Release Date: January 5th, 2021
Rating: 3/5 Stars
I love Marvel. I’m a huge fan of their films, have really enjoyed the Marvel graphic novels I’ve read, love the podcasts and pretty much all the TV shows I’ve watched, too. So I was really excited to get the chance to check out one of their novels. I was looking forward to seeing a wider world, the sort we don’t really get a glimpse of in the films, and the characters in this were ones I was unfamiliar with, so I was keen to ‘meet’ them.
The Sword of Surtur is about Tyr, the God of War and Thor’s elder brother. Along with his friend Bjorn and the mysterious Lorelai, Tyr travels into Surtur’s realm, looking for the sword destined to kill his father and bring about Ragnarok.
The book is okay. It’s a fun adventure romp through another land, as Tyr and Bjorn compete for Lorelai’s affection and respect. There are some exciting moments as they battle against fire demons and the like, but the strongest bit, to me, was Tyr’s backstory, a flashback where we see how he lost his hand. I liked the focus on these three characters, and the way the novel blended the world of Marvel with Norse mythology.
However, the book got repetitive, as the heroes go to one spot, fight, then go to another spot, and fight, and end up facing the same powerful demon something like three or four times. It got to the point where I couldn’t understand why the demon didn’t just kill them all. Most of it felt too convenient or convoluted. Especially when at one point they discuss letting the others – such as Odin and Thor – know what’s happening, but say it’ll waste too much time. This is Asgard, but there’s not a single way to send a message to someone?
It just felt convoluted how the well-known more MCU type characters were kept off-page. It was good to focus outside them, but the writing made that aspect feel forced. And if I’m being honest, the female characters were…flat. The motivations for Lorelai being, well, Lorelai, felt muddled and unclear, except for being in love with one of the male characters, and the only other strong women character we get has Daddy Issues.
Again, the book was okay with some fun moments. But overall it lacked in places where it really could have been stronger. Essentially, rather than feeling like its own book, it felt more like a graphic novel written as a book, without fully adapting to a more prose style.
I didn’t dislike the book, but towards the end I did feel like I was slogging through it a little. Some parts were interesting, but I do think the book as a whole could have been a lot stronger. But if you like fun adventure romps, and like Marvel and Norse Mythology, this might be a decent one for you.
Thank you to Aconyte for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review