Although these upcoming books may be middle-grade in terms of reading level, new novels from Roshani Chokshi and more will reinvent the Rick Riordan method.
Mythology has never really stopped being “cool,” in a sense. The sheer love of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki probably proves that to some extent. (That, and the fact that Star Wars‘ own website discusses its mythological roots.) But what’s cool to someone isn’t necessarily cool or even accessible to everyone. This is probably why Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians succeeded. It retold some classic Greek myths for middle schoolers (and some high schoolers and adults who know a good crossover when they see it … not that yours truly is speaking from personal experience or anything).
But other mythologies than Greek, Roman, and Egyptian do actually exist. According to an emailed press release, Disney-Hyperion will capitalize on all of those other stories with Rick Riordan Presents, a new imprint. The press release states that the intent is to:
"“Feature entertaining, mythology-based, and diverse fiction by debut, emerging, and under-represented authors.”"
Of course, you can’t have an imprint without books, right? The press release has three titles, one each from Yoon Ha Lee (Ninefox Gambit), Jennifer Cervantes (Tortilla Sun), and Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen). That’s a nice mix of names to start things off.
Lee’s work, Dragon Pearl, sounds like it’ll mix his usual science fiction with Korean myth. Cervantes’ Storm Runner features the Mayan gods. Finally, as readers of The Star-Touched Queen know, Chokshi specializes in Hindu and Indian mythology, and her Aru Shah and the End of Time not only sounds like the closest to the Percy Jackson series in terms of title and format, but it also will take nods from the Mahabharata to inspire the story.
All three titles sound pretty interesting, right? Alas, here’s the rub: all three of them have release dates in 2018. Chokshi’s book will come first in April, and then Cervantes and Lee’s works currently have September release dates.
But here’s some upside: Publisher’s Weekly has that Aru Shah will kick off a quartet of books. No word yet on if Riordan himself will bring his future books to the imprint.
Then again, we are a good portion of the way through 2017, so we’ll see these titles sooner than we think. Will you set them on your reading list?