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Warning! This page contains spoilers for The Burning Maze.


The Burning Maze is the third book in The Trials of Apollo series written by Rick Riordan. It was released on May 1, 2018.

Synopsis

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…

Development

The cover and excerpt of the first chapter of this book was released on January, 17th, 2018.[1]

Starting on April 11th, 2018, a series of exercise videos featuring Gleeson Hedge were shown to promote the book.[2][3]

Plot

Apollo, Meg McCaffrey, and Grover Underwood have been navigating through the Labyrinth for two days. They come across a narrow passage and barely miss a blast of fire, that means their getting close. They were chased by strixes, owl-like creatures who eat human flesh and will curse anyone who kills them. Upon reaching a fifty-foot circular chamber, Meg and Grover manage to hold most of them back with tomato plants but one breaks free and paralyzes Apollo. Grover, who can talk to animals, tries to make peace with the strix. But the bird of ill omen replies that the emperor commanded them to eat them. Meg accidentally kills that strix by sending it flying into the brick wall. She and Grover make the tomato barrier stronger and duct tape Apollo to the satyr's back. During the climbing Apollo takes the Arrow of Dodona out for advice about the strixes. Meg couldn't summon Peaches to help fight and the strixes break free. The arrow says they can be repelled with "arbutus". Grover suddenly summons Panic which he received from Pan, all the strixes flee. Meg got paralyzed from the waist down but Apollo is feeling better, enough to be released from Grover's back. The top of the chamber was a domed ceiling, but Grover sees that it looks familiar. He and Meg realize that arbutus plants resemble strawberries. The strixes are coming back so Meg plants her seeds on the ramp. Grover and Apollo use music to make them explode like fireworks, the strixes hate that. Suddenly, the chamber rumbled, the strawberries were breaking the dome. The rocks kill the strixes but the plants continue to grow, the three use them as a trampoline to get out. Apollo gives Meg Ambrosia for the paralysis, they have reached Grover's base.

In a dream, Apollo sees a young woman handcuffed over a pool of lava. She apologizes to someone and says Apollo must come save her even though it is a trap. After the woman dissolves into flames, the dream transitioned. This time Apollo was in a terrace near the Gulf of Naples at night. A young man is approached by a stronger man who calls him Princeps. The strong man has just killed someone with the victim's own pillow, the younger man said the "old pig" deserved it as he's been waiting years for him to die. When stepped into the moonlight, Apollo recognizes this man as one who is handsome yet horribly evil. The stronger man yells, "Hail, Caesar!"

Apollo wakes up on a tarp in the desert near twilight. He and Meg McCaffrey passed out for hours. They are currently on the outskirts of Palm Springs, they came out of a cistern. The nearby ruins are the base of Grover Underwood and his "others", there have been lots of abnormal natural disasters happening. Meg is not happy to be here again. Grover brings them to the ruins of an old greenhouse. There they meet, Prickly Pear, Aloe Vera, and Joshua, Dryads. A cloud nymph named Mellie is also there.


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Finding the store took forever, because Grover kept getting sidetracked. Night fell. The western horizon glowed – not with the usual orange of mortal light pollution but with the ominous red of a distant inferno. Smoke blotted out the stars. The temperature barely cooled. The air still smelled bitter and wrong. Apollo remembered the wave of flames that had nearly incinerated us in the Labyrinth. The heat seemed to have had a personality – a resentful malevolence. "I thought about my dream of the woman in molten chains, standing on a platform above a pool of lava. Despite his fuzzy memories, Apollo was sure that woman was the Erythraean Sibyl, the next Oracle he has to free from the emperors. Something told me she was imprisoned in the very centre of … whatever was generating those subterranean fires. I did not relish the idea of finding her."  They stopped at a major intersection. Across the boulevard stood a warehouse store with a glowing red sign: MACRO’S MILITARY MADNESS! The parking lot was empty except for an old yellow Pinto parked near the entrance. Realizing it was Hedge's car, they head into the store. 


As predicted, Gleeson Hedge was in the firearms section, whistling as he stuffed his shopping trolley with rifle scopes and barrel brushes. Naevius Sutorius Macro, praetor who served an emperor that likes being called Neo Helios (New Sun), tricks Apollo into telling him that he is Apollo. Macro wants to capture Apollo so that he gets into the emperor’s good graces. Then it turns out that all the employees are automatons. Macro reveals that the emperors name is Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. Upon hearing this Apollo tells Grover and Coach Hedge to run. Gleeson Hedge of course charged at Macro in an attempt to kill him, luckily Apollo pulls Hedge away and they ran down an aisle trying to escape. Grover gets separated in the confusion. They try to get out the front doors after Coach Hedge executed a perfect roundhouse kick at Macro, but the front doors are locked.

Prophecy

In the Labyrinth, Herophile guided Apollo to where she was being held through a series of word puzzles. Herophile spouted multiple word puzzles that, combined, say the following:

Apollo faces death in Tarquin’s Tomb unless the doorway to the soundless god is opened by...

Upon solving the word puzzles, Grover, Meg and Apollo reached Herophile in her chains. After Meg tried to free her, Apollo began spouting the following lines:

Bronze upon gold

East meets west

Legions are redeemed

Light the depths

One against many

Never spirit defeated

Ancient words spoken

Shaking old foundations

Destroy the tyrant

Aid the winged

Under golden hills

Great stallion’s foal

Turn red tides

Harken the trumpets

Enter stranger’s home

Regain lost glory

While those words illuminated the floor tiles, Meg noticed that they were an acrostic that spelled out "Bellona's Daughter" making the full prophecy the following:

Apollo faces death in Tarquin’s Tomb unless the doorway to the soundless god is opened by Bellona's Daughter

Unraveling the prophecy

Bellona's daughter refers to Reyna Ramírez-Arellano, the senior praetor of the twelfth legion. It is believed that Apollo would die in the tomb of Tarquin Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the final king of Rome, unless Reyna releases some soundless god.

Characters


Chapter List

  1. Once was Apollo/ Now a rat in the Lab’inth/ Send help. And cronuts
  2. Now I'm a suitcase/ Duct-taped to a satyr's back./ Worst. Morning. Ever.
  3. Strixes do sucketh/ Yea, verily I tell you/ Much sucking is theirs
  4. Welcome to my base/ We have rocks, sand, and ruins/ Did I mentions rocks?
  5. First-aid succulent/ Heal me of my many cuts!/ (But no slime trail, please)
  6. Random plumes of fire/ Ground squirrels nibble my nerves/ I love the desert
  7. Family fun packs/ Should be for frozen pizza/ Not for frag grenades
  8. We blow up some things/ You thought all the things blew up?/ No, we found more things
  9. Collect call from Horse/ Do you accept the charges?/ Nay-ay-ay-ay-ay
  10.  Cute kid you got there/ With the itty-bitty boots/ And murderous grin
  11. No touchy the god/ Unless your visions are good/ And you wash your hands
  12. O, Pinto, Pinto!/ Wherefore art thou puke yellow?/ I'll hide in the back
  13. Don't move the gas grill/ Meg is still playing with it/ We are so KA-BOOM
  14. Bedrossian Man/ Bedrossian Man, run as/ Fast as ... yoga pants
  15. Grover leaves early/ Grover is a smart satyr/ Lester, not so much
  16. Let's charmspeak battle/ You are ugly and you suck/ The end. Do I win?
  17. Phil and Don are dead/ Bye-bye, love and happiness/ Hello, headlessness
  18. Whoa, there, Medea/ Don't be all up in my face/ With your hot granddad
  19. In my underclothes/ Slathered with grease. Really not/ As fun as it sounds
  20. O muse, let us now/ Sing in the praise of botanists!/ They do plant stuff. Yay.
  21. When life gives you seeds/ Plant them in dry rocky soil/ I'm an optimist
  22. For my school project/ I made this pagan temple/ Monopoly board
  23. It's a beautiful/ Day in the neighborhood- Wait/ Actually, it's not
  24. Ah, Santa Barbara!/ Famed for surfing! Fish tacos!/ And crazy Romans!
  25. All in the same boat/ Wait. Two of us disappeared./ Half in the same boat
  26. Oh, Florence and Grunk/ La-di-da, something, something/ I'll get back to you
  27. I can kill you all/ Or I can sing you Joe Walsh/ Really, it's your choice
  28. Apollo, disguised/ As Apollo, disguised as.../ Nah. Too depressing.
  29. A horse is a horse/ Of course, of course. and no one/ Can- RUN! HE'LL KILL YOU!
  30. I'll never leave you/ Love will keep us together/ Or glue. Glue works too
  31. I give you my heart/ I mean metaphorically/ Put away that knife
  32. Don't make me do it/ I'm crazy, I'll do it, I'll-/ Ow, that really hurt
  33. No good news awaits/ I warned you right at the start/ Turn away, reader
  34. Surfing accident/ My new euphemism for/ Worst evening ever
  35. If you give a pan-/ dos a ukelele, he/ Will want lessons. DON'T.
  36. A suspended fourth/ The kind of chord you play just/ Before suddenly-
  37. Want to play a game?/ It's easy. You take a guess./ Then you burn to death.
  38. I sing to myself!/ Though Apollo is cooler/ Like way, way cooler
  39. Noble sacrifice/ I'll protect you from the flames/ Wow, I'm a good guy
  40. Congratulations/ You finished the word puzzle/ You win... enemies
  41. Meg sings. It's over./ Everybody just go home/ We are so roasted
  42. You want prophecy?/ I'll drop some nonsense on you/ Eat my gibberish!
  43. Favorite chapter/ Because only one bad death/ That is just messed up
  44. Ha-ha-ha, dryads?/ That's straight from the horse's mouth/ Good-bye, Mr. Horse
  45. Desert flowers bloom/ Sunset rain sweetens the air/ Time for a game show!
  46. Second prize: Road trip/ With Bon Jovi on cassette/ First prize: Please, don't ask
  47. In-flight beverages/ Include the tears of a god/ Please have exact change

Gallery

Trivia

References

The Trials of Apollo
Core Series: The Hidden Oracle | The Dark Prophecy | The Burning Maze | The Tyrant's Tomb
Main Characters: Apollo/Lester Papadopolous | Meg McCaffrey | Peaches | Leo Valdez | Calypso | Grover Underwood | Piper McLean
Minor Characters: Percy Jackson | Sally Jackson | Nico di Angelo | Will Solace | Chiron | Rachel Elizabeth Dare | Thalia Grace | Mrs. O'Leary | Festus | Cade | Mikey | Kayla Knowles | Austin Lake | Harley | Connor Stoll | Miranda Gardiner | Cecil Markowitz | Ellis Wakefield | Sherman Yang | Damien White | Malcolm Pace | Paolo Montes | Agamethus | Hemithea | Josephine | Georgina | Lityerses | Olujime | Hunter Kowalski | Sssssarah | Trophonius | Prickly Pear | Aloe Vera | Joshua | Gleeson Hedge | Mellie | Chuck Hedge | Naevius Sutorius Macro | Incitatus | Crest | Tristan McLean | Medea | Jason Grace
Olympian Gods: Zeus | Hera | Poseidon | Demeter | Ares | Athena | Artemis | Hephaestus | Aphrodite | Hermes | Dionysus | Hades
Minor Gods: Nero | Iris | Britomartis | Commodus | Styx | Caligula
Titans: Rhea | Leto | Mnemosyne | Helios
Monsters and Magical Creatures: Python | Nosoi | Karpoi | Palikos | Myrmeke | Colossus Neronis | Blemmyae | Griffin | Carthaginian Serpent | Scythian Dracaena | Cynocephali | Centaur | Cyclops | Yale | Satyr | Strix | Dragon | Pandai
Related Content: Rick Riordan | Percy Jackson and the Olympians | The Heroes of Olympus | Demigods & Magicians | Camp Half-Blood Confidential

Start a Discussion Discussions about The Burning Maze

  • The Burning Maze

    3 messages
    • Agreed.
    • I wonder how many page exist about this topic...like, I do not know, about twenty at least?
  • The Burning Maze

    18 messages
    • So you guys might not care but I found out that Jason died because I went to his Wikia page and his status was deceased... So I'm like tf ...
    • Honestly, I'd say Jason's death was very realistic (and, in my opinion, quite well done). I'd expected something to happen to ...