Title: The Red Pyramid | The Throne of Fire | The Serpent’s Shadow
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: The Kane Chronicles
Release Date: May 4th 2010 | May 3rd 2011 | May 1st 2012
I guess it started the night our Dad blew up the British Museum…
Carter and Sadie Kane’s dad is brilliant Egyptologist with a secret plan that goes horribly wrong. An explosion shatters the ancient Rosetta Stone and unleashes Set, the evil god of chaos…
Set imprisons Dr Kane is a golden coffin, and Carter and Sadie are forced to run for their lives. To save their dad, they must embark on a terrifying quest from Cairo and Paris to the American South-west and discover the truth about their family’s connection to the House of Life: an Egyptian temple of magic that has existed for thousands of years.
The pharaohs of ancient Egypt are far from dead and buried. And so, unfortunately are their gods…
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
Carter doesn’t have a normal life, travelling all over the world with his Egyptologist father, but his normal is destroyed when his father destroys the Rosetta Stone unleashing the Gods that had been trapped within it, including Set the god of chaos. Carter and his sister Sadie watch their father imprisoned and are forced on the run from the House of Life who would see them killed for hosting two of the Gods their father released. Together, if they can free their father and survive long enough, it’s down to Carter and Sadie to unite the gods and magicians once more.
After the death of their mother Carter and Sadie have a complicated sibling relationship largely due to the fact that Carter and his father were only able to see Sadie, who lives with her grandparents, once a year. At the beginning of this trilogy they’re unsure how to act around each other, and both of them are a little jealous of the way the other got to live their life, but they clearly care for one another and the more the trilogy, but especially the first book, progresses the more they work out how to interact with one another.
The difference between Carter and Sadie’s upbringing has created two very different characters. Carter has always had it drilled into his head by his father that he needs to represent not only himself and his family name but all black teenagers when the two of them travel together, that his best foot always has to be put forwards no matter what he may be feeling. He is incredibly intelligent and has a vast knowledge of Egyptian mythology from travelling with his father.
Sadie on the other hand is more of a fighter. She has a lot of anger in her from what happened to her mother and from, in her eyes, being abandoned by both her father and her brother. She can be very much someone who acts first and thinks later, but she is still intelligent and more often than not her plans give her the results she wants. The trilogy is told from both Carter and Sadie’s perspectives, so we get to hear both their very unique voices as they tell us their story.
Both of the Kane siblings are very loyal to the people they love. For Carter that’s Zia and while I enjoyed their relationship the revelation at the end of The Red Pyramid that she was nothing more than a shabti, while an incredible twist, drove their development backwards. The real Zia was unsure around Carter while he had these feelings for her that were in a way built with someone else. It was interesting to read, I just wish we’d seen a little more of the real Zia, maybe even had a few chapters told from her perspective.
In The Throne of Fire we get the world of the House of Life expanded a little as Carter and Sadie take more magicians into Brooklyn House and start training them, working with the old ways where magicians are more free to unit with the gods. There is a love triangle between Sadie, Anubis and Walt, one of the magicians Brooklyn House takes in, in this trilogy. Normally I don’t like love triangles and I wasn’t a massive fan of this one, but I do think it was one of the better handled love triangles I’d read, and it was certainly resolved in a unique way in The Serpent’s Shadow.
I loved getting to know the other magicians and I thought it was a unique path for Riordan to take Carter and Sadie down, showing them taking on the role of teachers and leaders when they are still learning themselves. However it shows how far they’ve come in their development since the first book. As the trilogy unfolds we see Carter and Sadie deal with bigger threats than facing off with Set in The Red Pyramid, and cope with losing some of the people they love in their battle. Once again Riordan doesn’t pull his punches, this may be a middle grade trilogy but the losses Carter and Sadie struggle with feel very real.
Of course it wouldn’t be a Rick Riordan series without gods. Before picking up the first Carter Kane book I knew pretty much nothing about Egyptian mythology, but as well as being a great story this trilogy was a brilliant way for me to learn more. Riordan talks about the myths surrounding and the history of Set, Horus, Iris and Osiris, who play a more central role in the trilogy than others, but he also develops the characters and myths of the other gods; Ra, Thoth, Bast and Bes to name a few. We also see a lot of what the Egyptians believed about life after death through Anubis and Osiris.
The House of a Life also played a major role in this book, but because Carter and Sadie always seemed to be running from them we never got too much development on them. We learnt a little of how they worked and their backstory from characters like Zia and Amos, Carter and Sadie’s uncle, but they always seemed to be a figure in the background, a threat for Sadie and Carter to overcome when the gods were being too quiet.
The Red Pyramid:
The Throne of Fire:
The Serpent’s Shadow:
Like with his Percy Jackson and The Heroes of Olympus series Rick Riordan has taken the gods and legends of Egypt and used them as a jumping point to create a new and engaging story set in the modern world. I really enjoyed this trilogy and meeting Carter and Sadie, and I especially loved the small cameos and hints that we’re dropped in this series to Camp Half-Blood and Percy Jackson. I feel like this trilogy isn’t as popular as any of the others Rick Riordan has written, which is a shame because while I didn’t love it it was still a brilliant read.
What did you think of The Kane Chronicles? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.
Title: Demigods and Magicians
Author: Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson & The Kane Chronicles Crossover, #1-3
Join Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase and Carter and Sadie Kane as they do battle with an ancient Egyptian magician determined to become a god. Against impossible odds, the four demigods and magicians team up to prevent the apocalypse.
Contains the short stories The Son of Sobek, The Staff of Serapis and The Crown of Ptolemy, together in one volume for the first time.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This anthology collection of The Son of Sobek, The Staff of Serapis and The Crown of Ptolemy answered a major question for me; after Carter and Sadie defeated Apophis what happened to Setne who escape justice with the Book of Thoth? Demigods and Magicians answers that question, acting as an epilogue of sorts to the Carter Kane trilogy but also creating a connection between it and the Percy Jackson series.
We see Carter and Percy team up to fight giant crocodiles, Sadie and Annabeth work together to defeat a three-headed spear monster, and all four come together against Setne. The three stories were short but fun to read, and opened up the opportunity to see more of Carter and Sadie in the future(which I hope is an opportunity used by Riordan) or to see the Egyptian gods integrated into the Percy Jackson series.