The Titan's Curse is an American fantasy-adventure novel based on Greek mythology written by Rick Riordan. It was released on May 1, 2007, and is the third novel in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series and the sequel to The Sea of Monsters. It is about the adventures of the 14-year-old demigod Percy Jackson as he and his friends go on a dangerous quest to rescue his 14-year-old demigod friend Annabeth Chase and the Greek goddess Artemis, who have both been kidnapped by the titans.
|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 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 thirty Summer Pick for 2010.
Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase, and Thalia Grace get a ride from Sally Jackson to Westover Hall, a boarding school in Bar Harbor, Maine, to escort two sibling half-bloods named Nico and Bianca di Angelo to Camp Half-Blood. They are attacked by a teacher named Dr. Thorn, who is actually a manticore. Though the goddess 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 numbers now include Bianca di Angelo, after she takes their oath) to Camp Half-Blood with her brother Apollo on his solar chariot.
At camp, Percy and Blackjack, his pegasus friend, save a sea monster that Percy nicknames Bessie, and Artemis's lieutenant Zoë Nightshade begins having mysterious dreams about Artemis in grave danger. Percy has dreams about Annabeth saving Luke from being crushed by the ceiling of a cave and holding it up for him. Both Zoë and Percy are unable to act until the Oracle (an old mummy) somehow leaves the attic in the Big House by itself, during a capture the flag game in which Thalia and Percy almost get into a physical confrontation. After it delivers a prophecy to Zoë, she and Chiron organize a quest, and she decides to bring Thalia, Grover Underwood, Bianca, and another Hunter with her (who is then taken out of commission by a deadly prank). Percy is forbidden from going because the Hunters refuse to travel or associate with a male, due to their chastity vows. Before leaving, he meets up with Nico, to whom he promises to keep Bianca safe during the quest. He successfully sneaks away from camp on Blackjack and follows the group, though he is almost stopped by Mr. D while on the Chrysler Building, who only agrees to let him go because there is a high chance Percy will be killed while on the quest.
When he arrives in Washington, D.C., Percy notices Dr. Thorn heading into the National Museum of Natural History and follows him using Annabeth's invisibility hat. Luke Castellan and a large man called the General are there, and together they summon spartoi, undead skeleton warriors, to hunt the official quest group, who are nearby in the National Air and Space Museum. Percy tries to warn the group, but they are attacked by the Nemean lion before they can leave. They fight the lion and manage to kill it, with Percy taking its impenetrable pelt as a spoil of war. The quest group and Percy flee, and, on the advice of Apollo (in disguise as a homeless man), travel to Cloudcroft, New Mexico by freighthopping. In Cloudcroft, Grover senses the presence of the god Pan, who sends the Erymanthian boar to help them escape the spartoi. The boar carries them as far as Gila Claw, Arizona, where the "Junkyard of the Gods" lies. After a brief encounter with Ares and Aphrodite (in which Aphrodite analyzes Percy's attraction to Annabeth, but also warns him of the dangers of the Junkyard), 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 sullenly travel to Hoover Dam after stealing boats. There, Percy meets a mortal girl who can see through the Mist named Rachel Elizabeth Dare, and with the help of Athena (in disguise as a tour guide), the quest members narrowly escape the spartoi again, arriving 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 back at camp with Blackjack, who is an ophiotaurus (a creature whose entrails can be burned to acquire the power to destroy Olympus). Using this fact, Luke attempts to coax Thalia into joining the side of the Titans, as she is almost 16 and appears to be the hero of the Great Prophecy, and she hesitantly refuses. 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 Bessie, with Percy offering the Nemean lion's pelt as tribute to Poseidon for their safe journey. Zoë, Percy, and Thalia go to find Frederick Chase, Annabeth's father and a plane pilot, in the hope that he will help them reach their final destination: Mount Tamalpais, the modern location of the Titans' fortress on Mount Othrys. In Professor Chase's car, they travel to the Garden of the Hesperides. After confronting the Hesperides (whom Zoë is an exiled member of, due to her helping Heracles steal a golden apple during the Labours of Hercules by gifting him Riptide, Percy's sword), Zoë is wounded by the poison of the dragon Ladon while they pass through. At the place where the Titan Atlas once held up the sky, the group finds Artemis now doing his job. After seeing Annabeth tied up and held hostage by Luke, and learning that "the General" is not only Atlas, but Zoë's father, Percy briefly takes the sky's weight from Artemis so she can fight against the Titan. Artemis engages Atlas, and is able to trap him under the sky again with the help of Percy, but not before he seriously wounds Zoë by pushing her off of a cliff. Thalia battles Luke, and is kicked off the side of the mountain by her, apparently dead. With the help of Mr. Chase, who arrives in a biplane he has fitted with machine guns that fire celestial bronze bullets, they escape and travel to a nearby airfield in Artemis' silver chariot. Zoë dies from her injuries shortly after landing, and Artemis makes a new constellation in her honor. The rest of the group then head for Mount 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 she accepts, delaying the onset of the Great Prophecy by keeping her forever 15 years old. Percy is told by his father, Poseidon, that Luke is miraculously alive. Athena warns Percy to stay away from Annabeth. The two return to Camp Half-Blood, skeptical and worried about the future. Before Percy is able to go home, however, Percy is forced to explain Bianca's death to Nico. Nico immediately blames Percy, as Percy promised to keep her safe. When a group of spartoi arrive to attack Percy, Nico banishes them to the underworld, revealing himself as a son of Hades. Shortly after, Nico runs away from camp, and Percy tells the truth of Nico's parentage to Annabeth and Grover. They promise to hide the fact from everyone else, especially the Titans' army, because this means that there are once again two possible heroes for the Great Prophecy.
- 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." While Thalia is a lot like Percy (due to both being children of the Big Three), and they become good friends before the events of the book, they often argue. She is heartbroken by Luke's betrayal of the camp and gods, as it is implied that she had feelings for him. She is also afraid of heights, which she reluctantly admits to Percy, despite the fact that she is the daughter of Zeus, God of the Sky. She joins the Huntress of Artemis as the new lieutenant to prevent her from being the child of the Great Prophecy with the permission of her father.
- 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 in architecture, and 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 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 at the beginning of the book, they got out and she attended an army school in Bar Harbor, Maine. She is killed by an automaton during the quest in the "Junkyard of the Gods".
- Zoë Nightshade: Zoë is the daughter of Atlas, a banished Hesperid for helping the hero Hercules, the first lieutenant of the Hunters of Artemis, and the maker of Percy's sword, Riptide. Due to her age, she often has trouble updating her language and speaking skills, and uses Middle English. She dies after being bitten by Ladon the dragon, 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. She and Thalia developed grudges against each other after Thalia refused to join the hunters before the events of the series, but they get eventually get along before Zoë's demise.
- Luke Castellan: The 21-year-old demigod son of Hermes, Luke is the main antagonist of the series. He is the main crony to Kronos; Kronos' followers and army gather on a ship called the Princess Andromeda. He is thought dead when Thalia kicks him off Mount Tamalpais, but it is later revealed to have survived.
- Nico di Angelo: The 10-year-old demigod son of Hades, he and his older sister, Bianca, are rescued from a manticore by Percy, Annabeth, Thalia, and Grover. He is left at camp during the quest due to his young age, but stays in the Hermes cabin because his parentage has not yet been discovered. He leaves camp after hearing Percy broke his promise to him and letting Bianca die. Before he leaves, he sends an army of skeletal warriors back to the underworld, revealing his parentage.
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 nominationsEdit
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". Rick Riordan. Archived from the original on May 8, 2008. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
- "The Titan's Curse". Kirkus Reviews. April 1, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2011. Starred review.
- "The Titan's Curse". Random House. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
- Riordan, Rick (May 2007). The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3) (Hardcover). ISBN 978-1423101451.
- Thomas, Mike W. (June 1, 2007). "Local author's fantasy fiction has made him a best seller". San Antonio Business Journal. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- 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.
- 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). ISBN 0739350331.
- "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