Puffin scoops Riordan's epic sea adventure

Puffin scoops Riordan's epic sea adventure

Puffin has scooped the “epic” new standalone middle-grade novel from bestselling author Rick Riordan, Daughter of the Deep, featuring his first female protagonist.

UK and Commonwealth rights were bought by Ruth Bennett, Puffin editorial director, from Jodie Hodges at United Agents on behalf of The Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency.

Billed as a modern take on Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea for children aged 10 and above, the book is released in hardback, trade paperback, audio and e-book on 5th October 2021. Disney Hyperion will publish the novel simultaneously in the US.

Using humour and fast-paced action, the adventure follows Ana Dakkar, freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a five-year high school that graduates the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world.

The publisher said: “Ana's parents died while on a scientific expedition two years ago and the only family she's got left is her older brother, Dev, also a student at HP. Ana's freshman year culminates with the class' weekend trial at sea, the details of which have been kept secret. She only hopes she has what it'll take to succeed. All her worries are blown out of the water when, on the bus ride to the ship, Ana and her schoolmates witness a terrible tragedy that will change the trajectory of their lives.

“But wait, there’s more. The professor accompanying them informs Ana that their rival school, Land Institute, and Harding-Pencroft have been fighting a cold war for 150 years. Now that cold war has been turned up to a full boil, and the freshman are in danger of becoming fish food. In a race against deadly enemies, Ana will make amazing friends and astounding discoveries about her heritage as she puts her leadership skills to the test for the first time.”

Riordan, dubbed “storyteller of the gods” by Publishers Weekly, is the author of five New York Times number-one bestselling book series: Percy Jackson, the Heroes of Olympus and the Trials of Apollo, based on Greek and Roman mythology; the Kane Chronicles, based on Egyptian mythology; and Magnus Chase, based on Norse mythology.

He explained: “Readers familiar with Percy Jackson will not be surprised to learn that I have always been fascinated by the sea. Daughter of the Deep is a story that I’ve been wanting to write for a least 15 years. I’m so excited that at last, I will get to take readers to new depths, following in the wake of the legendary Captain Nemo.”

Bennett added: “Riordan is a master storyteller with a skill for combining epic settings with pacey adventures. Daughter of the Deep delivers on this and more. I know that readers will be swept away by the excitement of diving into this brilliant new book and exploring beneath the ocean’s surface alongside Ana and her companions.”