Saturday, June 25, 2011

Throne of Fire

I have to admit, when I first heard that Rick Riordan was writing a series based on Egyptian mythology, I was a bit... Worried.  Afraid he was dragging this 'mythology in modern day' idea out a little too far, that it would just be Percy Jackson meets Egypt.

Well, sometimes, I love being wrong.

Besides the fact that the series is, well, addicting in general, it's very unique from it's Greek predecessor.  I mean, of course there are some similarities and such, but definitely different.

Spoiler Alert!

Throne of Fire proved to be even better than The Red Pyramid.  Sadie and Carter are now teachers of other younger magicians along with their Uncle Amos, and are hot on the trail to awaken the old god Ra.  However, this proves not to be as easy as setting off his celestial alarm clock.  After covering New York City in magical flames and ruining a perfectly good wedding party, they find themselves in the possession of 1/3 of the Book of Ra, the key to awakening the god himself.

They start to make plans to find the other two pieces of the Book, as they have a very short deadline to awaken Ra before Apophis, Lord of Chaos, can rise.  Unfortunately, Sadie offers a slight setback in their plans: It's her birthday.  And she's not gonna spend it traipsing after some stupid scroll.

As Sadie goes off on her own to London for her birthday, Carter, the disgruntled brother, goes about his day as usual.  He holds a class that is promptly interrupted by a snake monster, mentions seeing a flying horse one time flying over the Empire State Building (yes, Mr. Riordan, I caught the reference :P ), and uses a magical bird bath to see that his sister is in danger.  As he goes off to rescue the birthday girl, we'll switch back to her.

Meanwhile, Sadie finds that her grandparents have been possessed by disgruntled gods, who proceed to destroy half of London in their attempt to eat her.  She and her mates barely escape, with a little help from the god of dwarves, Bes.  After saving her grandparents, Sadie meets up with Carter and off they go to Russia to steal a scroll from the third most powerful magician in the world.

Ok, I could go on and on, summarizing the book, but I'll give you a quick rundown of the rest: They meet up with their old 'friend', Set, split up in Egypt, find an entombed Zia Rashid, get attacked by mummies, take an eventful sail through the Duat, get some help from a former enemy, and end up with the surprise of their life which was, actually, the only predictable thing in the book.

Yeah, you need to read it.

A little more on my opinion...

When I read the Percy Jackson series, I loved it because I already knew so much of Greek Mythology already, that I had fun being able to guess at each god, situation, and magical item, trying to remember the story behind it so I could guess what would happen next.  Now, I'm not as brushed-up on Egyptian Mythology...Ok, I know squat.  Or, I did.  The great thing about Mr. Riordan's books is that, whether you have that background knowledge or not, you can still follow them and understand what's going on.  And, of course, enjoy them.

I love the way the story is told as well, from two different points of view.  Carter and Sadie are two very different characters and give different insight on each situation.  I love Sadie's attitude, but Carter's calmer manner offers a nice break.

And, of course, Rick manages to get creative with the gods.  Every time I think of Anubis, that nice little piece of-

Fang: -clears throat-

Me: Oh, yes, well... Bes was so fun!

Fang: -eyeroll-

Me: Anyway... On a final note, as I've somehow forgotten if there was anything else I wanted to say, I will add something about how much this book just... Grabs you, holds on tight, and refuses to let go.

(But, luckily, won't attack you with magical fire or create a giant griffin or anything.)

I was reading it during a slow day at work and, every time my co-worker, Niki would ask me to do something, I'd reply with something like this:

"But Niki! The world is about to be destroyed by a chaos-inducing snake who will swallow the sun!  They haven't made it through the Duat!  Ra is not fully risen! HOW CAN YOU EXPECT ME TO WORK AT A TIME LIKE THIS?!"

As funny as she thought I was, she still made me work. -.-

So yes, read this series.  It's fun, it's addicting, oh, yeah, and it could even be educational.  Go history!

Fang: One final note.

Me: Oh, Fang's gonna speak!  This must be inspiring....

Fang: I Like Zebras!

Me: -nods- Yes, it was...

-Saint and Fang

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