‘The Burning Maze’
By Rick Riordan
Book #3 in the Trials of Apollo Series
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publish Date: May 2018
Genre: Middle GradeFantasy
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD
“Then humans destroyed most of the wilderness, and Pan faded into nothing. You humans. You’re why we gods can’t have nice things.”
The formerly glorious god Apollo, cast down to earth in punishment by Zeus, is now an awkward mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos. In order to regain his place on Mount Olympus, Lester must restore five Oracles that have gone dark. But he has to achieve this impossible task without having any godly powers and while being duty-bound to a confounding young daughter of Demeter named Meg. Thanks a lot, Dad.
With the help of some demigod friends, Lester managed to survive his first two trials, one at Camp Half-Blood, and one in Indianapolis, where Meg received the Dark Prophecy. The words she uttered while seated on the Throne of Memory revealed that an evil triumvirate of Roman emperors plans to attack Camp Jupiter. While Leo flies ahead on Festus to warn the Roman camp, Lester and Meg must go through the Labyrinth to find the third emperor—and an Oracle who speaks in word puzzles—somewhere in the American Southwest. There is one glimmer of hope in the gloom-filled prophecy: The cloven guide alone the way does know. They will have a satyr companion, and Meg knows just who to call upon.
‘She gave me a wry smile. “That’s nice. I like that. You’re sure you’re not the god of wisdom?”
“I applied for the job,” I said, “But they gave it to someone else, something about inventing olives.” I rolled my eyes.’
‘The Burning Maze’ is the third instalment in the Trials of Apollo series. We continue to follow Apollo as he attempts to reclaim the five Oracles from three very crazy, murderous Roman Emperors. So far we have explored oracles Dordona and Trophonius and now Apollo is set to free Erythaea. We are yet to reclaim the Sibylline Books written by Cumae or Delphi
As in the first two books Apollo is joined by heroes from the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. In ‘The Burning Maze’ we follow up with Grover, Coach Hedge, Jason, Piper and Leo with mentions of both Percy and Annabeth along the way. This is one of the things I have been loving about Rick Riordan’s books, the connection between the series and the characters is one that really engages me as a reader. You never know when a character that you loved from a different series is going to pop up again.
‘The Burning Maze’ was definitely more fast paced than ‘The Dark Prophecy’ (book two is the Trials of Apollo Series) we jumped right into the action, or so it felt. We learn what Piper, Jason and Hedge have been doing since our last encounters with them and we begin to learn more about just how much power these Emperors hold.
Most of this instalment is set in Palm Springs, which is a location that holds an immense amount of history for one of our characters whom we begin to learn more and more about (yay for character development and backstory, I love it) as well as exploring the reach of this world that Rick Riordan has created and introducing us to different Dryads and exploring their importance in the world.
‘The Burning Maze’ acts as any third instalment does and builds us up for the end of the series – there are 2 more books to be released in this series as far as I am aware – with no real resolutions to the overall problem of the series. However this book is emotional! You have been warned! We also see Apollo develop some more human emotions than he has shown is previous books, which again is great character development.
Overall this was a great read. I got really into it near the end and could not put it down.
‘I give you my heart
I mean metaphorically
Put away the knife’
Ease of reading: 8/10
Character Development: 10/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10