The Trials of Apollo: The Burning Maze
Author: Rick Riordan
Once was Apollo
Now a rat in the Lab’rinth
Send help. And Cronuts.
It’s bad enough that Apollo, the awesome, Greek God of music and poetry was turned into a mortal teenager named Lester Papadopoulos, and that he’s being bossed around by the twelve-year-old demi god, Meg. Now, they’re on a quest to save five Oracles and possibly the world from a trio of Roman Emperors. Having saved two oracles already, they are given a prophecy.
He and Meg, along with the satyr, Grover Underwood, must go down into the labyrinth to find the third emperor to find the next Oracle. What Lest-er-Apollo hasn’t told his companions is how he’s been feeling weaker and weaker. He worries that he may not be up to the task. But, in order to return to his shining glory, he must be. Calling on two demigods for help, he prays they will free the Oracle from the scorching maze for him-er, help him free the Oracle.
One of my favorite things that can happen in is when a beginning starts off very entertaining, while also catching me off guard. This book did just that by starting off with No. That’s it. Just the word no. I laughed so hard, because I could hear the defiance in the word so clearly, like a seven-year-old stomping its foot down. Certainly, a great way to start it off.
This addition to the series was BIG one! Stilled filled with the funny, it was also much more intense and heartbreaking. The bravery and show of friendship between the characters is inspiring. There were gains, but there were great losses during this part of the journey. Riordan really works this emotional rollercoaster. And I don’t care that I’m 25, I really enjoy his books.
The setting mostly circulates in Palm Springs and the Labyrinth—you’ll remember this fun place from Percy Jackson. There are many new faces as well as old. It made me nostalgic as well as excited. Old bonds and new ones. I’m just giddy thinking back on it.
Apollo is still Apollo, but I am loving the development. It’s obvious that this is no longer just a quest for him. He’s become less self-absorbed, which is surprising, right!? He’s made amazing allies and friends even though at times it difficult. I love that this book shows that it’s not easy to let people in, nor is it always sunshine and rainbows, but you accept them. The guest stars, Jason Grace, Piper McClean, and Grover Underwood really show just how big of a quest this is. Everybody is joining in. It really keeps the story fresh. I especially enjoyed the dryads that came into this story. Where they seem like helpless creatures, in here they don’t. Just give me more of all of this.
There were many moments that my heart was broken and mended and broken and mended. The hardships for Apollo only increase and I don’t envy the weight put on his shoulders. It’s heavy. Each step of this journey is incredible and emotional. Yet, I couldn’t stop reading. The adventure has me hooked.
There’s so much action that if you blink you’ll miss it. Shocking twists jumped out when I least expected it. I’m always pleasantly surprised with the way mythology is brought to life in such an exciting way.
If you haven’t started this series, do.
“Unbelievable. After four thousand years, I am still discovering new things.” (Apollo, p. 141)
“Pretty can be useful. Powerful is better.” (Medea to Piper, p. 165)
“I wondered, not for the first time, why we Greek Deities had never created a god of family therapy. We certainly could have used one. Or perhaps we had one before I was born, and she quit. Or Kronos swallowed her whole.” (Apollo, p. 358)
More to come soon…
Thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.