The Battle of the Labyrinth

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The Battle of the Labyrinth
Author Rick Riordan
Country United States.
Language English
Series Percy Jackson & the Olympians (Book 4)
Genre Fantasy novel, Young adult, Greek mythology
Publisher Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date
May 6, 2008 (US)[1]
3 July 2008 (UK)
Media type Print (hardback & paperback), Audiobook


word count = 101,837
OCLC 180753884
LC Class PZ7.R4829 Bat 2008
Preceded by The Titan's Curse
Followed by The Last Olympian

The Battle of the Labyrinth is a 2008 fantasy-adventure novel based on Greek mythology; it is the fourth novel in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. Fictional demigod Percy Jackson (who is fifteen years old by the end of the book) attempts to stop Luke Castellan and his army from invading Camp Half-Blood through Daedalus's labyrinth by trying to convince the inventor not to give Luke Ariadne's string. It was released on 6 May 2008 in the US and Canada.[1]


You shall delve in the darkness of the endless maze,

The dead, the traitor, and the lost one raise.

You shall rise or fall by the ghost king's hand,

The child of Athena's final stand.

Destroy with a hero's final breath,

And lose a love to worse than death.

1. Percy, Annabeth, Tyson, and Grover go into the labyrinth to find Daedalus.

2. The dead would be the ghosts Nico Di' Angelo raised; the traitor would be Ethan Nakamura; the lost one would be Pan.

3. At first the ghost king was perceived to be King Minos, the old enemy of Daedalus, but was later revealed to be Nico.

4. The child of Athena was thought to be Annabeth but was revealed to be Quintus (Daedalus), who "raised" Camp Half-Blood through his destruction of the Labyrinth.

5. Daedalus, whose life force was tied to the Labyrinth, gave his life to destroy the Labyrinth.

6. Annabeth finally admits (to herself and Percy) that she loved Luke, and the "fate" was having the Lord Kronos possess Luke.


Percy's mother takes her son to Goode High School, for Orientation day, where her boyfriend, Paul Blofis, teaches english. She teases Percy about Annabeth going on a "date" with him to the movies and leaves. Percy sees Rachel Elizabeth Dare and tries to avoid her. Rachel follows him and warns him that two cheerleaders are not human. Rachel and Percy hide in an isolated music room. Percy tells Rachel that she has the ability to see through the Mist, assuring her that she is not insane. The cheerleaders, Tammi and Kelli reveal themselves to be Empousai, under the command of Kronos and attack Percy. Percy kills Tammi, but Kelli causes a huge explosion and disappears. Percy and Rachel jump out of the window and escape.

On the way, Percy runs into Annabeth, who looks forward about going to the movies with him. Annabeth gets miffed when she finds out Percy has a pretty girl for a friend, and is annoyed when Rachel scribbles her phone number on Percy's arm. Percy and Annabeth return to Camp Half Blood. Grover is in trouble from the council for not living upto his promise to find the god Pan. Tyson, Percy's Cyclops Half brother, has taken a break from Poseidon's forges to spend time at camp. Percy meets a middle aged man named Quintus, the new sword instructor of Camp Half-Blood, who tells Percy that he is an older demigod. Quintus teaches Percy some moves, but is hesitant to reveal his past. Quintus tells Percy that he has a gigantic hellhound named Mrs O'Leary for a pet.

During a battle drill with giant scorpions at the camp, Annabeth and Percy accidentally find an entrance into the Labyrinth. Percy soon learns that Luke had used this entrance before and will try and lead his army through the Labyrinth straight into the heart of Camp Half-Blood. To do so, he will use Princess Ariadne’s magical string, which will lead them through the maze to their desired destination. Annabeth hears the quest's prophecy from the Oracle and comes back out of the Big House with a feeling of dread. She tells the camp most of the prophecy, leaving out the last line. She then chooses Grover, Percy, and the cyclops Tyson to accompany her on the quest. Chiron warns her that not all of them may come back from the quest, given that the best number of questers is three, but Annabeth insists.

Later that night, Percy looks into an Iris message in his new fountain, and learns that Nico plans to bring back his late sister, with the soul of one who has cheated death. Percy fears Nico will come after him.

The next morning, the four leave to start the quest. Beforehand, Quintus pulls Percy aside and gives him a dog whistle made of Stygian ice, warning Percy that it can only be used once to call Mrs. O’Leary in times of trouble. Percy is suspicious of Quintus, due to the fact that he was seen poking around the Labyrinth entrance, but takes the whistle with him. They descend into the Labyrinth, intending to persuade Daedalus to give them the string before Luke gets it, and run into Janus, who bullies Annabeth before Hera shows up. She offers to grant the questers a single wish, in which Annabeth wishes for a way to navigate the Labyrinth. Hera is somewhat disappointed, telling them that they already have that; she says Percy knows the answer, yet he does not. She disappears, and the quest continues.

The quartet later stumble into Alcatraz Jail, where the monster Kampe is keeping the Hekatonkheire Briares prisoner. Tyson breaks Briares out. The hundred handed giant is reluctant to escape, but later agrees when Percy beats him in a game of rock-paper-scissors. Kampe almost catches them, destroying half of the island in the process, but they escape back into the Labyrinth just in time. Briares and the others part ways, much to Tyson’s grief.

Some time later, they find Geryon’s dude ranch in Texas, where they are welcomed by Eurytion, a son of Ares and his two-headed dog Orthus. Eurytion asks them to quickly leave as the place is dangerous. Nico is also present, stating that he is making a deal with Geryon, but won’t reveal his intentions. Geryon then holds them all hostage, agreeing to let them all go on one condition; Percy would clean out the flesh eating horses’ stables (that has not been cleaned in a thousand years), which is four feet deep in horse dung, or Geryon would turn them all over to the Titans. Percy sets out to perform the task and gives up in despair. The nymph of the nearby river helps him, advising him to throw seashells in the stables. Percy does this, and a spring of water pops up. Afterwards, the entire stableyard is clean, and the horses are tamed. Percy then finds that Geryon double-crossed him, and fights Geryon to the death. With Hera’s help, Percy shoots Geryon through all three hearts, killing him. He sets his friends and Nico free. Nico performs a ritual to raise the dead in an old septic tank, conjuring the ghost of Bianca, Nico’s sister. Bianca tells Nico that he was actually angry at her choices rather than Percy. She tells him that holding grudges is Nico's fatal flaw and that Nico should not blame Percy for Bianca's choices. Bianca disappears.

Percy finds that the ghost who was guiding Nico all along was in fact Minos, the evil king of Crete who commanded Daedalus to build the Labyrinth. Percy has a dream that night of Daedalus murdering his nephew Perdix, by making him fall off a tower. Percy witnesses Athena’s punishments, and wakes up. The next day, however, Percy and his friends (without Nico) depart to find Hephaestus, hoping he would know the location of Daedalus.

After a meeting with Hephaestus, Annabeth and Percy go to Mt. St. Helens to find out who was using Hephaestus’s forge. On the way, the quartet split up, with Grover and Tyson going to find Pan. It also turns out that Mt St Helens is the very same mountain that is trapping Typhon. The perpetrators are actually telkhines, also known as sea demons. Percy and Annabeth later have a short argument during which Percy tells Annabeth to flee. Annabeth finally expresses her feelings by kissing Percy for good luck, and then leaves. Percy confronts the telkhines and is almost killed, but summons a wave of water that reacts with the lava, shooting him out of the volcano and into an ocean.

When Percy awakens after the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, he finds himself on the island of Ogygia, inhabited by Calypso, who is revealed to be a daughter of the Titan, Atlas. Calypso then tells Percy of the curse she has: The Fates send a hero to her island every thousand years; a hero she cannot help falling in love with, but then has to leave. Percy is surprised, because it's him she's talking about, but then refuses her love. After being treated for burns by Calypso, he is visited by Hephaestus, who assures him that Annabeth is safe, but doesn’t know about Tyson and Grover. He also informs Percy that the eruption he caused has stirred Typhon to consciousness and has inflicted much damage on the surrounding environment, displacing half a million mortals and causing minor illnesses. During the conversation, Percy suddenly realizes that Hera was right about him knowing the answer to navigating the Labyrinth. Percy reaches home through a raft.

When he finally returns to the mortal world, Percy finds the campers burning his shroud, believing he is dead. Annabeth suddenly notices him standing at the back of the crowd and hugs him. She is furious at him for leaving her without warning and seethes in jealousy when she suspects Percy was with Calypso. She becomes upset when Percy tells her the solution to navigating the Labyrinth accurately. Annabeth gets an Iris message from Eurytion, telling her that Nico had left the ranch the previous night, and he was back in the Labyrinth.

Annabeth and Percy go to Manhattan to find Rachel Elizabeth Dare, who is able to see through the Mist (a magical veil that shields the vision of mortals and demigods, preventing them from seeing the true nature of the supernatural). This is Percy's solution as Rachel, being clear-sighted, is able to see the path through the Labyrinth.

About halfway through, they are captured by Luke Castellan’s minions, who take them to Antaeus, a son of Poseidon. Antaeus challenges Percy to fight. At first, Percy has some difficulty defeating him, given the fact that his mother is the goddess Gaea, so he is always being healed by the earth. Percy takes advantage of this and, by entangling the giant in chains, is able to kill Antaeus. Luke sends the audience of monsters after them, and Percy blows the ice whistle, summoning Mrs. O’Leary, who saves them from the deadly crowd.

They eventually reach Daedalus’s workshop, where Quintus shows up and reveals that he is actually Daedalus himself. Quintus (Latin for fifth) was his fifth automaton body, home to the inventor’s animus, or soul. Daedalus sadly admits that Luke already has the string, and they are too late. Suddenly they are discovered by part of Luke’s army, Kelli and King Minos in the lead. Minos had only been helping Nico find Daedalus so the soul would bring himself back instead of his sister. They had captured Nico and bound him in chains. A battle inside the workshop ensues, with Annabeth killing Kelli and Nico disposing of Minos himself, announcing himself as the “ghost king”. Rachel, Percy, Annabeth, and Nico escape from the workshop using Daedalus’s wing inventions, forced to leave the inventor behind.

The quartet later find another entrance to the Labyrinth, this time ending up at Mt. Othrys, the location of the Titan’s palace. There Percy finds that Kronos is possessing Luke. Ethan Nakamura, an enemy demigod, and two telkhines wake Kronos, who nearly kills them as they flee. Rachel hits Kronos in the eye with a blue plastic hairbrush. Nico uses his geokinetic powers to collapse part of the palace, and they all escape. They run until they encounter Grover and Tyson, who are still searching for Pan. They follow a tunnel until they come to an enormous cavern full of life, the resting place of the old god. Pan speaks to each of them, Nico excluded, and tells Grover to set him free and have everyone help to preserve the wild. Grover sets Pan free, and the old god dies in peace.

The group heads back to New York with the help of Rachel, and ride pegasi to camp. When they arrive, the camp is getting ready for battle. The enemy army floods out of the Labyrinth, followed by Kampe. At the climax of the battle, the entire camp is either injured or killed, but Daedalus, Mrs. O’Leary, and a giant Briares intervene. Briares kills Kampe by hurling massive rocks at her, and the inventor and hellhound give the campers an added edge. Daedalus wills himself to die. Before his death, he passes his laptop to Annabeth, which contains brilliant plans; and Percy inherits Daedalus's pet, Mrs O'Leary. Grover rescues Camp Half-Blood by causing a Panic, which Pan had used once before, to scare away the enemy. Percy leaves camp for the school year with Grover being an outcast to the Council of the Cloven Elders, Kronos, now with a body, planning on taking on Olympus, and Percy on off turns with Annabeth and wishes that things would go back to the way they were before that summer, when things were simpler.

When Percy returns home he gets a visit from his dad, Poseidon, on his fifteenth birthday. Poseidon then tells Percy of evil at work with Kronos now in Luke's body, and also gives him a sand dollar, saying to “spend it wisely”. Percy is later on the fire escape, where Nico appears to tell him the secret to defeating Luke once and for all.

Main characters[edit]

  • Percy Jackson is a 15-year-old son of Poseidon. He is the series' narrator and protagonist. He joins Annabeth in her quest to go into the labyrinth to find Daedalus' workshop.
  • Annabeth Chase is 15-year-old daughter of Athena, and one of Percy's closest friends. She gets the quest to navigate the Labyrinth. Her feelings for Percy start to show but she is confused because of her lingering feelings towards Luke.
  • Rachel Elizabeth Dare is a mortal who can see through the Mist. Her father is a wealthy businessman who buys the undeveloped land of the wild and builds developments upon it. Percy had previously met her at the Hoover Dam in The Titan's Curse, where she helped him get away from the undead warriors.
  • Nico di Angelo is an 11-year-old son of Hades. Upset that his sister Bianca died, he is slightly unstable, and attempts to trade Daedalus' soul for that of Bianca. He has a sword made of Stygian Iron. He also is out to get Percy.
  • Luke Castellan is a 22 year old son of Hermes and traitor to the Olympians. His body becomes possessed by the spirit of Kronos. He is the series' main antagonist.
  • Grover Underwood is a satyr and Percy's best friend. His life's ambition is to find Pan, the lost god of the Wild. Grover, Tyson, Percy, Annabeth, Nico and Rachel find Pan inside Carlsbad Caverns along with some extinct animals. He gave all of them except Nico words of wisdom, and then died. When he died, his essence entered all of the characters' mouths (except Nico), meaning a piece of the wild remained in their hearts. He gave Grover the famous battle cry, Panic, which Grover used to scare off the intruders in Camp Half-Blood. The word Panic is named after Pan because in the Titan war he let out a horrible cry that drove all the monsters back to where they came from.
  • Tyson is Percy's cyclops half-brother. He now works for his father in Poseidon's palace, under the oceans, in the Cyclopes' forge. Tyson enjoys forging, and nicknaming mythical creatures they come across. He joins Percy and his friends in the Labyrinth.
  • Daedalus/Quintus was the creator of the Labyrinth and son of Athena, and has made a total of five automatons in order to cheat death. He becomes the new swordsman at Camp Half-Blood under the name Quintus, but only to see if Camp Half-Blood is worth saving. During the intrusion of Camp Half-Blood, he is stabbed, but instead of blood coming out of the wound, golden oil leaks from his automaton body. He has a murderer's mark on his neck (a partridge), a brand that appears on all of his bodies as a curse from Athena, because he killed his nephew, Perdix. He owns a hellhound named Mrs. O'Leary. After his death, he was assigned to build overpasses and bridges to help control traffic in the Underworld and according to Nico, he is happy with this job. Before he dies, he gives Annabeth a laptop containing all of the works he never had time to complete, as well as many of his ideas and theories.

Critical reception[edit]

The Battle of the Labyrinth received generally positive reviews. Publishers Weekly praised Riordan by saying, "One of Riordan's strengths is the wry interplay between the real and the surreal", and adding that "The wit, rousing swordplay and breakneck pace will once again keep kids hooked."[2] Children's Literature said, "Riordan creates a masterful weaving of Greek mythology and traditional fantasy in this latest book in "The Olympians" series. Fans will enjoy the latest adventures of their favorite characters, and those picking the book up for the first time will have no trouble falling into this magical world."[2] The website praised the book, saying "the story arc has remained unified and compelling."[3] School Library Journal wrote that "[l]ike many series, the "Percy Jackson" books are beginning to show the strain of familiarity and repetition",[2] before adding "However, the overarching story line remains compelling, and the cliff-hanger ending will leave readers breathless in anticipation of the fifth and final volume."[2] Kirkus Reviews adjudged the book to be the best in the series and said, "The often-philosophical tale zips along with snappy dialogue, humor and thrilling action, culminating in a climactic battle between gods and Titans.”[4] The Los Angeles Times gave a positive review, calling it "a glorious, no-holds-barred adventure with great plot twists, a melding of ancient and bionic technology and a cliffhanger ending that will have fans eagerly awaiting the fifth and final showdown between gods and monsters next year."[5] It was first runner-up in the 2010 Indian Paintbrush Book Award.[6]


The Battle of the Labyrinth was adapted in a 10 hour 32 minutes audiobook[7] read by actor Jesse Bernstein.[7] It was released on 13 May 2008 by Listening Library.[7][8][9]

AudioFile Magazine praised the audiobook, saying that Bernstein was "skillful at wringing humor from the witty dialogue and from the contrasts between the modern and ancient worlds."[10]


Main article: The Last Olympian

The Battle of the Labyrinth was followed by The Last Olympian, the final book in the series, which was released 5 May 2009.[11] In The Last Olympian, Percy and his friends defend Olympus from Kronos's army.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan −4th Book, Chapter 1". Scribd. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #4)". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 9 April 2009. 
  3. ^ Piehl, Norah. "Review: The Battle of the Labyrinth". Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  4. ^ "The Battle of the Labyrinth review". Kirkus Reviews. 1 April 2008. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Hamilton, Denise (18 May 2008). "Paging Daedalus". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Indian Paintbrush Award by Year: 1986–2011" (PDF). Indian Paintbrush Award. Retrieved 23 March 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c "The Battle of the Labyrinth: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4 (Unabridged)". Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  8. ^ "The Battle of the Labyrinth Audiobook". Random House. Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4) [Audiobook][Unabridged] (Audio CD)". Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "THE BATTLE OF THE LABYRINTH : Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4". AudioFile Magazine. August 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  11. ^ ""Percy Jackson" children's book series ending next year". The Seattle Times. 5 September 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 

External links[edit]