I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
'The Sword of Surtur' is the latest entry in the Marvel Legends of Asgard. This book tells the story of Tyr, who driven by a feeling of inadequacy and loyalty, tries to prevent Ragnarok by stealing the Sword of Surtur. Tyr is Odin's eldest son, and his heroic deeds are in the past. Thor's deeds surpass his, making Tyr envious and eager to be seen as a hero again.
This book mixes the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the original Norse legends to give us a unique and disorienting experience. I wasn't sure whether to use the movies (or comics) as a baseline or the mythology. But I soon got used to it after I started treating this like a new continuity.
The theme is quite clear - the main characters - antagonists and protagonists - feel overshadowed and want to prove their loyalty and heroism. Tyr, Lorelei, Bjorn and, even, XXX are driven by this need to act the way they do. But, in each of their cases, their unique personalities make them behave differently. Tyr is inherently noble & a hero - so his envy wars with the need to do something good for his people. Lorelei is selfish but a better person than her sister, Amora. So, her actions swing both ways. This behaviour makes the characters believable and empathetic. Also, I found this book similar to the first Thor movie, where Thor has to prove his worthiness & Loki wants to be treated the same as Thor.
The writing is decent, but the pacing is a bit spotty. There are places where the story drags - especially when the team stumbles from one dicey situation to another. After a while, it got boring. I think the book needs to be tightened up more to more it snappier.
But, that said, I enjoyed the characters as well as the world-building. Most of the story is set in Muspelheim - the land of the Fire Giants. Also, the land where Thor: Ragnarok starts.
The action is similar to the comics and movies. There is plenty of it, and the plot determines the strength and courage of the heroes. I am ok with this since it makes sense given the source material. After all, Tyr is the God of War. But, on the flip side, there aren't that many moments where Tyr gets to show his divine powers like Thor does in Thor: Ragnarok. That would be have been kick-ass.
Overall, I liked 'The Sword of Surtur' despite its flaws.