Tuesday, July 19, 2011
The Throne of Fire: Rick Riordan
The Throne of Fire is Book Two in Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles series, featuring a brother and sister team who are trying to protect the world from the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt. In this second installment, Carter and Sadie are on a mission to awaken the sun god, Ra, before Apophis is freed from the Duat (think of it as the underworld).
After the adventure of The Red Pyramid, Carter and Sadie have returned to Brooklyn to start a school for magicians, knowing that they will need to raise an army before Set returns to make his claim on the world. The school introduces readers to some new characters, most importantly Jaz--a feisty healer, and Walt--a good-looking charm maker. Having had a dream in which Horus directed Carter to obtain the three scrolls of Ra, The Throne of Fire opens with a heist to steal the first scroll from a museum. When things go a little sideways, the heat is on to stay one step ahead of Set and his plans to free Apophis. Of course awaking Ra and returning him to his path through the sky is no easy task, and Carter and Sadie will face new demons and monsters, as well as some ancient sibling rivalry on their path to Ra's new morning.
I think it's fair to say that I was disappointed with this book. The story is interesting enough, but it seemed slow-paced. I kept waiting for the action to pick up, which only happened at the very end. I also notice that Riordan's writing doesn't seem to be improving. There is little difference between the Percy Jackson narration and the Kane narration. The siblings are supposedly very different, having been raised separately--Carter is the darker of the two and was raised on the road by his archaeologist father, Sadie is the sassy girl raised by her grandparents in England-- and yet I don't notice when they switch narrators; Carter and Sadie have essentially the same voice.
Which is not to say it was all bad. My favorite part of Riordan's stories is the history. Ancient Egypt literally comes alive in this book, educating readers about so many Egyptian gods and their fables. The gods are colorful characters who add dimension to Riordan's world.
I have hope that the final book in this trilogy will offer more of the excitement and adventure that Riordan has taught me to expect.