Last Canto of the Dead (Hardcover)

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Two gods-turned-teenagers wage simultaneous battles in the Caribbean and Brooklyn in this breathless sequel to BALLAD & DAGGER.

Healer. Destroyer. Creator. Mateo Matisse and Chela Hidalgo are not just two teenagers in love--they're powerful gods in human form. Powerful enough to have saved their Brooklyn diaspora community from the wrath of an ancient enemy and to have raised their once-sunken native island of San Madrigal from the sea.

But soon they discover that their problems are far from over. On the shores of San Madrigal, two creature armies are battling for survival. And on the streets of Brooklyn, a once tight-knit community is divided, with two sides at each other's throats. But worst of all, a heartbreaking prophecy rips these two young lovers apart, sending Mateo back to the city, where cops are now patrolling the streets, and keeping Chela tethered to the island, where chaos and death lurk around every corner.

Healer. Destroyer. Creator. As gods, their powers know no limits. But as teenagers--separated, desperate, grieving--what will become of them? And what will become of their people?

Join their battle and witness their love in this thrilling conclusion to the epic saga that began with BALLAD & DAGGER.

Endorsed by Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, soon to be a series on Disney+.
Look for these other titles by Daniel José Older:

  • Outlaw Saints Book 1: Ballad & Dagger
  • Star Wars: The High Republic: Race to Crashpoint Tower
  • Star Wars: The High Republic: Midnight Horizon

About the Author

Daniel José Older (he/him) is a New York Times best-selling author and story architect. He has published sixteen novels and numerous short stories and essays, and he is a regular comics writer for Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures and Marvel. He won the International Latino Book Award and has been a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, the Mythopoeic Award, the Locus Award, the Andre Norton Award, and the World Fantasy Award. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic, and hear his music at, @djolder on Twitter, @danieljose1 on Instagram, and @danieljoseolder on TikTok.

Praise For…


*"In this engrossing duology starter, the Riordan imprint's first YA offering, Older explores themes of diaspora, colonialism, and identity via a vibrantly conceived, folklore-tinged fantasy that never loses sight of its immediate human elements, including a strong sense of community and blossoming attraction between its 16-year-old protagonists."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)


"Older deftly combines fantasy with political concepts to portray a young adult's journey through identity, mental health, and romance. Older cleverly integrates languages, music, foods, and other cultural elements. The novel's political coups, supernatural forces, and thrilling action should leave readers eager for the second half of the projected duology."—Horn Book Magazine


"This first entry for YA readers from Rick Riordan Presents offers the same heart and adventure that work so well in the imprint’s middle-grade titles, with the addition of Older’s finely tuned teenage voice and worldbuilding details that will make readers long for a place that feels believable enough to be real. The first book of the duology ends on a satisfying note, leaving readers excited for the conclusion. A new, magical world full of rich folklore and hitting all the right notes."—Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9781368070904
ISBN-10: 1368070906
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents
Publication Date: May 16th, 2023
Pages: 400
Language: English
Series: Mateo Matisse