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Brett Bean , Lucy Coats

Beasts of Olympus (Series): Beasts Keeper | Hound of Hades | Steeds of the Gods | Dragon Healer | Centaur School | Zeus’s Eagle | Gods of the North | The Unicorn Emergency

YEAR: 2015

COUNTRY: United Kingdom

Cateogry icon

Title of the work

Beasts of Olympus (Series): Beasts Keeper | Hound of Hades | Steeds of the Gods | Dragon Healer | Centaur School | Zeus’s Eagle | Gods of the North | The Unicorn Emergency

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United Kingdom

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2015

First Edition Details

Lucy Coats, Beasts of Olympus, ill. by Brett Bean, a series, New York: Grosset & Dunlap, Pinguin Group, 2015-2018:

Part 1, Beasts Keeper, 2015.

Part 2, Hound of Hades, 2015.

Part 3, Steeds of the Gods, 2015.

Part 4, Dragon Healer, 2015.

Part 5, Centaur School, 2016.

Part 6, Zeus’s Eagle, 2016.

Part 7, Gods of the North, 2017.

Part 8, The Unicorn Emergency, 2018.

ISBN

Part 1, Beasts Keeper, 2015: 9780447461939; Part 2, Hound of Hades, 2015: 9780448461946; Part 3, Steeds of the Gods, 2015: 9780448461953; Part 4, Dragon Healer, 2015: 9780448461960; Part 5, Centaur School, 2016: 978-1101995051; Part 6, Z

Available Onllne

Excerpts can be read at penguinrandomhouse.com (accessed: July 31, 2018).

Genre

Action and adventure fiction
Illustrated works
Mythological fiction

Target Audience

Children (ca10 yo )

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Anna Mik, University of Warsaw, anna.m.mik@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com 

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Male portrait

Brett Bean (Illustrator)

Official website (accessed: July 4, 2018).


Bio prepared by Anna Mik, University of Warsaw, anna.m.mik@gmail.com 


Female portrait

Lucy Coats , b. 1961
(Author)

Lucy Coats is an British writer for children. She holds an MA in English Literature and Ancient History from the University of Edinburgh. She is also a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. In her books we can mostly find motifs from various legends and myths that she adapts for young readers. She published several picture books (including King Ocean’s Flute, The Animals Bedtime Storybook), as well as novels for teenagers and young adults (including Chosen, Hootcat Hill). Among those inspired by Greek and Roman Mythology, besides the Beasts of Olympus series, Coats also wrote Atticus the Storyteller’s 100 Greek Myths and Great Beasts and Heroes – a 12 Book Series. She also runs a blog and goes to school for reading sessions.


Official website (accessed: July 4, 2018).

Twitter profile (accessed: July 4, 2018).


Bio prepared by Anna Mik, University of Warsaw, anna.m.mik@gmail.com 


Summary

Beast of Olympus (series). The most recent instalment published November 22, 2017:

  • Part 1, Beasts Keeper, 2015.

  • Part 2, Hound of Hades, 2015. 

  • Part 3, Steeds of the Gods, 2015. 

  • Part 4, Dragon Healer, 2015.

  • Part 5, Centaur School, 2016. 

  • Part 6, Zeus’s Eagle, 2016. 

  • Part 7, Gods of the North, 2017. 

  • Part 8, The Unicorn Emergency, 2018.


The protagonist of the series is a young boy called Demon (his full name is Pandemonius) who was taken from his mother by the god Pan (his father) to Olympus to be a Beast Keeper (this is also the title of the first book in the series). The theme of mythological animal-like monsters oppressed by gods (adults) and rescued by Demon (a child) would indicate a pro-animal approach. The main character develops friendships with his protégés, he can talk to animals - both "real" and mythical - cure them and protect them. Demon seems to be the only one who really understands beasts, while no one else seems to care about them. 

In each part of the series, he deals with different problems concerning the well-being of the various mythical creatures. These are mostly health-related issues, but almost always the real problem is a god or goddess. Along the way, various myths are introduced to the young readers, they are "smuggled" in by the author to create a new, hopefully, more attractive story.

Analysis

As the title of the series - as well as titles of each part - suggests, the main issue raised by Coats is the well-being of mythical - and of course also of "real" - animals. The stories themselves are not very complex; the plot centres (most of the time) around the gods' or goddesses' problems with certain creatures. These problems (sick Cerberus causing trouble to Hades, winged horses not prepared for a race between gods, gassy dragon polluting the Olympus, etc.) need to be solved by Demon. All the beasts (and Demon himself) are controlled by gods (here representing powerful adults) and must surrender to their will. Demon does not choose his fate – he is forced to serve as a a Beast Keeper (Coats, 2015a: 6). All the creatures are either used by gods, "killed" by them (as they are immortal they suffer death over and over again) or kept as pets, etc. Neglected stables, where most of the creatures are kept, may represent an oppressed unit of our society, where powerful men enclosed all whom they perceived as less worthy than themselves or inconvenient. The world of mythical fauna is neglected and the child is the one whose mission is to save it. 

Even though Demon is forced to perform his job at the beginning, at the end of the first book, Pan (his father) says to him: "I know how much you love animals, and how they love you back. Of course you have a choice." (Coats, 2015a, p. 17). This might seem like a glimmer of hope for both, animals and children, that if they take care of each other, they will survive the regime of the adults in a union with the Others. Interestingly, Demon's best friend among the gods is Hephaestus (the excluded god), who likes the concept of the union with the Others. What is curious is that Hephaestus plays the role of the Other too: he is not like the rest of the gods; thus, he teams up with the "weirdos" - Demon and his beasts. He is caring, hardworking, and nice, not like the rest of the gods. This "company of the excluded" is being progressively joined by someone new in each part: women, other children and creatures, minor gods, etc.


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Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Beasts of Olympus (Series): Beasts Keeper | Hound of Hades | Steeds of the Gods | Dragon Healer | Centaur School | Zeus’s Eagle | Gods of the North | The Unicorn Emergency

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

United Kingdom

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2015

First Edition Details

Lucy Coats, Beasts of Olympus, ill. by Brett Bean, a series, New York: Grosset & Dunlap, Pinguin Group, 2015-2018:

Part 1, Beasts Keeper, 2015.

Part 2, Hound of Hades, 2015.

Part 3, Steeds of the Gods, 2015.

Part 4, Dragon Healer, 2015.

Part 5, Centaur School, 2016.

Part 6, Zeus’s Eagle, 2016.

Part 7, Gods of the North, 2017.

Part 8, The Unicorn Emergency, 2018.

ISBN

Part 1, Beasts Keeper, 2015: 9780447461939; Part 2, Hound of Hades, 2015: 9780448461946; Part 3, Steeds of the Gods, 2015: 9780448461953; Part 4, Dragon Healer, 2015: 9780448461960; Part 5, Centaur School, 2016: 978-1101995051; Part 6, Z

Available Onllne

Excerpts can be read at penguinrandomhouse.com (accessed: July 31, 2018).

Genre

Action and adventure fiction
Illustrated works
Mythological fiction

Target Audience

Children (ca10 yo )

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Anna Mik, University of Warsaw, anna.m.mik@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com 

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Male portrait

Brett Bean (Illustrator)

Official website (accessed: July 4, 2018).


Bio prepared by Anna Mik, University of Warsaw, anna.m.mik@gmail.com 


Female portrait

Lucy Coats (Author)

Lucy Coats is an British writer for children. She holds an MA in English Literature and Ancient History from the University of Edinburgh. She is also a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. In her books we can mostly find motifs from various legends and myths that she adapts for young readers. She published several picture books (including King Ocean’s Flute, The Animals Bedtime Storybook), as well as novels for teenagers and young adults (including Chosen, Hootcat Hill). Among those inspired by Greek and Roman Mythology, besides the Beasts of Olympus series, Coats also wrote Atticus the Storyteller’s 100 Greek Myths and Great Beasts and Heroes – a 12 Book Series. She also runs a blog and goes to school for reading sessions.


Official website (accessed: July 4, 2018).

Twitter profile (accessed: July 4, 2018).


Bio prepared by Anna Mik, University of Warsaw, anna.m.mik@gmail.com 


Summary

Beast of Olympus (series). The most recent instalment published November 22, 2017:

  • Part 1, Beasts Keeper, 2015.

  • Part 2, Hound of Hades, 2015. 

  • Part 3, Steeds of the Gods, 2015. 

  • Part 4, Dragon Healer, 2015.

  • Part 5, Centaur School, 2016. 

  • Part 6, Zeus’s Eagle, 2016. 

  • Part 7, Gods of the North, 2017. 

  • Part 8, The Unicorn Emergency, 2018.


The protagonist of the series is a young boy called Demon (his full name is Pandemonius) who was taken from his mother by the god Pan (his father) to Olympus to be a Beast Keeper (this is also the title of the first book in the series). The theme of mythological animal-like monsters oppressed by gods (adults) and rescued by Demon (a child) would indicate a pro-animal approach. The main character develops friendships with his protégés, he can talk to animals - both "real" and mythical - cure them and protect them. Demon seems to be the only one who really understands beasts, while no one else seems to care about them. 

In each part of the series, he deals with different problems concerning the well-being of the various mythical creatures. These are mostly health-related issues, but almost always the real problem is a god or goddess. Along the way, various myths are introduced to the young readers, they are "smuggled" in by the author to create a new, hopefully, more attractive story.

Analysis

As the title of the series - as well as titles of each part - suggests, the main issue raised by Coats is the well-being of mythical - and of course also of "real" - animals. The stories themselves are not very complex; the plot centres (most of the time) around the gods' or goddesses' problems with certain creatures. These problems (sick Cerberus causing trouble to Hades, winged horses not prepared for a race between gods, gassy dragon polluting the Olympus, etc.) need to be solved by Demon. All the beasts (and Demon himself) are controlled by gods (here representing powerful adults) and must surrender to their will. Demon does not choose his fate – he is forced to serve as a a Beast Keeper (Coats, 2015a: 6). All the creatures are either used by gods, "killed" by them (as they are immortal they suffer death over and over again) or kept as pets, etc. Neglected stables, where most of the creatures are kept, may represent an oppressed unit of our society, where powerful men enclosed all whom they perceived as less worthy than themselves or inconvenient. The world of mythical fauna is neglected and the child is the one whose mission is to save it. 

Even though Demon is forced to perform his job at the beginning, at the end of the first book, Pan (his father) says to him: "I know how much you love animals, and how they love you back. Of course you have a choice." (Coats, 2015a, p. 17). This might seem like a glimmer of hope for both, animals and children, that if they take care of each other, they will survive the regime of the adults in a union with the Others. Interestingly, Demon's best friend among the gods is Hephaestus (the excluded god), who likes the concept of the union with the Others. What is curious is that Hephaestus plays the role of the Other too: he is not like the rest of the gods; thus, he teams up with the "weirdos" - Demon and his beasts. He is caring, hardworking, and nice, not like the rest of the gods. This "company of the excluded" is being progressively joined by someone new in each part: women, other children and creatures, minor gods, etc.


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