The Tyrant's Tomb Read online
Also by Rick Riordan
PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS
Book One: The Lightning Thief
Book Two: The Sea of Monsters
Book Three: The Titan’s Curse
Book Four: The Battle of the Labyrinth
Book Five: The Last Olympian
The Demigod Files
The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel
The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel
The Titan’s Curse: The Graphic Novel
The Battle of the Labyrinth: The Graphic Novel
The Last Olympian: The Graphic Novel
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods
Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes
From Percy Jackson: Camp Half-Blood Confidential
THE KANE CHRONICLES
Book One: The Red Pyramid
Book Two: The Throne of Fire
Book Three: The Serpent’s Shadow
The Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel
The Throne of Fire: The Graphic Novel
The Serpent’s Shadow: The Graphic Novel
From the Kane Chronicles: Brooklyn House Magician’s Manual
THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS
Book One: The Lost Hero
Book Two: The Son of Neptune
Book Three: The Mark of Athena
Book Four: The House of Hades
Book Five: The Blood of Olympus
The Demigod Diaries
The Lost Hero: The Graphic Novel
The Son of Neptune: The Graphic Novel
Demigods & Magicians
MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD
Book One: The Sword of Summer
Book Two: The Hammer of Thor
Book Three: The Ship of the Dead
For Magnus Chase: Hotel Valhalla Guide to the Norse Worlds
9 from the Nine Worlds
THE TRIALS OF APOLLO
Book One: The Hidden Oracle
Book Two: The Dark Prophecy
Book Three: The Burning Maze
Copyright © 2019 by Rick Riordan
Cover art © 2019 by John Rocco
Designed by Joann Hill
Cover design by Joann Hill
All rights reserved. Published by Disney • Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. For information address Disney • Hyperion, 125 West End Avenue, New York, New York 10023.
In memory of Diane Martinez,
who changed many lives for the better
Guide to Apollo Speak
About the Author
The Dark Prophecy
The words that memory wrought are set to fire,
Ere new moon rises o’er the Devil’s Mount.
The changeling lord shall face a challenge dire,
Till bodies fill the Tiber beyond count.
Yet southward must the sun now trace its course,
Through mazes dark to lands of scorching death
To find the master of the swift white horse
And wrest from him the crossword speaker’s breath.
To westward palace must the Lester go;
Demeter’s daughter finds her ancient roots.
The cloven guide alone the way does know,
To walk the path in thine own enemy’s boots.
When three are known and Tiber reached alive,
’Tis only then Apollo starts to jive.
There is no food here
Meg ate all the Swedish Fish
Please get off my hearse
I BELIEVE IN RETURNING dead bodies.
It seems like a simple courtesy, doesn’t it? A warrior dies, you should do what you can to get their body back to their people for funerary rites. Maybe I’m old-fashioned. (I am over four thousand years old.) But I find it rude not to properly dispose of corpses.
Achilles during the Trojan War, for instance. Total pig. He chariot-dragged the body of the Trojan champion Hector around the walls of the city for days. Finally I convinced Zeus to pressure the big bully into returning Hector’s body to his parents so he could have a decent burial. I mean, come on. Have a little respect for the people you slaughter.
Then there was Oliver Cromwell’s corpse. I wasn’t a fan of the man, but please. First, the English bury him with honors. Then they decide they hate him, so they dig him up and “execute” his body. Then his head falls off the pike where it’s been impaled for decades and gets passed around from collector to collector for almost three centuries like a disgusting souvenir snow globe. Finally, in 1960, I whispered in the ears of some influential people, Enough, already. I am the god Apollo, and I order you to bury that thing. You’re grossing me out.
When it came to Jason Grace, my fallen friend and half brother, I wasn’t going to leave anything to chance. I would personally escort his coffin to Camp Jupiter and see him off with full honors.
That turned out to be a good call. What with the ghouls attacking us and everything.
Sunset turned San Francisco Bay into a cauldron of molten copper as our private plane landed at Oakland Airport. I say our private plane; the chartered trip was actually a parting gift from our friend Piper McLean and her movie star father. (Everyone should have at least one friend with a movie star parent.)
Waiting for us beside the runway was another surprise the McLeans must have arranged: a gleaming black hearse.
Meg McCaffrey and I stretched our legs on the tarmac while the ground crew somberly removed Jason’s coffin from the Cessna’s storage bay. The polished mahogany box seemed to glow in the evening light. Its brass fixtures glinted red. I hated how beautiful it was. Death shouldn’t be beautiful.
The crew loaded it into the hearse, then transferred our luggage to the backseat. We didn’t have much: Meg’s backpack and mine, my bow and quiver and ukulele, and a couple of sketchbooks and a poster-board diorama we’d inherited from Jason.
I signed some paperwork, accepted the flight crew’s condolences, then shook hands with a nice undertaker who handed me the keys to the hearse and walked away.
I stared at the keys, then at Meg McCaffrey, who was chewing the head off a Swedish Fish. The plane had been stocked with half a dozen tins of the squishy red candy. Not anymore. Meg had single-handedl