The House of Hades

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The House of Hades
House of Hades cover art.jpg
Author Rick Riordan[2]
Illustrator John Rocco
Country United States
Language English
Series The Heroes of Olympus (Book 4)
Genre Fantasy, Greek and Roman mythology, Young adult
Publisher Disney-Hyperion
Publication date
October 8, 2013 (hardcover, audiobook CD, Kindle/Nook eBook)
Media type Print (hardback, audiobook CD, E-book, paperback)
Pages 583 (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-1423146728
Preceded by The Mark of Athena
Followed by The Blood of Olympus

The House of Hades, the fourth book by Rick Riordan in the Heroes of Olympus series, was released on 8 October 2013.[3]

At the conclusion of the previous book in the series, The Mark of Athena, Annabeth Chase and Percy Jackson fell into a pit leading to Tartarus. The protagonists are on a quest to close the Doors of Death, rescue Annabeth and Percy from Tartarus, and stop the Roman demigods from Camp Jupiter from attacking Camp Half-Blood.

The third-person narrators of this book are Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, Hazel Levesque, Leo Valdez, Frank Zhang, Jason Grace, and Piper McLean; of the eight demigod protagonists, only Nico di Angelo does not have his thoughts shared by Rick Riordan.

Plot[edit]

The five remaining demigods: Jason Grace, Piper McLean, Leo Valdez, Frank Zhang, and Hazel Levesque, accompanied by Nico di Angelo and Coach Hedge, continue to set sail towards Greece aboard the flying warship, Argo II, to search for the Doors of Death and possibly saving Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase along the way. After unsuccessfully attempting to cross the Apennine Mountains due to the Ourae's hindering, Hazel leaves with her horse Arion to meet with Hecate, who offers Hazel four directions to pick. She promises the northern route that Hazel picked under the condition that she has to practice manipulating the Mist first. Arriving at Bologna, Argo II is raided by the Kerkopes, Passalos and Akmon, who steal Odysseus's astrolabe that Leo had found in Rome, among other things. Leo corners the thieves inside the Two Towers and retrieves the items alongside an agricultural book belonging to Demeter's helper, Triptolemus, but he spares the two under the condition that they head to New York to stall the impending Roman demigods from attacking Camp Half-Blood. Frank, Hazel, and Nico meet with Triptolemus at Venice, but upon discovering Nico's status as a demigod of Hades, he forces Frank to kill the katobleps inside Venice by taking Hazel and Nico hostage first before he gives them barley to make cakes that will render them immune to the poison of the Necromanteion. Heading to the direction of the Balkans, Argo II is blocked by the bandit Sciron, who would use his giant carnivorous turtle to devour them. By manipulating the Mist, Hazel is able to make him fall into his own trap. Her father, Pluto appears to inform her that the Doors of Death is located at the lowest level of the Necromanteion in Epirus.

With Jason's behest, the demigods visit Split for the palace and tomb of Emperor Diocletian, Jason's personal hero who was the last Roman Emperor to worship the Roman gods before the Empire's adoption of Christianity. Searching for Diocletian's scepter that is said to be capable of commanding dead Roman soldiers, Jason and Nico are transported to a remote mountain by Favonius and are confronted by Cupid, who forces Nico to admit that he had a crush for Percy before handing them the scepter. Sailing through the Adriatic Sea, the ship is barred by Khione and her siblings, who sends Leo towards Ogygia before she is stopped by Piper charmspeaking Festus to wake. At Ogygia, Leo meets with a cynical Calypso and learns of her curse and her previous encounter with Percy. Developing a closer relationship, Calypso helps Leo escape the island, with the latter promising to visit her later. The rest of Argo II take rest in a north African coast to meet with Notus, and Jason settles his choice to become a part of the Greeks. The demigods rendezvous with Leo at Malta before heading to the Necromanteion. Descending through the temple's complex structure, they are separated with Leo and Hazel remaining to confront the guardians of the Door of Death: the giant Clytius and witch Pasiphaë. The others are surrounded by a horde of monsters until Jason gives his praetorship to Frank, who uses Diocletian's scepter to take command of undead Roman soldiers and defeat the monsters. By manipulating the Mist, Hazel traps Pasiphaë inside an illusion, leaving only Clytius.

Meanwhile, Percy and Annabeth have to cross through the otherworldly Tartarus to find a way out. They navigate through the alien environs and face several old enemies. Annabeth uses an underworld altar to tell Rachel Elizabeth Dare to meet with Reyna and inform her to rendezvous with the demigods in Greece. Meeting up with Percy's old friend, Bob (actually the Titan Iapetus), who has been longing to see the outside world, they also befriend the outcast giant Damasen who is forced to stay in Tartarus by Gaea. Percy and Annabeth also come across a flickering skeleton cat, who Bob later names Small Bob, quoting 'He is a good monster'. Near Chaos, Percy and Annabeth are double-crossed by Akhlys while attempting to receive the Death Mist to take cover, and meets with the primordial entity Nyx in her residence. They narrowly escape Nyx and her children and arrive at the heart of Tartarus, where a tall elevator functioning as the Door of Death and guarded by Titans Hyperion and Krios is located. Hyperion and Krios have let all of the fallen Giants return back to the mortal world. The personification of Tartarus, angry at the Titans' badmouthing, takes form and swallows them up. To buy them time, Bob and Damasen sacrifice themselves to fend off Tartarus while Percy and Annabeth head upwards with the elevator to the Necromanteion. There, Hazel, with Hecate's aid, manages to kill Clytius.

The reunited demigods have a small picnic before continuing through Greece. Reyna also joins them, having heeded Annabeth's message and crossed the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea at the cost of her pegasus, Scipio, and her status as praetor possibly stripped. Annabeth says that Reyna, as a Roman, should bring the Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half-Blood to appease both the Greeks and Romans, with Nico and Hedge accompanying her. Meanwhile, Percy looks up at the night sky and recalls Bob's final wish: "Bob says hello".

Characters[edit]

The Seven[edit]

Additional crew of the Argo II[edit]

Other[edit]

  • Akhlys – Goddess of misery
  • The AraiDaemon of curses, daughters of Nyx
  • Ares/Mars – God of war
  • Arion – Immortal horse, son of Ceres and Neptune, Hazel's mount
  • Bob/Iapetus – Titan of mortality, lord of the West
  • The Boreads, Calais and Zethes – Sons of Boreas, brothers of Khione
  • Calypso – Nymph, daughter of the Titan Atlas
  • ChironCentaur, son of Kronos, activity director of Camp Half-Blood
  • Connor Stoll – Son of Hermes, brother of Travis Stoll
  • Clarisse LaRue – Daughter of Ares
  • Clytius - Giant, nemesis of Hecate
  • Cupid – God of love, son of Aphrodite and Ares
  • Damasen – Giant, nemesis of Ares
  • Grover Underwood – Satyr of Camp Half-Blood and member of the Council of Cloven Elders
  • The Empousai, Kelli, Tammi, and Serephone – Vampiric daughters of Hecate
  • Eris – Daemon of strife, daughter of Nyx
  • Geras - Daemon of old age, daughter of Nyx
  • Hecate – Goddess of magic, crossroads, and the Mist
  • Hyperion – Titan of light, lord of the East
  • The Kerkopes, Akmon and Passalos – Monkey-like thieves, sons of the Titan Oceanus
  • Khione – Goddess of snow
  • Koios – Titan of intellect, lord of the North, grandfather of Apollo and Artemis
  • Krios - Titan of constellations, lord of the South
  • Mellie – Aura, wife of Gleeson Hedge
  • Notus/Auster – God of the South Wind
  • Nyx – Goddess of the night
  • Octavian – Augur of Camp Jupiter, legacy of Apollo
  • The Ourae – Gods of the mountains, children of Gaea
  • Pasiphaë – Witch, daughter of Helios, sister of Circe, wife of Minos, mother of Ariadne and Minotaur
  • Pluto - God of the underworld
  • Rachel Elizabeth Dare – Oracle of Delphi at Camp Half-Blood
  • Reyna Avila Ramirez-Arellano – Praetor of Camp Jupiter, daughter of Bellona
  • Sciron – Son of Poseidon, bandit
  • Tartarus – God of the pit and father of all Giants, known as "the pit", married to Gaea
  • Travis Stoll – Son of Hermes, brother of Connor Stoll
  • Triptolemus – Divine instructor of agriculture and Demeter's assistant
  • Zephyrus/Favonius – God of the West Wind

Release[edit]

The House of Hades was published on October 9, 2013. It is available as hardcover, eBook and audiobook format. Special Edition versions were also released which were signed, and had exclusive drawings inside. Versions with the short story "The Son of Sobek," a crossover with the other Rick Riordan series, The Kane Chronicles, printed at the back of the book were also released.

Critical reception[edit]

The Guardian commended Riordan's ability to handle the multiple perspective format smoothly and referred to his treatment of "more mature themes," specifically the revelation of Nico's sexual identity, as "subtle and effective."[4] Rick Riordan has said that Nico's sexual orientation was not planned but rather developed "the longer [he] wrote about his character" and that he included a gay hero in his books because he taught so many gay and bisexual students whom he felt deserved representation. He has stated that because his books are for middle grades, they should not and will not contain sexual content beyond "expressions of who likes whom, holding hands, and perhaps the occasional kiss" but that treating sexual identity as an adults-only topic is "absurd."[5]

The House of Hades sold over 350,000 copies during its first week, about 249,000 of them through retailers that report Nielson BookScan data. This is 26% more than The Mark of Athena during a comparable period.[6]

References[edit]