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The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2)
by Rick Riordan


I reviewed the first book in this series, The Red Pyramid, last year.

It’s been a couple of months since Sadie and Carter defeated Set at the Red Pyramid, and the brother and sister team have been busy. They’ve recruited several new magicians and started a school of magic at their home in Brooklyn, but the kids are far from safe. Without the powers of Isis and Horus at their disposal, Sadie and Carter aren’t nearly as powerful as they were in their previous adventures, and magicians from around the world are trying to kill them because they dare to partner with the gods of Ancient Egypt. Worse still, Apophis, the god of chaos, is close to breaking free from his prison, and no one can stop him save the sun god, Ra. Sadie and Carter must reawaken him by finding the three scrolls of the Book of Ra and traveling into the Duat, the Egyptian underworld. They’ve got powerful gods on their side, like Isis, Horus, Bes and Bast – but powerful enemies will stop at nothing to prevent the return of Ra.

Although I thought that the overall plot of The Throne of Fire was pretty adventurous and at times, downright intense – Riordan’s always been a master at that – the writing quickly fell into a pattern that drives me nuts. It’s a very personal pet peeve. It seemed like every chapter ended in a cliffhanger, and every conversation that might lead to plot development was interrupted mid-sentence! I mean, does anyone ever get to finish a thought in this world? I realize that some of this is inevitable, because if all the secrets were revealed in the first five minutes there’d be no story, but give Sadie and Carter a freakin’ break, man! But as I said, this is just something that drives me bonkers.

The story itself is a lot of fun. The kids are once again racing around the world on a madcap quest for artifacts, and then the action moves to the spirit world, which gets really exciting. Several new Egyptian deities are introduced. The breakout star is Bes, a dwarf god who protected children and the family household. In Riordan’s book, he seems to do this through pure ugliness – glaring at enemies and whipping off his clothing. Odd, to say the least - but apparently Bes is quite effective. The goddess Taweret, a pregnant hippopotamus traditionally associated with childbirth, appears now as a caretaker for the forgotten gods of Egypt. She runs a nursing home for elderly gods, which I thought a fantastic twist on her role since she isn’t called on to assist the modern woman in giving birth.

There’s a lot of exploration of the role of a leader and the rise and fall of empires through Carter’s relationship with Horus. Unfortunately, this tends to take a backseat to Carter’s odd obsession with Zia, a magician he started crushing on in the first book. More than once, he drops everything - the quest for Ra, his sister Sadie, etc. - to go chasing after Zia, a girl he’s technically never met, since in The Red Pyramid the Zia he knew was a clay double.

Awkward romance also plays a role in the development of Sadie, who crushes both on Anubis, a god, and Walt, a boy cursed to die young. Granted, she’s only thirteen, which is the perfect age to start having crazy, pointless crushes. At least she isn’t moping about all lovelorn and emo like her older brother.

3.5 out of 5 stars


To read more about The Throne of Fire, buy it or add it to your wishlist click here.

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