- This article is about the book. For the actual tomb, see Tarquin's Tomb.
The Tyrant's Tomb is the fourth book in The Trials of Apollo series. It was released on September 24th, 2019.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Development
- 3 Plot
- 3.1 Landing in San Francisco and Airborne Attacks
- 3.2 Arriving at Camp Jupiter and Ominous Dreams
- 3.3 A New Prophecy, A Hero's Funeral, and A Surprise Visitor
- 3.4 Sibylline Dreams and Senate Meeting
- 3.5 Heading to the Tomb and Fighting the Skeleton King’s Forces
- 3.6 Dreams of Destruction, Training for the Battle, and Second Thoughts
- 3.7 Journey to the Soundless God
- 3.8 The Second Wave Begins
- 3.9 Two-on-Two Fight to the Death
- 3.10 Second Encounter with Tarquin
- 3.11 The Aftermath
- 3.12 Heading Back East
- 4 Characters
- 5 Chapter List
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Gallery
- 8 References
In his penultimate adventure, a devastated but determined Apollo travels to Camp Jupiter, where he must learn what it is to be a hero, or die trying.
It's not easy being Apollo, especially when you've been turned into a human and banished from Olympus. On his path to restoring five ancient oracles and reclaiming his godly powers, Apollo (aka Lester Papadopoulos) has faced both triumphs and tragedies. Now his journey takes him to Camp Jupiter in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the Roman demigods are preparing for a desperate last stand against the evil Triumvirate of Roman emperors. Hazel, Reyna, Frank, Tyson, Ella, and many other old friends will need Apollo's aid to survive the onslaught. Unfortunately, the answer to their salvation lies in the forgotten tomb of a Roman ruler . . . someone even worse than the emperors Apollo has already faced.
Penguin Books (UK)
You will get to the Tiber alive. You will start to Jive.
I am Apollo
I will remember
The former God Apollo, cast out by his father, Zeus, is having a pretty rough time of it.
Well, for one thing, he's called Lester. But being an awkward mortal teenager is the least of his worries.
Though he and his friends (some of them) have emerged from the Burning Maze, rescued the Oracle and lived to fight another day, they can't escape the tragedy that has befallen them or the terrible trials still to face.
So, with heavy heart, Apollo (OK, Lester) and Meg have a triumvirate still to defeat, oracles to rescue, and prophecies to decipher, so that the world may be saved, and Lester may ascend into the heavens to become Apollo once again.
But, right now, Caligula is sailing to San Francisco to deal with Camp Jupiter personally, and they have to get their first. Or risk its destruction... 
In an interview, Rick Riordan stated that the book will have Camp Jupiter, Hazel Levesque, Frank Zhang, and Reyna Ramírez-Arellano. Editor Stephanie Lurie has confirmed that the Arrow of Dodona will appear in the book. On March 7th, the cover and first two chapters of the book were released. On May 16th, Rick Riordan revealed that he finished writing the book on April 1st. However, due to the preparation, printing, promotion, and distribution of the book, it won't be released until September 24th.
The Barnes & Noble edition of the book was announced to contain exclusive content such as a full poster of one of the scenes in the book as well as diary entries by a female Camp Jupiter "probatio" who investigates an ancient Roman mystery. ReadRiordan released a video of Rick Riordan previewing the book. He revealed that Camp Jupiter was having a big "shake up" in the power structure.
Landing in San Francisco and Airborne Attacks
Hours after flying out of Santa Monica, Apollo and Meg McCaffrey arrive at the Oakland Airport near San Francisco and watch as the coffin containing Jason Grace, who was killed by Caligula, is loaded into a hearse as he fills out the paperwork. Apollo is driving and Meg calls shotgun, the Bay Area brought back some good memories of the former god but it was also where Mount Othrys of the titans was once located. Meg liked this place, it wasn't like the Burning Maze, but despite its collapse, the Julia Drusilla Yachts of the Triumvirate Holdings are currently sailing towards Camp Jupiter. The two were almost at the entrance near Caldecott Tunnel when suddenly an ugly humanoid creature lands on the hearse and rips the roof off, Apollo swerves into a canyon.
Meg used her chemokinesis to make them land safely and trap the monster in a eucalypti branch cage. Below were some picnickers, one with armour and another with goat legs. The ghoul breaks free, Apollo prepares to shoot an arrow but suddenly recognizes it. "Vulture Diaper" is a eurynomos, a corpse-eating creature that's supposed to be in the Underworld. However, it states that Hades gives him old dead, his master, who's not Caligula, gives him fresh dead. The eurynomos says the "king's" army will rise again and the "food" will join them on the blood moon, Apollo remembers that a eurynomos can turn mortals into vrykolakas (zombies) or even worse, Skeleton Warriors. Apollo keeps shooting Celestial Bronze arrows at it, although they seem to hurt it, none of the arrows kill it. Suddenly, a Roman girl with fauns and dryads arrive and she fires an Imperial Gold projectile out of a manubalista at the eurynomos killing it. She introduces herself as Lavinia and will take Apollo and Meg to Camp Jupiter. One faun named Don tried to leave like the other nature spirits but Lavinia prevented him. Meg briefly talked to Lavinia about a dryad named Poison Oak. It is revealed that Lavinia snuck out of patrol for the picnic.
The four carried Jason's coffin to a secret and closer entrance near Lake Temescal. But it's small, so Lavinia went on ahead, the men carried the coffin, and Meg stayed in the back with Jason's projects. When they stopped Lavinia revealed that the centurion let her sneak away due to "turning a blind eye." Don smelled something funny coming, it was Hazel Levesque but also two more eurynomoi. It was hard to fight in close quarters, but Hazel says she fought them when Caligula attacked. Apollo tried to sing a song but got scratched in the belly. Hazel managed to kill one with her spatha, but the other told her that more will come soon, only to be skewered by quartz when he said they were stronger underground. When she got her sword back, she revealed that she had a dream of Jason's death and they carry him back to camp.
Arriving at Camp Jupiter and Ominous Dreams
Soon they all arrived at Camp Jupiter, it didn't look as bad as what Leo Valdez had said. Everyone watched as they carried the coffin to Via Praetoria, judging from the camp's sparseness and that some were in casts, Apollo estimated that about half the legion was lost. They are greeted by Frank Zhang and Reyna Ramírez-Arellano. Upon seeing the daughter of Bellona, Apollo remembered a warning Venus gave him, telling him to stay away from someone named Reyna, he realized that this is the girl Venus had mentioned. When the praetors asked about the coffin, Apollo sang a song about his time as a mortal, their quest to secure the oracles, and Jason Grace's sacrifice. By the end of the song, the camp was in tears and Reyna and Frank announced a state funeral and that Jason's plans for Temple Hill will be completed by the weekend. They allowed Apollo and Meg to stay as guests, soon after Apollo passed out.
Apollo dreamed of the Julia Drusilla yachts sailing north with Caligula and Commodus talking on the lead ship. They plan to reach Camp Jupiter by the blood moon and have a "Plan B" if the assault fails. The dream shifts to a skeleton in an underground chamber that had the same eyes that the Eurynomoi had. He then wakes up in a room above Bombilo’s coffee shop and Meg informed him he was out for a day and a half. He sees that work has started on Temple Hill and that Jason’s funeral is that night. Frank flew into the window as a raven, he said that Meg told him about the prophecy from Herophile.
Apollo and Frank head to New Rome while Meg helps Lavinia feed the unicorns. On the way, Frank explained the battle to Apollo. He describes that they were swarmed by hundreds of the undead. Several of their forces were missing and they feared they would be facing them in battle. The freshwater of the Little Tiber was the only thing that stopped them and that things would have been worse if Leo had not arrived and given them a twenty-four hours notice. They ran into Terminus who teased Apollo’s mortal form as payback for centuries of mocking the boundary god. After learning from the license Zeus gave him that his birthday is April eighth, he realized it's the date of the second wave of the attack. As they walk through the city, he saw that the residents on high alert after the attack. They reached a bookshop and are greeted by Tyson.
A New Prophecy, A Hero's Funeral, and A Surprise Visitor
They see a cat named Aristophanes as they enter, Tyson explained that the owner of the bookstore died in the attack. They entered the back room, which had been converted into a tattoo parlour. They see Ella by a bed with hot needles, both of them recognize Apollo on sight. Upon seeing the superheated needle in the makeshift tattoo parlour, Apollo made sense of a line of the dark prophecy, "The words that memory wrought are set in fire." He asked Ella if she knew anything about an attack in the next four days to which she mentioned a tomb and death. She elaborated by looking at the index on Tyson’s thigh and reciting a line of the books "A Wildcat near the spinning lights. The tomb of Tarquin with horses bright. To open the doors, two-fifty-four." She did not elaborate on the topic and instead talked about Frank's Stick, prompting Frank and Apollo to leave.
They reach evening muster and Jason’s funeral. Due to the fact that there's no augur or Pontifex Maximus being present, Apollo performed the funeral rites himself. The precision headed to the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, where a funeral pyre is set up. Along the way, he realized a connection between Tarquin and the Sibylline Books. Just as they give Jason his "last meal", Lupa and her wolves arrive requesting to speak with Apollo alone.
Inside the temple, she urges him to be strong for the sake of the legion. She mentions that if he finds Tarquin’s tomb and defeats him, then he can call on divine help and start to regain his godhood. Just as Apollo is about to thank her she vanishes. He exits to tell Frank and Reyna the shortened version of the encounter and joins Meg for dinner. After the last of the embers in the funeral pyre dies out, they head back to camp. He tries to explain his plan to Meg, but she forbids him from saying anything.
Sibylline Dreams and Senate Meeting
Apollo dreams of the Oracle of Cumae meeting with Tarquin in the old Roman senate-house. The Oracle is pressuring him to buy the six remaining volumes of the original nine Sibylline Books. He reluctantly agreed after she burned three more. Meg wakes him up and gives him a toga to wear in the senate meeting. They arrive and sit with Lavinia. Lavinia asks him about her mother, Terpsichore the muse of dance. She also asks what is going on between him and Reyna. Reyna then calls Apollo up to speak. During his speech, he explains the threat of Commodus and Caligula arriving on the blood moon, the unknown weapons they have, and Tarquin's army of the undead. He explains his plan to find the tomb and to use the opportunity as a turning point. Ella recites the prophecy and after a moment of confused silence, Lavinia explains that it is under a merry-go-round in Tilden Park on Wildcat drive. The senate chose to send Apollo, Meg, Hazel, and Lavinia (a fourth due to Apollo being tied to Meg), and approve of the members.
The four have sandwiches at the bell tower of New Rome University, talking about the upcoming quest and complaining about various things. They decide to meet in the Field of Mars at sundown and go about their days separately until Sunday. Back in Bombilo’s spare room, Apollo lays in his cot and falls asleep. He dreams of the day he gave the Sibyl her semi-immortality. He had given her an unknown number of millennia of life, against her will. In a fit of rage after she rejects his love, he denied her eternal youth so that she can never die even if her body crumbles to dust. He wakes up feeling guilty for his curse, gathers his equipment and meets the others in the Field of Mars.
Heading to the Tomb and Fighting the Skeleton King’s Forces
Apollo arrives at the Field early and talks with the Arrow of Dodona, he expresses his concerns and the Arrow says it will think about it. Just then, Frank and Hannibal arrive and they talk about the quest in question as well. They also talk about Frank's curse. Frank says he has learned to live with it. Apollo just hopes that he is not reckless. Meg, Hazel and Lavinia arrive and the four set out on their quest.
As they hike to Tilden Park, Apollo talks with Hazel about the battle. She explains how Frank used his shapeshifting to turn the battle in their favour, but she saw it as reckless, Apollo told her everything he can about Tarquin. They reach the merry-go-round and Hazel and Meg sense something evil underground. They go to a slab and after thinking the combination over, realized that 254 (in another format) is 500 BCE, the closest to the last Roman king’s estimated year of death. Hazel wrote C-C-L-I-V, the date in Roman numerals, on the tile and it opens.
The four enter the tomb and make their way to the king. Hazel distracts the guards as they made their way to the throne room. When they arrive, they see fresh zombies of former legionnaires who died in the attack, Lavinia recognizing Bobby. A Eurynomos named Caelius arrived and explains they will attack during the emperor's strike. Tarquin then faces the four, calling them out. Meg unexpectedly charges at Tarquin as the others are forced to follow her lead. They take out his forces easily but more pop up and join them. Tarquin unleashes the poison in Apollo’s system. This causes him great agony and slowly kills him. Hazel collapses a wall behind Tarquin and the pain stops. The group escapes and Meg creates a ladder out of tree roots to get above the ground. The girls help Apollo get to the surface but sense more incoming enemies. Lavinia goes to hold them off and points the others back to camp.
As they made their way back to camp, Apollo thinks of the places he stayed at during his quest. He feels that they were the closest to a home he has ever had. On the way back, he passes out and dreams of Python at Delphi, saying he caused all the death he encountered and will continue to cause death. He wakes up in the stables to find Meg along with Buster, a unicorn, and Pranjal, a son of Asclepius and the camp’s head healer. Pranjal says that he has stabilized the wound for the time being, but he cannot cure it due to Apollo being a former god. Meg then takes Apollo to freshen up and eat before meeting with Frank and Reyna. The praetors reveal that in order to call the gods for help, they need to sacrifice a god. Apollo thinks that this was him until they mention a god of silence. While he is both relieved and confused, he doesn't know a silent god in either the Greek or Roman pantheons. The praetors recite the steps and once it is complete, they can summon one god to help them. Apollo thinks is an Iris Message and has a theory that the soundless god is either willingly or forced to black out communications by Triumvirate Holdings and believes he is at either Sutro Tower or Mount Sutro. Reyna suggests they hold a senate meeting but Frank feels it is part of the Tarquin quest and uses emergency powers to send her, Apollo and Meg on the quest. They plan to head out the following day and have Apollo help out with the war games.
Dreams of Destruction, Training for the Battle, and Second Thoughts
When they return to their room, Meg cries and apologizes to Apollo for charging at Tarquin. She explains that she thought she could cure him and the others if she took Tarquin out. He hugs her and calms her down. She orders him to rest while she gets dinner. He dreams of the emperors testing out their new weapon, a cannon that fires a large amount of Greek Fire on each of the yachts. Caligula was thrilled by the results but Commodus reminded him to take Tyson and Ella alive if possible. Apollo wakes up at noon and goes to the Mess Hall for lunch. He sits with the fifth cohort when Lavinia calls him over. She asks him about a pair of her mother’s shoes he saw on the Julia Drusilla Yachts. He says they are not important at the moment, annoying her. Soon Dakota and Hazel arrive and he explains what he saw, they are shocked and soon after, Frank calls for a war game.
As Apollo, Meg, and Hazel head to the Field of Mars. They see Don and Lavinia arguing about something. Hazel calls out to them but they ignore her and continue to fight. Meg goes to the First Cohort to prep the unicorns for battle and Hazel leaves Apollo alone with the Fifth Cohort to practice archery. He lands all his arrows on bullseye, the cohort does okay as well. They quickly shift to the next activity when the time comes. On the way to the Mess Hall, Don and Lavinia sneak up on Apollo and drag him out of camp. They take him to People’s Park in Berkeley to tell a group of fauns, dryads, and Peaches about what happened in Southern California. He explains what happened to which the nature spirits become sombre and think of running away. Don stays with them while Apollo and Lavinia head back to camp. Along with way, Lavina expresses her desire to leave before the battle, shocking Apollo. He returns to his room and falls asleep. He wakes up the next morning steeling himself for what’s to come.
Journey to the Soundless God
Apollo meets Reyna and Meg at the gates of the camp as Frank and Hazel pull up in a red pickup truck. They get in and she takes them to Sutro Tower. Hazel explains that the Hunters of Artemis mentioned the place to the legion as a place they should keep an eye on because of strange activity. As they drive Reyna mentions that she and Thalia Grace have become close by writing letters. Reyna reveals that she wrote to Thalia about Jason’s death but got no response. Hearing how Reyna speaks about the Hunters makes Apollo wonder how close she really is with them.
They park at the base of the hill leading up to Sutro Tower. Meg and the automaton dogs go into the foliage while Reyna helping Apollo. She asks him why he acted strangely around her. He reveals what Venus told him and suggested they start a romantic relationship. Reyna has a laughing fit and rejects the idea. Meg and the automatons met up with them and they continue. The trio discusses the absence of security, and Reyna reassures their suspicions that there was something wrong with the place. Apollo gazes upwards and sees a bird of some sort, he quickly shakes the thought and continues with the quest.
Once they reach the broadcast station, Reyna and her dogs go to check it out. While they wait, Apollo tells Meg about what he said to Reyna. He also mentions that Peaches is nearby. Meg reveals she knew about what he had told Reyna. She also says that she sensed Peaches, but knew he had a reason for not coming to her just yet. Reyna comes back from patrol and reports that it's abandoned. The three begin climbing the tower with Apollo in the lead, Reyna in the center, and Meg in the back. As they climb, Meg says that she smells roses. They find nothing on the first platform but on the way to the second platform, are attacked by a conspiracy of large ravens. They scramble up the ladder's steps, trying to escape them.
As the ravens dive-bomb them, Apollo tells Meg and Reyna about the time ravens told him that his girlfriend Koronis was cheating on him. He had Artemis kill her and he saved the child, Asclepius, she was pregnant with. In a fit of rage, he punished the ravens, who were white at the time, by turning them black. This deeply angered the girls as they both defended themselves and aim for Apollo. He then sees a red metal crate on the second plane form. Apollo then poorly sings a Dean Martin song out of tune to get the ravens to retreat.
They reach the platform and find that the shipping container was giving off the scent of roses. Meg gets closer and Apollo and Reyna can only hear every other word. Apollo walks up to the container and can hear and produce no sound. He sees Alexandria, Egypt written in Arabic. While this he knew that the god is of the Ptolemaic, Egypt’s last dynasty ruled by Greek pharaohs, he asks the Arrow of Dodona for help. The arrow gives him various hints until he realizes the god is Harpocrates, the Ptolemaic god of silence. He goes back to the girls to tell them who the god of silence is. This same god vowed to vaporize Apollo. He explains how he bullied Harpocrates, who took the form of a ten-year-old boy. The girls look at him in shock after hearing this. Meg notices that the crate is hooked up to the antenna via cables, amplifying his silence inducement. They contemplate sacrificing the silent god to obtain godly help. They are not able to come up with a second option. Apollo suggests that the demigods hack away at the imperial gold chains on the doors, but this would take hours. Reyna suggests that she lends Apollo her power to open the door and he agrees. This fulfills the line of the prophecy since Bellona's daughter is still technically opening the doorway. They do so and he effortlessly rips away the chains and they enter. As soon as he opens the door the three collapse in pain and he sees Harpocrates, who sends images of Apollo’s bullying and of Commodus and Caligula laughing at him being chained up via telepathy. The three send him images of their struggles, Apollo sends the worst moments of his quest so far, Meg sends happy memories of her father and seeing his corpse, Reyna sends the gruesome images of the first wave of Caligula‘s assault. Apollo questions why the silence god hasn’t escaped and sees the Fasces, ceremonial axes used to represent a person’s status, of Commodus and Caligula in the back of the storage container. He realizes that if the girls can destroy them, they can both free Harpocrates and weaken the two emperors. He tells Meg and Reyna to destroy them.
The fasces shatters easily and Harpocrares prepares to vaporize Apollo when the girls show him memories of Apollo during the quest and singing about Jason. This surprises the silence god and Apollo notices a jar, what remains of the Oracle of Cumae, in Harpocrate's lap. The disembodied oracle speaks and forgives Apollo solely for leaving the world without grudges, the same as Harpocrates. The two release their essences and the silence god fills the jar with his final breath, telling them to release it at a shrine or temple to get the help they want. The zone of silence is broken and the girls see purple streaks on Apollo’s skin. Meg then hears the ravens returning.
The Second Wave Begins
They exit the storage container and fight off the ravens, they noticed it is sundown and see the Julia Drusilla Yachts. Meg creates a beanstalk and they slide down. Meg then passes out from exhaustion. Reyna and Apollo carry her to the truck, then speed off only to get stuck in traffic. Apollo feels bad about what he did to them and Reyna reveals that is a human conscious and he is learning to feel bad for others. Reyna makes Apollo pull out a scroll and contact Frank. They succeed and find him and some of the legion in the Caldecott Tunnel, preparing something before the scroll bursts into flames. They hit a roadblock and Reyna drives right through it. Meg wakes up and they are soon under attack by a Eurynomos. Reyna goes on offence while Apollo and Meg continue to drive. When Reyna stabbed the eurynomos, Apollo feels it as well and swerves off the road causing the trio to plummet to the ground below.
The next thing Apollo remembers is pushing Meg in a shopping cart in a Target parking lot while Aurum and Argentum guard an injured Reyna by the remains of the truck. Just as a woman calls 911, Lavinia and a group of nature spirits arrive and convince the mortals they are emergency responders. They leave before real paramedics can arrive and take them to a wooded area. Lavinia has the nature spirits help them and puts Reyna to sleep and has fauns haul her away before the praetor can reprimand her. Lavinia explains that she has a plan to stop Triumvirate Holdings and leaves. Apollo finds the jar intact and he and Meg find a way to get to Camp Jupiter. The plan involved taking some public bikes.
On the way the see the enemy forces on their way to the power station and Meg reveals one of Lavinia‘s secret passages. They arrive just in the middle of a battle at camp. They fight a group of Khromandae and destroy them. They save the second cohort from a group of Cynocephali. Larry sends two of his troops, Carl and Reza, to take them to Frank. When they arrive he asks them about Reyna and they explain. Hazel arrives on Arion and explains she is helping the first through fourth cohorts while the fifth defends New Rome. She then receives word from Terminus that Tarquin’s zombies are attacking the city via the sewers. Hazel takes Meg and Apollo to Temple Hill to perform the ritual with Tyson and Ella.
They meet the two at the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. Hazel and Meg go to New Rome to help with the aid of the weaponized unicorns. Apollo thinks hard about which god to summon and chooses to summon his sister. The three reach the Temple of Diana and perform the ritual. After the lights a fire and places that jar in it. It explodes and nothing happens. Ella tells him that he read the third line wrong. Knowing there is little hope it did work, Apollo tells the two to stay as he goes to fight.
Two-on-Two Fight to the Death
Apollo runs to the entrance of the Caldecott Tunnel and finds what is left of the legion, a dozen demigods and legacies and Hannibal, defending the entrance. Frank fights the enemy off as a Kodiak bear. The fighting stops and Commodus and Caligula roll in on Chariots pulled by de-winged Pegasi. They demand they surrender but the son of Mars calls for splia opima, single combat to the death, and the emperors accept. Apollo then joins the fight and the forces of both sides fall back. Frank tells Apollo to run when he tells him to. Caligula agrees to fight Frank while Commodus takes on Apollo.
The fight starts out somewhat evenly as they head into the tunnel. Frank and Caligula circle and strike at each other occasionally. Commodus strikes at Apollo but his sword gets stuck in the asphalt. Apollo then hits Commodus with his ukulele but it does little damage and the god-emperor crushes it. In a fit of rage, Apollo’s godly strength returns and he tosses Commodus who then hits his head on the guardrail. He notices that the tunnel is packed with explosives and flammable oils and then realizes Frank’s plan. As he is distracted Commodus punches him in his stomach and he collapses. He witnesses Frank turn into a small agile bird and take out one of Caligula's eyes. While Commodus is basking in his followers' cheers, Frank tells him to hobble Commodus. Apollo sees a dagger in the emperor's boot and stabs him in the back of the knee. Caligula then slams Frank against the wall and he crashes onto the pavement. Commodus then prepares to stab Frank in the back but his cloak protects him. Frank tells Apollo to run as he ignites his stick, coating himself and Caligula in flames. The tunnel explodes as Apollo escapes.
The emperor’s forces are in shock of the explosion and just stare as Apollo lays on the ground. He senses that Caligula died in the blast. A horribly burned Commodus crawls out of the inferno causing Apollo to tackle him while screaming turning him to ash. Just then Gregorix, a Germani, orders a strike, but as the projectiles fly off as at a ninety-degree angle. They crash back on the fleet destroying every ship. In a state of shock and fear, the emperor‘s forces flee. Apollo watches as mortal emergency responders confront the wreckage and he wishes to just lay down and die. However, he knows what is left to the legion is in trouble and he frees the mutilated Pegasi and asks for a ride. One leaves but another takes him to the valley.
Second Encounter with Tarquin
Apollo reaches New Rome to find Meg leading the unicorns into battle who are outfitted with the Swiss Army like weapons on their horns. She notices something was wrong when she saw his face but leaves the topic alone. When they realize what Tarquin’s target is, they rush to find Hazel. They find her and Arion fending off a hoard of the undead. She defeats them and realizes something happened with Frank and sends Arion to Caldecott Tunnel. They reach the bookstore to find Tarquin interrogating Aristophanes about the Sibylline Books. When Tarquin notices the trio he congratulates Apollo for killing the emperors. Tarquin then forces him to reveal the location of the prophecies on Tyson’s skin. He then snaps his fingers unleashes more of his hoard. Only nothing happens and Aristophanes attacks Tarquin‘s face. Hazel fights the undead king and Meg takes on the Zombies. As Apollo slowly becomes a zombie, he and the Arrow of Dodona sing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” to try and slow the process. Just as Hazel stabs Tarquin, Diana arrives and finishes Tarquin off before healing Apollo. When he is healed, they exit the bookstore to find the hunters mingling with the last of the legion and citizens of New Rome. He sees Thalia Grace and shares a moment of grief with her. He then sees Lavinia, who reveals she destroyed the fleet on Reyna’s orders. Reyna hobbles over on crutches and confirms this. It is also revealed that Lavinia has taken her mother’s shoes. Apollo and his sister talk briefly before Arion returns with Frank Zhang. Frank is revealed to be still alive but passes out when he dismounts.
Frank is rushed to the medical tent to be tended to and they manage to save him. Hazel and Apollo stay at his bedside and theorize about his survival because he created his own destiny, as opposed to the last man whose life depended on a stick. Frank wakes up and Hazel hugs him. He explains that Ella told him how to kill the emperors and he went with it, freeing him of his curse. Apollo leaves them alone and scouts out the wounded and dead. He finds Don, who stayed on the ships to make sure their sabotage worked, nearly dead. They share a brief conversation before Don dies and is reincarnated as a laurel tree. Apollo tells the nature spirits to find a good spot to plant it.
Over the next few days what remains of the legion and citizens of New Rome clean up the city. A mass funeral was held for those who died. During the funeral, Thalia spoke with Apollo and says she does not blame him for Jason's death. Reyna interrupts and she and Apollo walk to the Senate House. She explains that she has always been a leader and those around her have tried to pair her up with someone or she has tried to woo others. She says that what Venus told her upset her until Apollo's proposal for a relationship made her realize how much of a fool she has been.
At the meeting, Frank congratulated the remaining members of the legion and citizens of New Rome. After the noise has died down, Reyna announces her resignation as praetor and joins the Hunters of Artemis. Hazel is then selected by the legion to take her place to which she accepts. In response to this, Hazel has Lavinia to take her place as the fifth cohort’s centurion, which she accepts. Meg and Apollo are given gifts of thanks. Apollo was given his bow from when he was a god and Meg is given a pouch of ancient seeds. Unfortunately, they didn't have a replacement combat ukulele. Meg reveals that they plan to set out in the morning. Before that, they go to the Mess Hall to celebrate their victory and Apollo’s mortal birthday.
Heading Back East
In the morning, Apollo and Meg say their goodbyes to Frank, Hazel, Thalia, Reyna, Bombilo, and Lavinia before heading to the bookstore, now called Cyclops Books, to get a prophecy from Ella before heading out. The prophecy they receive is shorter then Apollo though, saying:
O son of Zeus the final challenge face,
The tower of Nero two alone ascend,
Dislodge the beast that hast usurped thy place,
Apollo is confused at how short it is until he realizes that it's a terza rima, a form of poetry invented by Dante. The first and third lines rhyme but the second line rhymes with the first line of the second stanza. They realize that they will find the second stanza at their destination, the Tower of Nero back in New York City. Meg is unnerved by this but knows she must go. Apollo accepts he must finally face off against Python. The two then think of ways to get back to the east coast.
- Nero (vision)
- Python (vision)
Gods and Goddesses
- There is no food here/ Meg ate all the Swedish fish/ Please get off my hearse
- Dude, this isn't cool/ Dude just tried to eat my dude/ That's my dead dude, dude
- I cannot chew gum/ And run with a coffin at/ The same time. Sue me.
- Ukulele song?/ No need to remove my guts/ A simple "no" works
- Hi, everybody,/ Here's a little tune I call/ "All the Ways I Suck
- Sailing north to war/ With my Shirley Temple and/ Three cherries. Fear me.
- Nice stroll into town/ Happy birthday to Lester/ Here’s some gift-wrapped pain
- Tattoos! Get yours now!/ Free, wherever books are sold/ Also, a large cat
- Dearly beloved,/ We are gathered here because/ Hera stinks. Amen
- Sing it with me: Who's/ Afraid of the Big Good Wolf?/ Me. That would be me.
- Dirt and bubble gum/ Lavinia brought enough/ For the whole senate
- I now have a plan/ To make a plan concerning/ The plan for my plan
- Romance disaster/ I'm poison for guys and gals/ You wanna hang out?
- Reluctant arrow/ Grant me this boon: permission/ To skedaddleth
- Nightmare carousel/ Totally let your kids ride/ I'm sure they'll be fine
- Meet the new Tarquin/ Same as the old Tarquin, but/ With a lot less flesh
- Meg, don't you dare—MEG!/ Or you could just get us killed/ Yeah, sure, that works, too
- Cooking with Pranjal/ Chickweed and unicorn horn/ Slow-basted zombie
- O book, what's my fate/ What is the secret of life?/ See appendix F
- Hamster ball of death/ Spare me your fiery doom/ I’m not feeling it
- See this right here, kids?/ This is how you don’t do it/ Questions? Class dismissed?
- I sing of dead plants/ And heroic shrubberies/ Inspiring stuff
- In my pickup truck/ With my dogs and my weapons/ And this fool, Lester
- Stick my godly face/ Where it doesn't belong and—/ Venus, I hate you
- Frozen in terror/ Like a god in the headlights/ Why U speeding up?
- I’d like to sing a/ Classic for you now. Thank you./ Please stop stabbing me.
- Let’s play guess the god./ Starts with H. Wants to kill me./ (Besides my stepmom.)
- We all need the hand/ On our shoulder sometimes so/ We can chew through steel
- Ever heard the phrase/ "The silence is deafening"?/ Yeah, that’s a real thing
- A voice and a shh./ I have seen stranger couples./ Wait. No, I haven’t
- O, blood moon rising/ take a rain check on doomsday/ I’m stuck in traffic
- We have a special/ Today on slightly used trucks. Thanks, Target shoppers
- Welcome to the war/ We hope you enjoy your death/ Please come again soon!
- O insert name here/ Please hear us and fill in blank/ What is this, Mad Libs?
- Such a deal for you/ Two-for-one single combat/ Kill us both for free!
- Not again. My hear./ How many syllables is/ "Total hopelessness"?
- I didn’t do it./ Explosion? I don’t know her./ Probably Greg’s fault.
- Got two words for you:/ Swiss Army unicorns, man!/ Okay, that's four words.
- Captain Underpants/ Does not appear in this book/ Copyright issues
- Stop making me cry/ Or buy me some new tear ducts/ My old ones broke down
- If you hate me, fine/ Just don’t hit me in the gut/ Or, well, anywhere
- Life is uncertain/ Accept presents, and always/ Eat your birthday cake
- Our great opening! Win a free Inferno trip!/ And take a cupcake!
- The time between the release dates of The Tyrant's Tomb and The Burning Maze is the longest as of yet. Whereas other books within a series have come out within twelve months of each other, these two books were released within fifteen months of each other.
- The Tyrant's Tomb was released on the same day as Percy Jackson Demigod Collection.
- Apollo stated that not even emperors would dare refer to themselves as kings. However, emperors are actually considered higher ranked and more powerful than kings.
- There is a misprint in which Reyna refers to her time on "Calypso's island" instead of Circe's.
- There is a grammar mistake in Chapter 24. When Reyna was talking about the time she meet Aphrodite, she said, "I doubt there's anyone at Camp Jupiter who doesn't know what she told in me Charleston." The Words "in" and "me" should be switched.
- When Apollo is at Camp Jupiter, he refers to the gods by their Roman aspects.
- The Barnes & Noble edition of the book has a sneak peek at Camp Jupiter Classified: A Probatio's Journal.
- This is the only Trials of Apollo book that Leo Valdez does not appear in.
- In chapter 25, Apollo mentions the Thai goddess, Nang Kwak.
- Given the attack on Camp Jupiter took place on April 8th, and there was a one day delay in them flying to Camp Jupiter from Los Angeles, it can be deduced that Jason Grace died on April 6th.
- Penguin Books UK archive
- Penguin Books NZ archive