I’m a big fan of Rick Riordan’s books. His heroes are lovable and inclusive and his books are filled with light intelligent humor. Before becoming a writer, Rick Riordan was a English and history teacher in private schools in the United States. After successfully publishing some books for adults, he gained inspiration for his first book for young adults by making up a bedtime story for his son. He has written over twenty books for teenagers and young adults and filled them with stories inspired by world mythologies. To help you navigate this small sea of books, I present to you a reading guide.
The books are arranged chronologically and even though they can be read out of the order given here since there are several interwoven literary series, you will surely achieve the greatest pleasure in reading if you know the correct order.
What is common to all the books in all the series I am about to talk about here are the main characters who learn that one of their parents is a deity from various mythologies of the world. The author skillfully approaches young audiences and uses teenage issues in a stimulating and imaginative way, presenting possible learning difficulties such as dyslexia or attention deficit disorder as symptoms of young demigods and their gifted abilities. Young readers will be able to find many opportunities to identify themselves through many of the characters who take turns as the action-bearers. In addition to the problems of young adults through the prism of fiction, the books deal with a multitude of topics covering various religious attitudes, racial issues, understanding of good and evil, and issues of sexuality. The author often uses intelligent humor to tell his stories. The age of the characters ranges from twelve in the first novels to eighteen and over in some cases.
As I’ve mentioned before, there are several book series, let’s start with the first one –
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
1. The Lightning Thief
2. The Sea of Monsters
3. The Titan’s Curse
4. The Battle of the Labyrinth
5. The Last Olympian
Named after the main character Percy Jackson, this book series has a total of five books. The theme of this series is based on Greek mythology. First book – The Lightning Thief first appeared on shelves in the spring of 2006. The movie version followed in 2010. The second book – Sea of Monsters, came out just one month after the first book, while the movie version took a full three years after the first movie. The third book, and also the last translated into Croatian, is The Titan’s Curse. The other two books in this series are: The Battle of the Labyrinth and The Last Olympian. The main character at the beginning of the series is 12 years old.
A little guide came out for this book series in 2009 called The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Companion). It holds an interview with the author and various interesting tidbits. There are also three short stories in this issue.
The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Companion)
• Percy Jackson and the Stolen Chariot
• Percy Jackson and the Bronze Dragon
• Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades
According to the release chronology, the second series is The Kane Chronicles trilogy.
The main characters in this trilogy are brother and sister: Carter and Sadie Kane. The first book of this series was released in May 2010, and by May 2012, all three books were published and available in complete sets. The Kane Chronicles is based on Egyptian mythology and can be read completely separately from the Percy Jackson series. Carter Kane is 15 at the beginning of the series, while his sister is 12.
The Kane Chronicles
1. The Red Pyramid
2. The Throne of Fire
3. The Serpent’s Shadow
Before the last installment of the trilogy – The Serpent’s Shadow, a little guide came out for this series with interesting facts and details from the world of Carter and Sadie Kane.
The Kane Chronicles Survival Guide
The author linked the two series by writing several short stories in which the characters meet, thereby letting the audience know that all the characters are in the same world and opened up opportunities for common adventures and encounters. Three stories where characters from the Percy Jackson series meet characters from the Kane Chronicles trilogy are published in
Demigods & Magicians: Percy and Annabeth Meet the Kanes
At the same time with the aforementioned Kane Chronicles trilogy, a new series of five books, The Heroes of Olympus, was also published. The first book was released in late 2010 and continues where the last book of Percy Jackson and Olympians series ended. The books slowly introduces the motifs of Roman mythology, and the number of leading characters doubles. In addition to the fantastic elements of the book, the books convey in an educational manner the assimilation of elements of Greek culture into Roman. The characters in this series are about 15 years old.
The Heroes of Olympus
1. The Lost Hero
2. The Son of Neptune
3. The Mark of Athena
4. The House of Hades
5. The Blood of Olympus
In 2012 for the series was published a small guide The Demigod Diaries (The Heroes of Olympus Companion) with four short stories and curiosities related to characters and mythology, as well as a cute informational book about heroes from Greek mythology told from Percy Jackson’s perspective – Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes
The Demigod Diaries (The Heroes of Olympus Companion)
• The Diary of Luke Castellan
• Percy Jackson and the Staff of Hermes
• Leo Valdez and the Quest for Buford
• Son of Magic
Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes
The next book series is the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy. The trilogy, which bears the name of Magnus Chase, started coming out from the end of 2015 to the end of 2017. This trilogy is based on elements from the Nordic mythology. The title character is related to the character Annabeth Chase, who is one of the main characters in the previous book series. Magnus Chase begins his story as a sixteen-year-old and the plot of this trilogy is a little darker and heavier than the previous book series.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
1. The Sword of Summer
2. The Hammer of Thor
3. The Ship of the Dead
As with all other series in the world of Rick Riordan, a guide has been released for this trilogy, which brings some interesting facts from Nordic mythology and culture. After the trilogy, a short story collection called 9 From the Nine Worlds came out.
• For Magnus Chase: Hotel Valhalla, Guide to the Norse Worlds
• 9 From the Nine Worlds
Rick Riordan’s latest and still up-to-date series started coming out in 2016 alongside the Magnus Chase trilogy and is titled The Trials of Apollo. Various characters and heroes from all previous books appear in the series, and unlike all the previous ones, in this one, the god Apollo himself, who is imprisoned in the body of a teenager, is the main character. This series will have five books, and so far the first three are out while the fourth – The Tryants’ Tomb, is announced for Fall 2019.
The Trials of Apollo
1. The Hidden Oracle
2. The Dark Prophecy
3. The Burning Maze
4. The Tryants’ Tomb
The guide to the Trials of Apollo series came out after the second book The Dark Prophecy in 2017 and is titled Camp Half-Blood Confidential. This is a guide to the camp for the demigods and continues with the interesting facts of Greek mythology from the perspective of Apollo trapped in the body of a mortal teenager.
Camp Half-Blood Confidential
In addition for film adaptations for the first two books, there were also graphic novellas for all five books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Graphic novellas were relatively well received, while for the movie versions the author himself said that it was best to skip them because they did not reflect all the educational elements with which he filled the books.
The themes of myths, legends and heroes is timeless and through popular culture it constantly experiences new versions and approaches in literature for children, young adults and adults. I warmly recommend this author and his fantastic world of extraordinary heroes.
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