Title: The Tyrant’s Tomb
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Trials of Apollo #4
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Mythology
Published: September 24th, 2019 (Disney-Hyperion)
Synopsis: In his penultimate adventure, a devastated but determined Apollo travels to Camp Jupiter, where he must learn what it is to be a hero, or die trying.
It’s not easy being Apollo, especially when you’ve been turned into a human and banished from Olympus. On his path to restoring five ancient oracles and reclaiming his godly powers, Apollo (aka Lester Papadopoulos) has faced both triumphs and tragedies. Now his journey takes him to Camp Jupiter in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the Roman demigods are preparing for a desperate last stand against the evil Triumvirate of Roman emperors. Hazel, Reyna, Frank, Tyson, Ella, and many other old friends will need Apollo’s aid to survive the onslaught. Unfortunately, the answer to their salvation lies in the forgotten tomb of a Roman ruler . . . someone even worse than the emperors Apollo has already faced.
The Tyrant’s Tomb opens with Apollo and Meg escorting Jason’s body to Camp Jupiter for funeral rites in what is possibly the most heartbreaking sendoff in all the books so far. But neither Camp Jupiter nor Apollo can mourn overlong. The Romans are just recuperating from one battle and another is fast approaching – the Emperors intend to wipe out the camp and the Romans stand no chance – unless Apollo can find the answer to their problems in the tomb of a Roman king – who might just be the worst foe he has yet to face.
It’s been over a year since the last book, but I swear, I’m still not over Jason dying, and this book had me reaching for the tissues within the first few pages. I knew this was going to be one intense read, but somehow each book of Rick Riordan’s manages to exceed my expectations for it. The battle at Camp Jupiter all but gave me a heart attack. Seriously, that was evil, and especially considering what happened to Jason in the last book, I totally fell for it.
If you know anything about Greek mythology, then you know that Apollo is not always the nicest or kindest of the Gods. More than one figure from his past comes back to haunt him in this book and Apollo is forced to face the consequences of his actions, which he never had to do as a God (and incidentally, is also an excellent reminder of how messed up Greek mythology is at times). But with his new perspective of demigod life, of mortal life, Apollo now looks upon his past actions with regret and more than a measure of shame, and this is proof of just how far he has come in this series. I say this with every book in this series, but Apollo’s character development is phenomenal. He is becoming more human by the day, something I felt was evident even in the tone of the narration, as the books are told in Apollo’s voice.
I always thought that Reyna was an amazing character who should have had more page time than she got in The Heroes of Olympus, but this book just made up for all of that! I was thrilled to see her return as a main character this time, along with Frank, who never really grew on me all that much before, but that definitely changed by the end of this book! And the pacing! The entirety of this book takes place over a matter of days and everything is packed in really close, leading to one wild roller coaster, which somehow manages to work in the time for some great side characters, both new and old.
There was no question of rating this anything less than five stars, partly for sentimental reasons, I’ll admit, but The Tyrant’s Tomb was an amazing read and Rick Riordan did not disappoint. Though Riordan’s books seem to be getting more serious and emotional with each book he still maintains the same sarcasm and sass that is signature to his novels. The Tyrant’s Tomb is a must-read and I can’t wait for the last installment in this series, especially since it looks like we’re headed back to New York for the finale!