Tartarus Sauce

The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan – The latest book in the Heroes of Olympus series continues where the last one left off, with a group of demigods attempting to destroy the Doors of Death, thereby preventing monsters from automatically regenerating. It’s a transitional book, as at the end Gaea still hasn’t awakened and the Athena Parthenos has yet to be taken to Long Island. Still, there are some important revelations and developments here, including some added characterization for the dour Nico di Angelo, Hazel Levesque’s learning to manipulate the Mist that makes people see what they want to see instead of what’s actually there, and the return of Calypso and the Titan Iapetus. The former is still living on her island, despite the gods’ promise to rescind her banishment. Iapetus, renamed Bob and employed as Hades’ janitor after Percy Jackson forces him to drink from the River Lethe, serves as a guide for Percy and Annabeth in Tartarus. There’s always the danger, however, that he might regain his memory and pose a threat to them. I’m always impressed by how deeply Riordan delves into Greco-Roman mythology for characters and ideas, here bringing in such less famous mythological figures as the agricultural god Triptolemus, the thieving Cercopes, the bandit Sciron and his giant sea turtle, and the friendly giant Damasen. In the original myths, Damasen is a son of Gaea, but isn’t identified with the Gigantomachy. Riordan provides a reason for this in that each giant was made to counter a specific god, and as Damasen was the opponent of the warlike Ares, he was the only peaceful one. I believe the idea of the giants being counterparts of the gods was original with Riordan, although tales of the Gigantomachy do associate some of them. Also featured in this book are the katoblepones, subject of a previous post of mine, which were accidentally brought to Venice from Egypt with the remains of St. Mark. I’m focusing on the mythological aspects here, but like all of the books in this series and the related ones, it also has an engaging plot and interesting characters. Who knows what we’ll see when The Blood of Olympus comes out? (Wait, shouldn’t it be The Ichor of Olympus? Well, maybe not.)

This entry was posted in Authors, Book Reviews, Greek Mythology, Heroes of Olympus, Mythology, Rick Riordan, Roman and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Tartarus Sauce

  1. Pingback: Have a Nice Triptolemus | VoVatia

  2. Pingback: Hot Damasen | VoVatia

  3. Pingback: Heroes Never Die | VoVatia

  4. Pingback: Quit Monkeying Around! | VoVatia

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