Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Throne of Fire

The Kane Chronicles #2: The Throne of Fire
© 2011 Rick Riordan
464 pages

Sadie Kane isn't even a teenager yet, but she and her older brother have four days to find the three pieces of the lost Book of Ra, ressurected the old king of the gods, and help him defeat Apophis, giant snake and lord of chaos. Sucks being a kid, especially if you're the heir of two powerful lines of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. And to make matters worse, the only adults who might be of help, magicians skilled in the Egyptian ways, are convinced that Sadie and Carter are up to no good -- and they're determined to kill the two youngsters who are causing so much trouble. At least they have a dwarf on their side.

In The Red Pyramid, Rick Riordan introduced his fantasy series steeped in the world of Egyptian mythology, and I for one found the new setting fantastic. It combines the familiar (chaos vs order) with the alien.  The central importance of the Nile is especially obvious here, as the attempt to resurrect Ra means taking a dangerous journey down it through the twelve Houses, meeting and prevailing over a panel of bizarre deities and demons while being chased by a mad Russian.  It's not quite as novel as the first book -- the setting is established and the general plot well-trodden, since Rioridan's characters usually only have a few days before the world ends. At least poor Harry had the better part of a year to hunt down Horcruxes -- but entertaining enough.

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