The Titan's Curse
|Cover artist||John Rocco|
|Series||Percy Jackson & the Olympians (Book 3)|
|Genre||Fantasy, Greek mythology, young-adult novel|
|Publisher||Miramax Books/Hyperion Books for Children|
|May 1, 2007|
|Media type||Print (hardcover), audiobook|
|LC Class||PZ7.R4829 Tit 2007|
|Preceded by||The Sea of Monsters|
|Followed by||The Battle of the Labyrinth|
The Titan's Curse is a 2007 fantasy-adventure novel based on Greek mythology written by Rick Riordan. It is the third novel in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series and the sequel to The Sea of Monsters. It charts the adventures of the fourteen-year-old demigod Percy Jackson as he and his friends go on a dangerous quest to rescue his friend Annabeth Chase and the Greek goddess Artemis, who have both been kidnapped.
The Titan's Curse was published by Miramax Books, an imprint of Hyperion Books for Children and thus Disney Publishing (succeeded by the Disney Hyperion imprint). It was released in the United States and the United Kingdom on May 1, 2007. The novel was also released in audiobook format, read by Jesse Bernstein.
Mostly well-received, The Titan's Curse was nominated for numerous awards, winning ones such as the No. 1 The New York Times children's series best seller and Book Sense Top Ten Summer Pick for 2007.
Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, and Thalia Grace go to Westover Hall after Grover Underwood finds two sibling half-bloods named Nico and Bianca di Angelo. They barely escape an attack by a manticore named "Dr. Thorn," with some help from Artemis and her hunters, which include Zoë Nightshade. Though they survive the attack, Annabeth is captured by Dr. Thorn.
Percy and his friends must look for Artemis before the winter solstice meeting of the Olympian council, when the goddess's influence could change an important vote on the war with the Titans. Percy joins Thalia, Zoë, Bianca di Angelo, and Grover on their dangerous quest. They also are searching for a rare monster that Artemis was trying to hunt down when she went missing; as it is powerful enough to obliterate Olympus. Percy is called by a hippocampus to rescue a marine cow-like creature trapped in the Long Island Sound, which Percy later learns is called the Ophiotaurus. Believing the monster to be female, he nicknames it "Bessie."
Percy is forced to trail slightly behind the rest of the travelers, catching up with them by flying Blackjack, a pegasus he liberated in The Sea of Monsters to Washington, D.C. Along the way, they stop to rest briefly on the ledge of the Chrysler building. Dionysus, director of Camp Half-Blood, appears, ensnaring them in grape vines (see front cover). He explains that he dislikes heroes since they use innocent mortals to get what they want, then hang them out to dry. His now immortal wife, Ariadne, was once one such mortal. He also spots Dr. Thorn there as well, and follows Dr. Thorn into a private meeting at the National Museum of Natural History, which Percy infiltrates by using Annabeth's invisibility baseball cap. As he watches, Dr. Thorn is severely berated by a man known only as "the General," who uses dinosaur teeth to grow skeleton warriors trained to track down and kill the hunters, but first accidentally growing skeletal kittens (one of which would re appear in The House of Hades). Percy races across to the National Air and Space Museum to warn the others, but just as soon as he arrives, the museum is attacked by the Nemean Lion, which they manage to subdue and defeat. When they spot a helicopter following them as they flee, they enter the Washington Metro to throw it off their trail.
Apollo finds them at a freight yard and supplies them with a way to Cloudcroft, New Mexico – hopping into cars on an autorack freight train, which delivers them to Cloudcroft the next day. In Cloudcroft, Grover senses the presence of Pan, the Greek god of nature, and a wild gift from him, the giant Erymanthian Boar, comes to carry them further on to Gila Claw, Arizona. It takes them to the junkyard of the gods, and Percy meets Ares and talks to Aphrodite, at which point it is hinted that Annabeth and Percy will most likely have a romantic future (Aphrodite frequently insists that Percy is deeply in love with Annabeth, despite Percy's denials). Eventually, the group enters the junkyard, where Bianca tries to steal a statue for her younger brother. She accidentally awakens a prototype of Talos, a giant man of bronze, and dies after being inside the metal giant while it was shocked by telephone poles, but still successfully destroyed it. While being attacked by skeletal warriors at the Hoover Dam, Percy meets Rachel Elizabeth Dare, a mortal girl who can see through the Mist. She saves Percy by confusing the skeletons, allowing Percy and his friends to escape after another ambush by praying to Zeus to animate two angel statues on the terrace, which take them to the Embarcadero in San Francisco.
Per Apollo's advice, Percy seeks out Nereus, All-Knowing Old Man of the Sea. Percy forces him to reveal what the monster that could destroy Olympus is. It's the Ophiotaurus.
Here, they are ambushed by the manticore and some henchmen. The Ophiotaurus is in the water behind Thalia, who Dr. Thorn almost coaxes into sacrificing the innocent creature. This would give her power to destroy the gods. This seems in place with the much alluded-to Great Prophecy, which says that the next demigod child of Zeus, Poseidon or Hades who reach the age of sixteen will either save the age of the gods or end it. Thalia will turn sixteen the next day. Percy, Zoë, and Grover pull her away, hide from Thorn and friends in a pavilion on the dock, and Iris-message Dionysus, who reluctantly saves them by killing the manticore and turning his human mercenaries insane. They decide to send the Ophiotaurus to Olympus with Grover, Percy gives the Lion-Skin to his Father as an offering for this.
They go to seek the help of Annabeth's father; who, after a brief discussion, lends them his car. They travel to the Garden of Hesperides, where Zoë meets her sisters and is bitten and poisoned by the dragon Ladon while trying to help Percy and Thalia pass. They continue to the Mountain of Despair on Mount Tamalpais where Mount Othrys, the Titan capitol, is now located. From the top of the mountain where Atlas held up the sky, they see Artemis taking on her burden. Annabeth is held captive by Luke, and has been handcuffed and gagged. Realizing that the prophecy made by the Oracle involves him, Percy takes the burden—the Titan's curse—from Artemis. In the ensuing fight, and Atlas (the General of the Titans) throws his daughter Zoë, slamming her against the rocks. Artemis pushes Atlas under the sky, taking his burden back from Percy. During a battle between Thalia and Luke, Thalia kicks Luke and he falls off a cliff. Percy assumes that Luke is dead. Later, Percy is told by Annabeth, and confirmed by Poseidon, that Luke has survived the fall.They see, coming from Luke's ship, an army of monsters but are saved when Annabeth's father helps by flying his Sopwith Camel (a biplane) and shooting celestial bronze encased bullets at them. Zoë dies, because of the poisonous bite from Ladon and the impact of the rocks (caused by her father). Before she dies, she spread her last words to Thalia and Percy. Artemis turns Zoë into a constellation, in memorial to her.
During the Winter Solstice meeting the Gods decide to take action against the Titans. Thalia is asked by Artemis and agrees to join the Hunt to become safer and prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled for now. The Gods debate on whether to kill Percy and the Ophiotaurus (Bessie) for their safety, with Athena voting for Percy's death, but the votes are in favor of Percy living and it is agreed the Ophiotaurus will be kept on Olympus.
In the end, Percy explains to Nico what happened to Bianca. Nico is enraged, blames Percy, and when the skeletons that have been stalking them since the attack from the lion attack, Nico opens a crack in the rock and sends them to the underworld. He disappears, and Percy realizes Nico is a son of Hades. The only people he tells are Annabeth and Grover.
They promise each other to hide this fact from everyone else, especially the Titan's army.
The prophecy given by the oracle to Zoë Nightshade reads:
Five shall go west to the goddess in chains,
1.The group consisting of Zoë, Thalia, Grover, Bianca, and Percy (originally Phoebe). The questers travel to Mount Othrys in the west to free Artemis from her confinement.
2. Bianca sacrificed herself in the desert to save the group against a defective prototype of Hephaestus' robot, Talos.
3. They followed the Ophiotaurus, which was called the bane of Olympus because if he was sacrificed in flames, the person that sacrificed it would have the power to destroy Olympus. During the quest, it keeps appearing in various bodies of water.
4. The only way the quest would be successful was if campers and Hunters worked together. The quest consisted of three campers (Percy, Grover, and Thalia) and two Hunters (Bianca and Zoë).
5. The curse of holding the sky above the earth had to be taken by someone (Luke took the sky from Atlas; Annabeth took the sky from Luke; Artemis took it from Annabeth; Percy took it for Artemis and Artemis forced Atlas back under the sky).
6. In the end, Zoë after already suffering from being poisoned by the dragon Ladon, was killed by her father Atlas after he tossed her against a wall.
- Percy Jackson: Percy, a 14-year-old demigod and son of Poseidon, is the protagonist as well as the series' narrator. He embarks on a journey to save Annabeth and the Greek goddess Artemis, who have both been kidnapped.
- Thalia Grace: Thalia is a 15-year-old demigod daughter of Zeus. Though she appears in Percy's dream in the first book, she makes a full appearance at the end of The Sea of Monsters and is given a greater role in the third book. Thalia is described as looking very punk, with electric blue eyes, black clothes, and spiky hair. Her personality is often described as "independent and many times sarcastic." Thalia is a lot like Percy and consequently, they often butt heads. She is heartbroken by Luke's betrayal, it is supposed that she had feelings for him. She is also afraid of heights, which she reluctantly admits to Percy, despite the fact that she is daughter of Zeus, God of the Sky.
- Annabeth Chase: Annabeth is a 14-year-old demigod and the daughter of Athena. She is friends with Percy, Thalia and Grover. She is kidnapped along with Artemis by the Titans. She has a great passion and interest for architecture and she wishes to be an architect when she is older. Although she has a growing love interest in Percy, her feelings for Luke remain a problem between the two. Percy returns her feelings without realizing it, and is oblivious to how she feels about him.
- Grover Underwood: A large-hearted satyr whose favorite foods are aluminum cans and cheese enchiladas. He is 28 years old, yet has the appearance of a teenager due to the satyrs' slower growth rate (half that of humans). He wants to become a searcher for Pan, the satyr god of nature and the wild, who fell into a "deep sleep" due to the humans' pollution of the world.
- Bianca di Angelo: Bianca is a 12-year-old demigod and the daughter of Hades. She and her ten-year-old brother Nico were trapped in the Lotus Casino, where time is slowed down, but in the beginning of the book, they were released and attended quest in the "Junkyard of the Gods".
- Zoë Nightshade: Zoë is the daughter of Atlas, a banished Hesperid for helping the hero Hercules, and the first lieutenant of the Hunters of Artemis. She often has trouble updating her language and uses Old English. She dies after being bitten by Ladon, who protects the immortality-giving golden apple tree, and after her father Atlas, throws her against a pile of rocks. Artemis turns her spirit into a constellation soon after her death for remembrance. She and Thalia developed grudges against each other after Thalia did not want to join the hunters, but they get along when they do not think about it.
- Luke Castellan: The 21-year-old demigod son of Hermes, Luke is the main antagonist of the series. He is the sidekick to, Kronos; Kronos' followers and army gather on a ship called the Princess Andromeda.
- Nico di Angelo: The 10-year-old demigod son of Hades and older sister Bianca di Angelo are rescued from a manticore by Percy, Annabeth, Thalia, and Grover. He is left at camp during the quest, but stays in the Hermes cabin because his parentage has not yet been discovered. He leaves camp after hearing Percy broke his promise, letting Bianca die. Before he leaves, he sends an army of skeletal warriors back to the underworld.
"The Titan's Curse" received relatively positive reviews, which often lauded the humor and action in the story. Children's Literature, which commended the book's fast pace and humor, wrote, "Readers will relate to good natured Percy, the protagonist." Kirkus awarded it a starred review with, "This third in the Olympians series makes the Greek myths come alive in a way no dreary classroom unit can ... will have readers wondering how literature can be this fun. This can stand alone, though newcomers to the series will race back to the first two volumes and eagerly await a fourth installment." School Library Journal praised the "adventurous" plot as well as the book's appeal: "Teachers will cheer for Percy Jackson and the Olympians as they inspire students to embrace Greek mythology and score the ultimate Herculean challenge: getting kids to read. All in all, a winner of Olympic proportions and a surefire read-aloud." Booklist's starred review approved of the novel's humor action, and plotting: "The Percy Jackson & the Olympians series is built around a terrific idea—that the half-mortal offspring of Greek gods live among us, playing out struggles of mythic scale—and Riordan takes it from strength to strength with this exciting installment, adding even more depth to the characters and story arc while retaining its predecessors' nonstop laughs and action." Kidsreads raved, "Rick Riordan's Olympian adventures have gained great popularity thanks to their combination of humor, adventure and a winning hero ... Readers who are familiar with ancient mythology will enjoy Riordan's tongue-in-cheek approach; those who aren't just might be tempted to go to the original sources to learn more."
Awards and nominations
The Titan's Curse received several literature-related awards, including: number one The New York Times children's series best seller and Book Sense Top Ten Summer Pick for 2007. It was also a Quill Award nominee.
AudioFile Magazine lauded Bernstein's interpretation, writing, "Sounding alternately young, or old, or really scary, Jesse Bernstein ... effectively voices the confusion and loss the team experiences."
In The Battle of the Labyrinth, Annabeth and Percy find an entrance into the Labyrinth during a game of capture the flag. Percy soon learns that Luke had used the entrance and will lead his army through the Labyrinth straight in to the heart of camp. To get into the Labyrinth, Percy has to find the symbol of Daedalus, the Greek letter delta, (Δ) on a passageway, touch it, and then enter the Labyrinth. Using the Labyrinth, Percy tries to find Daedalus so Luke cannot get Ariadne's string, thereby foiling Luke's invasion.
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- "The Titan's Curse". Kirkus Reviews. April 1, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2011. Starred review.
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- Bass, Deborah (May 5, 2009). "Hugely Anticipated Finale to Blockbuster Percy Jackson & the Olympians Series Goes on Sale Today". Disney Book Group. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- "The Summer 2007 Children's Book Sense Picks". American Booksellers Association. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- Riordan, Rick (April 1, 2007). The Titan's Curse. Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Hyperion Books for Children. ISBN 978-1-4231-0145-1. OCLC 76863948.
- "The Titan's Curse: Barnes & Noble". Barnes and Noble. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
- "The Titan's Curse". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
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- "The 2007 Quill Award Nominees Are...". New York: WNBC. July 5, 2007. Archived from the original on July 20, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "The Titan's Curse: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3 (Unabridged)". audible.com. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
- "THE TITAN'S CURSE: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3". AudioFile. September 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
- "The Titan's Curse: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Book 3". booksontape.com. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
- "The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3) [AUDIOBOOK] [UNABRIDGED] (Audio CD)". Amazon.com. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
- "The Titan's Curse Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series, Book 3". Listen Up! Vermont. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
- Riordan, Rick (May 8, 2008). The Battle of the Labyrinth. Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Hyperion Books for Children. ISBN 978-1-4231-0146-8. OCLC 180753884.
- Rick Riordan Myth Master at publisher Penguin Books (UK)
- Percy Jackson & the Olympians at publisher Disney-Hyperion Books (US)
- Rick Riordan at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database