Good Minds Suggest: Rick Riordan's Favorite Mythology Books

Posted by Goodreads on May 2, 2016

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Rick Riordan must have a direct line to Mount Olympus. The bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series has spent the past decade humanizing the gods and goddesses of ancient mythology, revealing their quirks and flaws as well as their awkward adjustments to modern-day life. He introduced readers to Greek demigod Percy in The Lightning Thief and to Roman demigod Jason in The Lost Hero. Now it's time to meet Apollo, Greek god…and angst-ridden teen. (Thought you knew the legendary god of music, poetry, and art? Well, you've never seen him like this before.) In The Hidden Oracle, the first book in Riordan's new The Trials of Apollo series, Zeus casts his son Apollo out of Olympus and down to New York City. The god can't even keep his own body; he's stuck living on earth as a human teenager. With old enemies and monsters on his trail, Apollo must seek Camp Half-Blood, the refuge of young demigods, to reclaim his immortal birthright. Riordan shares his favorite spellbinding tales of myth and magic.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
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"The Song of Achilles retells the story of Greece's greatest hero from the point of view of his best friend, Patroclus. The big twist: Madeline Miller casts the story as a romance between Achilles and Patroclus. While staying true to Greek legends and the works of Homer, Miller creatively and convincingly fills in the blanks, giving Patroclus a back story that makes perfect sense and tracing the friendship, and eventual romance, between the two young men in a way that casts a new light on the human side of the Trojan War."

Brand New Ancients by Kate Tempest
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"I was drawn to this narrative poem by the cover—Ancient Greeks toting briefcases and smartphones. That's right down my alley. I understand Ms. Tempest is an accomplished musician as well as a poet, and this short book has a lyrical, musical quality. The preface notes that it is to be read aloud. I can see why. The tone and performance elements remind me of the Beat poetry of the 1950s and '60s. 'Winged sandals tearing up the pavement' is a line that one can imagine from Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Tempest effectively translates Greek tragedy to modern England."

Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
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"Sarwat Chadda does a fantastic job bringing Hindu folklore into the modern world, especially the most famous tale and my personal favorite: the Ramayana. Ash Mistry travels with his family from London to India to stay with relatives while his father consults on a strange archaeological dig. Soon Ash discovers that demons and gods are alive and well, and he is called upon to save the world from the rise of the Demon King Ravana. Superfun adventure story where myth meets modern, Indian style!"

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
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"The book's premise may sound familiar—a secret society of magic practitioners in the modern world, a group of friends who must master their powers to stop a terrible evil sorcerer. But don't make the mistake of thinking that Leopard People vs. Lambs is just a takeoff of Wizards vs. Muggles, or Demigods vs. Mortals, or any number of other fantasies in which the heroes find they are special and magical. Sure, Akata Witch has some structural similarities (I particularly loved the fact that ADHD and dyslexia may be signs that you are a Leopard Person—great minds think alike, etc.), but Okorafor's book is firmly rooted in West African myth, which opens up a world as wondrous as Hogwarts but as different as pepper soup is from tea and crumpets."

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
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"I love a good fantasy rooted in folklore, and Novik does a great job mining the mythology of Eastern Europe for this novel. Young Agnieszka lives in a small town in an out-of-the-way valley where nothing much ever happens…except for the fact that they live near an evil wood that occasionally swallows trespassers, drives villagers mad, or sends monsters to destroy neighboring villages. Oh, and they are protected by a wizard called the Dragon, who lives in a tower and does his best to keep the evil magic of the wood at bay. In return for his protection, the wizard takes one girl from the valley every ten years to serve him in the tower. These girls aren't killed, but they are never the same after their ten years of servitude—and they never stay in the valley when they are released. Something about their servitude changes them…."

Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Best Modern Interpretations of Ancient Mythology

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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message 1: by Sandy (new)


Schmoozyschlepper These all sound great. I wish some of Rick Riordan's books had been around when I was a teenager. Still, I made do with CS Lewis and LOTR!

message 3: by Nobody (new)

Nobody I've read a couple of these! One of my favs is Uprooted. The others are going on my summer reading booklist! :)

message 4: by Becky (new)

Becky If you haven't read "Whom the Gods Would Destroy" by Richard Powell, you need to. Best story of the Trojan War out there.

message 5: by Parker (new)

Parker Ah, yes, Nobody. Have read Uprooted (and its sequel). Several of the others (not to mention Riordan's newest) are going on my ever-growing book list.

I too wish there had been books like these when I was growing up.

message 6: by Kim (new)

Kim I find I like the classics. Read Watership Down by richard Adams. Rick is good. I like the Cain series the best of all of them.

message 7: by Sweet (new)

Sweet Angel I like Rick Riordan's.

message 8: by Sharni (new)

Sharni Parker wrote: "Ah, yes, Nobody. Have read Uprooted (and its sequel)."


message 9: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Green Sharni wrote: "Parker wrote: "Ah, yes, Nobody. Have read Uprooted (and its sequel)."


Right... There is no sequel, yet.

message 10: by Anthony (new)

Anthony When is the cover going to be revealed for the Dark Prophecy?

message 11: by Mwahahahaha (new)

Mwahahahaha I very much love your books and these books are on my reading list now that you have so positively stated that these books are very good.Your books I have read as well and PJO series is my favorite of all and if you tell already I am still a teenager reading novel by great minds.

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