Rick Riordan's Blog, page 3

April 29, 2016

Okay, gang. Here is the latest from Athena House, Riordan headquarters in Boston:



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The Hidden Oracle, Book One of The Trials of Apollo, will be released this Tuesday, May 3!


(This is for the US/Canada edition. Other editions for other countries may have different release dates. I don’t get that information. If you live elsewhere, you’ll have to check with your country’s booksellers or publisher.)



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Launch Event! I will be doing one and only one launch event for The Hidden Oracle, Tuesday, May 3 in Boston, sponsored by Harvard Books.


Last I checked there were still tickets available, so get ’em while you can! You will get a signed copy of The Hidden Oracle, plus you’ll be the first in the world to hear what I’ve got planned for the rest of the series. I’ll take questions from the audience and tell you all the juicy inside info. We always have a great time!


Haven’t seen the trailers for The Trials of Apollo? They are hilarious, and there’s one more coming on Monday:




Also . . .


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The Hammer of Thor, Book Two of Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard.


I haven’t forgotten about Magnus! The Hammer of Thor cover was revealed yesterday by Entertainment Weekly.  Check out the article to read my Q&A with EW and also read the first chapter of the book! The Hammer of Thor will be released October 4.


What’s that? You haven’t read the first book, The Sword of Summer, yet? YE GODS! You’d better get on that before October! As of this week, Sword of Summer has been on the New York Times bestseller list for an incredible 29 weeks.


And finally:


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Demigods & Magicians: The collection of the Kane/Percy crossover stories is #1 on the New York Times middle grade bestseller list, its third week on the list! Haven’t read them yet? Check them out!


And thanks to my readers for being the most awesome fans out there. The reason I am working so hard to write two books a year is that I get energized by your enthusiasm for the stories. You keep me going!

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Published on April 29, 2016 08:20 • 487 views

Okay, gang. Here is the latest from Athena House, Riordan headquarters in Boston:




The Hidden Oracle, Book One of The Trials of Apollo, will be released this Tuesday, May 3!

(This is for the US/Canada edition. Other editions for other countries may have different release dates. I don't get that information. If you live elsewhere, you'll have to check with your country's booksellers or publisher.)




Launch Event! I will be doing one and only one launch event for The Hidden Oracle, Tuesday, May 3 in Boston, sponsored by Harvard Books.

Last I checked there were still tickets available, so get 'em while you can! You will get a signed copy of The Hidden Oracle, plus you'll be the first in the world to hear what I've got planned for the rest of the series. I'll take questions from the audience and tell you all the juicy inside info. We always have a great time!

Haven't seen the trailers for The Trials of Apollo? They are hilarious, and there's one more coming on Monday:


Also . . .



The Hammer of Thor, Book Two of Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard.

I haven't forgotten about Magnus! The Hammer of Thor cover was revealed yesterday by Entertainment Weekly.  Check out the article to read my Q&A with EW and also read the first chapter of the book! The Hammer of Thor will be released October 4.

What's that? You haven't read the first book, The Sword of Summer, yet? YE GODS! You'd better get on that before October! As of this week, Sword of Summer has been on the New York Times bestseller list for an incredible 29 weeks.

And finally:



Demigods & Magicians: The collection of the Kane/Percy crossover stories is #1 on the New York Times middle grade bestseller list, its third week on the list! Haven't read them yet? Check them out!

And thanks to my readers for being the most awesome fans out there. The reason I am working so hard to write two books a year is that I get energized by your enthusiasm for the stories. You keep me going!







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Published on April 29, 2016 08:20 • 3,676 views

April 23, 2016


Are you excited? I am! Tuesday, May 3, the first book in The Trials of Apollo series will be released, and you will get to see how Apollo fares at Camp Half-Blood as an awkward sixteen-year-old mortal with no skills to pay the bills.



Want to get a signed copy and hear the latest news about what's coming next from me? I'll be presenting the new series and answering question on publication day -- my ONLY EVENT for the launch of The Hidden Oracle -- here in Boston, sponsored by Harvard Books.


Tickets are still available, but buy them soon if you are planning to attend. It will be a very special night, and you will be the first in the world to get the scoop on The Trials of Apollo!

Whether you can make the event or not, I hope you like The Hidden Oracle!



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Published on April 23, 2016 08:23 • 182 views

April 20, 2016


It took me two weeks to recover from my whirlwind trip to Bologna, Italy, but now I finally get the chance to post some pictures and videos from my event at the Teatro Duse. It was a blast! This really was a rare event, since I don't tour internationally. I happened to be in Bologna taking an Italian course, so I agreed to do a public signing with my Italian publisher Mondadori. I am very glad I did!

Before the event, I got to meet some VIP fans who had won a chance to have a private Q&A with me.

Me with the gang.



Chatting and answering questions (or trying to) in Italian. Come si dice "I am sorry I killed your favorite characters"?


Signing books (and getting a hug) from a Italian demigod who grew up dyslexic. Such an honor to meet him!

Me backstage with the wonderful folks from Mondadori and the brilliant Italian writer Fabio Geda, who was so kind and gracious as my interviewer.


The crowd in the theater. They had to open up the top tier of the theater, filling it to total capacity of 1200 people. Unfortunately, 600 people were still waiting outside and were unable to get in, but I don't think anyone (including me) expected this kind of turnout. We had people come from as far away as Palermo.

If you want to see the crowd reaction when I first arrived on stage, check out this video. Many thanks to my agent Marietta Zacker from the Nancy Gallt Agency for taking and sharing these pictures and videos.


My interview with Fabio Geda. I was very glad to have my Italian interpreter to my left, but even happier than I didn't need to ask for her assistance very often.

Want to see the entire interview in Italian? You can watch it here.

After the event, I signed books for as many people as I could, until the police had to shut the doors because the theater needed to close. (They were very nice to everyone though.)






I got lots of gifts and hugs from fans. There were tears (I hope of happiness) and so many wonderful moments meeting my Italian readers. Truly -- it was a magic evening, and a great reminder of why I am a writer. This is what books are all about! Thanks again to my agents at Nancy Gallt and my publisher Mondadori for arranging the event, and especially to Fabio Geda for conducting the interview!


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Published on April 20, 2016 08:47 • 1,625 views

April 12, 2016


I don't normally repost my reviews, but Joshua Khan's Shadow Magic comes out today and I'm pretty excited about it! I read an advance copy of this middle grade fantasy debut way back last summer, and I haven't stopped thinking about how good it is. (Hence the quote from me on the cover.)  Now, at last, it has been published so you can read it too! If you like the type of stuff that I write -- a mix of action, humor and magic -- then you should definitely check this out. Here's my full review from back in November:


Shadow Magic, by Joshua Khan. Middle grade fantasy.


Have you ever started reading a book thinking, 'Oh, well, I may not like it but I'll give it a try,' then quickly found yourself sucked into the story and thinking, 'Holy Hera, this is good!' That was my experience with Shadow Magic. It's told from the alternating perspectives of Thorn, the wayward son of an outlaw, and Lillith Shadow, the heir of one of six ancient magical kingdoms.  There should be no reason for these two to ever cross paths, but they do, and the combination is explosive.

Lillith is the heir of Gehenna, the kingdom of darkness. She wasn't supposed to become the ruler, but her family is murdered under mysterious circumstances, which leaves her next in line to the throne. Her family was once able to summon legions of the undead, speak to ghosts, and do all sorts of cool darkness magic that Nico di Angelo would approve of. Unfortunately, Gehenna's glory days are long past, and women are not allowed to practice sorcery upon pain of death, so Lillith cannot use whatever powers she might have. Gehenna is so weak, Lillith is forced to make a marriage alliance with their ancient enemies, the bright and shiny kingdom of light. (Gross!) 

Thorn, a young nobody from the north, is captured and sold into slavery to an executioner named Tyburn, who happens to work for the kingdom of Shadow. Thorn arrives in the land of darkness, and is soon plunged into a mystery with Lillith about who killed her parents. We find out that Thorn and Lillith both have unexpected powers and many secrets. We meet some fantastic characters, including a giant bat named Hades (How could I not love that?). 

This book is a wonderful page-turner for young readers. It's got all the elements of a great fantasy, rendered in a fresh, alluring, well-crafted world, with sympathetic characters and tons of mystery. I can't recommend it highly enough. Get a copy. You'll thank me for it!
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Published on April 12, 2016 04:27 • 2,152 views

March 30, 2016


On April 5, you'll be able to get Demigods & Magicians, with all three Kane Chronicles/Percy Jackson stories collected in a physical book for the first time, plus a never-before-published sneak peek at The Hidden Oracle.

Just to be clear, the three crossovers are NOT new stories. They were previously released as separate ebook shorts, but many of you really wanted them bound together as a single book, so here you go.

The contents are:

The Son of Sobek, featuring Percy and Carter
The Staff of Serapis, featuring Annabeth and Sadie
The Crown of Ptolemy, featuring all four of our heroes

And, as promised, a new excerpt from The Hidden Oracle, first book in the series Trials of Apollo. The Hidden Oracle comes out May 3.

Hope you guys enjoy!


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Published on March 30, 2016 08:04 • 105 views

March 25, 2016



Hey, kids! Have you been asked to watch the "Percy Jackson" movies during classroom time? If this has happened to you or someone you care about, feel free to share the letter below with your teacher, because classroom time is a terrible thing to waste!



Dear Teacher,
Hi! I am so grateful that you are teaching Greek mythology to your kids and maybe reading my books with them. I hope it goes well! If you want some lesson plan ideas I have a ton of free stuff on my website, mostly pulled from my own fifteen years as a middle school teacher.
Now a plea: Please, for the love of multiple intelligences, DON’T show those “Percy Jackson” movies (ironic quotes intentional) in your classroom for a compare-contrast lesson or, gods forbid, a “reward” at the end of your unit. No group of students deserves to be subjected to that sort of mind-numbing punishment. The movies’ educational value is exactly zero. A better use of classroom time would be . . . well, pretty much anything, including staring at the second hand of the clock for fifty minutes or having a locker clean-out day.
If you need a break and are using the movie so you can have time to grade papers, hey, I totally get that. I was a teacher for a long time! May I suggest Clash of the Titans, or the cheesy old 1960s version of Jason and the Argonauts, or heck, even the animated Hercules from Disney, as bad as it is. Those movies have plenty of things to compare and contrast with the actual Greek myths. But my heart breaks every time I hear that classroom time is being thrown away watching those vapid Percy Jackson adaptations.
Maybe the kids want to watch them on their own. Fine. Whatever. Personally, I would rather have my teeth pulled with no anesthesia, but to each his or her own. Spending class time time on those movies, though? I’ve justified a lot of things in my years as a teacher. Once I did a barbecue pit sacrifice of prayers to the Greek gods with my sixth graders. Once I taught the kids a traditional Zulu game by rolling watermelons down a hill and spearing them with broomsticks. We took fencing classes when we studied Shakespeare, reenacted the entire Epic of Gilgamesh, and, yes, we watched some pretty great movies from time to time. But I can think of zero justification for watching the adaptations of my books as part of a school curriculum. (And please, don’t call them my movies. They are in no way mine.)
Thanks for listening. I hope you have a great school year. I hope your kids get excited about reading. And I hope you’ll consider this author’s plea. The kids don’t need classroom time to learn that movies can be really, really bad. They’ll find that out on their own!
Yours truly,
Rick Riordan
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Published on March 25, 2016 08:51 • 163 views

March 18, 2016


I took a quick trip to the Disney Publishing offices in New York today and got a look at some exciting stuff.

Ever wondered what a publishing office looks like? Here is Disney's:

 Cubicles? Computers? Fluorescent lights? I know, exciting! But don't be fooled: this is where the magic happens, where books are edited, covers are created, and stories are made ready for sharing with readers.

Here's my editor Stephanie Lurie in her office, otherwise known as Riordan Books HQ. Stephanie usually does not have to poke me with that pitchfork unless I am behind on my deadlines.


I got to have lunch with the Disney team and hear about all the cool stuff planned for Trials of Apollo. I got to see all the different editions of The Hidden Oracle:


Each one is designed for a different account with a different exclusive item inside. I was just excited to see it as an actual book for the first time! These copies have now been put back in the super-secure vault for safekeeping until publication day May 3.

Here's one of the awesome special items, a bumper sticker inside the Books-a-Million edition:


And I signed about a gajillion of these posters that will be used as prizes at some events for Barnes & Noble when the new book comes out:



Also I found out that the Percy Jackson series is now available in a hardcover box set with the new John Rocco covers (from the poster design above) for the very first time!


I can't wait to share The Hidden Oracle with you on May 3. As I mentioned earlier, I won't be doing a tour for this book -- just a single hometown event in Boston on May 3 so I can concentrate on writing the next book: Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor, which will be out in October.

I hope you guys like The Trials of Apollo when it comes out!




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Published on March 18, 2016 15:14 • 115 views

March 8, 2016





Okay, guys, we're getting close.

The Hidden Oracle will be published May 3, and I'll be doing one -- count 'em one -- event for the launch of the series. I'm not doing a tour this time around because I have two series to work on, Trials of Apollo and Magnus Chase, and as you can imagine, that requires a lot of writing time!

The event will be here in Boston on May 3, sponsored by Harvard Bookstore. Tickets will go on sale March 22 online. If you can't make the event, you can order a signed book online and Harvard Bookstore will ship it to you!

Full details (with links for ordering) are below from the store's website:

Harvard Bookstore presents: Rick Riordan 
The Trials of Apollo, Book One:
The Hidden Oracle 

Tickets on sale March 22 at 9am
Tickets available online only at trialsofapollo.eventbrite.com

($30 tickets include a pre-signed book / $15 tickets are admission only)
Date
Tuesday
May 3, 2016
7:00 PM
Location
Back Bay Events Center
180 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116Harvard Book Store welcomes back bestselling author RICK RIORDAN—dubbed "Storyteller of the Gods" by Publishers Weekly—for his return to both Greek mythology and the world of Camp Half-Blood!
Join us in Boston on publication date for a presentation of the first book in a new series, The Trials of Apollo, Book One: The Hidden Oracle. This event will be the only Rick Riordan event in the country for The Hidden Oracle!
TicketsTickets will go on sale online only at trialsofapollo.eventbrite.com on Tuesday, March 22 at 9am. A $30 bundled ticket includes a seat and a guaranteed signed copy of The Hidden Oracle. $15 general admission tickets are also available. Bundled ticket holders will receive their books at the event, taking place the evening of the national release of The Hidden Oracle.
Please NoteThis event does not include a public book signing. All books will be pre-signed by Rick Riordan.
Check out Rick's usual tips and disclaimers if you're planning to come to an event.
We will not be able to accommodate requests for personalized inscriptions.
Can't Come to the Event but Want a Signed Book?Pre-order a signed book at shop.harvard.com/trials-apollo-hidden-oracle. We can ship throughut the U.S. Please note, we will not be able to accommodate requests for personalized inscriptions.
About the BookHow do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disoriented, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favor.

But Apollo has many enemies-gods, monsters, and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.
About Rick RiordanRick Riordan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the Kane Chronicles, and the Heroes of Olympus. He is also the author of the multi-award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults.

For fifteen years, Rick taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. In 2002, Saint Mary's Hall honored him with the school's first Master Teacher Award.

While teaching full time, Riordan began writing mystery novels for grownups. His Tres Navarre series went on to win the top three national awards in the mystery genre—the Edgar, the Anthony, and the Shamus. Riordan turned to children's fiction when he started The Lightning Thief as a bedtime story for his oldest son.

Today over 35 million copies of his Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles, and Heroes of Olympus books are in print in the United States, and rights have been sold into more than 35 countries. Rick is also the author of The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones, another #1 New York Times bestseller.

Rick Riordan now writes full-time. He lives in Boston with his wife and two sons.
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Published on March 08, 2016 04:22 • 44 views

February 22, 2016


So this weekend, Annabeth invited Magnus down to New York for a visit. They saw this exhibit at the Discovery Center in Times Square called The Vikings. Becky and I tagged along, though we kept our distance because we wanted the cousins to have some bonding time.

Magnus was like, "You bring me to New York and show me Vikings? I've got enough of those in Boston."

But Annabeth thought it would be good for both of them to understand Magnus' world. Annabeth is all about having more information. She also promised to take Magnus to Mamoun's for falafel and shawarma afterwards, so Magnus didn't complain too much.

If you get a chance to see the exhibit, you should. It's pretty cool. If you can't make it to NYC, here's a little peek at what we saw:


A full-sized reconstruction of a Viking river boat, made with historical tools meaning no saws, no machines, no easy assembly from IKEA. Magnus would have borrowed the boat, but sadly it does not fold into a handkerchief for easy carrying. Life was hard back in Viking days.


Magnus was like: "The Hammer of Thor! I found it! That was legit the easiest quest ever." Then Annabeth pointed out that this was just a replica of a silver necklace. The Norse wore these all the time, the way Christians wore crosses. Magnus said, "Dammit!" The security people said, "Shhh!"


Booty! Some of the gold and silver jewelry found in Viking graves was really impressive. Annabeth liked the silver bracelets, though they made her a little sad because they reminded her of Thalia and her shield bracelet.


This Viking runestone featured the World Serpent swallowing his own tale. Not sure why he is covered in runes. I guess Jormungand spends a lot of time at the tattoo parlor. Magnus said, "That is absolutely NOT what he looks like." Annabeth shuddered. "I've had a few encounters with sea monsters too. Let's move on."


More awesome jewelry, but this stuff was also pulled from a grave, which makes it a little sad to look at. Annabeth checked out all the beads on that necklace and said, "Wow, this person spent a LOT of years at camp."


Ever lose your key? Is this it? Vikings had some weirdly shaped keys. I guess that's because each one was handmade. They were careful to lock their doors and keep their stuff in locked chests like this one:


I doubt these locks would keep out a determined thief, but apparently if you were caught stealing, the punishment was harsher if you broke into a locked room or a locked chest. The Vikings were all about harsh punishments.

"Must be why Valkyries wear keys on their belts," Magnus guessed. "So they can lock up their stuff and flog anyone who tries to take it."

"I want to meet these Valkyries," Annabeth said.


This was a little hard to look at -- bones from an actual Norseman. Examinations of the skeleton reveal just how hard life was in Viking times. This guy had broken bones, bad teeth, anemia, poor nutrition and constant digestive problems. On the bright side, he is now an einherji in Valhalla. "I'm pretty sure I did bikram yoga to the death with this dude last week," Magnus said.

"How do you do yoga to the death?" Annabeth asked. "Wait. I don't want to know."


Viking music! Here's a bone flute to play your favorite songs. And here's a buzzer, so called because you can blow in it or spin it through the air on a string and it makes a buzzing sound:


That's right, folks. Vikings invented the kazoo.


"Ugh," Annabeth said. "I got Percy a kazoo as a joke one time, and he would not stop playing it. It's literally his only musical talent."

"Where is Percy?" Magnus asked. "I thought I'd get to meet him."

Annabeth frowned. "He's studying. He is not allowed to do anything fun until he passes his midterms."

"Ouch," Magnus said. "His mom grounded him?"

"No," Annabeth said. "I did.  If he doesn't graduate high school, he doesn't get to go to college at New Rome with me. And if that happens, I will have to kill him with a kazoo."



That seemed a bit harsh, but then Annabeth saw this artifact and got a little teary-eyed. It's a weaving knife, used with a loom, and it is inscribed in runes: "Love me, I love you. Think of me, I think of you."

"That is so sweet," Annabeth said.

"It looks like a paddle," Magnus noted.

Annabeth rolled her eyes. "You're horrible."



Viking ice-skates, made of . . . deer bones? You strap them to your shoes and away you go!

"Sideways," Magnus speculated, "straight into the nearest tree."

"I'd hate to see Viking skis," Annabeth said.


The exhibit had some great examples of Viking swords, but they're all in pretty bad shape.

"That's sad," Annabeth said. "Nothing is left but corroded metal."

"Oh, you should've seen Jack when I pulled him out of the river," Magnus said. "He looked much worse."

"You named your sword Jack?"

"No, he named himself that."

"He . . . what?"

"I'll introduce you later. But I'm warning you, once he starts talking, he doesn't shut up."



Annabeth wanted to axe him some more questions about that, but we kept going. (Bam-doom-cha!)


Even after a thousand years in the earth, this broach is still pretty amazing. It was probably fashioned to resemble the pendant on Freya's necklace Brisingamen.

"Nice, but the real necklace is much fancier," Magnus said.

"Why are you blushing?" Annabeth asked.

"I am not blushing," Magnus insisted. "Freya just has a nice ear . . . NECKLACE. I mean necklace."


Here's something Magnus didn't know. If you die a dishonorable death and have to go to Helheim, you are buried with spikes on your shoes like this, because the road to Hel is icy and slippery.

"Personally," Annabeth said, "I'd go for the deer bone ice skates."


This is a magic amulet, used for cursing your enemies or protecting yourself from rune magic.

"I wish Hearthstone was here," Magnus said. "He would love this."

"Yeah," Annabeth said. "Carter and Sadie would think that was pretty awesome too."

"Who?"

"Uh . . . some Egyptian friends of mine."

"Egyptian. Are you telling me --"

"Maybe we'll talk about that at lunch," Annabeth said. "Over falafel and a large bottle of Advil."


This talisman is actually a symbol of Frey -- a bunch of sickles for the harvest.

Annabeth shuddered. "I don't like sickles. They remind me of a certain Titan."

Still, Magnus lingered at this exhibit. Maybe it was my imagination, but the light seemed to get brighter and warmer in the display case.

"Hey, dad," Magnus said. Reluctantly, he moved along.


Last display: a bunch of little silver Valkyrie amulets like this one.

"Sam would love these," Magnus said.

"I've got to meet Samirah one of these days," Annabeth said. "She sounds great."

"Yeah," Magnus said. "Just . . . try not to meet her the way I did, by dying."

"Deal," Annabeth said. "Ready for some falafel?"

"The answer to that is always yes."

 Magnus and Annabeth went off to find lunch while Becky and I explored the other exhibits.

We found this poor Viking frozen in a block of Helheim ice:


Oh, wait. Actually, I think we wandered into the Star Wars: Power of Costume exhibit next door.


Yes, definitely Star Wars. But as the T-shirts in the gift shop said, "May the Norse be with You!"

Thanks for tagging along on our trip through the Discovery Center, and if you happen to run across Magnus and Annabeth in Times Square, definitely say hello, though you might want to approach them slowly and announce: "I come in peace!"


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Published on February 22, 2016 05:26 • 82 views