The Heroes in Training are entering the Underworld—if Hades can conquer his canine fears, that is.
The Underworld usually isn’t really meant to be a fun place—but tell that to Hades! He loves the dark and the stinky smell of sulfur. However, there is one thing that Hades is not a fan of: dogs. And when Zeus and his fellow Olympians encounter Cerberus—a snarling, three-headed dog—Hades must conquer his fears and tame the hound so everyone can continue into the Underworld and deposit their Titan prisoner, Oceanus, back where he belongs!
But with magical water that causes forgetfulness, hot beds of lava, and another epic battle with two more Titans standing in their way, will Zeus and his heroes make it out of the Underworld with everyone intact?
CHAPTER ONE Stinky River Styx Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades stood on a hill, gazing downward. A river wound like a snake through the gloomy valley below. It was all that stood between them and their goal—the Underworld.
Zeus sniffed the air, then wrinkled his nose. “P.U.! What is that stinky smell?”
Poseidon pointed toward the valley with the three-pronged end of his trident. “I think it’s that river.”
The river looked brown and sludgy. There was a giant sign by it that read: RIVER STYX.
Maybe the sign was written wrong, thought Zeus. Maybe it should really say: RIVER STINKS!
Hades gazed happily at the river. “What are you guys talking about? I think it’s awesome!”
“You would, weirdo,” said Poseidon. “Well, you know what I think? I think there’s no way I’m going near that river. I think that oracle is crazy.”
Zeus knew he meant Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi. She’d sent them here to the Underworld on a quest. They were supposed to find the Helm of Darkness. Whatever that was. As usual, she hadn’t fully explained. She always seemed to expect them to figure these things out on their own.
Joan Holub has authored and/or illustrated over 140 children’s books, including the Goddess Girls series, the Heroes in Training series, the New York Times bestselling picture book Mighty Dads (illustrated by James Dean), and Little Red Writing (illustrated by Melissa Sweet). She lives in North Carolina and is online at JoanHolub.com.
Suzanne Williams is a former elementary school librarian and the author of over seventy books for children, including the award-winning picture books Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg) and My Dog Never Says Please (illustrated by Tedd Arnold), and several chapter book and middle grade series. She also coauthors the Goddess Girls and Thunder Girls series with the fantastic Joan Holub. Visit her at Suzanne-Williams.com.
Craig Phillips has been creating cover art and drawings for books, comics, and magazines for nearly two decades. He is most at home working on tales about myth and magic. His latest book—Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts: Ten Tales from the Deep, Dark Woods—is a 200-page graphic novel about just that! It will be in stores in May 2017. When he is not drawing and writing, he likes to swim in the lakes and walk in the forests and mountains of New Zealand. Visit him at CraigPhillips.com.au.