kareila: hidden between stacks of books (books)
[personal profile] kareila posting in [community profile] kareila_books
One thing I like about this new series is that Riordan is obviously making a conscious effort to introduce a more diverse cast of sympathetic human characters than we saw in his earlier books. In the first book we met Loki's mortal daughter Samirah al-Abbas (Sam), a Muslim in traditional hijab who is A-OK with being betrothed to her cousin, but whose secret identity as a Valkyrie complicates her life considerably. This second book introduces Alex Fierro, a fellow warrior of Valhalla and child of Loki whose gender fluidity is a huge part of his/her identity, which ties into legends of Loki shifting genders as well. Although I'm not sure the portrayal is entirely without problems, I'm impressed by the effort.

Unsurprisingly, Thor's hammer is missing. Surprisingly, Loki has arranged for Sam to marry a frost giant. The heroes must prevent the wedding and find the hammer in order to avert the usual variety of cataclysmic doom while also trying to avoid playing into Loki's mysterious plans. In the process, we learn more about Hearth's family and Sam's fiancé and also meet more of the Asgardians, including Heimdall and Sif. An epilogue hints tantalizingly at a larger crossover with the Percy Jackson universe in the next installment of the series.
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