Selected Reviews for wings of olympus

CM REVIEW 5/5 stars

Pippa, or Hippolyta as she discovers her true name is, is a foundling, working for a mean-spirited groom. When Pippa abandons her work one night to chase after what she believes is Zeus’ horse, she is banished from the stables. First abandoned by her parents, Pippa is now on her own again, and on this first night away from the stables, she falls asleep under a bush. This happens to be the one day in the century when the Gods and Goddesses come down to Athens to select riders for their winged horses. Thinking she is dreaming, Pippa is chosen to come to Mount Olympus by Aphrodite’s horse, Zephyr.

On Mount Olympus, Pippa soon realizes that other children had also been chosen. Their purpose is to ride in The Winged Horse Race, the winner securing status for their god and the right for them to rule in Zeus’ stead for a day. The rider’s horse would become Zeus’ next steed, and the rider’s prize is to live for eternity in Mount Olympus as a demi-god and groom in the stables. Pippa couldn’t think of a better life than to belong and share her life with her beloved Zephyr. She is determined to win the race.

Soon the rivalries of both the riders and the gods come to light, and most will do anything, including cheating and trickery, to win. Pippa is teased and bullied by Khrys and Perikles but finds friendship with the talented Sophia and homesick Baz. During a meeting of the gods and goddesses and their riders, Baz tells Pippa he’s found out that Aphrodite isn’t coming to meet her. Upset, Pippa takes off on Zephyr, sad that she has yet again been abandoned but happy to be flying her horse. When Zeph is distracted by the sound of music, they land but are soon lost. Pippa is worried because Bellerophon, the immortal’s groom, made it very clear that the gods don’t care what happens to the children. They are expendable; it only matters whose horse wins.

Wandering in search of help, Pippa finds the home of the Fates, the three elderly sisters that weave and untangle the lives of mortals. The sisters let slip that Pippa is not going to win but give her a detailed map so she is able to find her way back to the training grounds. With this map, she finds a more difficult area to train and believes she can change her fate and win the race. That is, until she sees how sad Baz is. His horse, Kerauno, is the fastest and will surely win. Together, the two friends concoct a scheme to swap places with Pippa to stay and Baz to go back home.

The plan goes awry when Zephyr realizes Pippa is ahead on Kerauno, and so he races hard to catch them and, in fact, wins the race. When the children and Zephyr are banished from Mount Olympus for breaking the rules of the race, Pippa learns that sometimes people need to make a choice, to sacrifice something or someone special, because of love. 

In Wings of Olympus, Kallie George has created an exciting story that combines the love of horses, adventure and the myths of Ancient Greece. The overarching theme, as argued by Aphrodite and Ares, is the question of whether love is stronger than might. As Pippa is pitted against all odds and is told by the Fates that she will lose, readers will rally with her as she fights to stay with her precious horse. They will also feel her anguish as she realizes the cost of her decision, not only to her but to Zeph.


A Bibliophile's Book Blog

I love everything to do with Greek mythology. The fates, the gods. Everything! And this book was no exception. It was an adorable story of love verses might where an orphan who was just kicked out of her last home gets chosen to possibly live a life far beyond her imagination. It was really easy to follow along with the story (which is exactly what I would want for a middle grader book) the story moved at a nice pace and had a fun plot, and even a few unexpected twists and turns.


School Library Journal

Gr 3-6–Life in ancient Greece isn’t easy for orphaned Pippa, but she can withstand loneliness and neglect if she gets to work with her beloved horses. One morning, after falling asleep by the roadside, she is shocked to wake up on Mount Olympus. Pippa has been selected to ride in the once-a-century Winged Horse Race. Manipulated by powerful gods and goddesses, Pippa and the other child riders must use all of their wits to make it through their training, the fantastical occurrences on Mount Olympus, and the final thrilling zip to the finish. The moral lesson of the denouement is a little blurred, as positive outcomes arise partially out of deception, but the overall importance of making sacrifices for those you love comes through. Pippa’s lasting bond with her winged steed, Zephyr, and the hard-earned connection with her fellow riders show that one can find family in unexpected places. Pencil drawings help readers visualize unfamiliar mythological characters, such as the Greek Fates. The story will spark interest in further exploration of ancient Greek mythology. VERDICT A high-flying adventure to supplement middle grade fiction collections.–Alyssa Annico, Youngstown State University, OH



In George's latest, a foundling competes in Mount Olympus’ Winged Horse Race. Pippa doesn’t know why her parents abandoned her as a baby, but at least her talent with horses allows her to survive on the streets of Athens. When she is chosen to compete in the Winged Horse Race—the contest that decides Zeus’ next steed—Pippa is transported to Olympus, where the gods and goddesses aren’t above cheating to ensure their horse wins; and neither are the other riders, who want the chance to stay in Olympus forever. Pippa never wants to leave her beloved steed, Zephyr, but according to the Fates, he has no chance of winning. Will Pippa cheat to stay in Olympus with him? The winning premise should draw readers who are into horses and Greek mythology, although Olympus is a gentler place than Pippa fears, and her rule breaking never leads to the harsh punishments she is warned about. Still, Pippa’s choices should prompt readers to ponder how love, fate, and trust determine our actions. A fun series starter.


Quill & Quire

Wings of Olympus is a combination fo classic horse story, mythic fantasy, and meditation on the power of love... once the story settles down to focus on Pippa's love for Zephyr and the affection that relationship builds among her friends and allies, Wings of Olympus unfurls abruptly into a confident, wholehearted read, with a twist at the end that feels sincere, sweet and satisfying.


YA and Kids Books Central

Perfect for fans of Horses and Greek Myth!

WINGS OF OLYMPUS is a middle grade fantasy that those who love horses and Greek mythology won't want to miss.

Pippa loves horses and has a certain way with them. She can usually tell what's wrong with one. When she sees a winged horse flying over head, she never anticipated that it would change her life. It's time for Zeus to find a new horse, which means it's time for the race! Each god and goddess chooses a ride to race on their horse.

When Pippa wakes up in Olympus, she's eager to discover which god or goddess chose her. When she meets her horse Zephyr, her focus shifts to training with him and her love for horses gives her an edge. The other riders pick on her and look down on her because she's the smallest of them, but she tries not to let it get to her.

I love Pippa's genuine heart. She truly cares for horses and doesn't see them as a means to an end like the others do. I love that she stays strong and even wants to help the other riders' horses when they're injured. The ending is a turn that I didn't see coming, but I won't spoil it...

Final Verdict: This is perfect for fans of Greek Mythology, the Percy Jackson series, and horses.


CanLit for LittleCanadians

Young Pippa adores working with the horses at an Athenian stables but, when she is distracted from her chores after catching a glimpse of Zeus's steed Nikomedes in the sky, she is fired. A foundling, abandoned by her parents with only a coin engraved with a winged horse, Pippa trudges off, needing to find food and shelter. But when she awakens, she discovers she has been transported to Mount Olympus with other children to compete in the Winged Horse Race, an event that takes place every 100 years to choose Zeus's next steed. Each child has been selected by a god or goddess to ride their winged horse, and Pippa, the only child without an impressive family, has been chosen by Aphrodite to ride Zephyr, a small horse "like a moonbeam." (pg. 40) The other children include Basileus who is to ride the powerful Kerauno for Ares, the shy Timon riding Skotos for Hades, the only other girl, Sophia, rider for Athena, Theodoros riding for Poseidon, and the arrogant Khrys riding for Apollo.

Under the direction of Bellerophon, the hero who'd tamed Pegasus, the child riders learn the many rules for the race, how to train, and how to deal with their gods and goddesses who are constantly squabbling and are willing to bend the rules or even cheat in order to be honoured with having their winged horse selected to replace Nikomedes. While Pippa is falling in love with Zephyr, who is easily distracted by butterflies and such, she is the only one who has not had an opportunity to meet her goddess. Upset with this slight, she and Zephyr fly off and get lost, only to meet the Fates, one of whom suggests Pippa will not win. Pippa is desperate to stay on Mount Olympus and care for Zephyr and so she comes up with a plan to help herself and some friends out. But how will Mount Olympus's immortals react when their rules are ignored, even for a good reason?

Taking a trip to ancient Greece and to visit the immortals who inhabit Mount Olympus is a treat withKallie George's expressive text and extraordinary story.

The sky was her home now: blue ceilings, courtyards of clouds, and, if she was out late, stars so close and so numerous it was like they were woven tight as linen.(pg. 107)

These are worlds mythological and singular in their attributes butKallie Georgeinvites us into that reality as welcome visitors to see the wonders of Mount Olympus and the imperfection of its inhabitants and the parallels between children then and now. There is the bully who threatens and cheats, the know-it-all child, the boy who misses his family, and the orphaned girl whose heart is teeming with love for horses and specifically Zephyr. They may be wearing belted chitons and sandals but they are young people most of us will recognize. AndKallie George's messages about love and trust are universal and perpetual.

Like the other middle-grade seriesKallie Georgehas written, includingHeartwood HotelandMagical Animal Adoption Agency,Wings of Olympusis fated to take off as a new series. There are animals and a unique time and setting and a diaphanous sheath of fantasy. I look forward to seeing where the next books land.

"Nikepteros," she whispered. "Victory in flight." (pg. 107)