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The House of Hades
Image of the book's U.S. edition cover
First edition cover
Author Rick Riordan
Cover artist John Rocco
Country United States
Language English
Series The Heroes of Olympus
(book 4)
Genre Fantasy, Greek and Roman mythology, Young adult
Publisher Disney-Hyperion Books
Publication date
October 8, 2013
Media type Print (hardcover and paperback), audiobook, e-book
Pages 597 (first ed., hardcover)
ISBN 978-1-4231-4672-8
OCLC 946944987
LC Class PZ7.R48298 Hou 2013
Preceded by The Mark of Athena 
Followed by The Blood of Olympus 

The House of Hades is a fantasy-adventure novel written by American author Rick Riordan, based on Greek and Roman mythology. It was published on October 8, 2013, and is the fourth book in The Heroes of Olympus series, preceded by The Mark of Athena and followed by The Blood of Olympus.

The story follows the Greek demigods Annabeth Chase, Leo Valdez, Piper McLean, and Percy Jackson; and the Roman demigods Jason Grace, Hazel Levesque, and Frank Zhang on their quest to close the Doors of Death, stop the Giants from raising Gaea, and prevent war between Camp Jupiter and Camp Half-Blood. The novel is narrated in third-person, alternating between the points of view by the seven demigods of the "Prophecy of Seven".

The novel received positive reviews from critics for its more-mature themes compared to previous Riordan novels. During the first week of its release, The House of Hades sold about 350,000 copies, reaching the top of the bestseller lists of The New York Times, USA Today, The Globe and Mail and The Wall Street Journal.

Plot

After Annabeth Chase and Percy Jackson fall into Tartarus at the end of The Mark of Athena, the other five demigods of the "Prophecy of Seven" (Frank Zhang, Hazel Levesque, Jason Grace, Leo Valdez and Piper McLean), aided by Nico di Angelo and Coach Hedge, prepare to go to Greece to find and close the Doors of Death from the mortal world in order to prevent the monsters of Gaea's army from continuously resurrecting. In Bologna, the Argo II is raided by the Kerkopes; Leo goes after them to retrieve his stolen Archimedes's sphere, and takes an agricultural book belonging to Triptolemus and an astrolabe made by Odysseus as recompense. He also sends the Kerkopes to harass the Roman army massing at Camp Half-Blood. In Venice, Frank, Hazel and Nico retrieve barley cakes designed to protect them from poison in the Necromanteion from Triptolemus. In exchange for the barley cakes, Frank has to get a replacement snake for Triptolemus’ chariot, which is powered by two snakes. After remembering that his father, Mars, can turn enemies to snakes, Frank decides to battle all the Katobleps (cow monsters) in exchange for a snake. He defeats all of the monsters and receives the blessing of Mars for his heroism, becoming physically stronger, much more confident, and gaining a snake for Triptolemus. During a later encounter with the bandit Sciron and after a meeting with the goddess Hecate, Hazel successfully learns to manipulate the Mist, a power that alters other people's reality layers by deceiving them.

At Jason's behest, the demigods travel to Split to visit the tomb of Diocletian, retrieve his powerful scepter, and leave a note for Reyna (who has been asked by Annabeth to find the Greek demigods). The god Cupid, guardian of the scepter, refuses to relinquish it until Nico admits that he once had a crush on Percy Jackson. While sailing through the Adriatic Sea, the ship is attacked by Khione and the Boreads. Piper uses her powerful charmspeaking skills to defend the group. During the attack, Leo is transported to Ogygia, where he falls in love with Calypso. Although he leaves the island, Leo promises to return for her. While Leo is detained, the rest of the crew meets with Notus, who helps Jason to realize that he has chosen to be a Greek rather than a Roman demigod, settling an internal conflict within himself. Jason later gives up his praetorship to Frank in accordance with this decision. Arriving at the Necromanteion, the reunited crew is attacked by Clytius, Pasiphaë, and a group of their minions. Each of the demigods uses some aspect of their newly strengthened powers or identities to help defeat these monsters; for example, Hazel's new power and alliance with Hecate helps her defeat Pasiphaë and Clytius.

Meanwhile, Percy and Annabeth travel through Tartarus to the other side of the Doors of Death, aided by the Titan Iapetus, who now goes by "Bob" after a previous encounter with Percy, the giant Damasen, and a few other beings. As the other demigods fight in the world above, Percy and Annabeth's group reach the Doors of Death and fight the personification of Tartarus, eventually destroying the chains holding the Doors in place. Bob stays behind amongst hordes of angry monsters to defend the Doors while Percy and Annabeth escape and reunites with the other five demigods, who successfully closes the Doors of Death. Reyna arrives on her dying Pegasus and Annabeth tasks Reyna, a Roman, with bringing the Athena Parthenos (using Argo II's hold) back to Camp Half-Blood to appease both the Greeks and Romans, with Nico and Coach Hedge volunteer to accompany her.

Characters

See also: List of characters in mythology novels by Rick Riordan
  • Annabeth Chase: A demigod daughter of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom. Along with her boyfriend Percy, she is trapped in Tartarus during the novel.
  • Frank Zhang: Son of Mars, the Roman god of war. He struggles with the voices of his father and Ares fighting in his head during most of the novel. After defeating all the katoblepones in Venice, he receives the blessing of Mars and peace from the arguing voices. He is dating Hazel Levesque. During the battle against the monsters in the Doors of Death, Jason Grace relinquishes his role as praetor of Camp Jupiter to Frank so that he can be of high enough rank to command an army of ghosts.
  • Hazel Levesque: Demigod daughter of Pluto, the Roman god of the dead and riches. When Argo II was prevented from crossing the Apennines by Ourae, she met with Hecate, who showed her a northern path to travel, with the condition that Hazel would learn to use the Mist. At the Doors of Death, she uses the Mist against Pasiphaë, recreating the Labyrinth of Daedalus and throwing the sorceress into an imaginary abyss. She also defeats the giant Clytius with the help of Hecate.
  • Jason Grace: Demigod son of Jupiter, the Roman aspect of Zeus. In an audition with Auster, the Roman deity of the South Wind, he reveals his preference for Camp Half-Blood instead of Camp Jupiter, and the god forces him to commit to his choice. During the battle against the monsters in the Doors of Death, Jason is unable to control the Diocletian's scepter because of his choice.
  • Leo Valdez: Son of Hephaestus, the Greek god of fire and forges. After Khione and her siblings attack the Argo II, trireme built by Leo, he falls into Ogygia – he manages to escape with the help of Calypso after they fall in love. At the Doors of Death, he helps Hazel fight Pasiphaë and opens the door for Percy and Annabeth to return to the mortal world.
  • Nico di Angelo: Demigod son of Hades, the Greek aspect of Pluto. Confronted by Cupid, he admits he had a crush on Percy and asks Jason to keep his secret. In Epirus, Nico leads the group to the Doors of Death. He works with Frank to summon and control the dead Roman legion against the cluster of monsters from Clytius. He and Hazel also use their ability to travel in the shadows to bring the group safely to the surface. Later he offered to take Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half-Blood with Reyna and Coach Hedge.
  • Percy Jackson: Demigod son of Poseidon, who is also the main protagonist of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. He falls into Tartarus with his girlfriend Annabeth.
  • Piper McLean: Daughter of Aphrodite. When Khione attacked Argo II, she rescued the rest of the crew after reactivating Festus (Leo's automaton dragon integrated with the ship) with her charmspeaking, which burned Calais and Zethes and allowed Piper to defeat the goddess.
  • Reyna Avila Ramírez-Arellano: Demigod daughter of Bellona, the Roman goddess of war, is the praetor of Camp Jupiter. After she and the augur Octavian meet Rachel and Grover Underwood in New York City, Rachel gives her a message from Annabeth stating that Reyna was the only person able to take Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half-Blood and prevent the war between the Greeks and Romans. She agrees and goes to Greece on her pegasus, Scipio, in search of the other demigods, leaving Octavian in power. Upon finding them, she accepts the help of Nico and Coach Hedge to take the statue back to the United States using shadow travel.

Sequel

On the same day as the release of The House of Hades, Rick Riordan announced its sequel, The Blood of Olympus, the last book of the series. The cover, featuring Jason, Frank, Hazel and two giants, was released on May 14, 2014. The first chapter of the story was released along with "The Staff of Serapis", a crossover between The Kane Chronicles and Percy Jackson & the Olympians. The Blood of Olympus was released on October 7, 2014, with a first printing of three million copies, and sold 162,000 copies in the first week.

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