Trials of Apollo (Book 5): The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan. (Image: Disney - Hyperion Books.)

Here’s the Best Order to Read the (Many) ‘Percy Jackson’ Spin-off Novels

Last year, we got the news that Walker Scobell earned the coveted role of Percy Jackson in the upcoming Disney Plus series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Now, the series is finally here marking an opportunity for millennials and Gen-Z to reread the series or introduce the series that jumpstarted our interest in polytheism and mythology with their children.

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While many of us know the saga through the central Percy Jackson and The Olympian novels, the story doesn’t end there. Riordan wrote four other series within the Percy Jackson universe. These books span various mythologies (Greek, Norse, and Egyptian) but share an extended universe. Because the Texan-author wrote many book series simultaneously you can’t determine how to navigate the books on publication date alone. For example, The Kane Chronicles, published between 2010 and 2012, came out at the same time as much of the Heroes of Olympus (2010-2014.) Also, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard (2015-2017) were published alongside the Trials of Apollo (2016-2020.)

Don’t worry though because we’ve got this guide to help you read the Percy Jackson books, and spin-off novels in order. Plus more about Riordan’s imprint series and how that connects to his best-selling series.

The Series Publication Order

The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan. Percy Jackson novel number 1. Image: Disney-Hyperion.
(Disney-Hyperion)

If you want to read them in loose publication order, then one of the most popular routes is to read the books in order by when the series was introduced. While I omit companion novels, the Demigods and Magician short stories (The Son of Sobek, The Staff of Serapis, and The Crown of Ptolemy), these crossover books can be read after The Kane Chronicles.

  1. Percy Jackson and The Olympians – Books include The Lightning Thief, The Seas of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of The Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian.
  2. The Heroes of Olympus – Books include The Lost Hero, The Son of Neptune, The Mark of Athena, The House of Hades, and The Blood of Olympus.
  3. The Trials of Apollo – Books include The Hidden Oracle, The Dark Prophecy, The Burning Maze, The Tyrant’s Tomb, and The Tower of Nero.

Some of the main characters like Annabeth and Percy appear in other books. In some cases, this is because the main characters of one book series are related to (or a side character) in another series (especially Percy Jackson and The Olympians.) Sandwiched in-between The Heroes of Olympus and the Trials of Apollo are the spin-offs The Kane Chronicles and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. The Red Pyramid, The Thrones of Fire, and The Serpent’s Shadow make up the titles in The Kane Chronicles. The Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard books include: The Sword of Summer, The Hammer of Thor, and The Ship of The Dead.

Chronological Book Order

However, if you want to read them as individual books, rather than series, and in chronological order (unconfirmed by the author and without including the 10+ companion novels), read them like this. Here’s how to read Percy Jackson in order.

  1. The Lightning Thief
  2. The Sea of Monsters
  3. The Titan’s Curse
  4. The Battle of The Labyrinth
  5. The Red Pyramid
  6. The Throne of Fire
  7. The Last Olympian
  8. The Serpent’s Shadow
  9. The Lost Hero
  10. The Son of Neptune
  11. The Mark of Athena
  12. The House of Hades
  13. The Blood of Olympus
  14. The Sword of Summer
  15. The Hammer of Thor
  16. The Ship of The Dead
  17. The Hidden Oracle
  18. The Dark Prophecy
  19. The Burning Maze
  20. The Tyrant’s Tomb
  21. The Tower of Nero

What Is Rick Riordan Presents?

Rick Riordan is one of the most prominent series writers in middle-grade fiction and basically, a child’s gateway drug into the world of mythology and legend. So, one question that’s often asked is whether he plans to write about myths and legends outside of Norse and Greek traditions. This is where the Rick Riordan Presents imprint (under Disney) comes in. Disney (the primary publisher) pays Riordan to write the introductions and promote the titles. Meanwhile, Riordan serves as a co-mentor/editor to the authors of these books—these are writers from other backgrounds highlighting other myths/cultures. These books exist (for now) entirely separate from Riordian’s other stories.

My editor and I look for books that I could enthusiastically recommend to my own fans. If you like Percy Jackson, if you like Magnus Chase and all my other stuff, then I believe you will probably like these books too. That’s not to say the imprint’s titles are exactly like my stuff. These authors all have their own unique voices, senses of humor, plots, characters, etc. But the books are all great, highly accessible reads with lots of fun fantasy and mythology elements.

The imprint started in 2018 with Roshani Chokshi writing Hindu folklore, Jennifer Cervantes writing Mexican folklore, and Yoon Ha Lee writing Korean legend (in space!). However, it’s grown to include so many more authors and culturally specific stories written for all. These include Carlos Hernandez (Cuban sci-fi), Rebecca Roanhorse (Navajo), Sarwar Chadda (Mesopotamian), Grace Kim (Korean), Tehlor Kay Mejia (Latin American), and Kwame MBalia (a fuse of African American legends and African mythology). The books are fun companions to the Percy Jackson series. However, they don’t share a universe, and therefore, would not be counted in the chronological reading order.

This article has been updated to provide developing context and some tweaks to the reading order.

(featured image: Disney-Hyperion Books)

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.