10 Best Authors Like Rick Riordan for Your Next Magical Quest

Discover our list of the top authors like Rick Riordan, who create magic and parallel worlds of mythical, fantasy-filled journeys for readers.

When he published the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Rick Riordan had already been working as a writer. Yet his early novels are not well-known, as the stories of Percy Jackson and his best friends launched the author’s success.

In 2005, The Lightning Thief, the first novel in Percy’s story, was published. The series consists of five novels, ending with The Last Olympian in 2009. The books feature a 12-year-old boy who discovers he is the son of the ancient Greek god Poseidon. He, along with his fellow demigods at Camp Half-Blood, must battle monsters to save themselves and, potentially, the world. Percy Jackson was so successful that he followed it with The Kane Chronicles, a series of books that took on Egyptian mythology. After that, Riordan published The Heroes of Olympus, a sequel that continued the stories of Percy Jackson’s world.

Riordan continued with Greek and Egyptian mythology. In 2015 he published The Sword of Summer, the first book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. This series, which parallels the Percy Jackson books, takes on the world of Norse mythology, drawing parallels between Norse gods and the gods of Greek mythology.

Riordan continues to publish books today, always focusing on books that are engaging to young readers with a strong basis in mythology. Check out some of the best fantasy authors with a similar style to Rick Riordan!

Best Authors Like Rick Riordan Ranked

1. J.K. Rowling, 1965 –

Jk Rowling
J.K. Rowling

The author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, is an English author with over 600 million copies of her boy wizard series in print. Named by Forbes as the world’s highest-paid author, Rowling was an unknown before she published Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 1997. The book and its six sequels made her a household name and spawned a global media franchise.

The magical world of wizards and witches that runs parallel to the regular world is much like the worlds created by Rick Riordan, which puts her at the top of this list. Rowling has an extensive list of accolades, including winning the Hugo Award for the fourth Harry Potter book and the British Book Awards Book of the Year accolade for Half-Blood Prince, the sixth book.

“Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very own skin.

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Philosopher's Stone
  • Hogwart's
  • Dumbledore
  • Magic
  • School Days

2. Eoin Colfer, 1965 –

Eoin Colfer
Eoin Colfer

Eoin Colfer is an Irish children’s and middle-grade fiction author most famous for his Artemis Fowl series, which he first published in 2001. The books talk of a young master thief who takes on the world of fairies, only to become enamored with it and undergo a major character change. Colfer’s books have all been on the New York Times bestseller list several more than once.

The author holds British Children’s Book of the Year, Irish Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year, and German Children’s Book of the Year awards. Colfer’s books fall within the fantasy book genre, and, like Rick Riordan, he has two different worlds in his books that make them excellent reads. Though he is best known for Artemis Fowl, Colfer also has several standalone books, including The Wish List and Airman, published in 2001 and 2008.

“I am unarmed. But Butler here, my …ah…butler, has a Sig Saucer in his shoulder holster, two shrike-throwing knives in his boots, a derringer two-shot up his sleeve, garrotte wire in his watch, and three stun grenades concealed in various pockets. Anything else, Butler?”

Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl
Artemis Fowl (new cover) (Artemis Fowl, 1)
  • Colfer, Eoin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 06/23/2009 (Publication Date) - Hyperion Book CH (Publisher)

3. Brandon Mull, 1974 –

Brandon Mull
Brandon Mull

American author Brandon Mull was inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling. He graduated from Brigham Young University and was always known to friends and family for his brilliant imagination as a child. Mull published his first book, Fablehaven, in 2006, after many years of working odd jobs and landing a job marketing for a film. The book was quite successful and launched an entire series.

After that, Mull started the Dragonwatch series, with the first book published in 2019. As he continued growing his list of books, he published the Beyonders trilogy, the Five Kingdoms books, the Candy Shop War collection, and Pingo, among others. Many of his books have become New York Times bestsellers, and he continues to publish fascinating fantasy books for young readers.

“Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.”

Brandon Mull, Fablehaven
  • Mull, Brandon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 04/24/2007 (Publication Date) - Aladdin (Publisher)

4. Michael Scott, 1959 –

Author Michael Scott has been writing for over 35 years, with over 120 books in his name. Scott is one of Irelands’ most prolific authors and is best known for his fantasy books. The New York Times bestselling author has many science fiction and fantasy works to his name, including the famous Lost Stories Collection, and writes on Ireland’s mythology, retelling these famous stories for a new generation. 

Irish Folk and Fairy Tales Volume 1 was his first book, published in 1982. The Alchemyst, the first book in the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, is one of his best-known works. It won the Rhode Island Book Award in 2008 while being nominated for Irish Book of the Year and several other awards.

“At the heart of every legend there is a grain of truth.”

Michael Scott, The Alchemyst
The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
  • Hardcover Book
  • Scott, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 05/22/2007 (Publication Date) - Delacorte Press (Publisher)

5. Suzanne Collins, 1962 –

Suzanne Collins
Suzanne Collins

The author of The Hunger Games books, Suzanne Collins, writes young adult fiction with a dystopian flare. She makes it on the list of authors like Rick Riordan because of her use of action and strong characters. However, her books don’t have the mythologic or fairy tale bent of some of the others on this list. Before publishing The Hunger Games in 2008, Collins wrote a book series for younger readers called Gregor the Overlander, which she published starting in 2003. This series focused on an 11-year-old boy who finds a secret world under the ground of New York City, with anthropomorphic rats and cockroaches going to war with one another.

“You see, I tired of constant fear, so I made a decision. Every day when I wake I tell myself that it will be my last. If you are not trying to hold on to time, you are not so afraid of losing it.”

Suzanne Collins, Gregor the Overlander
Gregor the Overlander
  • Collins, Suzanne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 06/25/2013 (Publication Date) - Scholastic Paperbacks (Publisher)

6. Neil Gaiman, 1960 –

Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is an English author who has written everything from graphic novels to screenplays. His Norse mythology anthology landed him a spot on this list. Though it is more of a nonfiction work, it is written like a story, making it an exciting read. Gaiman grew up in Hampshire and spent most of his childhood in the library, learning to love books.

His literary career started in journalism until he wrote biographies of authors Duran Duran and Douglas Adams. Sandman, his groundbreaking graphic novel series, came next, and it won the 1991 World Fantasy Award. In 2008 he published The Graveyard Book, which won the Booktrust Prize for Teenage Fiction in the UK and the Newbery Medal in the US. You might also be interested in our guide on authors like George R.R. Martin.

“It’s like the people who believe they’ll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn’t work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.”

Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
  • Gaiman, Neil (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 08/01/2010 (Publication Date) - HarperCollins (Publisher)

7. Kwame Mbalia

Kwame Mbalia
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky book cover

Kwame Mbalia didn’t start out as an author. As a young man, he was a pharmaceutical meteorologist and publisher for Freedom Fire Books. In 2019, he launched his literary career with his debut novel Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky. The book won the Coretta Scott King Author Honor and was published by Rick Riordan Presents and Disney-Hyperion. The Tristan Strong books feature West African mythology and Black main characters, representing the culture and heritage of West Africa. Mbalia is a Howard University graduate and currently lives in North Carolina with his family.

“Everybody has a story, Nana used to say when I was younger. Listen to it, and they’ll be friendly. Engage with it, and they’ll be your friend.”

Kwame Mbalia, Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky
Rick Riordan Presents: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky-A Tristan Strong Novel, Book 1
  • Mbalia, Kwame (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 528 Pages - 09/22/2020 (Publication Date) - Rick Riordan Presents (Publisher)

8. Yoon Ha Lee, 1979 –

Yoon Ha Lee is an American science fiction writer who published the Machineries of Empire novels. This Korean American writer writes many fantasy books intended for adults, and his debut novel, Ninefox Gambit, won the 2017 Locus Award for Best First Novel. In 2019 he published his first middle-grade book, Thousand Worlds, a Rick Riordan Presents book. This first novel, Dragon Pearl, won the 2020 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature. Currently, Lee focuses on middle-grade fiction, not adult books.

“When people gave you work to do, you stopped being a person and became a part of the scenery. Sometimes that was convenient.”

Yoon Ha Lee, Dragon Pearl
Rick Riordan Presents: Dragon Pearl-A Thousand Worlds Novel, Book 1
  • Hardcover Book
  • Lee, Yoon Ha (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 01/15/2019 (Publication Date) - Rick Riordan Presents (Publisher)

9. Roshani Chokshi, 1991 –

Roshani Chokshi
Roshani Chokshi

Roshani Chokshi is the author of Aru Shah and the End of Time, a Rick Riordan Presents book. As a child of a Filipino mother and Indian father, Chokshi was raised learning about Hindu mythology stories. After high school, she attended law school but published her first novel while studying. Her success caused her to drop out to pursue writing full-time.

In 2016, she published her first young adult novel, The Star-Touched Queen, followed by its sequel, A Crown of Wishes. With Aru Shah and the End of Time, she started her middle-grade writing career and the Pandava series. This book was the first in a series of novels about a 12-year-old girl who lives in a museum and accidentally unleashed a demon who freezes time, causing a mythical adventure to begin.

“A particularly good book has a way of opening new spaces in one’s mind. It even invited you to come back later and rummage through what you’d learn.”

Roshani Chokski, Aru Shah and the End of Time
Rick Riordan Presents: Aru Shah and the End of Time-A Pandava Novel Book 1 (Pandava Series)
  • Chokshi, Roshani (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 03/19/2019 (Publication Date) - Rick Riordan Presents (Publisher)

10. J. C. Cervantes

New York Times bestselling author J.C. Cervantes has published books in over 12 countries. Her works have been named to several “best books” lists, including Barnes and Noble’s Best Young Reader Books and Amazon’s Best Books of the Month lists.

Cervantes has middle-grade, young-adult, and adult novels to her name. For middle-grade readers, the A Shadow Bruja novels are well-known. These mythical stories began with The Storm Runner, the second book to carry the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. Published in 2018, it tells the story of Zane Obispo, a 14-year-old boy who must take on the god of death from Mayan mythology.

“Note to self: Never ask someone if it’s going to hurt unless you’re 100 percent prepared for the truth.”

J.C. Cervantes, The Storm Runner
Rick Riordan Presents: Storm Runner, The
  • Cervantes, J.C. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 464 Pages - 08/20/2019 (Publication Date) - Rick Riordan Presents (Publisher)

Looking for more? Check out our round-up of authors like Sarah J Mass!


  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.