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 Four)
Genre(s) Fantasy novel, Young adult, Greek mythology
Publisher Hyperion Books for Children
Release date May 6, 2008 (US)
July 3, 2008 (UK)
Media type Print (hardcover and paperback), Audiobook
Pages 361
ISBN 9781423101468
OCLC Number 180753884
LC Classification PZ7.R4829 Bat 2008
Sequel to The Titan's Curse
Prequel to The Last Olympian

The Battle of the Labyrinth is a 2008 fantasy-adventure novel based on Greek mythology and the fourth book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. Demigod Percy Jackson, who is almost fifteen years old, tries to stop Luke and his army from invading Camp Half-Blood by navigating Daedalus's labyrinth.[1] It was released on May 6, 2008 in the US and Canada.

Synopsis[change | change source]

Plot summary[change | change source]

After being attacked by Empousai cheerleaders at his new school, Percy returns to Camp Half-Blood and learns about "The Labyrinth", part of the palace of King Minos in Crete that, according to Greek mythology, was designed by Daedalus. During a battle game at the camp, Annabeth and Percy find an entrance into the Labyrinth. Percy soon learns that Luke had used the entrance and will lead his army through the Labyrinth straight in to the heart of Camp Half-Blood. To get into the Labyrinth, Percy has to find the Delta Symbol (Δ) on a passageway, touch it, and then enter the Labyrinth.

Using the Labyrinth, Percy has to try to find Daedalus so Luke cannot get Ariadne's string, thereby foiling Luke's invasion. Ariadne's string is used to find all the exits of the Labyrinth. Grover comes to the rescue and causes a Panic to scare away the enemy. After the battle, Daedalus sacrifices himself to close the labyrinth, which is tied to his life.[2]

Major characters[change | change source]

  • Demigods:
    • Percy Jackson: 15 years old, son of Poseidon, God of the Sea. He is the series' narrator and protagonist.
    • Annabeth Chase: 15 years old, Percy's friend, and daughter of Athena. Assists Percy as he navigates the labyrinth. By the end of the book they are very close friends.
    • Rachel Elizabeth Dare: A mortal who can clearly see through the Mist. Her father is a rich businessman who buys the undeveloped land of the wild and builds developments upon them. She hates her father for doing so and was embarrassed to meet Pan, God of the Wild. 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: Son of Hades. Upset that his sister Bianca died, he is slightly psychotic, and attempts to trade Daedalus' soul for that of Bianca. He has a sword made of Stygian Iron.
    • Luke Castellan: 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: 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 a crystal cavern along with some extinct animals. He gave them words of wisdom, and then died. When he died, his essence entered all of the characters' mouths, 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 god Pan is named after panic because in the Titan war he let out a horrible cry that drove all the monsters back to where they came from.
    • Tyson the Cyclops: Percy's cyclops half-brother. He now works for his father in the Palace of Poseidon under the oceans in the Cyclopes' Forge. Tyson enjoys forging, nicknaming mythical creatures they come across and eating peanut butter sandwiches. He joins Percy and his friends in the labyrinth.
  • Immortals:
    • Daedalus/Quintus: The inventor of the Labyrinth and son of Athena, who makes five automatons to cheat death. He becomes the new swordsman at Camp Half-Blood under the name Quintus. He has a murderer's mark on his neck branded by Athena because he killed his nephew, Perdix. He owns a Hellhound named Mrs. O'Leary. After his death, he builds toll-ways and other buildings to control traffic in the Underworld and according to Nico, Daedalus is very happy with this job. Before he dies, he gives Annabeth a laptop containing all of the works he never had time to accomplish as well as many of his ideas and theories.
    • Calypso: Because she helped her father Atlas, she is punished by a "house arrest" in an island named Ogygia. The Fates send her a hero that she falls in love with every thousand years or so. After Percy creates an explosion in Mount Saint Helen's, she nurses him back to health. She offers to let him stay forever in Ogygia (he would gain immortality) but he refuses.
    • Greek Gods : They send help and obstacles to Percy during his quest, and Percy's Father Poseidon sends him mental messages helping him achieve his quest.

Critical reception[change | change source]

The Battle of the Labyrinth received generally positive reviews. Publishers Weekly praised Riordan 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."[3] 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."[3] However School Library Journal wrote "Like many series, the "Percy Jackson" books are beginning to show the strain of familiarity and repetition."[3] 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."[3] Kirkus adjudged the book to be the best in the series[3] and said, "The often-philosophical tale zips along with snappy dialogue, humor and thrilling action, culminating in a climactic battle between gods and Titans.

Awards and nominations[change | change source]

Kirkus Reviews gave The Battle of the Labyrinth a starred review as well as Publishers Weekly.

Audiobooks[change | change source]

The Battle of the Labyrinth was adapted to a 10 hours and 32 minutes audiobook[4] read by actor Jesse Bernstein[4] and published by Listening Library.[4] The release date for the audiobook was May 13, 2008.[5][6]

AudioFile Magazine was generally positive about the audiobook. They commended Bernstein, saying that he was "just as skillful at wringing humor from the witty dialogue and from the contrasts between the modern and ancient worlds." [7]

Sequel[change | change source]

In The Last Olympian there is a final battle for Olympus, with Percy and his friends defending it against Kronos and his forces. Percy rallies the demigods and many of his allies take part in the war, including The Hunters of Artemis and the Party Ponies. Rachel becomes the new Oracle and spouts another Great Prophecy. Percy and Annabeth start going out.

The Last Olympian was released May 5, 2009.[8] It is the last book of the series.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson
  2. Riordan, Rick (May 8, 2008). The Battle of the Labyrinth. Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Hyperion Books for Children. ISBN 9781423101468 . OCLC 180753884 .
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "The Battle of the Labyrinth". Barnes & Noble. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Battle-of-the-Labyrinth/Rick-Riordan/e/9781423101468. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "The Battle of the Labyrinth: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4 (Unabridged)". audible.com. http://www.audible.com/adbl/site/products/ProductDetail.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@0938938946.1264571664@@@@&BV_EngineID=cccfadejhijkmlfcefecekjdffidflg.0&productID=BK_LILI_000768&redirectFlag=. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  5. "The Battle of the Labyrinth Audiobook". Random House. http://www.randomhouse.com/audio/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780739364741. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  6. "The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4) [Audiobook[Unabridged] (Audio CD)"]. Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Battle-Labyrinth-Percy-Jackson-Olympians/dp/073936474X. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  7. "THE BATTLE OF THE LABYRINTH : Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4". AudioFile Magazine. August 2008. http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/dbsearch/showreview.cfm?Num=34904. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  8. "'Percy Jackson' series ending next year". International Herald Tribune. September 5, 2008. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/09/05/arts/NA-US-Books-Percy-Jackson.php. Retrieved 2009-02-04.

Other websites[change | change source]