Duty and sacrifice

1 November 2011

From Son of Neptune, by Rick Riordan:

*contains spoiler*

Mars took off his sunglasses. Where his eyes should’ve been, miniature spheres of fire boiled like nuclear explosions. “Self-pity isn’t helpful, kid. It isn’t worthy of you. Even without the family gift, your mom gave you your most important traits — bravery, loyalty, brains. Now you’ve got to decide how to use them. In the morning, listen to your grandmother. Take her advice. You can still free Thanatos and save the camp.”

“And leave my grandmother behind to die.”

“Life is only precious because it ends, kid. Take it from a god. You mortals don’t know how lucky you are.”

“Yeah,” Frank muttered. “Real lucky.”

Mars laughed — a harsh metallic sound. “Your mom used to tell me this Chinese proverb. Eat bitter–”

Eat bitter, taste sweet,” Frank said. “I hate that proverb.”

“But it’s true. What do they call it these days — no pain, no gain? Same concept. You do the easy thing, the appealing thing, the peaceful thing, mostly it turns out sour in the end. But if you take the hard path — ah, that’s how you reap the sweet rewards. Duty. Sacrifice. They mean something.”

It’s no canon of literature, but it sure as hell is an enjoyable enough read that I ventured far into the spinoff series after completing the original Percy Jackson series. Helps that it’s jumping off of my childhood obsession with Greek mythology. :)

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