Review: The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan // Or, A Hundred Sad Face Emojis

★★★★★ | Yeah, I cried.

Title: The Burning Maze

Series: The Trials of Apollo, #3

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: May 1st 2018

Pages: 431

Genres: YA, Fantasy, LGBT

Magnus Chase is still my favourite Rick Riordan’s series, but this is a close second — I love the bad haikus. I love how annoying and yet still lovable Apollo can be. I love how casual LGBT rep is here.

This series has one of the greatest character development

I like how we started out with a really annoying Apollo in the book one. I instantly knew that there’s so much potential with that and Uncle Rick did not disappoint. Apollo grows so much throughout the series and we’re just at book 3 of 5. He still retains some of his annoying qualities but it only makes him much more interesting imo because it shows that by becoming human he gained so much contrast. He is scared shitless and the most defenseless of the group but he’s ready to sacrifice himself. He didn’t care about whole cities dying and he mourns someone he barely knew.

This is also a part of character development but I like how we see both Meg and Apollo dealing with abuse in their lives and healing

I like that Apollo tries to help Meg but he also knows when he needs to let her grow on her own. How he knows he can’t force her to see things his way and that he respects her autonomy and supports her choices (unless they’re really bad choices. Murder is bad, Meg.) How he realises similarities between his life and Meg’s and how even he as a god had this experience. How that doesn’t make either of them weak. How he helps her with misdirecting her anger…

But also, I like how Meg grows on her own. How she goes back-and-forth and how realistic it is. How she gains her own support system and how that strengthens her. How she lets herself feel anger. How she lets herself feel happiness. How she slowly heals.

I love how Apollo being the god of healing and Demeter, Meg’s mother, being the goddess of growing is exactly what both of them need

This book had a much darker feel to it than any of Riordan’s books

Usually I’m the first one to shout ‘why do creators always insist on making all the bright and easy things darker and darker’ but it fits here? There’s still enough humour to counter it so it’s not only all sad and serious but Apollo and Meg’s arcs wouldn’t work as well with the usual mood of Percy Jackson Verse. Here making things a bit darker has a function and it just works.

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