Exploring the Magic of Riordan’s The Titan’s Curse

It’s time to discuss what makes Rick Riordan such a good writer and The Titan’s Curse such a “dam” good book!

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Image showing "The Titan's Curse" by Rick Riordan.

If you’re reading this article, I’m going to assume you have great taste in books because everything about the Percy Jackson series is a delightful treat — like warm, gooey, blue cookies just out of the oven!

Whether it be the witty dialogue, humorous inner thoughts of our beloved protagonist, Percy, Greek mythology, barbarous (albeit goofy) antagonists, or the overall unforgettable story that Rick Riordan produces, this book just cannot be missed.

Let’s explore just why, and how The Titan’s Curse captured the audience’s hearts and didn’t let go.

Imperfectly Perfect

Can we all agree that Rick Riordan created the best character ever, Percy Jackson? Although his other books, mythologies, and protagonists are also great, there’s something different about Percy that makes him lovable and memorable. Riordan’s dedication and creativity in bringing this character to life are truly admirable. It’s evident in every aspect of the story, making Percy all the more endearing and easy to root for.

When discussing his inspiration to write Percy Jackson, Riordan revealed that his son’s ADHD and dyslexia diagnosis made his time in school quite difficult and discouraged him. Riordan, helping his son not feel bad for his differences, explained, “It’s not a bad thing to be different. Sometimes, it’s the mark of being very, very talented. That’s what Percy discovers about himself in The Lightning Thief.”

Illustrated image of three broken, Greek statues.

Yet another reason Percy is a well-developed character is that despite his godly heritage, he is a flawed, imperfect human. His fatal flaw of excessive loyalty makes him an interesting and dynamic protagonist. Though one would think loyalty is a positive trait, Riordan presents how too much of it can be dangerous when taken to the extreme. Percy puts his life on the line for his loved ones and even strangers, often going to great lengths to help those he empathizes with.

Riordan doesn’t stop with Percy. Every character he introduces is thoroughly created and well-crafted, with relatable flaws. It truly helps the reader feel an instant connection to all the characters: main, sub, or fleeting.

Captivating Colloquy

Another thing that makes this book — and those before it — so entertaining is the way the characters interact with each other. Besides the action, the raw energy and chemistry in the dialogue make it a real page-turner. I honestly believe that Riordan has near-mastered the art of conversation. Every line he writes and has a character say is purposeful and impacts the plot or the character’s development. Even more impressive, he writes it in a way that manages to make readers laugh — not an easy task!

Illustrated image of three female Greek statues close together.

Here are examples of a few fan-favorites:

“Let us find the dam snack bar,” Zoe said. “We should eat while we can.”

Grover cracked a smile. “The dam snack bar?”

Zoe blinked. “Yes. What is funny?”

“Nothing,” Grover said, trying to keep a straight face. “I could use some dam french fries.”

Even Thalia smiled at that. “And I need to use the dam restroom.”

― Rick Riordan, The Titan’s Curse

“You’re a stalker with hooves.”
“I am not! I followed her to the Big House and hid in a bush and watched the whole thing.”

― Rick Riordan, The Titan’s Curse

“Love conquers all,” Aphrodite promised. “Look at Helen and Paris. Did they let anything come between them?”
“Didn’t they start the Trojan War and get thousands of people killed?”
“Pfft. That’s not the point. Follow your heart.”

― Rick Riordan, The Titan’s Curse

With every turn of the page, the witty remarks and clever quips make you feel like you’re watching your favorite sitcom. Riordan’s writing style is both engaging and relatable, and his humor is so well-crafted that it never feels contrived or excessive; instead, it seamlessly blends into the narrative and enhances the scene.

Mythology Masterclass

Riordan wasn’t one to hide his intentions; he was always upfront about his love for teaching mythology. It only makes sense, since he had already been teaching it to middle schoolers for a good fifteen years. Even after quitting his teaching job to become a full-time author, after selling his Percy Jackson series to Disney Book Group, he still managed to incorporate his passion for teaching into his books. “The Lightning Thief explores Greek mythology in a modern setting, but does so as a humorous work of fantasy,” Riordan explained. “My goal is to get kids interested in learning more about mythology.” Throughout his entire series, and on, he sprinkles in words, names, and old myths through the characters’ dialogue.

Illustrated image depicting a female and male Greek statue surrounding a Greek structure.

Even the name “Percy” has its roots in Greek mythology, specifically the name Perseus, who was a hero known for his bravery and strength. Another good example is the rivalry between Athena and Poseidon in the Percy Jackson series is a nod to their rivalry as gods in Greek mythology. Additionally, oracles were the voices of gods and goddesses in ancient Greece. They were believed to communicate divine wisdom and prophecy to humans, as seen in the series through the Oracle of Delphi.

Here are a few interesting words that Riordan often uses in his books:

  • Golden Fleece
    In Greek mythology, a fleece of gold owned by the king of Colchis and guarded in a sacred grove by a dragon, recovered by Jason and the Argonauts
  • ichor
    The rarified fluid is said to flow in the veins of the gods.
  • ambrosia
    The food and drink of the gods.

While Riordan took some creative liberties in the series, he did a great job hinting at and connecting real mythology and fantasy.

In the end, whether you’re a die-hard fan or just discovering the series, The Titan’s Curse is a must-read for anyone who loves a good adventure.

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