Spoilers! If you haven’t read the entire Percy Jackson & the Olympians series (The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters, The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian) and the first two books in the Heroes of Olympus series (The Lost Hero and The Son of Neptune), turn back now.
The Mark of Athena begins with Annabeth (daughter of Athena), Leo (son of Hephaestus), Jason (son of Jupiter), and Piper (daughter of Aphrodite) descending on Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent to Camp Half-Blood. They’re not sure how welcome they will be, especially since they are literally descending on the camp in what can only be called a Greek warship. While most of the Roman campers are not exactly thrilled with the presence of the ship (also known as the Argo II), one person at Camp Jupiter is delighted to see it…Percy Jackson. He hasn’t seen his girlfriend, Annabeth, in what seems like ages, and he’s deliriously happy to be reunited with her. That is, until his newly arrived friends accidentally start a war with the Romans who have taken him in, and he, Hazel (daughter of Pluto), and Frank (son of Mars) are forced to make a hasty exit with Annabeth and company.
Now, we have seven demigods aboard a Greek trireme heading off on a quest that is likely to kill all of them. This deadly adventure takes them to such exotic locales as Kansas, Atlanta (specifically the Georgia Aquarium), and Charleston (South Carolina shout-out!). But these are just pit-stops on the way to their ultimate destination…Rome. Although the journey is treacherous, these seven demigods must work together to close the Doors of Death, stop Gaea and her giants from destroying the earth, and find some way for Greeks, Romans, and gods to work together. On top of all that, Annabeth has an additional quest handed down directly from her mother. She has to follow the Mark of Athena and restore something crucial to her mother. All other children of Athena have failed (read: died) in this quest. Should be a piece of cake, right? (If you’ve read any of the previous books, you already know the answer to that question.)
From the very beginning of this quest, things go wrong, and it’s going to take something drastic to turn everything around. Are these seven demigods up to the task? What sacrifices will be made to ensure the success of this dangerous crusade? And are these young people prepared for the fallout of the decisions they will be forced to make? Discover the answers to these questions and many more when you read The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan.