The Titan's Curse
The front cover of the first U.S. edition.
|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 get a ride from Mrs. Jackson to Westover Hall, a boarding school in Bar Harbor, Maine, to escort two sibling half-bloods named Nico and Bianca di Angelo that Grover Underwood has found. They are attacked by a manticore named Dr. Thorn. Though Artemis and her hunters arrive to help, Dr. Thorn jumps off a cliff with Annabeth on his back. Artemis is troubled by the manticore's mention of a "Great Stirring" of monsters, and goes off alone to hunt an Olympus-destroying monster she believes to have finally returned from Tartarus. She sends the half-bloods and Hunters (whose number now includes Bianca di Angelo) to Camp Half-Blood with her brother Apollo.
While there, Nico settles into camp life; Percy and Blackjack save a sea monster Percy nicknames Bessie; and Artemis's lieutenant Zoë Nightshade has mysterious dreams about the goddess being in grave danger. Percy has similar dreams about Annabeth saving Luke from being crushed by the ceiling of some cave and holding it up for him. Both are unable to act, however, until the Oracle (a shriveled mummy) somehow leaves the attic where it was kept and delivers the Huntress a prophecy. Chiron and Zoë organize a quest, but Percy is forbidden from going because the Hunters refuse to travel with a boy. He successfully sneaks away from camp on Blackjack, though he is almost stopped by Mr. D (Dionysus) who agrees to let him go because there is a good chance that Percy will get killed while on the quest.
When they arrive in Washington, D.C., Percy notices Dr. Thorn heading into the National Museum of Natural History, and follows him using an invisibility cap. Luke and a man called the General are there, and summon spartoi to hunt the official quest group, who are currently in the National Air and Space Museum nearby. Percy runs to warn them, but they are attacked by the Nemean Lion before they can leave. They flee, and, on the advice of Apollo, travel to Cloudcroft, New Mexico. In Cloudcroft, Grover senses the presence of Pan, who sends the Erymanthian Boar to help them escape the spartoi who have caught up with them. The boar carries them as far as Gila Claw, Arizona and the "junkyard of the gods". After a brief encounter with Ares and Aphrodite, the group enters the junkyard, where Bianca tries to take a cursed statuette for Nico. Her theft awakens a prototype of Talos, and she gives her life to bring it down. The remaining quest members travel to the Hoover Dam, and, after narrowly escaping the spartoi again, arrive in San Francisco on the backs of two bronze flying angels.
Once there, Percy seeks out Nereus and learns that the monster Artemis was hunting is Bessie, the monster he saved, who is an ophiotaurus. After a final encounter with Dr. Thorn in which Percy pleads with Mr. D to help him defeat the manticore, Grover heads back to Camp Half-Blood with the ophiotaurus. Zoë, Percy, and Thalia go to find Frederick Chase in the hope that he will help them reach their final destination: Mount Tamalpais, which is the modern location of the Titans' fortress on Mount Othrys. With Mr. Chase's car, they travel to the Garden of Hesperides. Zoë is wounded by the dragon Ladon while they pass through. From the place where Atlas once held up the sky, they see Artemis now doing his job. Seeing Annabeth tied up and held hostage by Luke and learning that "the General" is Zoë's father, the Titan Atlas, Percy takes the sky from Artemis so she can fight the Titan's advance guard. Artemis engages Atlas and is able to trap him under the sky again, but not before he seriously wounds Zoë by pushing her off of a cliff. Thalia battles Luke, and he falls from a cliff, apparently dead. With the help of Mr. Chase, who arrives in a biplane he has fitted with machine guns with Celestial bronze bullets, they escape and travel to a nearby airfield in Artemis' silver chariot. Zoë dies shortly after landing and Artemis makes a constellation in her honor. The rest of the group then heads for Olympus.
During the winter solstice meeting, the gods are finally convinced by Artemis to take action against the Titans. Thalia is also asked by Artemis to become an immortal Huntress, and her acceptance is the only thing that prevents the onset of the Great Prophecy. Percy is told by his father that Luke is somehow not dead, and he and Annabeth return to Camp Half-Blood worried about the future. Before he can relax, however, Percy is forced to explain Bianca's death to Nico. Nico blames Percy, and when a group of spartoi arrive to attack the son of Poseidon, Nico banishes them to the realm of Hades, and Percy realizes that he must be a son of Hades. Nico runs away, and the only people Percy tells the truth are Annabeth and Grover. They promise 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,
The bane of Olympus shows the trail,
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 (half cow, half serpent), 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 (Zoë and Bianca).
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 argue. 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. He is thought dead but it is later revealed he survived.
- 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 Reviews 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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- "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.
- Piehl, Norah. "The Titan's Curse: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book Three". KidsReads. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
- "The 2007 Quill Award Nominees Are.." New York: WNBC. July 5, 2007. Archived from the original on February 20, 2008. 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.