In The Red Pyramid, the first book in Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles, Carter and Sadie Kane alternate narrating how they discovered they are magicians descended from the gods of Egypt, try to find their father, who has released the god Set and disappeared, and defend themselves against magicians who are trying to kill them. Read Jennifer’s review here, which includes a picture of her meeting author Rick Riordan (lucky!).
The second book in the series, The Throne of Fire, follows Carter and Sadie as they bring in new recruits and need to awaken the sun god, Ra, to prevent Apophis, the god of Chaos, from rising. In addition to their new friends, who have different magical abilities, they receive help from several lesser gods. Jennifer also reviewed this novel, and her review can be found here.
Jennifer was kind enough to pass on The Red Pyramid for me to listen to, and then I borrowed The Throne of Fire from the library. So when we were offered the third and final book in the trilogy, The Serpent’s Shadow, I jumped up and down and waved my arms in the air. Ok, maybe not literally, but close enough.
The Serpent’s Shadow finds Carter and Sadie trying to stop Apophis, who wants to destroy the world for reasons that aren’t clear, other than the fact that he’s evil, which requires finding his shadow and performing a spell that could have dire consequences if performed wrong. This time help comes from Setne, a ghost magician who is the only one who knows where the spell can be found, only Setne’s on trial for murder and released into their custody. As if the Kane siblings don’t have enough to worry about, they also have their love lives to deal with.
Content: There’s more of a love story in this novel than the first two, as Sadie sorts out her feelings for recruit Walt and the god Anubis, while Carter is on his own quest with another magician, Zia. There’s a bit of kissing, but nothing more. There is, however, quite a bit of fighting and violence, so for that reason I would recommend this book for kids at least 10, if not 12 and up.
Notes on the audiobook: Like the first two books in the series, The Serpent’s Shadow is told in alternating chapters by Carter and Sadie. Because they are narrating into a recorder, it’s fitting to listen rather than read, and once again Katherine Kellgren and Kevin R. Free do an amazing job with their characters. I’ve only listened to the books but I think it would be the preferred method for taking in the story. You can listen to an excerpt from Brilliance Audio if you’re interested.
Other YA books related to Egypt or mythology you may enjoy:
Nancy was unfamiliar with the Egyptian gods until reading this series. She writes about her boys, books and life in Colorado at Life With My Boys and Books.
I had forgotten about my fun little photo op with Mr. Riordan!
Good to know about the content. I’ve felt (and said in my reviews) from the beginning that this story is a bit more mature than the others. There’s nothing really INappropriate, but I do think that they are better enjoyed by older kids — middle school and up.