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Authors: Joan Holub,Suzanne Williams

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Hephaestus shrugged. “They’ll be okay. But they do not deserve my inventions. They proved that to me.”

Hmm,
thought Zeus. Hephaestus was clearly skilled when it came to metal inventions, but not so much when it came to people. Maybe he wouldn’t be such a great leader after all.

Just then the feather returned to Hera. She looked into its eye. “There’s a small island not far from here,” she reported. “The sun is almost directly above it, so head west.”

They changed course, and with the help of the sea serpents, they arrived at the small island just a few hours later. Then they rowed to shore in the rowboats and stepped out onto the beach.

“We can stay on the ship tonight, but let’s check out the island first and make sure it’s safe,” Zeus told everyone. “We don’t want to be attacked in our sleep.”

“Very smart thinking, Zeus,” said a voice.

Startled, Zeus glanced toward the place where the voice had come from, and saw a cloud of
mist. A woman with long black hair and glasses appeared inside the mist.

“Pythia!” Zeus exclaimed, feeling glad to see her. “We completed our quest! We found another Olympian—Hephaestus. And Artemis got her bow and arrows and woke up.”

Artemis held up her gold bow. “Yeah, thanks. Good to meet you.”

Pythia smiled at her. Then her gaze scanned the group. “Well done, all of you.”

Hephaestus stepped forward. “So are you the one who calls the shots in this group?” he asked. “I thought Zeus was supposed to be the leader.”

“I see what the future holds,” Pythia answered. “Well, not always clearly, but it is my duty to guide the Olympians. Zeus is their true leader.”

Zeus was happy to hear Pythia say that. But part of him still wasn’t sure if he felt worthy to be their leader anymore. He was always making mistakes, it seemed. And when Hephaestus had called him “soft,” some of the other Olympians had seemed to agree.

“And that brings us to your next quest,” Pythia said. “You must find . . . the bubbles!”

“Find the bubbles?” Hera asked, confused. “Is that it?”

Pythia took off her glasses and cleaned the lenses with the edge of her white robe. “As usual, my spectacles are foggy,” she replied. “That’s all I can see. Ah, well.” She faded into the mist.

Hephaestus turned to the others. “So
this
is how you get all your quests?” he said in disbelief. “A strange lady comes out of the mist and tells you to search for stuff, and you just go?”

“We found you, didn’t we?” Zeus asked a little crossly. Hephaestus was really starting to get on his nerves! Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to have him in the group after all, even if he was an Olympian.

“So what’s the bubble plan, Bro?” Poseidon asked Zeus.


I
have a plan,” Hephaestus butted in. “How about you all make me your leader? I’ve got lots of experience. Don’t forget, I ruled a whole island.”

“Thanks, but we barely even know you,” Hestia said. “And Zeus has never steered us wrong.”

“Thanks for the props,” Zeus told her gratefully. Though it was a bit of an exaggeration to say that he’d
never
steered them wrong. Still, he appreciated her support.

Then Artemis spoke up. “I may have been half-asleep when we first landed on the Sintians’ island,” she said to Hestia. “But I do remember that when the Sintians asked us to drop our weapons, Zeus was like, ‘Yeah, anything you want.’ ”

Hera raised an eyebrow at Zeus. “Really? You did that?”

Ares shook his head. “Wow, dude, that is weak.”

“You weren’t there,” Zeus said in his own defense. “We were outnumbered. I made the best decision I could.” And as he said it, he realized it was the truth.

“Zeus did great,” Hades said, sticking up for him. “And anyway, Pythia says he’s our leader. So I want to hear his plan for getting to the bubbles.”

“I want to know Hephaestus’s plan,” countered Ares.

Suddenly the sky above them turned as black as night, plunging everything into total darkness!

“Well, somebody better figure out what to do,” Hera said, sounding alarmed. “And fast. Because I have a feeling things are about to get really bad again. And I don’t think we need an oracle to tell us that!”

She was right, Zeus thought. Springing into action, he whipped his dagger from his belt. “Bolt, on!” he ordered. Then, lighting the way, he led the others to the safety of some trees where they could wait to see what would happen next.

Joan Holub
has authored and/or illustrated over 140 children’s books, including 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 at
www.joanholub.com
.

Suzanne Williams
is the author of over fifty books for children, i
ncluding the award-winning picture book
Library Lil
(illustrated by Steven Kellogg). She lives outside Seattle, Washington, and is online at
www.suzanne-williams.com
.

Together, Joan and Suzanne write the Goddess Girls, Heroes in Training, and Grimmtastic Girls series.

The adventure continues…

ALADDIN

SIMON & SCHUSTER, NEW YORK

KIDS.SimonandSchuster.com

authors.simonandschuster.com/Joan-Holub
authors.simonandschuster.com/Suzanne-Williams
authors.simonandschuster.com/Craig-Phillips

D
ON’T MISS THE OTHER ADVENTURES IN THE
H
EROES IN
T
RAINING SERIES!

Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom

Poseidon and the Sea of Fury

Hades and the Helm of Darkness

Hyperion and the Great Balls of Fire

Typhon and the Winds of Destruction

Apollo and the Battle of the Birds

Ares and the Spear of Fear

Cronus and the Threads of Dread

Crius and the Night of Fright

COMING SOON:

Uranus and the Bubbles of Trouble

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and events are products of the authors’ imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

www.SimonandSchuster.com

First Aladdin hardcover edition August 2015

Text copyright © 2015 by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

Interior and jacket illustrations copyright © 2015 by Craig Phillips

Also available in an Aladdin paperback edition.

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

ALADDIN is a trademark of Simon & Schuster, Inc., and related logo is a registered trademark of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact Simon & Schuster Special Sales at 1-866-506-1949 or
[email protected]
.

The Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau can bring authors to your live event.

For more information or to book an event, contact the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau at 1-866-248-3049 or visit our website at
www.simonspeakers.com
.

Jacket designed by Karin Paprocki

Interior designed by Mike Rosamilia

The text of this book was set in Adobe Garamond Pro.

Library of Congress Control Number 2015908991

ISBN 978-1-4814-3510-9 (hc)

ISBN 978-1-4814-3509-3 (pbk)

ISBN 978-1-4814-3511-6 (eBook)

BOOK: Hephaestus and the Island of Terror
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