The master of modern mythology for children, Rick Riordan’s novels are a masterclass in bringing familiar stories to life for a new generation. Having established his name with the phenomenally successful Percy Jackson series, he’s also written Ancient Egypt into his Kane Chronicles books and, more recently, has brought the heroes of Norse myths into the mix with Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard.
'Even strength must bow to wisdom sometimes.'Half boy. Half God. All Hero. Discover why the Percy Jackson series is one of the most popular children’s series of modern times!
'Being a hero doesn't mean you're invincible.'The Heroes of Olympus series is, in part, a sequel the original Percy Jackson novels. Join Percy alongside a whole cast of new Camp Half-Blood heroes as they embark on all new - and just as adventurous - quests.
'It takes strength and courage to admit the truth.'
'Myths are simply stories about truths we've forgotten.'
'We only have one life, but we can choose what kind of story it's going to be.'
Immortalised in picturesExperience Rick Riordan's work, reimagined as beautifully-drawn graphic novels.
Texas may seem an unlikely starting place for a modern master of mythology, but it’s here that author Rick Riordan created one of the most popular children’s series of modern times.
A fan of ancient myth since childhood, it wasn’t children’s fiction that started Riordan’s writing career (which began with the adult novel Big Red Tequila, spawning the Tres Navarre series), but instead the process of making up bedtime stories for his son Haley, an activity that ultimately gave birth to the notion of creating a story about a boy who finds himself mixed up in the myths of Ancient Greece.
A Demigod in Disguise
What child hasn’t dreamed of waking up to find themselves a hero? This is just what happens to Percy Jackson, an ordinary boy, destined for greatness, who discovers he’s actually descended from the Greek god Poseidon. Riordan wanted to write for his own son (who had been diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia) a book about a hero sporting the same conditions - and so came Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.
The novel and its blend of modern-day characters and ancient mythology was phenomenally popular, appearing on the New York Times children’s bestseller list, ultimately forming the basis of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. This enjoyed further novels and spin-off graphic novels before being rounded-off with The Last Olympian.
From the Heights of Olympus to Asgard
Riordan’s next venture after Percy Jackson, The Heroes of Olympus series, was in part a sequel to the original novels, with Percy appearing alongside a cast of other characters in a world opened up to new mythologies (incorporating Roman characters and the theory of Gaia). Riordan has also begun a third series set in the same world, beginning with the explosive novel The Trials of Apollo: Hidden Oracle.
Whilst working on his Olympian series, Riordan also began creating other stories, blending other worlds and stories with modern characters. The first of these was his Kane Chronicles trilogy, beginning with The Red Pyramid, the story of a brother and sister battling the malevolent gods of Ancient Egypt.
More recently he has also started working Norse mythology into his work with his Magnus Chase series, also set to be a trilogy, which (although set in the same universe as his Olympian series) has a very different feel to his earlier work, as most of the novels are set in modern-day Boston.
Riordan has always had fun with his characters, keeping a ready touch of wry humour in his writing, and he’s keen to express that the key thing is getting his readers to enjoy the stories, even if that means being a touch irreverent with subject matter at times. "I love literature," commented the author, "but I think it does more harm than good to focus on what we think is important rather than trying to make books a conversation with children."