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.

  ISBN 978-1-368-00144-1

  Visit www.DisneyBooks.com

  Follow @ReadRiordan

  In memory of Diane Martinez,

  who changed many lives for the better

  CONTENTS

  Title Page

  Copyright

  Dedication

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36

  Chapter 37

  Chapter 38

  Chapter 39

  Chapter 40

  Chapter 41

  Chapter 42

  Chapter 43

  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