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The Ship of Dead is a young-adult fantasy novel based on Norse mythology written by American author Rick Riordan. It is the third and final novel in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy, preceded by The Hammer of Thor. It was released on October 3, 2017 by Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group. The novel is narrated in the first-person view by Magnus Chase, 16-year-old demigod and homeless orphan. He and his crew sail to the farthest borders of Jotunheim and Niflheim in pursuit of Asgard's greatest threat.

The Ship of the Dead
The Ship of the Dead.jpg
U.S. cover of first edition.
AuthorRick Riordan
Cover artistJohn Rocco
CountryUnited States
SeriesMagnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (book 3)
GenreFantasy, Norse mythology, young-adult
PublisherDisney Hyperion
Publication date
October 3, 2017
Media typePrint (hardcover and paperback), audiobook, e-book
ISBN978-1-4231-6093-9 (Hardcover)
Preceded byThe Hammer of Thor 


Plot summaryEdit

Magnus Chase receives an ocean survival lesson from Percy Jackson, a Greek demigod who is his cousin Annabeth Chase's boyfriend. The latter advises him, mentioning the possessiveness of sea gods over their weapons. Alex Fierro and Magnus travel to the Chase Mansion, where they recover notes scribbled by Randolph at different points of time. Alex feels that these notes hold the key to defeat Loki. After reaching Valhalla, Magnus summons a ship gifted by his father Frey. Mallory Keen, Halfborn Gunderson, Thomas Jefferson Jr., Samirah Al Abbas and Alex accompany Magnus, while they plan to pick Blitzen and Hearthstone along the way. The crew's talk is heard by the Nine Billow Maidens, who take them to the court of Aegir, where they discover Hearth and Blitz are held prisoner. Aegir's eldest daughter realizes Magnus' identity, from his previous encounter with her mother Ran. Magnus swears by his troth to defeat Loki in a flyting contest and to avenge Aegir's humiliation, but the crew is nevertheless attacked. They escape with the help of Magnus' grandfather Njord. Njord instructs them and tells Magnus that the only way to defeat Loki is by drinking Kvasir's mead. The crew continue on their journey, with Blitz and Hearth travelling separately to retrieve Bolverk's whetstone.

As the crew heads to York, the backstories of the members are revealed. Mallory died disarming a bomb in Ireland; Halfborn died near Jorvik; TJ died after accepting a hopeless challenge, a trait inherited from his father Tyr. Samirah fasts during the Ramadan season. The crew arrives at Old York, where they duel with the giant Hrungnir for the location of Kvasir's Mead. They get the information that they need that the Kvasir Mead is in Jorvik or Norway. Magnus later has a word battle with Loki and wins due to which Loki reduces to the size of a nut and is imprisoned in a walnut given by Frigg; Mallory's mother and the queen of Asgard.

Magnus and their friends meet their godly parents who congratulate them for defeating Loki and delaying the Ragnarok for which he is rewarded with a boon from Lord Odin. Magnus asks Odin to lend him his lawyers so that he could convert his mansion to an orphanage and home for the homeless. He later calls Annabeth and tells her his adventure and notices her, sobbing.


  • Magnus Chase (Beantown) - A 16-year-old son of Frey who dies in the first few chapters but becomes an einherjar. He is Annabeth Chase's cousin, but last saw her when he was very young. He has healing and regeneration powers, resistance to extreme temperatures, and other magical abilities. As a human, he was asthmatic and weak, but gains extreme strength and endurance after his death.[1]
  • Samirah Al-Abbas (Sam) - The Valkyrie who brought Magnus to Hotel Valhalla. A daughter of Loki, she emigrated from Iraq with her family and is descended from a medieval Arab traveler and historian who wrote an important account about living among the Vikings. She is stripped of her powers as a Valkyrie as a result of her choice to make Magnus an einherjar, but is reinstated by Odin himself. She is a practicing Muslim. She is a shapeshifter and carries an ax and a green hijab, which doubles as a camouflage cloak. She is engaged to Amir Fadlan, who works in a falafel shop.[1]
  • Hearthstone (Hearth) - A friend of Magnus. He is an alf (elf). He is deaf-mute, but speaks Alf Sign Language and can read lips. He had an abusive childhood, with parents who disliked him because of his disabilities. In exchange for working for Mimir, he received the ability to work rune magic.[1]
  • Blitzen (Blitz) - Another friend of Magnus, a svartalf (dwarf). He is the son of Freya. He and Hearth watched over Magnus while he was living in the streets. Blitz's father was killed by Fenris when he was a child, after an attempt to replace the Fenris Wolf's bindings. Blitz is unskilled at crafting (unusual for dwarves) but is a master fashion advisor. He, like Hearth, once worked for Mimir.[1]
  • Mallory Audrey Keen (Mack) - Mallory Keen was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland to Frigg and an unnamed man. Mallory had a poor relationship with her father due to his alcoholism. On 21 July 1972, which later became known as Bloody Friday, Loki disguised himself as one of Mallory's friends and tricked her into installing a car bomb on a school bus, claiming that soldiers were onboard instead of children. Her mother, Frigg, knowing Mallory would die, appeared to her disguised as an old hag and convinced her to disarm the bomb, giving her two knives. The car bomb blew up, killing Mallory, but since she died a heroic death with a weapon in her hand, she was taken to Valhalla.[1]
  • Halfborn Gunderson -
  • Alex Fierro - Alex's family is influential, which first attracted Loki's attention, causing him to seduce Alex's father in the form of a "voluptuous red-head". Nine months later, Loki left him with a child. The family didn't take the news well, especially after Loki permanently "opened their eyes" and made them aware of the Nine Worlds and the Norse gods. Alex spent her/his life being resented for her/his Norse heritage and for her/his gender fluidity, which was thought to be Loki's fault. Only her/his grandfather accepted her/him for who she/he was, and taught her/him how to make pottery. About two years before becoming an einherji, Alex became homeless and began to wander the streets of Boston. At some point in life, he/she lived in a youth shelter on Winter Street in Boston, at roughly the same time when Magnus was there. He/She remembers hating the place.[1]
  • Thomas Jefferson Jr. - Thomas Jefferson's son, who died in a battle fighting for the state of California. he also lives in Valhalla on the same floor as Magnus and all his friends.


Rick Riordan announced The Ship of the Dead on the same day of the release of The Hammer of Thor, the second book of the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy. According to him, this would be the last book in the series.[2]

An iTunes preview containing the first three chapters of the book was released on September 16, 2017.[3] The cover, illustrated by John Rocco, was released on April 26, 2017,[4] and a trailer was published on YouTube on October 2, 2017.[5] To promote The Ship of the Dead, Riordan went on a nine-day tour around the United States beginning on October 3, 2017.[6][7]


The Ship of the Dead was released in the United States by Disney-Hyperion on October 3, 2017.[8] An audiobook, narrated by Michael Crouch, was published on the same date by Books on Tape.[9] The book also received e-book and paperback versions, and has been translated into 11 languages to date.[8]

The Ship of the Dead sold over 57,000 copies during the first week.[10] By the end of 2017, it sold over 219,000 copies.[11] Upon release, the book ranked No. 2 on USA Today's bestseller list[12] and was considered one of the best books of the year by Barnes & Noble.[13] It also won the Goodreads Choice Award for Middle Grade & Children's of 2017.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Riordan, Rick (2015). The Sword of Summer. Disney-Hyperion. ISBN 978-1423160915.
  2. ^ Andrew Sims (October 4, 2016). "Rick Riordan announces Magnus Chase book 3 title, teases future projects". Hypable. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 3: The Ship of the Dead". iTunes. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  4. ^ Kristen Kranz (April 26, 2017). "Rick Riordan Presents reveals first 3 titles, 'Ship of the Dead' gets a cover". Hypable. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  5. ^ Books, Disney (October 2, 2017). "Magnus Chase — The Ship of the Dead (Official Trailer)". Retrieved 6 June 2019 – via YouTube.
  6. ^ Rick Riordan. "The Ship of the Dead Tour!". Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  7. ^ Karen Rought (October 2, 2017). "Exclusive cover reveal: 'The Lightning Thief' illustrated edition by Rick Riordan". Hypable. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  8. ^ a b c "The Ship of the Dead > Editions". Goodreads. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 3: The Ship of the Dead". Books on Tape. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  10. ^ Juris, Carolyn (October 13, 2017). "This Week's Bestsellers: October 16, 2017". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  11. ^ "CHILDREN'S FRONTLIST FICTION". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Ship of the Dead". USA Today. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  13. ^ "Barnes & Noble Announces the Best Books of 2017". Business Wire. Retrieved 6 June 2019.