As Percy Jackson and the Olympians continues its production for its upcoming live-action Disney+ series, author Rick Riordan is developing a new novelized installment into the expansive franchise. Titled Percy Jackson and the Chalice of the Gods, this sixth installment into the Percy Jackson book franchise will mark the first time since 2009's Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian that Riordan is publishing a story centered around the three characters that built his world of modern mythology: Percy, Annabeth Chase, and Grover Underwood.
Chalice of the Gods will bring Percy back to his roots as he is tasked with retrieving another missing item from Olympus, not unlike his quest in The Lightning Thief. This book will follow Percy and company assisting Zeus's cupbearer, Ganymede, in hunting down a chalice that grants immortality to those who drink from it. Think of a River Styx bath, but in beverage form. This story will also be a prequel of sorts, as it takes place after The Heroes of Olympus series, but before the Trials of Apollo. Riordan teased that while this story does involve a mythical quest, the crux of this narrative deals with Percy trying to get into college.
"New Rome University requires recommendation letters from three gods," Riordan wrote. "Which means... yep, you guessed it. Percy has to run quests to get the letters."
Beyond the aforementioned Ganymede, Riordan alluded to more new characters, including gods, that debut in this book.
"There will be other gods we haven't seen," Riordan said to Publishers Weekly. "It's going to continue the Percy Jackson tradition of encountering gods and monsters, and it takes place mostly in and around New York City. It's not meant to be a world-ending adventure, it's just a day in the life of a demigod."
While this book will be within the Percy Jackson and the greater Heroes of Olympus and Trials of Apollo world, Riordan sees it as existing as more of a standalone story.
"I knew we basically had a year to play with during Percy's senior year in high school, where nothing had been sketched out, no canon described," Riordan said. "All we know is he's in school in New York. So what would happen to him? Of course, he's getting ready for college. And I've been through that with my two boys, and that means recommendation letters. And to get into New Rome University, you need recommendation letters from the gods, and they don't give those out for free. So Percy has to do quests—not to save the world this time, but just to get into college.
"He's 17 going on 18 in this, but in terms of tone, it's not that different. I'd feel very comfortable recommending this to middle graders who knew the other books. There's not going to be a huge tonal shift; we're not tackling darker or more violent themes. That's just my mindset. I write in a very middle grade way. I have readers from eight years old to 80, and everybody's welcome. As long as you don't mind silly dad jokes and middle grade humor." According to Riordan, returning to Percy after so long was easy, "like putting on your most comfortable pair of jeans."
This concept has actually been a long time coming for Riordan, who initially developed The Chalice of the Gods as an accompanying piece of his pitches to Hollywood studios for a Percy Jackson television series. Disney reportedly asked Riordan if he had anything that he was going to publish that would help support the upcoming streaming show, and Riordan turned to Chalice of the Gods.
"I have these ideas that I came up with two years ago," Riordan said. "Why don't we give the fans a treat?"
Percy Jackson and the Chalice of the Gods is set to arrive on September 26th, 2023.0comments