Rick Riordan, Hyperion Books for Children, 2011, 452 pages.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven't given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians.
And now their most threatening enemy yet - the chaos snake Apophis - is rising. If they don't prevent him from breaking free in a few days' time, the world will come to an end. In other words, it's a typical week for the Kane family.
To have any chance of battling the Forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god Ra. But that would be a feat more powerful than any magician has ever accomplished.
First they have to search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spells. Oh, and did we mention that no one knows where Ra is exactly?
Narrated in two different wisecracking voices, featuring a large cast of new and unforgettable characters, and with adventures spanning the globe, this second installment in the Kane Chronicles is nothing short of a thrill ride.
I love Rick Riordan's books, and this one is no exception. I am especially partial to books with ancient mythology in them, and Riordan provides this along with fun, interesting books full of adventure. It feels like Riordan has done his research and that there is authenticity in the mythological parts of the story. I also love how he blends Egyptian mythology into modern every day life and how different realities can exist at the same time, a kind of urban fantasy feel. The Throne of Fire is the second in this series, where brother and sister team, Carter and Sadie have to save the world from some angry Egyptian gods.
The Throne of Fire is narrated in the first person alternately between Carter and Sadie. They are typical brother and sisters, who fight and argue, but who ultimately care for each other. Their relationship adds a good dimension to the book and is also a fun source of humour, which is needed in this fast paced adventure story.
Rick Riordan does some nice foreshadowing in this book (for example, how Sadie and Carter understand how the magic works), which I like because it adds depth to the story. This also helps with the character development, especially of Sadie.
In this installment, Riordan introduces some interesting new characters who gain the reader's sympathy and really add to the story. I hope we see them again in the third book. I really liked the kids from the school that Sadie and Carter are teaching and the dynamics of that. There are also some of the characters from the first book, but, for the most part, they play only minor roles.
As much as I enjoy the story and adventure of Rick Riordan novels, I do find the number of sentence fragments to be off putting. This seems to be a trend in a lot of novels lately, however, and is quite disappointing. It must make school teachers cringe as they try to teach grammar to kids. I also found that the writing was slightly repetitive.
I can see middle school kids, both boys and girls, enjoying this book, especially if they like adventure and Egyptian mythology. The interplay between excitement and humour should be appealing to kids.