Percy calls for reinforcements, Rachel has a destiny, and Clarisse kicks the living snot out of everyone. In other words, it’s the seventeenth chapter in Michael Reads Percy Jackson: The Last Olympian, a.k.a…
I Sit on the Hot Seat
Holy Iliad! The parallels to Achilles in that tale are just bursting all over the place, aren’t they? (And I quite like it.) Silena’s theft of Clarisse’s armor in order to rally the troops and lead them into battle in her guise (clever Silena) is a clear parallel to Patroclus doing the same with Achilles’ armor. I’m ashamed to admit I hadn’t noticed that in the last chapter. Nonetheless, when she died (poor, clever Silena) and Clarisse went absolutely berserk with battle-rage, beat the holy crap out of the advancing army, and drove around dragging the drakon’s dead body behind her chariot, it became pretty clear, and pretty awesome.
What can I say? I like the Iliad. (Heck, I even reference one of the more famous English language translators of the Iliad, Robert Fagles, by stealing his last name for characters in both Zeus Is Dead and The New Aeneid Cycle.) I wonder, was the drakon’s name Hector?
But back to Silena. She was the spy?! I did not see that one coming (foolish, poor, clever Silena), especially given how Charles died. But wasn’t there evidence that the spy was still active after Charles’s death? Or was it just that everyone was worried the spy might still be active? Some things considered the fault of a spy might be caused by other things, after all. In fact, something I wrote for the last chapter but wound up editing out of my post kind of fits here now. Here’s what I didn’t say last time…
Kronos knows they don’t have a child of Ares there right now, and this reminds Percy about the spy in their camp. Yet—and I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me earlier—what if it’s NOT a spy? Percy keeps having visions that give him information about Kronos’s camp, and so far as I remember, this is just a general demigod thing rather than Percy being special, yes? So why can’t someone on the other side get visions, too?
I realize that’s probably not the case, as the narrative likely wouldn’t build up the concept of a spy just to have it turn out that someone’s just getting visions. It’d be too anticlimactic. Anyway, just a thought.
So maybe it really was the case, at least for everything after Charles’s death. And the way Riordan has it go, it winds up not being anticlimactic at all, so far as I’m concerned. So I’m not as smart as I think I am, and when a book out-foxes me like that, it’s pretty cool. Fantastic!
Not to dwell too much on Silena’s death, but along with Clarisse being inspired to kick the holy hell out of Kronos’s army, another silver lining there is how her death causes Annabeth to finally let go of her hope that Luke is any good. (Helpful, foolish, poor, clever Silena.) Maybe I’m being too harsh here, but that hope was a distraction. If Luke does manage to somehow redeem himself in some tiny way by fighting off Kronos’s control, she can reconsider then, but for now, it’s best that’s behind her. (Now, whether Luke would deserve to be considered redeemed if he does do that is another argument entirely…)
Oh, also Silenus died, Rachel has some impending destiny, and Percy got Poseidon to fall back to Olympus and lend a hand. So this chapter has that going for it, which is nice.