The Mark of Athena

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The Mark of Athena
The Mark of Athena cover art.jpg
AuthorRick Riordan
IllustratorJohn Rocco
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Heroes of Olympus (Book 3)
GenreFantasy, Greek and Roman mythology, Young adult
PublisherDisney-Hyperion
Publication date
October 2, 2012 (hardcover, audiobook CD, Kindle/Nook eBook)
Media typePrint (hardback, audiobook CD, E-book)
Pages574 (Hardcover)
ISBN978-1423140603
Preceded byThe Son of Neptune
Followed byThe House of Hades
 
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The Mark of Athena
The Mark of Athena cover art.jpg
AuthorRick Riordan
IllustratorJohn Rocco
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Heroes of Olympus (Book 3)
GenreFantasy, Greek and Roman mythology, Young adult
PublisherDisney-Hyperion
Publication date
October 2, 2012 (hardcover, audiobook CD, Kindle/Nook eBook)
Media typePrint (hardback, audiobook CD, E-book)
Pages574 (Hardcover)
ISBN978-1423140603
Preceded byThe Son of Neptune
Followed byThe House of Hades

The Mark Athena is the third book of The Heroes of Olympus series written by Rick Riordan. It was released on October 2, 2012. The novel takes place where the previous novel in the series, Son of Neptune, left off. The Mark of Athena follows the alternating Greek demigods: Annabeth Chase, Leo Valdez, Piper McLean, and Percy Jackson as well as three Roman demigods, who are Jason Grace, Hazel Levesque, and Frank Zhang.

Development and promotion[edit]

Rick Riordan had been working on The Mark of Athena since the completion of The Son of Neptune.

During his tour to promote the last of The Kane Chronicles books, titled The Serpent's Shadow, Riordan read part of the first chapter of The Mark of Athena.

The cover and full first chapter were released on June 1 on Disney's The Heroes of Olympus website.[citation needed]

On September 27, Riordan confirmed that there would be a first US printing of 3.5 million copies. The book was released on October 2, 2012. The next book in the series, The House of Hades was released on October 8, 2013.[1]

Prophecy[edit]

In The Son of Neptune, Ella (a harpy) recited the first two lines of the prophecy concerning the demigods' quest. In The Mark of Athena, Ella recites the whole prophecy in front of both Greek and Roman demigods. Translated from Latin to English, the prophecy says:

Wisdom's daughter walks alone,
The Mark of Athena burns through Rome,
Twins snuff out the angel's breath,
Who holds the key to endless death.
The Giants' bane stands gold and pale,
Won through pain from a woven jail.

Plot[edit]

The Argo II has reached Camp Jupiter. Annabeth, Leo, Piper, and Jason meet the Roman campers. Reyna, Percy, Hazel, Frank, and the other members of the legion welcome the Greek demigods, and they begin to discuss the giants and Hera/Juno's plans. Ella, the harpy, speaks about a prophecy that refers to Annabeth's personal quest. While Jason gives Piper a tour of the camp, Reyna talks to Annabeth alone. They are told that they have to search for the Mark of Athena to bring the Romans and the Greeks together. During the meal that follows, Leo, later shown to be possessed by a spirit called an eidelon, attacks the camp using the Argo II{'}s ordinance. The Romans are outraged and began to follow Argo II to attack the ship. The crew, including Percy and Jason, board and escape.

On their journey to talk to Bacchus the god of wine, also known as Dionysus (his Greek form), Gaia appears to Piper and tells her that she gets to pick which boy dies with her, Percy or Jason. When she refuses to pick, Jason and Percy's eyes glaze and glow gold and they attempt to fight to the death until Piper knocks them both out. Later on, Percy, Frank, and Coach Hedge fight Phorcys and Keto for information about Gaia. The seven quickly leave for Charleston and fly to Battery Park. The angry Romans whom are seeking revenge for Camp Jupiter's destruction come and a fight breaks loose. The seven reach the ship and leave safely to go to Chiron's brothers, who live in the sea.They find a shrimp monster (which Leo calls Shrimpzilla) attacking the ship. During the fight, Leo, Frank, and Hazel get kicked into the water by the monster and find the icthyocentaurs, Chiron's brothers. They negotiate with the icthyocentaurs about the coming war. Afterwards they meet the famous Hercules near the pillars, or the entrance to Rome, so Piper and Jason break the second horn of Achelous, the bull-headed river god in order to please Hercules so he can let them pass. Even though it was Hercules who wanted the other horn of Achelous, Piper decided that Hercules did not deserve the horn and keeps it for herself. She brings forth a pile of supplies, and Hercules falls. The seven demigods then cross the pillars and sail into Rome. Annabeth has to find the Athena Parthenon by following the Mark of Athena and battle its guardian Arachne. Percy, Jason, and Piper travel into an underground area beneath the Coliseum and battle the twin giants, Otis and Ephialtes, the anti-Dionysus. Frank, Hazel, and Leo travel in search of Nico, but instead they find Archimedes's scrolls and spheres.

Towards the ending, Annabeth outwits Arachne by tricking her into weaving her own trap. Percy and Jason battle the giants and with (very little) help from Dionysus's Roman counterpart, Bacchus, they rescue Nico from the jar he was stuck in. Frank, Hazel, and Leo battle the eidolons and save Archimedes' scrolls from burning up. They all meet up where Annabeth secures the Athena Parthenos. Nico informs the others that the Doors of Death have to be closed from both the sides(from Tartarus and Greece). However, Arachne pulls Annabeth into Tartarus by some spider silk as the statue is lifted onto their ship. Percy manages to grab a hold of Annabeth, but soon realizes he will follow down with her if he doesn't let go. Despite Annabeth's insistence to let her go, Percy refuses to leave her again and the two fall into the darkness.

After Percy and Annabeth fall into Tartarus, the remaining six (the five with Nico Di Angelo) demigods and Coach Hedge are at a meeting. Nico says that Percy told him to lead the demigods to the Doors of Death, while he and Annabeth could meet them at the end of Tartarus on the Doors' other side. Nico and Hazel both say they are fairly sure Percy and Annabeth are not dead yet. The book finishes with Leo telling Festus the Dragon figurehead to set sail.

Release[edit]

The Mark of Athena was published on October 2, 2012. It is available as hardcover, paperback, eBook and audiobook format.

Critical reception[edit]

Meann Ortiz of GMA Network gave the book a mixed review, saying that it was interesting to watch the characters grow up in another installment of the series and praised the cliffhanger ending but that the romantic subplots felt forced: "'Girlfriend' and 'boyfriend' are bandied around more times than necessary to establish who is with whom, that I feel like Riordan drops a Relationship Anvil on my head every time I see those words." Overall, Ortiz found the multiple perspective format tiresome and noted that the plot was very similar to that of previous books, saying it was a "testament to Riordan’s skills that the books never end up being too boring and predictable."[2] A reviewer from The Guardian was less troubled, calling this "the best in the series so far" and praising its "funny bits" while noting that the perspective format was lopsided in favor of Annabeth, Percy and Jason.[3]

During its first week, The Mark of Athena sold about 237,000 copies.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "First Printing of 3.5 Million Copies Ordered by Disney for Rick Riordan’s Latest Book" (Press release). Printing Impressions. September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  2. ^ Ortiz, Meann (October 12, 2012). "Rick Riordan's 'The Mark of Athena' is a hit-and-miss affair". GMA Network. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Heroes of Olympus: the Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan - review". The Guardian. November 22, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  4. ^ "A Home Run for 'Hades'". Publishers Weekly. October 18, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2014.