Book Review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

I managed to squeeze finishing this book into 2020 meaning I only have 2 more books in this series to finish.  One of the great things about having time off between Christmas and New Year is that you can make a start on your goals for the new year and get a head start on anything that you are planning on doing.  I did not make use of the time to start eating less chocolate (given the large amount of chocolate that we were given at Christmas which feels so long ago now), nor did I take the opportunity to focus on my aim to learn some more words of Turkish during this time.  I sat and read, and wrote some blog posts.  I am officially a couple of blog posts a head of myself which is a great feeling, and I am hoping it stays that way all year. Though my reading has slowed a little since the holiday period.

The Mark of Athena, book 3, Heroes of Olympus series, by Rick Riordan

This book is the third in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan and follows a group of Seven demi-gods from the Roman and Greek camps across the Atlantic and into the heart of Rome.  They face many battles on the way and they are trying to get used to working as a group despire not having known about the others before now.

The characters are all put into areas outside of their comfort zone, Anabeth is forced to head out by herself to face her worst fear.  Percy and Jason are having to become used to not being the one person that everyone looks to for guidance, and there is initially some jealousy between the two. However as the group progress across the Atlantic they start to rely on each other and understanding grows knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses and how they best work together.

One of my favourite characterisations in this book is the Gods and Goddesses and how they are torn between their Greek and Roman counterparts, while it affects most of them Aphrodite is the same as Venus, she doesn’t change much as her area of love is the same regardless of where in history you are which is a really lovely thought.

The way that this is written allows you to follow the different characters follow their own trials, each if the characters has a clear goal in the book and you get to see different parts of the story happening through their eyes.  This is especially useful when Anabeth is left to face her challenge.

One of the key themes in this book is friendship. The group slowly have to learn about each other and learn to trust each other, which considering the bad blood that has traditionally stood between them. They in effect move in together as soon as they meet and this leads to them having the opportunity to know everything about each other. Which is either a good thing to cement your bonds or a terrible idea to force you to only see the things about the others that annoy you.

Another key theme in this book is trust in yourself. Anabeth knows exactly what she will face on her quest, she knows that many people have gone before her and not returned. She knew that the possibility of failure was higher than a failure of success. But she trusted herself that she could do it and while it may have been easier if there had been others there she trusted that her wisdom would allow her to do as well as she could.

This book kept me wanting to read more. The challenges that they face as they get closer and closer to Rome is very compelling.

I am giving this book 4 out of five stars.

If you have read this book, what do you think was the key theme?



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