The penultimate book in the PJO series set the tone for what would be a brilliant ending to Riordan’s debut mythology books. It’s in this book our titular character (and friends) start to mature along with the themes of the story. In what was undoubtedly a meticulously thought out plan we see the return of Rachel Elizabeth Dare who was very briefly introduced in The Titan’s Curse. Not only does she form the third apex to the story’s first love triangle, but she proves to be more than useful, showing that you don’t need powers to help save the world, but more on that later…
This book is a modern take on two of Ancient Greece’s prominent myths. It is predominantly an iteration of the story of Theseus and Ariadne making their way through Daedalus’ Labyrinth, while integrating the death of Pan. Despite these two myths being the driving force in shaping the story, Riordan branches out into other Myths with his introduction of the titaness, Calypso (a tale told in the Odyssey) and plants the seeds of the final book with the story/awakening of Typhon.
There is a lot of character development in this novel, particularly for Percy and Annabeth as Riordan properly explores romance with their much anticipated first kiss. Of course from there he has to send Percy to an island where he’s plagued by guilt because he is healed by Calypso who falls in love with him then he has to abandon her thus halting his budding romance with Annabeth… but it is what it is… because as most of Riordan’s loyal reader’s have learnt he loves to mess with us.
On top of that we even learn that the toughest of us can still find love and forgiveness as we begin to see a softer side to the daughter of Ares, Clarisse La Rue, who finds her own romance with former traitor Chris Rodriguez.
We also see development of the (to be fan favourite) Nico di Angelo who is struggling with the loss of his sister and tapping into that good ol’ Hades anger.
I believe that it’s in this book where Riordan first marks his desire to promote inclusiveness in his novels, though he starts off small. We see this through the lens of Rachel Elizabeth Dare – yes I will keep writing her full name… don’t ask me why, it’s just fun – who proves that you don’t need to be powered to be a hero. Riordan could have very easily made her a damsel in distress type guide, but instead he gives her a strong, brave personality, that ultimately helps them get through the maze and prevent an early victory for Luke/Kronos.
Riordan caps this one off with an epic battle followed by an even more epic twist revealing that The Daedalus from the myths had managed evade death, as he joins the battle, sacrificing himself to save Camp Half-Blood.
This series progressively got better and this book proved that in not only holding a strong story on its own but also laid the ground work for the book that would follow, the final book in the series.
The Lost Artefacts
If you like the Rick Riordan books then you’ll love The Lost Artefacts series.
Runner up in the 2021 TCK Publishing Reader’s Choice Awards!