ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus #3) by Rick Riordan

Updated on November 7, 2016

I wish I could be as enthusiastic about "The Mark of Athena" as I have been about the other books by Riordan that I have reviewed so far, but I can't. "The Mark of Athena" just took me too long to read.

At first I thought that perhaps the slow slog was due to the length, but at 608 pages "The Mark of Athena" is not significantly longer than "The Son of Neptune"'s 560 or "The Lost Hero," at 576.

Perhaps there were too many characters. The story is told from three perspective characters, just as the two previous "Heroes of Olympus" books were, but there are seven characters to actually follow, even if four of them aren't the focus. Even though he successfully balanced five characters in "The Titan's Curse," maybe seven was just too many characters going in too many different directions at once.

Whatever the problem was, I am very disappointed at how hard it was to get through this book. The final 200 pages went pretty quickly, but prior to that it was a long slow slog punctuated by occasional highlights.

The seven heroes of the "Prophecy of Seven" finally come together in this, the third installment of Rick Riordan's "Heroes of Olympus" series. The seven are, to no one's surprise, Annabeth, Leo, Percy, and Piper from Camp Half-Blood and Frank, Hazel, and Jason from Camp Jupiter.

The Queen of Olympus's attempts at making peace between the two camps start off on the wrong foot. During the welcome dinner held at Camp Jupiter, Leo fires on the camp. The Seven beat a hasty retreat soon afterwards, knowing that the Romans will be coming after them. Leo remembers firing the ballistae, but says that he watched himself do it, like someone else was controlling his body.

Through the course of this book, we visit the Great Salt Lake, Atlanta, Charleston, and the Seven finally make it to Rome. One of the highlights of the early part of the book is the scene when Hazel and Leo encounter Echo and Narcissus. The way that Riordan managed to make the dialogue flow so that Echo repeated what Hazel and Leo said and still was able to communicate with them showed what an excellent writer Riordan is.

The point of "The Mark of Athena," of course, is the kids' trip to Rome in general, and Annabeth following the titular mark. Athena is suffering from some kind of psychological disorder as a result of the conflict between her Greek and Roman halves. She no longer knows who she is or where she belongs.

When Rome conquered Greece, they degraded Athena, who was, after all, the patron of one of Greece's major cities, from the goddess of wisdom, crafts and war to just the goddess of wisdom and crafts. War went to native Roman gods like Bellona. Athena tells Annabeth that she is lost and needs help to find the way home. In order to do this, Annabeth has to take a coin (that I believe must look more or less like the image to the right) which will lead her. Annabeth finds that whenever she is close to a clue, a fiery owl resembling the one on the coin appears to lead her to the clue. As the daughter of Athena, it doesn't take Annabeth very long to figure out what she is looking for, or to sort out the identity of the guard that has been set over it.

The prophecy says "Wisdom's daughter walks alone," and so Annabeth knows that she cannot take any companions. Once she starts on her quest, she soon realizes that there is a double meaning to the prophecy -- "alone" also refers to just having her wits to rely on, without any special gifts or talents beyond that.

The giant they face in this volume are actually twins -- Ephialtes and Otis, who were the anti-Dionysus. In mythology, the twins are not the children of Gaea at all, but are the sons of Poseidon and a mortal woman. Here, however, they are Gaea's children. However, other than that, their backstory is, to the best of my ability to determine, accurate.

Meanwhile, Nico has disappeared and Percy is having dreams that he is trapped in a jar near where they will find the giants, which means that he is in Rome . . . somewhere. Nico is staying alive by using magic pomegranate seeds from the garden of his stepmother, Persephone, which means that he must be saved in five days. If the Seven don't make it to him by then, he will die.

Annabeth's quest and the search for Nico is the most gripping part of the book. "The Mark of Athena" ends on a cliffhanger ending (almost literally). I hope that Riordan can keep the momentum he gained at the end of this book throughout the next, "The House of Hades."


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)