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Rick Riordan: ‘House of Hades’ is ‘very intense’

  • This undated image released by Disney Hyperion shows author Rick Riordan. The million-selling children's author is set for next week's release of "The House of Hades," Book Four of his "Heroes of Olympus" series. Disney Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide, has announced a first printing of 2.5 million copies and the 600-page novel already is in the top 5 on Amazon.com. (AP Photo/Disney Hyperion, Michael Frost)

    This undated image released by Disney Hyperion shows author Rick Riordan. The million-selling children's author is set for next week's release of "The House of Hades," Book Four of his "Heroes of Olympus" series. Disney Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide, has announced a first printing of 2.5 million copies and the 600-page novel already is in the top 5 on Amazon.com. (AP Photo/Disney Hyperion, Michael Frost)

  • This book cover image released by Disney Hyperion shows "The House of Hades," by Rick Riordan. The million-selling children's author is set for next week's release of the fourth book of his "Heroes of Olympus" series. Disney Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide, has announced a first printing of 2.5 million copies and the 600-page novel already is in the top 5 on Amazon.com. (AP Photo/Disney Hyperion)

    This book cover image released by Disney Hyperion shows "The House of Hades," by Rick Riordan. The million-selling children's author is set for next week's release of the fourth book of his "Heroes of Olympus" series. Disney Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide, has announced a first printing of 2.5 million copies and the 600-page novel already is in the top 5 on Amazon.com. (AP Photo/Disney Hyperion)

  • This undated image released by Disney Hyperion shows author Rick Riordan. The million-selling children's author is set for next week's release of "The House of Hades," Book Four of his "Heroes of Olympus" series. Disney Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide, has announced a first printing of 2.5 million copies and the 600-page novel already is in the top 5 on Amazon.com. (AP Photo/Disney Hyperion, Michael Frost)
  • This book cover image released by Disney Hyperion shows "The House of Hades," by Rick Riordan. The million-selling children's author is set for next week's release of the fourth book of his "Heroes of Olympus" series. Disney Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Publishing Worldwide, has announced a first printing of 2.5 million copies and the 600-page novel already is in the top 5 on Amazon.com. (AP Photo/Disney Hyperion)

Rick Riordan spent the past few months in hell, and liked it.

The million-selling children’s book author promises a “fair amount of drama” in The House of Hades, Book Four of his Heroes of Olympus series set for release next week. Disney Hyperion has announced a first printing of 2.5 million copies, and the 600-page novel already is in the top 5 on Amazon.com.

Book Three of the Heroes series, The Mark of Athena, ended with Percy and Annabeth plunging into the Underworld and the Romans set to attack Camp Half-Blood. Riordan promises the adventures down under in the new book will be “very intense,” even for a storyteller unbounded by human possibility.

“Some conflicts from the previous book will be resolved,” he said during a recent telephone interview. “But I don’t think Percy and Annabeth have gone through anything as serious as what they’re going to face now.”

Some of his research was firsthand. A few years ago, he and his family cruised the Mediterranean as part of a Disney promotion for the end of his Percy Jackson series. Many of the tour destinations end up in House of Hades and the other Heroes books. But other locations exist only in myth, like Tartarus, a pit of torment deep, deep in the Underworld.

He is among the most popular and busiest writers, best known for his Percy Jackson books, featuring a dyslexic 12-year-old not unlike Riordan himself at that age. He has also completed a trilogy based on Egyptian myths, The Kane Chronicles, and has begun a series drawing upon Norse literature that will debut in 2015.

The Associated Press

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