Happy birthday Rick Riordan! Today we celebrate 56 years of the man who taught many now-20-somethings more about Greek mythology than their schools ever could. I remember walking into the third week of high school English class my sophomore year; ‘MYTHOLOGY’ was written on the chalkboard. A new unit. Turns out, genuinely thanks to Riordan, I had a huge head start (not alone of course, everyone remembers The Lighting Thief). Okay, so maybe some of my knowledge was off, but hey, it’s mythology…it begs a little poetic license.
In honor of Riordan’s 56th, let’s look at his series old and new.
Yes, the one that started it all. A classic ‘Princess Diaries’ story, demigod son of Poseidon finds his world turned upside-down on one fateful day that brings him from the streets of New York City to the divinely renowned Camp Half-Blood: a place for the godly, the Greek, and the gifted. He will join a cast of friends on a five-book quest to meet gods, battle monsters, and take on the Titans of Greek mythology.
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In another realm of mythology, Riordan’s second band of young protagonists come face to face with the godly powers of Ancient Egypt. Siblings Carter and Sadie Kane accidentally unleash into the modern world the Egyptian powers that be. Makes other rebellious teenagers seem pretty mellow in comparison. Luckily for the Kanes, they are descended from the most power magicians and only they possess the means to set things right once again.
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I guess Riordan knew where his talents, and heart, really lay…with the demigods of Greek mythos. This third series explores a new Great Prophecy, and with it a new great generation of demigods. With the combined forces of Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter, these young demigods will sail with Percy Jackson on their most dangerous challenge yet.
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Still dealing with demigods, in this series Riordan will take his reader to the beautifully cold world of Norse mythology. A new hero is born from humble beginnings in Boston, giving us the homeless Magnus Chase, who will discover his true identity with the gods of Asgard.
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Riordan’s current series is still unfinished, and you can preview his next book Trials of Apollo: The Tower of Nero at his website. After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus onto the busy streets of New York City. We’ve come full circle with this nod to Percy Jackson. Now a regular teenage boy without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn how to survive in this busy, chattering modern world.