Book Review: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Books 1 & 2

magnus-chase

I didn’t write a review for the first book, so this is a review for both “The Sword of Summer” and “The Hammer of Thor”.

These were actually my first Rick Riordan books, so I have nothing to compare them to. I don’t need to compare them to anything though because they were so amazing! I’m pretty picky when it comes to the books I read so that’s say a lot. Here are the reasons why you should read the Magnus Chase series:

  1. The Main Character is Relatable:
    If the main character isn’t relatable, I have a hard time getting into the book. That was not the problem here. Magnus Chase was sarcastic, witty, and kind of a dork. Everything that I am. He also has a resemblance to Kurt Cobain (which it talks about in the book). There was never a time that I thought “Hmm, he’s kind of annoying”, which is sometimes I often think about main characters.
  2. Diverse Main Characters:
    One of the main characters is a Muslim that wears her hijab and prays 5 times a day. Another character is a deaf elf. The other characters learn sign language to communicate with him instead of treating him as an inconvenience. In book two a (magically) gender fluid character is introduced.
  3. There’s a Singing Sword:
    One of the supporting character’s is Magnus’s sword that can talk and sings top forty hits.
  4. No Mushy Romance:
    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some romance in a book, but I dislike the mushy/teenage angst romance. That’s often the risk I take with YA novels, but not in these books. This book focuses on action and friendship, like in Harry Potter.
  5. Never a Dull Moment:
    I had a hard time putting these books done. Alas, work and sleep are a thing so I had to sometimes. When I was reading, I was up late totally engrossed.
  6. Crossovers:
    I haven’t read any of Rick’s other books, but I have some friends that have. Magnus’s cousin Annabeth has a small role. She mentioned dealing with Greek and Roman gods/goddesses. I looked it up and it is Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson. I thought that was interesting. Her parts are small in both books, but it looks like she will have a larger part in the third book. Percy Jackson will most likely make an appearance in the third book because he was mentioned in the second one (Annabeth wants to introduce him to Magnus). Now I definitely need to read the other series’.
  7. Norse Deities:
    If you haven’t guessed by the ‘Gods of Asgard’ part, this series is filled with Norse mythology. Riordan adds his own flair to the personalities of the gods and goddesses. Thor is addicted to Netflix and Heimdall (introduced in book two) likes to take selfies.

In conclusion this series was epic and you really need to read it. Like right meow. I give this book 5 stars. That’s rare for me, but it’s happening.

five-stars

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A Year and a Day

I’ve been studying Paganism for about a year now. I’ve only been loosely studying it though; Mostly just setting up an altar and celebrating the Sabbats. I’ve decided I wanted to get more focused on my studies. I also wanted to study more paths, I identify as Eclectic Pagan right now. I’ll probably still stay a Solitary Eclectic, but I find to see what else is out there first. That’s why I’ve decided to do a “Year and a Day” study. Usually you would only do a year and a day study before you get initiated into a coven, but I wanted to do one for myself to kind of stay on track and stick to a plan.

I was going to make a plan by the week, but as I was writing one up, I realized that some subjects will take longer than a week to cover and others not so much. I decided to just make a list of all the subjects I wanted to study and take as long as I need to and try to fit it into the year and a day. I know I can’t learn everything in that time, but I want to make learning a higher priority.

I picked today because it is the true Samhain or so I’ve read online. Some people say it is, so say it’s not. I’ll figure it out later, but I still just wanted to start today because I’m so anxious to start. I even went to the library and got some books. As I go along I want to get started on my Book of Shadows. I already have a little one going, but it’s too small for my liking. I want to be able to add pictures to my pages, but their to too small for that and it usually takes like 5 of the for one thing. For my current one I have also been just writing the first thing I find. I want to do more research on each subject for before I add to my B.O.S. I will keep a digital copy and not add it until I feel like I have a sufficient amount of info.

Well below is a list of the subjects I want to cover. I will also be putting together a reading list of the books I want to read.

Basics
Tools
Casting a Circle
Magic
Spells (later on when I’ve studied magic more.)

Different Paths(not all Pagan)
Wicca
Druidry
Hellenic
Romanian
Asatru
Kemetic
Buddhism
Hinduism
Shamanism

Divination
Tarot
Ogham
Pendulum
Runes
Scrying
Astrology

Sabbats
Yule
Imbolc
Beltane
Ostara
Litha
Lammas
Mabon
Samhain

Esbats
Phases
Moon Names
Drawing down the Moon

Healing
Gemtsones
Herbs
Plants
Oils
Chakras
Reiki

Other
Celtic Tree Months
Four Elements
Animal Totems
Symbols & Meanings
Auras
gods and goddesses (even though I still worship the Christian God, I still want to learn about other ones. Mostly the ones associated with the Sabbats or really well known ones.)

That’s all I could think of for now. If you have any other suggestions let me know. I will also be adding a reading list later this week.

Blessed Ostara/Spring Equinox

Ostara is a celebration of the Spring Equinox (March 21) celebrated by many practicing Wiccans, Pagans, and Witches. It marks the day when night and day are equal and balanced. The Sun God’s strength increases and the Goddess celebrates herfertility. Together they bring us Spring.

Ostara is a time for the celebration of fertility and balance, But fertility can be many things. It can be a new beginning hope, Or a fresh start. A goodbye to the harsh cold Winter, And a hello to the change Spring brings us.

Eggs are commonly used for symbolism on this day as they have always been a symbol for fertility and life.

Ostara is very similar to the Christian holiday, Easter where followers celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Both are celebrating life. [Source]

Since I still hold most of my Christian values, I will mostly be celebrating the Equinox and new beginnings/fresh start. I also celebrated fertility by planting a seed in a hollowed out eggshell. The eggshell provides calcium and other nutrients for the seed and helps it to grow. I chose to plant sunflower seeds.

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Here they are on the first day (March 7th) . I named them: On the left is Egg Sinatra and Eggthoven.

When I was looking up how to do these eggshell sprouts, half of the articles told me to put a hole in the bottom for drainage, the others told me not to. Eggthoven got a hole and Egg Sinatra did not.

Here’s Eggthoven the next two days after I planted him:

Eggthoven

Egg Sinatra wasn’t growing so I did emergency surgery and poked a hole in the bottom of his egg with a nail.

Egg Sinatra

I also put a quartz in with Egg Sinatra and he started doing better the next day:

Sinatra March 10

They grew really fast within a week and here they are today:

march 16

Look how much they grew in 9 days! I had to re-pot them a few days again and I going to have to do it again soon.

I also wanted to put together a “New Beginnings” bottle as a kind of reminder of my goals and things I want to attract.

New Beginnings Bottle

From left to right:

Some clay runes and symbols-

A Triskele- Personal growth and spiritual expansion

Thurisaz Rune- Protection, polarity, regeneration

Pentacle- Represents the five elements and protection

Algiz Rune- Divine Protection

Laguz Rune- Fertility, Living renewal

Hagalaz Rune- Transformation, Egg of life

Five beads the colors of the elements (water, air, fire, earth, spirit)

An Evil Eye bead to keep evil at bay

An amethyst for healing, sobriety, spiritual opening, insomnia, stability, and courage

A clear quartz for strong healing

A penny for luck and wealth

and a bottle to put them all in.

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This Friday I will be going to an Ostara Gathering with a local group. The metaphysical shop at the Flea Market is holding the gathering. It will finally be nice to meet other pagans. I don’t really know any in person. I can’t wait!