Imagine a place where flames come up out of the ground because of a legendary battle between Pegusus and the mythical Chimera who had the head of a lion, body of a goat, and snake’s tail with the power to scatter flames from its mouth. Over the summer we visited Olympos and neighboring Cirali, magical places on the southern coast of Turkey that served as the home of the Lycians in 2 BC and inspiration for legends found in Greek mythology.
Prior to our trip I tried to provide as much background knowledge about the places were were visiting to my kids to make their experience more meaningful. We looked at maps, borrowed travel guides from the library, and read age appropriate books that would spark their interest like the classic D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths that I loved as a child and the Percy Jackson series that retells mythology in a more modern way.
We had read about the Chimera but it wasn’t until we hiked up Mount Olympos to see the hillside dotted with flames that our knowledge of Greek myths came alive. As we dimmed our headlights and flashlights and walked among spots where flames shot out from holes in the rock (and those roasting hot dogs or marshmallows over the fire!), we imagined the Chimera housed in the hillside below our feet.
For thousands of years the Chimera’s flames have emerged from the Earth. While there is a scientific explanation for the geochemical reaction that has caused this phenomenon, it’s more fun to think about the Greek myth while walking among the ruins of the temple that the Lycians built in honor of Hephaestus, the Greek god of fire.
When we returned home from our trip, we found Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes on our doorstep. Emily quickly flipped through this beautiful book before searching the index to find the story of the Chimera.
Told in typical Percy fashion, Emily found the story of the Chimera in the chapter called Whatever it is, Bellerophon Didn’t Do It. This chapter in Greek Heroes centers around Bellerophon the blameless who, as Percy says, is always in trouble. It provides more of a context for the legend of the Chimera for any fan of the series who remembers how Percy, Grover, and Annabelle originally encountered the Echinda and the Chimera at the top of the Gateway Arch in The Lightning Thief!
The new Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes is the companion to the national best seller Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods. Whether you’re a fan of the series, recently started reading them, or are getting started with Greek mythology, Percy Jackson uses his own funny, irreverent style to tell the tales of the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan’s legions of devoted fans and for anyone who needs a hero. There’s also a downloadable Activity Kit for Greek Heroes that serves as a great companion for the book and learning about mythology.
Percy Jackson Greek Heroes Giveaway!
Win a Percy Jackson Greek Heroes prize pack thanks to Disney-Hyperion. One winner will receive:
- a copy of GREEK HEROES
- plus a “Percy Pack” limited edition backpack!
So as Percy would say: “Get your flaming spear. Put on your lion skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you’ve got arrows in your quiver. We’re going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we’ll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let’s do this.”
This post was written as part of an uncompensated partnership with Disney-Hyperion where I receive Percy related products for my participation. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are included in this post.