Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer - Rick Riordan
I have read so many of Rick Riordan's series and I still can't get enough of them. I just love the mythology and his slightly different take on all the gods. This series involves the Norse gods, Loki, Odin, Frey and Freya and many more. This is such a fun book to read, great characters with hilarious sarcastic comments all through, even in the direst situations.
Spoiler alert, Magnus dies right at the beginning, but that's not much of a spoiler as he tells you himself at the start. However, he is reborn when a Valkyrie sees his death and believes he is a hero worthy of Valhalla. It's not quite as you would imagine, more like a very fancy hotel resort, complete with fun activities like single combat to the death, group combat to the death, and buffet lunch... to the death! Unfortunately Magnus can't stay to enjoy the amenities, he has to find a way out of Valhalla so he can save everyone from Ragnarok, the end of the world.
'Myths are simply stories about truths we've forgotten' This seems to be a bit of a theme in my reading lately. I would love to find out that some of these stories of the past are really true.
I was happy to see a link to Annabeth from the Percy Jackson series. Clearly godliness runs in the family as she is Magnus' cousin, though I don't think either knows this about the other. I expect this will lead to further crossovers from that series and I'm looking forward to reading the next book and seeing where it will lead.
While reading this book I just happened to attend a gin festival (not like I go to them all the time or anything...) and saw a new gin called Ragnarok. Coincidence? I think not, so I had to give it a go. According to the blurb, it was inspired by the tale of how Odin lost his eye and is supposed to be an 'illuminating' spirit. This definitely fits in with Magnus' story and the Well of Knowledge. It was a very different gin with the garnish of dill bringing out that flavour most of all. I've been cooking with dill a lot lately so I'm happy to find another way to use it. You probably don't need instructions to make a gin and tonic but the recommended proportions of gin to tonic and 1:2 or 1:3, depending how strong you want it. Most important to me is tons of ice.
You can see the photo with my lovely gin festival copa glass, the perfect way to serve a gin and tonic.