Reader Reviewed The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

The Burning Maze

Written by Rick Riordan

9+ readers   Books of the Month   11+ readers   Summer Reading   UK Top 10 Children's books   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

May 2018 MEGA Book of the Month | In a nutshell: gods and monsters, heroism and humour | The Burning Maze is book three in Riordan’s The Trials of Apollo series, and the best yet. It opens with Apollo, trapped on Earth in the form of spotty teenager Lester Papadopoulos, struggling through an underground Labyrinth. He and his companions, pushy twelve-old demigod called Meg, and satyr Grover Underwood, are on the trail of one of the five great Oracles, racing to find it before it falls into the hands of an evil Roman emperor. They barely make it to the end of the first chapter before they’re attacked by monsters … No-one can beat Riordan for action scenes, and Apollo’s sardonic running commentary on his misery is very funny indeed. We’re used to him being arrogant, selfish and annoying, but could there be signs that he’s changing, and becoming – gulp – a bit more human, as well as mortal? One thing’s for certain, the ending will surprise everyone, and leave readers desperate for the next instalment. Riordan rules! ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review the first in this series, The Hidden Oracle. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Lucy Minton, age 13 - 'The book was incredible and completely blew me away...I laughed, *nearly* cried, and felt a whirlwind of emotions when reading.'
  • Alex Hall, age 11 - 'I jumped for joy when I saw this book, as I enjoyed other Percy Jackson novels. When the God Apollo is cast down from Olympus, he must face trials against wrong doing. This book won't disappoint!'
  • Emma Corden, age 11 - 'Overall the book is very good and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.'
  • Toby Little, age 9 - 'I couldn’t stop reading this book, and even though I loved Percy Jackson and Magnus Chase, I think this is Rick Riordan’s best series ever! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!'
  • Alex Nicholson, age 11 - 'As a keen fan of Rick Riordan’s stories; his latest book The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle, was amazing and didn’t disappoint one bit! Thoroughly recommended - I loved it!'
  • Seren Daly, age 10 - 'I found this book fantastic and really hard to put down.'
  • Alexander Bisland, age 11 - 'I really enjoyed this book and it kept me on the edge of my seat. You don’t need to have read the Percy Jackson books to understand this series. I recommend this book to 9+ Percy Jackson and mythology fans. I give it 5*****.'
  • Ross O'Gorman, age 10 - 'The Trials of Apollo is a mega exciting new series based on Greek mythology, full of amazing challenges. Its action packed and features many favourite characters from other books.'
  • Alexander Bisland, age 11 - 'I really enjoyed this book and it kept me on the edge of my seat. You don’t need to have read the Percy Jackson books to understand this series.'


The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan

I WAS A GOD, ONCE. UNTIL I WAS CAST OUT BY MY FATHER, ZEUS. NOW I'M AN AWKWARD MORTAL TEENAGER CALLED LESTER. My way out? A series of scary and dangerous trials, of course. For my third mission, I must: Journey through the Labyrinth to free an Oracle who only speaks in puzzles. Defeat a vicious and bloodthirsty Roman Emperor - the most vicious of three very vicious and bloodthirsty Roman Emperors. Is that all? No, I've to do everything without any of my godly powers. Wonderful. Looks like I'll be needing all the help I can get. From new friends, and old . . .

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About the Author

Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan is an award-winning mystery writer. He lives in Boston with his wife and two sons. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Rick's first novel featuring the heroic young demigod, was the overall winner of the Red House Children's Book Award in 2006 and is now a blockbuster film franchise, starring Logan Lerman.

Rick Riordan is also the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series for children and the multi-award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults.

His adult fiction has won the top three national awards in the mystery genre – the Edgar, the Anthony and the Shamus. His short fiction has appeared in Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

Rick Riordan now writes full-time. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and two sons.

To find out more about Percy Jackson - visit


Where did you get the idea for Percy Jackson?

My son Haley asked me to tell him some bedtime stories about the Greek gods and heroes. I had taught Greek myths for many years at the middle school level, so I was glad to comply. When I ran out of myths, he was disappointed and asked me if I could make up something new with the same characters. I thought about it for a few minutes. Then I remembered a creative writing project I used to do with my sixth graders — I would let them create their own demigod hero, the son or daughter of any god they wanted, and have them describe a Greek-style quest for that hero. Off the top of my head, I made up Percy Jackson and told Haley all about his quest to recover Zeus’ lightning bolt in modern day America. It took about three nights to tell the whole story, and when I was done, Haley told me I should write it out as a book. I had a lot to do already, but I somehow found the time to write the first Percy Jackson book over the next year. I just really enjoyed writing it. The story was such fun, and so different from my adult fiction, that I found myself spending a lot of time on it. Now, I’m sure glad I did!

• The Lightning Thief deals with magic and the Greek gods. Are you worried about censorship?

In Western Civilization, we’ve always had an uneasy mix between Classical mythology and Judeo-Christian values. As a culture, we tend to believe in one God, but we also grow up steeped in these wonderful old stories about the Olympians. As long as we recognize them as stories that are part of our heritage and long-since stopped being any kind of serious religion, I don’t see the harm in learning mythology. In fact, I think you have to know Greek myths to understand where our modern culture came from. It’s part of being an educated member of society. The Lightning Thief explores Greek mythology in a modern setting, but it does so as a humorous work of fantasy. I’m certainly not interested in changing or contradicting anyone’s religious beliefs. Early in the book, the character Chiron makes a distinction between God, capital-G, the creator of the universe, and the Greek gods (lower-case g). Chiron says he doesn’t want to delve into the issue of God, but he has no qualms about discussing the Olympians because they are a “much smaller matter.” The gods of Olympus are archetypes. They are deeply embedded in and inseparable from Western thought. The book pays tribute to the legacy of Olympus as one of the roots of our culture.

• Have you ever been to Greece or Italy, or are you planning to travel there?

Yes, I’ve been to both Italy and Greece, but only after I finished the Percy Jackson series, which is ironic. One doesn’t need to travel there, however, to appreciate the stories from mythology. Those are quite universal.

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Book Info


448 pages
Interest Age: From 9 to 16 years


Rick Riordan
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Puffin an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

1st May 2018




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