In Praise of Rick Riordan

I’m about half-way through the second book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series by Rick Riordan, and before 2016 ends, I wanted to tell you all that you should be reading Riordan’s books (if you are not already).

You may have heard of Rick Riordan. He created Percy Jackson. Percy Jackson is a regular kid from NYC, who also happens to be the son of Poseidon. The first Percy Jackson series introduced the world to Camp Half-Blood and the demigods who trained there, preparing to go on whatever quests the Oracle sent them on. This series came out during the height of Potter-Mania, and was probably unfairly overshadowed by Rowling’s masterpiece.


Anyway, from there, Riordan wrote a trilogy about Carter and Sadie Kane, siblings who also happen to be magicians loyal to the Egyptian gods. He wrote a second round of Percy Jackson books that introduced the Roman equivalents of the Greek demigods of Camp Half-Blood, a series of short stories were the Greek demigods meet the Egyptian magicians. Then came Magnus Chase, followed closely by a new series about Apollo.



These books are brilliant for several reasons. First of all, they treat each pantheon as individuals. The Egyptian gods are not just rehashes of the Greek gods with different names. A Greek demigod does not have the same motivations that an Egyptian magician has, and no one has the same motivations as an Asgardian einherjar.

Second, these books feel like superhero stories to me. Whether Percy is calling forth a tidal wave or Carter Kane is summoning mecha-sized mystical Horus armor or Magnus Chase is using his healing powers, it all feels like reading about young superheroes learning about their powers. Whenever I think writing superhero prose the way I want to write it is impossible, I pick up one of Riordan’s books and get inspired anew.

If you like superheroes and mythology, and you’re not afraid to be seen reading middle-grade fiction, go and grab some Rick Riordan books.


2 responses to “In Praise of Rick Riordan

  1. I’ve read every last one of these books and I love every last one! A part of me wants to try to write something like that, too. But which gods haven’t been used yet?

  2. Oh, there are loads of pantheons left, it just becomes a question of whether or not they work with these kinds of stories. There’s ancient Chinese and Japanese mythology. Celtic mythology. The mythologies of the different Native American tribes. African mythologies. South American mythologies. I do know there is a series by another author that uses the mythology of India.

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