Rick Riordan Burning Maze Book Review
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Rick Riordan’s ‘The Burning Maze’ - Greek Myth Meeting The Modern World

Events from previous books are not heavily discussed in following additions, but past quests and characters are mentioned and occasionally make cameo appearances.

Rick Riordan’s ‘The Burning Maze’ - Greek Myth Meeting The Modern World
Meridia Clark

Rick Riordan has been able to reshape classical mythology into novels that preteens and teens can connect with and learn from during some of the most tumultuous years of their lives. At that same age in my life, I was already well-versed in Greek myth and building my collection of translations and books on the subject; although, I was late to discover Riordan's series.

The whole of the "Percy Jackson And The Olympians" series was released when I first read "The Lightning Thief". If you have not read the "Percy Jackson" or "Heroes of Olympus" series, I recommend you do so before you start "The Trails of Apollo". These series are all set within the same universe and do overlap. Events from previous books are not heavily discussed in following additions, but past quests and characters are mentioned and occasionally make cameo appearances.

Here is a spoiler free, review of "The Burning Maze":


Released at the start of May, "The Burning Maze" is the third book in "The Trials of Apollo"; set in various Southern California cities that Apollo and Meg travel to on their quest to free an oracle who is held captive in a dangerous underground labyrinth.


Written from the first-person point of view of Apollo, the book has a distinct voice and cadence in comparison to narrators/characters of the adjoining two series. Apollo has a self-absorbed and pining tone that develops and shifts throughout the story, and he sprinkles in sarcastic humor along the way. The average sentence is of medium length, with longer sentences used strategically for pace and rhythm. Shorter sentences are also used for additional emphasis. It is an easy-to-read book that retains a strong sense of Apollo's voice as the narrator and as a character within the story.

Apollo starts every chapter with a haiku that gives a taste of what is to be expected, which adds a fun guessing-game element to each chapter. True to his character there are more poetic references and phrases sprinkled throughout the book, though Apollo sticks to a modern conversational style of speaking and narrating on the whole. Each chapter is well rounded and ends with a sense of conclusion to that chapter's events.


Characters are a pivotal aspect of the book, which is rich with diverse, dynamic, and relatable characters. No two characters feel, speak, or act the same as one another. The people that are followed are imperfect, yet still role models for those going through similar family situations or identity crisis. Piper, for example, is part Cherokee and she explores this part of her heritage to not only connect with her father more, but also in an attempt to discover her own sense of identity in relation to her two competing heritages. The themes and exploration of family and identity are regularly visited in a subtle yet keen manner.

With the United States of America's divorce rate peaking at 45%, there is a large portion of the country's youth that is growing up in essentially one parent households for one reason or another. This situation is not isolated to the USA either. Through "The Burning Maze" readers follow multiple people who also live in this one parent household situation. Several of the characters have lost both parents, and yet all of them are examples of different ways to cope, heal, and find kinship among friends. Despite the characters being fictitious and living in a modern day meets Greek mythological universe, they all express authentic emotions, fears, and sentiments that evoke empathy.


Said is not dead, and this book is a great example of that. The tone and emotions of the characters are apparent in each word they say, without hinging on dialogue tags to communicate the intention. Conversations between the characters are not drawn out or imparted with information that is only for the reader's benefit. In short, the conversations in this book sound like real, everyday conversations.

Scene and Plot:

Descriptions of the scene are woven into the characters' actions, as well as through Apollo occasionally stopping to evaluate his surroundings. An example would potentially give away plot points and will not be included to avoid spoilers. True to Greek myth, the book is a plot-driven narrative, and despite prophecy being an integral part of the story, there were still twists and surprises that keep the story from being predictable.


Robbie Daymond narrates the audiobook version of "The Burning Maze." He also narrated the two previous books in the series. Daymond masterfully maintains and conveys the tones and attitudes of the book, making even listening to the book a fun adventure.

Overall Score:

5 out of 5 stars.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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