Friday, December 16, 2022

RA, RA, Read: Rick Riordan and mythic fantasy

Since I originally wrote this post, in 2017, Rick Riordan's fantasy series has grown exponentially, expanding to an imprint as well as Riordan's own books. I last updated it in 2020 and now, in 2022, there are a lot of additional titles I could add to the list, and I keep a Pinterest board of them, but there just aren't many kids who can make it through a thick book - I am focusing primarily on short chapter books now and the doorstopper fantasies have gone by the wayside. I think kids are struggling to concentrate as well as with reading fluency.

Riordan's series start with the original five Percy Jackson books, expand that world into multiple series, break out into Norse mythology (Magnus Chase), and there is also a trilogy based on Egyptian mythology. Copious companion volumes, collections of mythology, etc. are also included. Riordan draws kids in with an emphasis on Greek mythology reinterpreted with lots of fantasy, adventure, and strong characters as well as a strong sense of humor.

More Mythological Fantasy
  • Rick Riordan Presents is Riordan's imprint to showcase a diverse range of mythologies by #ownvoices authors, written in similar style as Riordan's books but unique to each author.
    • Aru Shah and the end of time by Roshani Chokshi
    • Storm runner by J. C. Cervantes
    • Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
    • Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
  • Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
    • Celtic mythology. This is the first book in an older series and I've found circulation varies.
  • Loki's Wolves by Kelley Armstrong
    • Norse mythology.
  • Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
    • Indian mythology - more violent than Percy Jackson and includes demons, which makes some parents uncomfortable
  • Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
    • The first book is technically Over Sea, Under Stone but it's a more old-fashioned fantasy quest. You can start with Dark is Rising. Tell kids to ignore the awful movie; this series brings together aspects of Celtic and Arthurian legend with some truly chilling moments and lovely language.
  • Serpent's secret by Sayantani Dasgupta
    • Bengali mythology
  • Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R. L. LaFevers
    • Egyptian magic and myth. Theodosia is a snarky young Victorian girl who finds she can use ancient Egyptian magic.
  • Flame of Olympus by Kate O'Hearn
    • Greek/Roman mythology. First in a series.
  • The gauntlet by Karuna Riazi
    • Middle Eastern - a group of friends find themselves in a deadly board game.
  • Chronus Chronicles by Anne Ursu
    • Greek mythology, but a heavier emphasis on fantasy than the mythic aspects.
  • Anubis Speaks; Hades Speaks; Thor Speaks by Vicky Alvear Schecter
    • Funny and informative, told in first-person by the god and discussing culture, religion, and mythology
  • Olympians by George O'Connor
    • Series of graphic novels; each features a different Greek god. O'Connor does an excellent job of retaining the sense of the myth while giving readers points to think about and not emphasizing the more inappropriate aspects.
More Fantasy Adventure Titles (featuring contemporary protagonists)
  • Revenge of the Shadow King by Derek Benz
    • Grey Griffins trilogy. Monster-fighting.
  • Lightning Catcher by Anne Cameron
    • More a Harry Potter read-alike; a group of children discover the ability to control the weather. First in a series.
  • Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
    • Yes, the author of Hunger Games. This is her series for younger readers. Gregory travels underground to save his sister and encounters a strange and sometimes frightening world.
  • Ingo by Helen Dunmore
    • Harry Potter with Mermaids. First in a series.
  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
    • This is a longer, more dense series. It features book characters and worlds come to life.
  • Secret of the sirens by Julia Golding
    • The Companions' Quartet is a gentler read, featuring protectors of magical/mythical creatures.
  • Colossus Rises by Peter Lerangis
    • The Seven Wonders series. A bit like a cross between 39 Clues and Percy Jackson.
  • Keeper of the lost cities by Shannon Messenger
    • This massive series is a bit of a hard sell, but my high-level readers are crazy about it. The protagonists find themselves in an adventure that involves protecting lost cities (Atlantis, Shangri-La, etc.)
  • Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
    • This series is of a fairly hefty size, but is a quick read. It features a reservation for magical creatures and keepers protecting them.
  • Spellbinder by Helen Stringer (out of print)
    • There is some Celtic mythology and a lot of humor in this duo of books about a girl whose parents are ghosts and who goes on a quest.
  • City of Fire by Laurence Yep
    • This trilogy features various aspects of Asian and Hawai'ian mythology.


Ms. Yingling said...

Yolen'sYoung Heroes series is set in ancient Greece, but does well with Riordan's fans. Geraldine McCaughrean also has a set of myth books that are action packed but a little short. Oh! Ford's Fire of Ares trilogy, too! Great list.

Jennifer said...

Great additions, thanks!