The Mark of Athena

The Mark of Athena


Title: The Mark of Athena

Author: Rick Riordan

Series: The Heroes of Olympus, #3

Publisher: Puffin

Release Date: January 1st 2012

Rating:

Five Stars

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy – after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera – it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find – and close – the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare…

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“We still should have enough time to reach Rome.”
Hazel scowled. “When you say should have enough…”
Leo shrugged. “How do you feel about barely enough?”
Hazel put her face in her hands for a count of three. “Sounds about typical for us.”

After completing the Argo II Leo, Piper, Jason and Annabeth have finally arrived at Camp Jupiter, ready to unite the two camps and get started on their quest to stop Gaea rising. Annabeth and Percy have finally been reunited and together with Frank and Hazel they are preparing the cross the Mediterranean Sea on their way to Rome. However when Leo attacks Camp Jupiter, without any provocation, it gives Octavian all the evidence he needs to declare war on the Greeks and the seven demigods are forced to flee with the Romans close on their tail.

As the repairs to the Argo II force them to stop at the Great Salt Lake Leo and Hazel meet Nemesis, Percy, Jason and Piper meet with Baccus and discover a new enemy to fight against, and Annabeth follows the Mark of the Athena which leads her to a confrontation with the Romans, closer to their tail than anyone realised.

“They had a silent staring contest, but Percy didn’t back down. When he and Annabeth started dating, his mother had drummed it into his head: It’s good manners to walk your date to the door. If that was true, it had to be good manners to walk her to the start of her epic solo death quest.”

However the small challenges they encounter at the Great Salt Lake are nothing compared to crossing the sea. Annabeth needs to forge her own path, following the mark of Athena to find something that could unite the Greeks and the Romans and stop the war brewing between the two camps. Meanwhile the others need to save Nico, who is the only one who can lead the seven to the Doors of Death they need to close before facing Gaea, but who has been kidnapped by Ephialtes and Otis as bait for a trap.

After two books the seven are finally all together on one ship and their real quest is about to begin. The Mark of Athena is the start of the real danger for our heroes, and after everything that happened in the first two books of this series that is really saying something. Their journey is not an easy one but it was wonderful to read. There is something about Rick Riordan’s writing and his stories that keeps me hooked, I can’t get enough of Percy Jackson and his adventures.

…The Characters

“Wisdom’s daughter walks alone,
The Mark of Athena burns through Rome.”

Annabeth is on her own journey in this book, and it is one she needs to walk alone. As a child of Athena she is the only one who can follow the mark and she’s determined to go through with the quest her mother has put her on, despite the danger it may put her in.

What I enjoyed about this book was the chance to see events as they played out through Annabeth’s POV. Annabeth has always been one of my favourite characters in Rick Riordan’s books. She is an important part of the seven, their de-facto leader, a voice of reason to Percy and Jason’s power and wild ideas. She may not be as quick with a sword as Percy or Jason are, or as powerful as Frank is, but she has her brains and that is all she needs to get herself out of any sticky situation.

“I missed you, Percy.”
Percy wanted to tell her the same thing, but it seemed too small a comment. While he had been on the Roman side, he’d kept himself alive almost solely by thinking of Annabeth. ‘I missed you’ didn’t really cover that.

I waited two whole books for the reunion between Annabeth and Percy and it was worth the wait. I love both characters; they work well as a team, evident in all five books of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, but they also work well when separated. Despite not wanting the other in danger they both know when they have to let go, let the other go on their quest if it means the safety of the world.

“Being a hero doesn’t mean you’re invincible. It just means that you’re brave enough to stand up and do what’s needed.”
“And if I don’t know what’s needed?”
“That’s what your friends are for. We’ve all got different strengths. Together, we’ll figure it out.”

With seven powerful demigods all on one ship there are bound to be territorial issues, especially when half are Greek demigods and the other half are Roman. Percy and Jason are sons of two of the big three, very powerful demigods, and on opposite sides of the Greek/Roman divide. They clash a couple of times but there are also times when feel useless on the quest, when the others stepping in to protect them weighs too much on the shoulders of two demigods who are used to stepping in and keeping everyone else safe.

There was also an interesting dynamic between Hazel, Frank and Leo. Hazel has a past with Leo, and it’s a past neither she nor Frank knows how to handle and which causes Frank and Leo to clash. Frank and Leo are completely different characters – Leo is loud and sarcastic to cover his insecurities while Frank seems to wear his on his sleeve, unsure about his place among the seven – and the tension between the two of them is largely a result of that.

…The Setting

“Percy had seen big cities before. He was from New York, after all. But the sheer vastness of Rome grabbed him by the throat and made it hard to breathe. The city seemed to have no regard for the limits of geography. It spread through hills and valleys, jumped over the Tiber with dozens of bridges, and just kept sprawling to the horizon.”

One thing Rick Riordan did in the first series and in the first two books of this series was integrate Greek and Roman myths into modern day America. However in The Mark of Athena the Argo II sails to Rome and we see the origins of the myths that have shaped the seven’s lives, and I absolutely love that this series is going to Europe and the countries where it all started. I really enjoyed seeing Rome through the seven’s eyes and I loved all the myths and legends the heroes encountered on the way there; from Hercules and the Strait of Gibraltar to all the monsters they have to fight across the Mediterranean. Rick Riordan has a unique take on the Greek myths, bringing them into the modern era while still staying true to the original tales and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.


After the way this book ended I am so glad I don’t have to wait before jumping into the fourth book. I talk a lot about how the cliffhanger in A Gathering of Shadows was agonising to read, well the one in The Mark of Athena would take second place if I had to wait any longer than a minute before starting the fourth book. This series has me hooked, and I don’t think I’d be able to put it down to start something new even if I wanted to.

What did you think of The Mark of Athena? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

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12 thoughts on “The Mark of Athena

  1. Ahhh you’re so lucky you don’t have to wait for the next book to be released! I remember reading this right when it was published and the cliffhanger KILLED ME omg. I loved this book so much, as well as having Annabeth’s perspective once again! I love her and Percy together so much, but she’s also such a fierce character individually. ❤ Off to check out your thoughts on The House of Hades now haha, I'm so glad you loved this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. God I can’t even imagine reading this as soon as it was released and then having to wait for the next book to be released! That must have been insane!
      Yeah it was great seeing Annabeth again, and I LOVED her reunion with Percy as well.
      Thanks Analee, and yeah this is just a beyond amazing series so far! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely agree! This was such a heartbreaking but fantastic addition to the series and I’m so glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. 🙂 You just can’t go wrong with Percy Jackson, can you? Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You definitely cannot go wrong with Percy Jackson, in fact you can’t really go wrong with Rick Riordan in general can you? This series just seemed to get better and better, and I guess more and more heartbreaking as well.
      Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoyed this post Zoe! 🙂 ❤

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  3. Ahhh I miss Rick Riordan’s books! I finished the Percy Jackson series but never continued with it, and I have no idea what’s happening, haha. Reading your review makes me miss these characters so much. Riordan definitely does something really unique with Greek mythology too so it’s always a pleasure to get into his world.

    Amazing review as always, Beth. I’m super glad to hear that you enjoyed this book. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh in that case I’d highly recommend carrying on with the series if you’re interested. I loved The Heroes of Olympus books so much, even more than the original Percy Jackson series. He really does doesn’t he? I love Greek mythology and now Riordan is one of my favourite Greek mythology authors, one of my favourite mythology authors actually. 🙂
      Thanks so much Reg! 😀 ❤

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  4. I loved all the different points of views that we get in this series. While I love reading from Percy’s perspective, it’s always great to get more insight in the other characters as well. 😀 Also the cliff hanger in this book is seriously the worst! I was lucky as well, when I finished The Mark of Athena I already had the next book at hand and didn’t have to wait. Waiting to know what was going to happen next would have been the worst! Luckily we both escaped that fate. 😉 Also, I loved seeing them travel through Europe, their adventures are just sooo much fun to read about! Great review Beth! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I felt the same way, it was a great way to start this new series because there are so many new character we’re introduced to. Also I loved seeing some of the story from Annabeth’s POV especially.
      God that was an insane cliffhanger. I can’t imagine reading this series as it was released and then having to wait for the fourth book to be released. That’s the good thing about waiting for more books to be released, no wait for the next in the series.
      Same here, it really expanded the world which I love seeing in fantasy books. Thanks so much Anna! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, I had to skim through this, fear that I’ll end up reading things that I won’t be able to delete from my memory in case I read this series. It’s however really nice to see how much you’re enjoying this so far, and that the cliffhangers make it impossible to put down!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah if you do get around to picking up this series I recommend going in as blind as possible so you have no idea what to expect. It’s really the best way to read books I think! 😀
      God it’s amazing so far, but yeah that cliffhanger was beyond insane! 🙂

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  6. The reuniting of Percy and Annabeth was so sweet and cute! It just made me smile so so much. ❤ I think this was the book where I felt like the action really picked up because WOW THAT CLIFFHANGER, and also Annabeth's journey was really huge (I feel like). I also really liked that Rick Riordan placed a lot of this series in Europe because 1) Europe is awesome, 2) we need a change of setting, and 3) it's really refreshing and makes sense! Awesome review as always, Beth. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really really was. I waited two whole books for that reunion and it was well worth the wait! 😀 ❤ I definitely agree there, this was pretty much the start of their overall quest against Gaea so I guess felt like the start of the main quest rather than smaller side quests.
      God that cliffhanger would have killed me if I'd had to wait for the next book to be released, and yeah seeing Europe was great as well. Most times you seem to get fantasy books set in only one country so I love seeing books that travel the world! 😀
      Thanks so much May. 🙂 ❤

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