La Fin, Percy Jackson

the-blood-of-olympus-coverI finished The Blood of Olympus, the conclusion to Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series or the second Percy Jackson series, a while ago, but I guess I needed time to process before blogging about it. I needed time to process the fact that this book was not just the end of the series, but the end of a rather significant phase in my life. Rick Riordan may write more books about Percy and his friends, but even if he does, I think The Blood of Olympus marks my end to these wonderful re-imaginings. I’ve been through two book series with Percy, and have enjoyed every adventure, but now it’s time to hang up my hat/pen turns into a sword/lightning bolt.

I read the first Percy Jackson series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, forever ago, it seems. I was younger, way into Greek and Roman mythology, taking Latin classes, and so beyond excited that I had found a book series that incorporated so much of the mythology I loved. Percy Jackson was so novel back then. I’d read retellings of fairytales and myths before, but nothing like this. Rick Riordan didn’t just put the old myths into new words, he transported them into another world—my own modern day American world—and the stories came to life with a vibrant new gusto. Camp Half-Blood became a Hogwarts-type place, somewhere readers could dream of going where magic and adventure was so possible. It seemed like you, the reader, could be the next Percy Jackson, a hero. And the books brought ancient mythology back to a modern day audience.

Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan

Perhaps this is the real debt owed to Rick Riordan. He inspired a love for the Greco-Roman classics in a new generation. Kids everywhere were suddenly interested in taking Latin, in reading Greek myths, in restoring a world that was so foundational to storytelling in the first place. It’s remarkable the influence Percy Jackson has had on a generation, and I’m sure Homer, Virgil, Horace, and all the others are applauding Rick Riordan from their graves.

That will be part of Rick Riordan’s legacy—the rekindling of the classic world. But part of his legacy will also be the impact of his many memorable characters—Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Jason, Hazel, Frank, Leo, Nico—and their adventures. The Percy Jackson books will be around for many generations to inspire young readers to be heroes. It’ll join other books on the shelves like Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, The Magic Treehouse, and many others that will introduce young readers to new and marvelous worlds. Even though Percy’s story is at an end for now, he’ll always be there, and we’ll always be grateful for him.

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