Author Spotlight: Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan is known as the voice behind everyone’s favorite demigod (next to Hercules), Percy Jackson. He has penned multiple series, helping children better understand the complicated stories of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and now Norse mythology.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Riordan taught English and history to middle-school students in San Francisco and Texas. He taught at both private and public schools for fifteen years. He was honored at Saint Mary’s Hall with the school’s first Master Teacher Award.
He had already published an adult mystery series before moving to children’s books. His series Tres Navarre won the Shamus, Anthony, and Edgar Awards.
The Inspiration behind the Unlikely Hero
The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series follows the story of the titular twelve-year-old who discovers that he is the son of Greek god Poseidon. The idea started out as bedtime stories for his son, Haley. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. This inspired him to create a series of stories involving Greek heroes, with a protagonist who has ADHD/dyslexia. The first book, The Lightning Thief, was published in 2005. This was followed by four sequels. Its last book, The Last Olympian, was published in 2009. The first two novels were turned into films by Twentieth Century Fox.
Expanding Percy Jackson’s World
After the end of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Riordan penned a sequel series, The Heroes of Olympus. Here, the Roman and Greek pantheons come together, illustrating the contrast between the identities of the gods and the differences between the two camps: Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter. The Heroes of Olympus spanned another five books, ending with The Blood of Olympus published back in 2014.
Once the series was finished, Riordan also published Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods and Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes, which retell the classic stories of Greek mythology, all in Percy Jackson’s perspective.
Other Pantheons Explored
Following the success of Percy Jackson, Riordan delved into Egyptian mythology. Much like Percy Jackson, it features modernized Egyptian gods. The protagonists are brother-and-sister duo, Sadie and Carter Kane. They are descendants of Pharaohs Narmer and Ramses the Great,
Only last year, Riordan published the first book of his latest series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. This follows Magnus Chase, son of Frey, and is based on Norse Mythology. The first book, The Sword of Summer, was published in 2015. Its sequel, The Hammer of Thor, is set to be published later this year.
All of Riordan’s novels, while involving different pantheons, are set in the same universe. For example, Magnus Chase is the cousin of Annabeth Chase, a prominent character from the Percy Jackson series. Three crossover stories have also been digitally published, in which Sadie and Carter go on adventures with Percy and Annabeth.
Not Yet Done
While it seems that Riordan is just about finished with Percy Jackson’s world, he surprised his readers late last year with the announcement of another Greek series, The Trials of Apollo. This new series will follow the adventures of the Greek god Apollo on earth after being turned into a mortal teenager by the wrath of Zeus. The first book of the series is set for publication on May.
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