All the Norse Knowledge You Need! The Unofficial Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Companion by Peter Aperlo
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Apparently the Norsemen of old had a lot of time to make up stories about the Viking gods, heroes, giants, and other mythological creatures during those l-o-o-n-g winter nights, because their well-populated pantheon makes the ancient Greeks and Roman tales look pretty paltry.
With the release of Rick Riordan's already best-selling first novel in his new series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1: The Sword of Summer (Disney Hyperion, 2015), adventure-loving young adult readers are going to need to bone up on their Norse gods and goddesses, elves, dwarves, giants, and monster lore, and Peter Aperlo's just published The Unofficial Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Companion: The Norse Heroes, Monsters and Myths Behind the Hit Series (Ulysses Press, 2015) is to perfect guide to have handy as they follow Magnus Chase, former homeless Boston orphan, who discovers that he is the demigod son of the god Frey with the mission of averting the end of the world and becomes a genuine hero of Asgard all in one day. All the many players who populate Magnus' story, plus many more, are identified in this small, handy volume.
Peter Aperlo's Unoffical Guide offers a fascinating and illustrated rundown of Norse history and social mores, a generous sampling of some of the more famous Norse myths, and an extensive Who's Who biographical dictionary of the Scandinavian pantheon of deities, mortals, heroes, monsters, and otherwise villainous characters that is sure to be indispensable in reading Riordan's first book and his proposed series. Aperlo offers a bonus pronunciation guide to Old Norse vowels and some links to further reading into the world of Viking archaeology. All this in an inexpensive paperback or even cheaper e-book that young readers can keep at hand, especially since the sequel, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 2: The Hammer of Thor is forthcoming in 2016. And with Riordan's Disney connection through the publisher of this series, there are surely prospects for a movie or so, with the Boston setting offering plenty of colorful location shots for the action.
Who knew that a ride on one of Boston's famous Swan Boats could secretly be a Viking cruise? How wicked is that?