Category: Greece

Blog Book Tour | “The Sky Throne” by Chris Ledbetter A new approach to the back-story of #Zeus with a #GuestPost by the author explaining the ‘Sky Throne’.

Posted Monday, 16 October, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I have been aware of the publisher Month9Books for quite a few years now, as I used to host their Reveals & other special tours – even interviewing a lovely batch of their authors as books released I felt I would appreciate reading. However, in truth – I have only read two releases by them (as of yet) and this one marked an interest as it is a gateway into Greek Mythology. I received a complimentary copy of “The Sky Throne” direct from the author Chris Ledbetter in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Ahead of my review, I asked a topic of interest for Mr Ledbetter:

How did you conceive of the ‘the Sky Throne’ and how did you best want to endeavour to describe the power of the Gods previously only generally known through Myth and Legends? How did you want your story to stand separate and together from the legacy of what has already been written?

Since I primarily write for the young adult audience, I ultimately wanted to tell an “origin” story that re-imagined the deities of ancient Hellas as teenagers. From that genesis point, I had to decide which myth to begin with. One of the most well known myths is that of Kronos eating his children to prevent a prophecy from coming true. This is a huge cornerstone of the Hellenic gods’ creation myth as told in Hesiod’s Theogony.

From there, I had to choose which deity I’d focus on as the main character. Even though the number of myths containing each deity varies widely, from a source material perspective, I love each of the Olympians. But I’ve always been drawn to Zeus strictly from the lightning and thunder aspect of things. And because he’s the king of the Gods. I realize the myths paint him as a bit of a sordid character… and I’m not excusing his colorful behavior in the myths, but I sought to create a more sympathetic version, while still remaining generally true to his essence. He is indeed one of the most dynamic figures in myths.

After I’d conceived the story concept, I tried to describe their otherworldly powers and abilities as if they were super heroes and heroines. In many ways, the Gods of pantheons past were our first super heroes and villains.

In the marketplace, there was a plethora of young adult titles in which the main character was a half blood, demigod child of an ancient god. I wanted to go to the source and tell the story of the deities themselves. That’s what separates The Sky Throne from its peers.

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Notation on Cover Art: I personally love the image of Zeus which is not only gracing the cover but it is inclusive to every ‘chapter’ page within the novel! There is simply something quite striking about this representation of Zeus and it stays with you as you read the story!

Blog Book Tour | “The Sky Throne” by Chris Ledbetter A new approach to the back-story of #Zeus with a #GuestPost by the author explaining the ‘Sky Throne’.The Sky Throne
by Chris Ledbetter
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Duality dwells at every turn, and an adolescent Zeus will learn that all too well when Hyperion attacks his family on Crete.

When the dust settles, his mother is unconscious and his best friend left for dead.

Stacking epic insult upon fatal injury, Zeus discovers the woman who raised him is not his biological mother. But to ensure her safety while she recovers, a heavy-hearted Zeus leaves her behind to seek answers at Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia.

Zeus embarks on a quest to discover who ordered the attack on his home, avenge the death of his friend, and find his birth mother. When some of his new schoolmates vanish, Zeus's quest is turned upside down, and the only way to make things right is to access the power of The Sky Throne, confront a most dangerous enemy, and take his life back.

On his way to becoming king of the Greek gods, Zeus will learn to seize power, neutralize his enemies, and fall in love.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781945107870

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, After Canons, Alternative History, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Genre-bender, Greek Mythos | Legacies, Quantum Physics, Re-telling &/or Sequel, Sci-Fantasy, Science Fiction, Superhero Fiction, Upper YA Fiction, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Month9Books

on 18th April, 2017

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 311

Published by: Month9Books (@Month9Books)

Converse via: #Zeus, #GreekMythos + #CleanReads + #YALit

About Chris Ledbetter

Chris Ledbetter

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 novel. The second book in the series is set to release in 2018.

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.

Read More

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Posted Monday, 16 October, 2017 by jorielov in After the Canon, Alternative History, Ancient Civilisation, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Content Note, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Folklore and Mythology, Gods & Goddesses, Good vs. Evil, Greece, Greek Mythology, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Heroic Fantasy, Indie Author, Inspired by Stories, iRead Book Tours, Literature for Boys, Mother-Son Relationships, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Mythological Societies, Parapsychological Gifts, Quantum | Mechanics Physics Theory, Re-Told Tales, School Life & Situations, Science, Science Fiction, Shapeshifters, Siblings, Speculative Fiction, Superhero Adventure, Superhero Fiction, Supernatural Fiction, Teacher & Student Relationships, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, Transfer Student at School, Upper YA Fiction, YA Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction

+Blog Book Tour+ The Tenor by Peter Danish

Posted Friday, 4 April, 2014 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

The Tenor by Peter Danish

Published By: Pegasus Books () 28 February 2014
Official Author WebsitesSite | Facebook | Twitter | Danish Media Group
Converse via: #TheTenorVirtualTour & #MariaCallas
Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, and E-Book
Page Count: 350

Acquired By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Tenor” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy the book direct from the author Peter Danish, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I was always keen to read & watch Captain Corelli’s Mandolin as it spoke to me at the time the film was being released. I never did get the proper chance to explore its story, but as I read about this book being hinged to history as it was lived I decided to take the chance now to read a powerful & evoking story of courage! I’m an appreciator of opera as well, and I find it rather keen that a singer was saved by one man’s selfless act to protect her!

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Book Synopsis:

The Tenor is a sweeping tale of historical fiction in the style of Ann Patchett’s “Bel Canto” and De Burniere’s “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.” It swiftly moves from Pino Vaggi’s youth in pre-war Italy, to his coming of age as a soldier in war-torn Greece, before ending in a shattering surprise finale at Maria Callas’ historic final performance ever on the stage of New York’s Metropolitan Opera House in 1965. It is based loosely on the stories and anecdotes that I learned from several of Maria Callas’ personal friends and from nearly a dozen trips to Italy and Greece to research the subject.

Pino Vaggi is not like the other children in Italy in 1930. While they play soccer, he listens to opera. By age ten, he is already a child prodigy, an opera singing sensation on the fast track to a major international career. On the eve of his debut, WWII breaks out. The theater is closed. The season is cancelled. Pino is drafted. He is stationed in war-torn Athens, where he hears and ultimately falls in love with another child prodigy, the young Maria Callas. There is one major problem: she is the enemy.

However, as famine devastates Athens, (a famine created by the diversion of humanitarian aid meant for the Greeks to the Russian front to feed the German Army) the artist in Pino can’t fathom the thought of the greatest singer the world will ever know perishing, especially if he is in a position to prevent it. With a firing squad in the balance, he repeatedly risks his own life to protect and feed the young girl and her family. In the process, his love for her deepens, until something tragic happens – something with devastating consequences that blows the young lovers apart.

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Author Biography:

Peter Danish

Peter Danish is the Classical Music Editor in Chief for BWWClassical.com, the classic music site for BroadwayWorld.com,, covering and reviewing the classical music performance in and around New York City and the greater New York Area. A proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America, he is the playwright of the play: “Gods, Guns and Greed,” as well as the new musical: “The Flying Dutchman.” His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ad Age, Ad Week and Media Week Magazines.

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Artistically Determined:

One thing I have always known about artists, is that they are artistically determined to make it on their own terms. Pino Vaggi in the story of The Tenor, is clearly one of those self-confident musical artists whose bold grit in succeeding in singing opera is what thrust him forward whilst his family was a bit less than certain of his choice. Coming from a family who supported my choices, whether I was pursuing art, science, or writing it’s hard to understand why other parents wouldn’t help their children reach for their own dreams. To pursue the gifts they were bestowed and to give them the courage to find their own voice and path. The hardest road an artist has is finding the ability to believe in the impossible because the mark of any artist is how willing they are to stay on their path whilst their road becomes muddled and difficult.

I appreciated the honesty of Pino’s character being painted as a young artist whose misguided brassy personality oft lended him to rows with his family but is his grace of voice gave him purpose from the darkness. Growing up in the age of looming war, the fact that Pino could keep a grip on his artistic soul is impressive.

My Review of The Tenor:

Danish has the ability to ease you into the story-line of The Tenor, by giving you a reason to hone in on Pino! First through recollections of his aromatic memories inter-related to chestnuts, and then, gradually as we start to see the underpinnings of his passion for opera emerge into place! I appreciated the intimate portrait of how a young Pino fell in love with the beauty of opera whilst caught up in a French rendition of Romeo & Juliet! His unexpected emotional connection to the voices and music was a pure joy to read. Music is evoking on such deep levels, each time we individually listen to opera or another form of music, a part of us is transformed; altered for the performance in which we took in. I remember vividly how I felt whilst listening to orchestrations and symphonies as a child, how the music washed over me and inside me at the same time. You become a part of where the musicians are leading you as music is one art form which transcends outside of itself to a greater purpose.

The setting in which Danish places his novel comes alive with the full breath of Italian countryside living lit inside the sturdiness of the people who lived there. He envelopes the story around the everyday interchanges of Pino’s townespeople, whilst giving a greater scope to the impending war between Italy & Ethiopia. Politically charged, we get inside the mind-set of Pino’s father’s beliefs as much as the harrying realities of Italy in the early decades of the 20th Century. The tug-of-war between Pino’s teacher and himself gave a clear view of how you have to develop strength whilst your young to be brave in hours you feel the least able to stand up for yourself. His teacher pushed him past where he felt he could take his voice because his belief in his abilities was paramount to where he viewed Pino could strive in the future to succeed as a tenor.

War is such a heavy hand to be dealt when your young, and seeing the beguiling ignorance and diffidence towards those who are different weighted on Pino’s shoulders and heart. I can imagine that whilst he struggled to find a grasp on the changing world outside, so too were those who were dealing with countries being invaded and worlds being turnt upside down by World War II. Innocence evaporates when the world arrives at one’s feet. The war is very much a part of the story, but only as a backdrop to the whole. In this, I am grateful to Danish, whose sole focus in on Pino.

A tightrope of a dance between Maria (Callas) and Pino grew out of their affection for opera and the innate gift bestowed to both of them which gave them a tie to each other. They were each on the opposite side of the war, Pino was serving in the army and Maria was in Greece employed as a singer. Their lives were ill-fated to intersect at a point in their lives where tragedy and solace would find them. They carved out happiness within the shadows of a dictator’s reign and what they shared amongst them was fit with humour and the joy of singing. They understood each other in ways they both were transfixed by as it isn’t often you can meet someone who understands every inch of you without needing definition. As they each went their separate ways after the war, it show their fates ended up crossing once more that truly was remarkable.

Here is where truth and the shadows of history differ as the story is based on an unknown soldier who could not have survived the war. I think its a more befitting story for Pino to have survived the war and survived in the way he had, as it hardened his character a bit with worldly experience. To think there was a Pino who lived long enough to effectively save Maria Callas is the most incredible part of the story! Where one life is given in order to ensure the freedom of another. And, for Pino his life took an alternative course which would have endeared him to his teacher who gave him the best insight into how to live a life full of worth.

The beauty of opera is revealed:

Peter Danish gives a wonderful introduction into opera, which will satisfy the novice appreciator as much as the devouted follower. The vulgarity used in the story is relegated to the blights of war and thus, are not something I would flinch over as war is war, and the most shocking of realities for all men is being caught up in the face of war. What exits one’s lips whilst a chest is heavy with confliction over the impending approach of a World War arriving at your door is not a mark against language or story; but a notation of how those who lived might have reacted themselves. His writings inside the novel read as part travelogue and part historical remanent of a past most of us might not have recovered without this story.

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This book review  is courtesy of:

The Tenor Tour via HFVBTcheck out my upcoming bookish events and mark your calendars!

Previously, I interviewed Mr. Danish on behalf of “The Tenor”!

The Tenor by Peter Danish Book Trailer by Peter Danish

{SOURCES:  “The Tenor” Book Cover, synopsis, and tour badge were provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and were used by permission. Book Review badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. The book trailer by Peter Danish had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Friday, 4 April, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Aftermath of World War II, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Debut Novel, Geographically Specific, Greece, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Italy, Magical Realism, Maria Callas, Musical Fiction | Non-Fiction, New York City, Opera History, Opera Singers, Passionate Researcher, The World Wars, Vulgarity in Literature