The Kane Chronicles, Book Two The Throne of Fire
By Rick Riordan
(Disney-Hyperion, Hardcover, 9781423140566, 464pp.)
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
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In this exciting second installment of the three-book series, Carter and Sadie, offspring of the brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane, embark on a worldwide search for the Book of Ra, but the House of Life and the gods of chaos are determined to stop them.
Rick Riordan (www.rickriordan.com) is the author of three different mythology-based series for Disney-Hyperion: the best-selling Percy Jackson series, the Kane Chronicles, and The Heroes of Olympus series. The first book in the Kane Chronicles, The Red Pyramid, was a number 1 New York Times bestseller. The five books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series have sold millions of copies, been published in more than thirty countries, and inspired a major motion picture. Rick's novels for adults include the hugely popular Tres Navarre series, winner of the top three awards in the mystery genre. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and two sons.
In The Red Pyramid (rev. 7/10), siblings Carter and Sadie Kane learned that as descendants of Egyptian pharaohs, they are magicians who can communicate with (and fight against) the Egyptian gods. Now with Apophis, Lord of Chaos, about to break his millennia-long imprisonment, Sadie and Carter must awaken Ra the Sun God to unite the gods and magicians against Apophis and save the world from destruction. Globetrotting action and irreverent commentary fly fast and furious as the pair battle gods, evil magicians, and mythical Egyptian monsters to retrieve the Book of Ra, then re-create the Sun God's nightly journey through the underworld to revive his spirit, meeting their dead parents and gambling for their own souls along the way. The author's formula works-the Egyptian myths offer a backdrop with plenty of depth, against which Riordan's wisecracking heroes can play out their high-stakes family, relationship, and personal dramas. And with Ra awakened but old and weak, the magicians in rebellion, personal peril and/or teenage heartbreak in store for the Kanes, and Apophis still on the rise, the expected third book in the Kane Chronicles promises to be as lively, humorous, and welcome as the first two.—Horn Book
Elaborating on the ominous revelation that caps The Red Pyramid (Hyperion, 2010), this planned trilogy's middle episode sends dual narrators Carter and Sadie Kane from their newly established school for sorcerers in Brooklyn to the underworld realm of the Duat, leaving massive trails of destruction on their way to a first face-off with Apophis, snake god of Chaos. Given just five days to find the retired god Ra god of order, or ma'at before Apophis escapes millennia of confinement and destroys the universe, the squabbling sibs also have their own growing magical abilities to explore; hostile factions of both human wizards and Egyptian gods to battle; monsters to face; temptations to overcome; infatuations to work through; rescues to make; and, of course, plenty of digs, wisecracks, fashion notes, and teen chatter to deliver. Fortunately they have some sturdy allies notably Bes, the god of little people and memorable for more than just his Speedo with "Dwarf Pride" written on the butt that is his battle costume. Despite helpful lists of Egyptian deities and terms at the back, readers unfamiliar with the opener may have trouble at the beginning keeping up with both the continuing plotlines and the teeming cast, but Riordan kickstarts the action, never lets up on the gas, balances laughs and losses with a sure hand, and expertly sets up the coming climactic struggle without (thankfully) ending on a cliff-hanger. It's a grand ride so far, showing nary a sign of slowing down.—SLJ