Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Musing Mondays - Waiting for Magnus & Key Players in my current read

Musing Mondays - October 17, 2016

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

I can't wait to get a copy of...

The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2) by Rick Riordan

I've mentioned a couple of times now on this blog how much I love Rick Riordan. He numbers among my top 5 favourite authors. He has yet to write a book that I haven't utterly enjoyed (and I will be forever thankful to the student from my student teaching days who finally got me off my butt to read the first Percy Jackson book). The first book of the Magnus Chase series was everything I had been hoping for when I heard that he was finally tackling Norse mythology. I'd been waiting for that announcement. I pre-ordered The Sword of Summer so I'd be able to read it as soon as it came out, and I did, I devoured it, and then somehow I totally spaced on the fact that we were coming up to the release date for Hammer of Thor and suddenly I was seeing an announcement that it was out and there was a lot of ._O reactions on my part haha. So I promptly put in an online order for a copy and now I am just patiently waiting for it to arrive in my mailbox so that I can read it, as soon as I finish re-reading Fionavar of course.

Here's the summary for Hammer of Thor from Goodreads:

Thor's hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon--the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn't just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can't retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer's return is the gods' worst enemy, Loki--and the price he wants is very high.

          THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Who are the key players in your current book? (or current themes, if nonfiction)

This is such a fun question!! I am really excited to answer it actually, because I'm still reading The Summer Tree and it's nice to have an excuse to talk about the characters because I'm really loving them all.

This is an epic fantasy novel with a large cast of characters, though that cast is nowhere near as large as the cast of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. They're much easier to keep track of than Martin's characters as well! That being said, within the large cast there are about 10 really, super important key players that I'd like to tell you about:

Kevin Laine
One of the 5 main characters called the 5 by Kay in the character sheet. Kevin is one of the 5 people brought from Toronto into Fionavar at the start of the novel. He's either a law student or works at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, I'm honestly not clear on what it is because it's not explicitly said in this book. He's close to his father. He is Paul's best friend, Jennifer's ex, and antagonistic towards Dave. He is a bit of a ladies man, very confident, witty, and also very loyal and compassionate and protective when it comes to those he cares about. He builds a fast friendship with Prince Diarmuid and his band of men quickly giving his loyalty to them. Out of the 5 he's probably the one who has the least eventful time in this novel, but that's not to say nothing happens to him it's just that nothing on the scale of what happens to the others happens to him. If I were going to compare him to another fictional character I'd say he's somewhat similar to Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell except much less selfish.

Paul Schafer
Another of the 5 Paul is the brooding loner to Kevin's outgoing alpha male persona in Toronto. We know thanks to Paul's behaviour and some exposition on Kevin's part that Paul is suffering some sort of tragedy, we find out later that that tragedy is the death of the woman he loved and that's all I'll say on that because anything else would be spoilers. Just know that one of Paul's main motivations is his feelings of guilt and the other is his compassion for his friends and for King Ailell (who he takes a fast liking to) and the whole of Brennin. Out of the 5 he is tied with Kimberly for the most changed in this novel, he definitely has the most eventful journey of the 5 Torontonians in this book. Paul has got a very Dean Winchester of Supernatural vibe going on.

Jennifer Lowell
As mentioned above she is the 3rd of the 5, and she is Kevin's ex-girlfriend, she is also Kim Ford's roommate both in Toronto and in Fionavar. She is described as being a very beautiful woman indeed, uncommonly beautiful in fact and she is 100% aware of her beauty and how her beauty affects others. Jennifer is strong-willed and confident, she doesn't take any crap from anybody. When someone does or says something to her they get told off, even when they are the Prince and heir to the throne in a new country where she knows none of the customs. We don't actually get to spend as much time with Jennifer in this book as we do with the other 5, but that's because something very eventful happens to her that drives the plot forward. To me she's like a cross between Fleur Delacour and Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter.

One of the Princes in Brennin, heir to King Ailell and Warden of the South Keep. He leads a very interesting band of men. He is a cheeky monkey but he is also damn good at his job. He is quite the flirt and womanizer he constantly hits on Jennifer (and strikes out) and even has enough nerve to "claim" her as his which does have the side benefit of making sure no one else hits on her unwelcomely, but is still icky. He's daring and adventurous and unfailingly loyal. Diarmuid has a strong sense of right and wrong and is very just. Diarmuid is a variant on the Irish/Irish Mythological name Diarmaid and apparently pronounced DEER-mid but trying to remember that while reading is very hard I keep mentally pronouncing it Dyer-mood. It's hard to liken him to another character because he's kind of an archetype unto himself he's just that big of a character, I guess think sort of like Face from the A-Team if Face were a Prince in a medieval fantasy realm?

Oooh Aileron is such a badass. The exiled older brother of Diarmuid, he was the original heir to the throne, but obviously managed to get himself exiled. We don't actually meet him officially until about halfway through the book but when he do he wastes no time showing off how awesome he is. Loren Silvercloak describes him as very much a War King and it's such a fitting appellation for him. He is dark and brusque to Diarmuid's light brightness. Aileron is a very polarizing character. I just realised he kind of reminds me of Jamie Fraser from Outlander.

Loren Silvercloak & Matt Soren
Loren is a mage and Matt is his source, I originally had them as two separate lines but then thought that given the nature of the relationship between a Mage and their source in Fionavar it made much more sense to discuss them together. Loren and Matt are responsible for bringing the 5 into Fionavar to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ailell's rule. Matt used to be King of the dwarves before becoming Loren's source - we don't find out much about that history in this book, that comes later. Loren is a trusted advisor to the royal family in Brennin and in fact was the childhood teacher of both Princes. Matt reminds me of a cross between Gimli from Lord of the Rings and Tyrion from Game of Thrones with maybe a little bit of Thoren Oakenshield from The Hobbit in there. Loren is a little harder for me to make a comparison with, he's supposed to be a Merlin type character but really he just seems to remind me of Remus Lupin from Harry Potter.

Kimberly Ford
Kim is the 4th of the 5 and she's the reason they all get brought into Fionavar. Loren singles her out specifically and serendipitously she happens to have 4 companions when they meet him at the talk he is giving at the University of Toronto. In Toronto she is a Medical Intern at a hosipital. She is bright and self assured and very much believes in magic. She is drawn into the inner happenings of Fionavar very early on in comparison to the other 4 when she is introduced to Ysanne the Seer of Brennin. That meeting is what makes sure Kim has the 2nd most eventful time in this book after Paul; she goes through nearly as many changes as he does. The closest comparison to another character I can think of for Kim is Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace from Battlestar Galactica if Starbuck were a Doctor instead of a fighter pilot.

Dave Martyniuk
The last of the 5, I left him last on purpose. He tries to change his mind at the last minute and it's only Kim's latching onto him that gets him to Fionavar. However he gets separated from everyone else and so we don't meet him again until about 2/3rds of the way through the book. Dave is originally the skeptic of the 5 but once in Fionavar actually seems to be the one who fits in the fastest. Dave doesn't have a great relationship with his father that's a very important aspect of his character. He's a final year law student at UofT before they get pulled into Fionavar. He's actually the reason the others are all able to meet Loren because he's the one who brings them to the event where Loren is speaking because his Professor older brother is part of the event. When he does reappear in Fionavar we find out that he ended up a lot further north than the others, among the Dalrei, the riders of the plain where he simultaneously stands out (because of his physical appearance) but also fits right in. He has several interesting adventures with his Dalrei companions before rejoining the main action in Brennin late in the book. Since I'm trying to equate each of these characters with another character from something else I've been working on figuring out who to compare  him to, Percy Jackson of Percy Jackson seems sort of fitting. Because like Percy Dave has no idea what's going on in the beginning but as soon as he figures it out and makes some friends they start kick ass and taking names.

Levon is one of Dave's aforementioned friends in Fionavar and he's the Dalrei equivalent of a Prince, he is the eldest son of the Chieftain of the 3rd tribe of the Dalrei and one day he will lead that tribe. He is the only known person other than the namesake of the maneuver to attempt Revor's ride in the hunt and not die. The Dalrei are the Fionavar version of the Dothraki from A Song of Ice and Fire in fact I have a sneaking suspicion that the latter was inspired by the former but I have exactly zero proof of that. The trio of Levon, Dave and Torc is a formidable triumvirate indeed. Levon is very much a leader, he's smart and capable and strong. He tends toward introspection and quiet as do Dave and Torc. Aside from seeing him in action in hunts and fights we don't spend too much time with Levon in this novel but if I had to compare him to another character it would be to Khal Drogo but less intense, like I could never picture Levon forcing himself on someone the way Drogo forced himself on Dany.

Last but certainly not least is Torc dan Sorcha, originally known by the name 'The Outcast' when we first meet him. He is another member of the 3rd tribe, and until he finds Dave and they join forces he's on the fringes of the tribe alone and treated poorly because of a mistake his father Sorcha made when he was still a child. Torc is similar to Paul in his tendency towards being dark and brooding. After Levon he is considered the best hunter in the tribe and Ivor the Chieftain trusts him implicitly with very important tasks. As with Levon we don't really get as much from Torc's perspective but we do come to learn that he has feelings for Levon's younger sister Liane. Torc sort of reminds me of Jon Snow from A Song of Ice and Fire.

Wow this post ended up being a lot longer than I originally thought/planned it to be!


  1. Wow! That is a huge cast of characters in your book! It sounds good, though! Thanks for sharing.

    1. And that's not even all of them, that's just the 10 I wanted to talk about haha.

  2. I really need to read a Rick Riordian book, both of my kids love them. I've heard so many adults enjoy his books too.

    1. I do highly recommend them - he is a funny author.

  3. Rick Riordian books sound really interesting, I can see why they appeal to you though