Sunday, April 7, 2019

The High Court

The second entry of author Chris Ledbetter’s Sky Throne series opens with protagonist and first-person narrator Zeus wandering the school from which he received expulsion in the first book, the Eastern Crete Lower Academy, and afterward giving his friends and revealed siblings a tour of the cave where he grew up. Then Zeus travels to the Orthys Hall academy to confront Kronos in hopes of confronting the suspected murderer, although others quickly bully him away from its campus. Sure enough, Zeus’ mother Rhea cautions her son about taking matters into his own hands.

A new girl from Kithira named Aphrodite begins attending the Mount Olympus school, with Rhea ultimately returning from an excursion to the Pantheon League Headmasters’ Summit retreat in Babylon, and Zeus receiving his schedule for his next term of school, attending classes such as Leadership, where he and fellow students must ponder strategies for War Games. Although Zeus receives accusations of cheating during an exercise in the wilderness by transforming into a bird, an attack from an animate volcano quickly gets the classmates on the same side, with Headmistress Rhea tending to her injured son.

Zeus soon experiences his Intro to Strategy class, a pre-graduation requirement, where its teacher, Pontus, allows his students to ponder strategies for fighting a theoretical battle on a bridge. Rhea further informs that pantheons are under attack from internal and external threats, with some pupils such as Hera wanting to honor Ouranos, killed in the first book, with a Symposium. Yet another class Zeus takes is Oceanography, with he and other students seeking to obtain the Sky Throne’s power by sitting in it, among them being his friend Poseidon, or Don as he’s colloquially referred.

Zeus’ friends, including Metis, ultimately notice that he has a bit of an issue with his attitude, with the reason being a neuro-poison from a barb inflicted by Campe, and the students planning to visit the Hearthstone Forge at Mosychlos for want of equipment to be ready for the threats posed to their school. When it eventually comes to dealing with the aforementioned venom, Zeus learns that to be cured of it will be a risky endeavor, with a proposed surgical procedure having the potential to render him unable to walk, with the process coming a bit at a bad time, given the attack of monsters from the sea including the animate rock volcanos.

The sequel ends with trials for Hyperion and Kronos in the eponymous High Court, with the second book in Ledbetter’s series ultimately being enjoyable, although there are occasional obscurities such as the confusion as to when exactly the venomous barb inflicts Zeus, not to mention some stylistic choices with which this reviewer disagrees such as the use of the term “great-father” when “grandfather” would have done just fine. Regardless of its various issues, those who enjoyed the first book will most likely enjoy its successor, especially those who have enjoyed fantastical stories such as those in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians franchise.

Book Details:

Book Title: The High Court by Chris Ledbetter
Category: YA Fiction, 290 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Month 9 Books
Release date: October 16, 2018
Tour dates: April 1 to 30, 2019
Content Rating: PG (some profanity (damn, ass), no f-bombs, some kissing, no sex scenes, some violence, nothing gory or graphic)

Book Description:

High atop Mount Olympus, dawn breaks on a new academic term. Normalcy has returned to campus following a harrowing expedition into The Underworld to rescue kidnapped students by Zeus and his fellow Olympians. Now, as they prepare to testify in The High Court, Hyperion will be tried for the attack on Crete and death of Anytos. Kronos will stand trial for the murder of Mount Olympus Prep’s Headmaster Ouranos.

As the trials draw near, Mount Olympus Prep students and faculty are besieged repeatedly by a race of gargantuan stone and earth giants. Under heavy assault, the Olympians are forced to flee to the volcanic island of Limnos to regroup. Meanwhile, a toxic poison Zeus has carried with him since a prior fight with a dragoness, creeps toward his brain.

In a race against time and beasts, Zeus and his friends must find a way to survive not only the toxin ravaging Zeus’ body, but also the giants who grow stronger after every attack, and somehow make it to the The High Court alive.

To read reviews, please visit Chris Ledbetter's page of iRead Book Tours.

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Meet the Author:

Chris Ledbetter is an award-winning author of short fiction and novels for young adults. “Jason’s Quest,” a short story retelling of the Jason and Medea Greek myth was published in the anthology, Greek Myths Revisited. His first full-length novel, Drawn earned him two awards, Library of Clean Reads Best YA 2015 and Evernight Publishing Readers’ Choice Award Best YA 2015, as well as a USA TODAY “Must Read” recommendation. His second novel, Inked, concludes that duology. The Sky Throne is his newest young adult series. It includes, thus far, The Sky Throne and The High Court.

He's a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. He now writes and lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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