The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3) by Rick Riordan Read Online (FREE)
Read The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3) by Rick Riordan online free here.
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.
I refuse to share this part of my story. It was the lowest, most humiliating, most awful week in my four-thousand-plus years of life. Tragedy. Disaster. Heartbreak. I will not tell you about it.
Why are you still here? Go away!
But alas, I suppose I have no choice. Doubtless, Zeus expects me to tell you the story as part of my punishment.
It’s not enough that he turned me, the once divine Apollo, into a mortal teenager with acne, flab, and the alias Lester Papadopoulos. It’s not enough that he sent me on a dangerous quest to liberate five great ancient Oracles from a trio of evil Roman emperors. It’s not even enough that he enslaved me—his formerly favorite son—to a pushy twelve-year-old demigod named Meg!
On top of all that, Zeus wants me to record my shame for posterity.
Very well. But I have warned you. In these pages, only suffering awaits.
Where to begin?
With Grover and Meg, of course.
For two days, we had traveled the Labyrinth—across pits of darkness and around lakes of poison, through dilapidated shopping malls with only discount Halloween stores and questionable Chinese food buffets.
The Labyrinth could be a bewildering place. Like a web of capillaries beneath the skin of the mortal world, it connected basements, sewers, and forgotten tunnels around the globe with no regard to the rules of time and space. One might enter the Labyrinth through a manhole in Rome, walk ten feet, open a door, and find oneself at a training camp for clowns in Buffalo, Minnesota. (Please don’t ask. It was traumatic.)
I would have preferred to avoid the Labyrinth altogether. Sadly, the prophecy we’d received in Indiana had been quite specific: Through mazes dark to lands of scorching death. Fun! The cloven guide alone the way does know.
Except that our cloven guide, the satyr Grover Underwood, did not seem to know the way.
“You’re lost,” I said, for the fortieth time.
“Am not!” he protested.
He trotted along in his baggy jeans and green tie-dyed T-shirt, his goat hooves wobbling in his specially modified New Balance 520s. A red knit cap covered his curly hair. Why he thought this disguise helped him better pass for human, I couldn’t say. The bumps of his horns were clearly visible beneath the hat. His shoes popped off his hooves several times a day, and I was getting tired of being his sneaker retriever.