Nov 13, 20203 min
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
It's Friday, which means you get to hear from Kori! This week I've got another book review in honor of #Norsevember: 9 From the Nine Worlds by Rick Riordan.
Genre: Children's Fantasy
Category: Cozy Read
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Rating: 4/5 Stars
Pairing: Pizza + your favorite soda.
Tag along with Thor as he jogs across all Nine Worlds in a serious fitness challenge! Or, since running isn't as fun, you can enjoy the misadventures of Magnus's friends instead! In 9 From the Nine Worlds, Riordan brings us nine (obviously) short stories, each featuring a different realm and hero from floor nineteen of Hotel Valhalla.
But beware: readers who have yet to finish the series may be confronted with spoilers. Tread carefully, warrior! For those unafraid, charge!
This book was an absolute delight to read. First off, look at how cute the cover is! Yggdrasil is adorable with each of the realms tucked into its own little corner. What's more, there are nifty illustrations of some of your favorite gods and heroes, as well as each of the realms spread throughout. There's even a helpful glossary and runes guide in the back that readers can easily refer to!
The stories themselves are exactly what you'd expect from Riordan by now: adventure, modernized lore, and humor for days. The short-story format makes it perfect for a cozy one-day read, or ending your day with a quick mini-adventure before bedtime.
What really sets this book apart and makes it a treasure for young readers especially is the diversity of the cast—aside from the fact that most of them are dead and/or not strictly human.
Most of the heroes come from entirely different time periods and continents, giving them vastly different backgrounds and beliefs. As such, communities who often feel left out are represented in Magnus's group of friends.
You have a dark-skinned dwarf with a serious love of fashion; a hijab-wearing Valkyrie badass and her human fiancé; a hearing-impaired elven mage; a young American Civil War soldier; a feisty Gaelic warrior who befriends dragons; a half-troll Viking with a surprising soft side; and a gender-fluid shapeshifting demigod.
Despite their various differences, the inhabitants of floor nineteen love and respect each other. They do their best to use the correct pronouns, play practical jokes, help each other make anniversary gifts, and don't hesitate to run headfirst into a fight in order to aid their friends. SQUAD GOALS!
It's important for kids to have heroes they can identify with, especially in today's world. Books and characters like this are crucial for making kids feel seen and worthy, and it teaches them valuable lessons about what to accept from others and how to view people who are different from us.
To top it all off, this is a book where the "sidekicks" shine. It's not all about the "chosen one"; heck, he's not even in this book! While Magnus is a misfit in his own right, it's important for young readers to see those on the sidelines having their own adventures and kicking ass. Too often, it seems like we're only supporting characters in someone else's story. Readers need to be reminded that even the little guys have stories.
Enjoy this review? Let your bookish friends know! And if you need to pick up a copy for yourself or a loved one, hit that link above!