My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Burning Maze is the third book in the Trials of Apollo series by Rick Riordan. Throughout this series, Apollo (Lester) has been in search of the Oracles and this entry into the series is no different. In the Burning Maze, Lester and Meg are off on an adventure to save the next Oracle with a familiar face: Grover. Grover was my least favourite of the original three, so I wasn’t super excited for this cameo but it was still a fun journey.
I find Apollo as Lester to be hilarious, but even after three books I still haven’t warmed up to Meg. As a result, I think I was a little too excited when the trio was joined by Piper and Jason. I just needed other characters that I had formed bonds to in order to connect more strongly with the group in this book. Give me a Lester, Leo, and Percy adventure any day and I would be so on board.
The plot itself kept me on the edge of my seat and invested in the narrative until the very end. I am not as well versed on my Roman history as I am the mythology, so each new piece of information we received was fascinating and unexpected. I really enjoy where Riordan is bringing the narrative and cannot wait to see how this book progresses.
Despite the protagonist’s age being 16, this does feel like it is written more for the middle-grade audience. It reads the same way that I feel Magnus Chase does for the first book or two, which tends to lean towards the middle-grade level whereas I felt that Percy Jackson grew up with his books both age wise and writing quality-wise. (Initially, it felt very middle grade, but by the second series, it felt more like a YA series.)
Despite the series reading like our main character is in middle school – it is highly enjoyable overall.