|| Young Hercules: Cheiron's Warriors
|| Novel (fiction)
|| Keith R.A. DeCandido
|| Archway Paperbacks
| Release Date
|| September 1999
Young Hercules: Cheiron's Warriors was the first tie-in novel for Young Hercules.
A bold new adventure pits the heroic son of Zeus against an evil of unfathomable power.
- * * *
Half man, half god, all hero, young Hercules now faces the ultimate challenge as a warrior. Ares, the vengeful god of war, orders slave traders to kidnap Hercules' mentor, the wise centaur Cheiron - and if his plot succeeds, the Centaur Nation has vowed to unleash all-out war!
Hercules sets out with his childhood friend Iolaus and the fearless girl cadet, Lilith, to rescue Cheiron from his island prison. Danger awaits, however, as Ares has sent the gods Strife and Discord to lay traps at every turn. Poisonous sea serpents and Graegus, the ferocious Dog of War, are lying in wait to stop the young hero from rescuing his mentor before it's too late!
(In Order of Appearance)
"Dedication to your comrades is an important thing, and admirable."
Wow, Hercules thought. That was almost a compliment.
"If you ever have the skills to support that dedication, you might possibly amount to something. Not that I'm counting on it."
With that, Kostas turned on his left heel and left the workout room by the far door.
Hercules thought, on the word "almost."
Once again, Iolaus smiled. Okay,
he thought, here comes the part where Herc tells Kostas he wants to go after Cheiron and Kostas says no.
"Kostas," Hercules said, walking up to the instructor, "I want to go look for Cheiron."
Laughing, Kostas said, "Absolutely not. This is a job for people qualified to handle it, godling. You're just a cadet."
Shaking his head, Iolaus thought, I do love it when they follow the script.
Shaking his head, Hercules said, "I can't let you do that. It might be dangerous."
Iolaus had a peice of rabbit meat in his mouth when Hercules said that. He spluttered it back onto his plate.
"Yuck," said Lilith.
"Dangerous?" Iolaus said, wiping his mouth. "You're worried that it's too dangerous?"
"Look-" Hercules started.
Iolaus, however, wasn't letting him get a word in. "Right, it's much better if we stay here. At the Academy. Where we spend each morning beating each other with sticks while standing on poles. Not to mention our breaks and holidays, where we get to deal with all the crazy members of your family, both god and half-god, plus Bacchae, giants, basilisks, satyrs, phoenixes-" He turned to Lilith. "Did I leave anything out?"
"War-crazed Amazons and centaurs," Lilith said.
"Right, war-crazed Amazons and centaurs. So, yeah, a bunch of punk slavers are way
too dangerous for us."
Hercules closed his eyes and rubbed his temples with his fingers. He suddenly has a very big headache. "Let me get this straight. You didn't think they'd believe that you knew the son of Zeus, but but they did
believe that you're best friends with an ogre."
"And his wife," Lilith added with a grin.
"Right, and his wife."
Iolaus shrugged. "What can I tell you, Herc? We live in a very strange world."
"Baby ghidras," Iolaus muttered.
Hercules rolled his eyes. "Those are not baby ghidras. Those are baby sea serpents."
"Oh, come on, Herc. Those don't look anything like sea serpents."
"Look, I know I paid attention in Cheiron's monster recognition class. And I know you were busy carving Kora's name into your desk."
"I was not!" Iolaus protested.
This time Lilith rolled her eyes. "Come on, Iolaus. Everyone knows you have a thing for Kora."
"I do not
have a thing for Kora. Besides, I was carving her name in the chair, not the desk."
Months ago Iolaus had been given a choice by the magistrate. The first choice was to do jail time for being a thief. The second was to go to the Academy.
Since taking the second choice, he had been attacked by a phoenix, the god of war, an Amazon tribe, several giants, a venom-spitting basilisk, a bunch of Bacchae, a wannabe assassin, and Hercules' half brother Lucius. He'd been framed for robbery by the god Strife, held hostage by his old gang, and sucked into the dreamworld.
Now he was covered in mud, standing in a wrecked castle on an unnamed island in the middle of nowhere, about to be eaten by the dog of war.
Jail was looking better and better all the time.
Pop Culture References
- Lilith says "Never underestimate the power of a woman."
That was the editorial and advertising slogan adopted by the Ladies Home Journal in March 1941.
Sides, Scripts & Transcripts
Click image for high-res version. Scan is from Bryn.