(Suggested reading level: Grades 4-8)
I actually borrowed The Red Pyramid from my daughter, and I definitely enjoyed it. The story centers around a pair of siblings, Carter and Sadie, whose world is thrown upside down the night they watch their father blow up the Rosetta Stone and be captured by an ancient Egyptian god. Cater and Sadie learn the secret of their family history, discover they can perform magic and have to save the world from Set.
It’s a great combination. Fascinating Egyptian gods, siblings who learn to work together, magic, fight scenes. The book has everything to appeal to its middle school audience, even if it felt a little long.
Sadie and Carter take turns narrating the chapters, which mean we get to see the events and characters from both points of view, and they are quite different from each other. Carter had been raised by his Egyptologist father, traveling around the world after their mother’s death, while Sadie had been safe in London with her grandparent’s. They have to learn how to work together, but the two of them have the potential to be the most powerful magicians in centuries.
I like the magic system here. Riordan sticks with the Egyptian theme, using Egyptian words and glowing hieroglyphs as spells. And the gods are well-done in the rather amusing way he first used in the Percy Jackson series. They are awesome and powerful, but they still have human faults and foibles. Some work with Carter and Sadie, some against them. My personal favorite was Bast.
A couple of good quotes, the first an allusion to Riordan’s other series.
“So you can’t live in Manhattan?” she asked.
Amos’s brow furrowed as he looked across at the Empire State Building. “Manhattan has other problems. Other gods. It’s best we stay separate.”
And from one of the many fight scenes.
Travelers were still screaming and running around. I heard a little girl shout: “Chicken man, get the moose!”
You know how hard it is to feel like an extreme falcon-headed combat machine when somebody calls you “chicken man”?
I told my daughter that she has to read this one soon. She’ll love it.
The second in the series, The Throne of Fire, came out earlier this month. I’ll have to pick it up soon.
Kane Chronicles #1
Published May 4, 2010 by Hyperion Books for Children
3½ out of 5 stars
I borrowed this copy from my daughter and the above is my honest opinion.