The Sword of Surtur by C.L. Werner
Writing - 8/10
Development - 8/10
Overall - 8/10
The Sword of Surtur dives into the adventures of Tyr, God of War, and the salient attempts made to retrieve a sword that could be the downfall of his people.
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The Sword of Surtur: A New Adventure From the Legends of Asgard
The Marvel world continues to move on in book format, thanks to The Sword of Surtur. It’s the latest (but far from the last) Marvel book to hit the shelves. It’s also part of the Legends of Asgard, and provides a different view of the world and characters we’ve come to know so well.
Unlike the comics (or movies), this Asgard novel isn’t focused on the God of Thunder. Shocking, I know. Instead, this is a tale from his elder brother’s perspective. Tyr is the God of War; yet, he has long been in his brother’s shadow. Now, he’s been given a chance to shine, and that opportunity might just save the life of his father as well. Who could ever pass that up? Even if it means taking untold risks, and working with a new ally or two.
The Sword of Surtur is written by C.L. Werner, which is a name that any Black Library fan should probably recognize. It’s actually pretty amazing to see him working with Marvel. Given this knowledge, it’s no surprise to hear that this is a novel full of epic adventures and challenges.
Perhaps the best part of this book—outside of the fact that another hero takes center stage—is the fact that there is so much mythology woven into this story. Yes, I know it’s Asgard, of course there’s legend mixed in. Yet it is still so refreshing to see Tyr’s backstory, albeit a mythological one, brought into account here.
That is the foundation for the rest of the story. C.L. Werner used this as a basis for everything else, and it was brilliant. The introduction of the threat and the plot was flawless from that point onward. There were times when the reader could tell where a certain subplot was going to lead, but that didn’t make the conclusion any less satisfying.
C.L. Werner successfully captured the essence of Tyr’s character, as well as all of the complications that would come with who he is. Not just the easy and obvious elements, either. It made for an entertaining read from start to finish.
The pacing in The Sword of Surtur was steady, yet fairly rapid. It quickly transitioned from one scene to the next, usually as a plan failed or required rethinking. To say that this was an exciting read would be a bit of an understatement. It leaves hope that there will be a Marvel movie following Tyr someday, though I realize that this is unlikely.
Tyr’s character was excellently thought out and written. It made strong use of the already-available history. I did, at times, feel like some of the secondary characters could have used a bit more fleshing out. The more predictable parts of the story usually came from their side of things. Then again, maybe those moments would always have been predictable, based on the legends they were working with.
As with many legends of old, there is a heavy moral center to Tyr’s adventure. I think I actually loved that element more than anything, and hope that we’ll be seeing this hero again in future Marvel novels.
The Sword of Surtur is every bit the fun Asgardian escapade fans could hope for. It may have shunted Thor, Loki, and Odin off to the side, but it took full advantage of running with a different cast. It was funny and chaotic, not to mention full of action.
In short, it’s a novel that many a Marvel fan would and could enjoy. Any fan missing the gods from Asgard on the big screen should consider checking this tale out.
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