight’s barrow.”

“Is that like a wheelbarrow?”

“No, no. A wight …” Otis shuddered. “Well, a wight is a absolute undead quadruped that likes to collect enchanting weapons. A wight’s tomb is called a—a barrow. Sorry, we have a tough time articulate about wights. They remind me of my father.”

That lifted another collection of questions about Otis’s childhood, nonetheless we motionless to leave them for his therapist.

“Are there a lot of lairs of undead Vikings in Provincetown?” we asked.

“Only one, as distant as we know. But that’s enough. If a certain intent is there, it will be formidable to retrieve—underground, and rhythmical by absolute magic. You’ll need your friends—the dwarf and a elf.”

That would have been great, if we had any suspicion where those friends were. we hoped Sam knew some-more than we did.

“Why doesn’t Thor go and check this barrow himself?” we asked. “Wait … let me guess. He doesn’t wish to pull attention. Or he wants us to have a possibility to be heroes. Or it’s tough work and he has some shows to locate adult on.”

“To be fair,” Otis said, “the new deteriorate of Jessica Jones did usually start streaming.”

It’s not a goat’s fault, I told myself. He does not merit to be punched.

“Fine,” we said. “When Sam gets here, we’ll speak strategy.” “I’m not certain we should wait with you.” Otis licked a particle off his lapel. “I should have mentioned this earlier, nonetheless we see, someone … or something … has been stalking me.”

The hairs on my neck tingled. “You consider they followed we here?”

“I’m not sure,” Otis said. “Hopefully my costume threw them off.”

Oh, great, I thought.

I scanned a travel nonetheless saw no apparent lurkers. “Did we get a good demeanour during this someone-slash-something?”

“No,” Otis admitted. “But Thor has all sorts of enemies who would wish to stop us from removing his—his ham back. They would not wish me pity information with you, generally this final part. You have to advise Samirah that—”


Living in Valhalla, we was used to lethal weapons drifting out of nowhere, nonetheless we was still astounded when an ax sprouted from Otis’s bushy chest.

I lunged opposite a list to assistance him. As a son of Frey, God of flood and health, we can do some flattering overwhelming initial assist sorcery given adequate time. But as shortly as we overwhelmed Otis, we sensed that it was too late. The ax had pierced his heart.

“Oh, dear.” Otis coughed blood. “I’ll usually … die … now.”

His conduct lolled backward. His porkpie shawl rolled opposite a pavement. The lady sitting behind us screamed as if usually now seeing that Otis was not a lovable puppy dog. He was, in fact, a upheld goat.

I scanned a rooftops opposite a street. Judging from a angle of a ax, it contingency have been thrown from somewhere adult there … yes. we held a flutter of transformation usually as a assailant ducked out of sight—a figure in black wearing some arrange of steel helmet.

So many for a resting crater of coffee. we yanked a enchanting match from my neck sequence and raced after a goat assassin.

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