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This book or series is published under Rick Riordan Presents and its contents is not canon to the Riordanverse.

Pahua and the Soul Stealer is an upcoming standalone book by Lori M. Lee that focuses on Hmong mythology. It is set to be released September 7th, 2021.

This article is written from a real world point of view.


Pahua Moua has a bit of a reputation for being a weirdo. A lonely eleven-year-old Hmong girl with the unique ability to see spirits, she spends her summer days babysitting her little brother and playing with her best friend, a cat spirit no one else can see.

One day Pahua accidentally untethers an angry spirit from the haunted bridge in her neighborhood--whoops. When her brother suddenly falls sick and can't be awoken, Pahua fears that the bridge spirit has stolen his soul. She returns to the scene of the crime with her aunt's old shaman tools, hoping to confront the spirit and demand her brother's return. Instead, she summons a demon.

Thankfully, a warrior shaman with a bit of an attitude problem shows up at the last minute and saves her butt. With the help of this guide, Pahua will have to find her way through the spirit worlds and rescue her brother's soul before it's too late. Little does she know she'll have her own discoveries to make along the way. . .

. . With its unforgettable characters, unique nature-based magic system, breathtaking twists and reveals, and climactic boss battle, this story based on Hmong oral tradition offers everything a fantasy lover could want.


This book was first announced on Rick Riordan's Tower of Nero tour in October 2020,[1] which was confirmed by the author Lori M. Lee via Twitter on January 28 2021[2]. In a following Tweet she said that the book contained "a judgmental invisible cat [...] a fire spirit that lives in the stove [...] multiple realms inhabited by spirits and dragons [...] a demon in a sundress [and] FUN TIMES ALL AROUND"[3] and in the next Tweet she put a link to the Goodreads page with the official summary[4].

On February 3 Rick Riordan posted an update to his website[5] in which he said "First up, news broke this week about Lori M. Lee’s wonderful upcoming novel for us: PAHUA AND THE SOUL STEALER. [...] I have read it. I have loved it. My only regret is that I didn’t know more about Hmong story traditions before now. They are fascinating. The ghosts! The shamans! The talking cats!" At the same time Lori M. Lee had also made a page on her website for Pahua and the Soul Stealer[6].

On February 19 Lori M. Lee made a Tweet that revealed the release date for Pahua and the Soul Stealer -- September 7[7].

On April 14, ReadRiordan revealed the cover for the book through their website.[8]


Summer School and Haunted Bridges

Pahua Moua.

As Pahua Moua is getting ready for summer school, a spirit in the form of a black kitten named Miv, who she has known since she was five, says she looks like an eggplant with the shirt she is wearing. She ignores him and bumps into her mom carrying pants of rice. While she is exited for movie night, her mother says she has to skip it as something came up. After eating breakfast, she and her younger brother, Matt, go to summer school. As they walk, she sees various spirits and acknowledges them, only for two boys passing by to call her crazy. When she gets to her first class, algebra, she sees the school's mean girl, Hailey Jones, walk in with her friend, Jocelyn. They find a grain of rice on Pahua's shirt and mock her for it. Just then, a new girl from Chicago, June, stops the girls from mocking her and asks Pahua to join them in checking out a bridge, which is said to be haunted by the ghost of a girl who was abandoned by her family, which she reluctantly accepts. As they get closer, Pahua starts to feel something negative.



  1. My Best Friend Is a Cat Spirit
  2. Human Spirits Are The Worst
  3. Don’t Talk to Bridge Spirits
  4. Continuing the Tradition of Making Bad Decisions
  5. Shaman Warriors Are Real and Also Rude
  6. Flying by Elephant Statue
  7. Killer Fashion
  8. Sleep Is for The Weak
  9. Let Me Cosmos-Google That for You
  10. Meeting Grandpa, Ruler of All the Realms. No Pressure
  11. I Wouldn’t Even Mind if He Called Me Dummy
  12. Dragon Spirits Need Fashion Tips. A Sword Tip Works, Too.
  13. Traffic Jam at the Crossroads of the Realms
  14. The Guardian of the Crossroads is a Stone-Cold Screamer
  15. Death by Cursed Frog
  16. If There's a Booby Trap, It's an Evil Lair
  17. Running for Our Lives-A Theme
  18. Equestrian Rentals
  19. Friendship Upgrade
  20. Sacred Ground, No Trespassing, Will Be Cursed
  21. Knowledge Hurts
  22. Past-Life Highlights Reel
  23. Worst Memory
  24. King Arthur Did It Better
  25. Stranded
  26. Trust-Fall, Extreme Edition
  27. Don’t Take Me to Your Leader
  28. Smoke and Ashes
  29. Dragon, Meet My Friend the Water Buffalo
  30. Sibling Reunion
  31. God of Thunder, Destruction, and Goth
  32. Truth and Lies
  33. True Strength
  34. Time for Those Long-Overdue Talks


  • The book is dedicated to Lori M. Lee's mother, "whose bravery could rival any folktale's hero", and to Matt, "one of [her] earliest partners in imagination".
  • Pahua and the Soul Stealer is the first stand alone book under Rick Riordan Presents to not be released in January.


Pahua and the Soul Stealer
Books: Pahua and the Soul Stealer
Main Characters: Pahua Moua | Miv
Minor Characters:
Mythical Creatures: Ghost
Related Content: Lori M. Lee | Rick Riordan Presents
Rick Riordan Presents
Pandava Quintet: Aru Shah and the End of Time | Aru Shah and the Song of Death | Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes | Aru Shah and the City of Gold
Storm Runner Trilogy: The Storm Runner | The Fire Keeper | The Shadow Crosser
Shadow Bruja Duology: Lords of Night
Thousand Worlds series: Dragon Pearl | Tiger Honor
Sal & Gabi Duology: Sal & Gabi Break the Universe | Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe
Tristan Strong Trilogy: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky | Tristan Strong Destroys the World | Tristan Strong Keeps Punching
Paola Santiago series: Paola Santiago and the River of Tears | Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares | Paola Santiago and the Sanctuary of Shadows
The Gifted Clans series: The Last Fallen Star | The Last Fallen Moon | The Last Fallen Realm
Serwa Boateng series: Serwa Boateng's Guide to Vampire Hunting
Outlaw Saints: Ballad & Dagger
Winston Chu Duology: Winston Chu Versus the Whimsies
Moko Magic Duology: Moko Magic
Stand Alone Novels: Race to the Sun | City of the Plague God | Pahua and the Soul Stealer
Others: The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities: New Stories About Mythic Heroes