- Socrates in Plato's Republic (499d)
(Grube and Reeve translation)
Jo Walton's The Philosopher Kings is a direct sequel to her earlier book, The Just City, which concerns the time-traveling goddess Athena's attempt to set up the city of Plato's Republic in the distant past, all with some help from Socrates and robots! In my review of that book, I noted that, as a science fiction fan and philosophy professor who regularly teaches Plato, the book was pretty much tailor made for me. While the same can be said of the sequel, I have to admit I didn't enjoy it quite as much.
The main reason for this: Socrates is gone along with most of his favorite interlocutors: the robot Workers (their dialogues were my favorite part of the first book). Without Socrates and the robots, the one isn't as much fun.
The sequel takes place 20 years after The Just City ends. We meet the daughter of Apollo and Simmea: Arete (her name means "excellence" or "virtue," which provides plenty of fun word play). Arete's story is interesting, but it does turn into typical YA fare of a young girl discovering that she's "special."