THE SUN AND THE STAR: A Conversation with Rick Riordan
As the son of Hades, Nico di Angelo has been through so much, from the premature deaths of his mother and sister to losing his friend Jason during the trials of Apollo—an
As the son of Hades, Nico di Angelo has been through so much, from the premature deaths of his mother and sister to losing his friend Jason during the trials of Apollo—and, of course, being outed. But there is a ray of sunshine—literally—in his life: Will Solace, the stunningly beautiful son of Apollo, who happens to be his boyfriend. With his radiant energy, Will melted through the iciness to reveal that Nico actually had a heart. They’ve been a couple for nearly a year and have not only come to believe but proven, again and again, that together they can overcome any obstacle or foe. For Nico, epic battles are normal. Now, he’s about to face a formidable one—and because he adores Will, he’d rather face it alone.
In his dreams, Nico keeps hearing a voice calling out to him from Tartarus, the lowest part of the Underworld. He knows who it is: Bob, a reformed and largely forgotten Titan. When Percy and Annabeth escaped Hade’s realm, they had to leave poor Bob behind. From the pleas that disturb his sleep and Rachel Dare’s latest prophecy, Nico knows that Bob is in trouble. Yes, it’s a dangerous quest, but Nico has to rescue their old friend, whether Mr. D and Chiron like it or not. And naturally, Will insists on going with him. As much as he wants to have Will by his side for the adventure, Nico can’t help but wonder—in fact, he’s filled with dread. Can a being made of light survive in the darkest depths of the Underworld? Then there’s the ominous-sounding prophecy, which states that Nico will have to “leave something of value behind.” And to Nico, nothing is more valuable—more precious to him—than Will.
In The Sun and the Star, co-authors Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro present an action-packed story to grip young fans, ages 10 to 14, of Percy Jackson and all their favorite demigods—and monsters. At its heart is a story of first love, with all its excitement and anguish, and exceptional courage. As Rick Riordan shares, “It was really important to me that writing a book entirely from the perspective of two queer characters, I collaborated with a great queer author who could bring perspective, authenticity, and a different set of writing strengths to the project. Mark Oshiro is someone whose writing I greatly admire, and who also knows the Percy Jackson world intimately. They were the perfect choice!”
Rick Riordan (he/him) is the author of five #1 New York Times best-selling middle grade series with millions of copies sold throughout the world, including Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, and the Trials of Apollo, all based on Greek and Roman mythology. For fifteen years, he taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. While teaching full-time, he began writing mystery novels for adults, culminating in the triple (Edgar, Anthony, and Shamus) national award-winning Tres Navarre series. He turned to children’s fiction when he started The Lightning Thief, marking the debut of Percy Jackson, as a bedtime story for his oldest son. In addition to writing, he now serves as publisher of Rick Riordan Presents, an imprint of the Disney-Hyperion Publishing family, specializing in middle grade adventures with lots of humor and action, drawing on myth or folklore. He also serves as an executive producer on the upcoming Disney+ Original series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which recently wrapped production. Dubbed “storyteller of the gods” by Publishers Weekly, Rick lives in the mortal world of Boston, Massachusetts, with his wife and two sons.
Mark Oshiro (they/them) is the author of three young adult novels, including Anger Is a Gift, winner of the 2019 Schneider Family Book Award, and Each of Us a Desert, an NPR Best book of 2020. They have also written two middle grade books, The Insiders, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and You Only Live Once, David Bravo. When not writing, they are trying to achieve their life goal of petting every dog in the world. Mark is based in Atlanta, Georgia.