TAKING ON THE WORLD OF GOD AND MAGIC

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The Kane Chronicles is a trilogy written by Rick Riordan consisting of; The Red Pyramid, The Throne of Fire and The Serpent’s Shadow. Just like the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series also authored by Riordan, this series never lacks Riordan’s perfect formula to an epic story; action packed adventure, mythological and historical backdrop, subtle irresistible humour, love and family. So, if you liked the Percy Jackson series, I’m pretty sure that you would love Kane Chronicles as well since it is equally (or even more perhaps) amazing!

The story sets out as the two aloof siblings who were separated after the tragic death of their mother. Carter Kane who lives a nomadic kind of a life with their Egyptologist black father and Sadie Kane who lives with their grandparents in England, reconnect after a long time and witness a breakout of ancient Egyptian Gods and their father being entombed in the British Museum. However it is revealed that they belong to an ancient order called ‘House of Life’ and are descendants of the Pharaohs who have magic within. Unlike in Percy Jackson, Kanes are not the children of Gods but the bearers of the Egyptian Gods.

Yes, they host the spirits of Gods, Carter of Horus and Sadie of Isis. Having been taught the family history, Kane siblings, start out the quest to save their father from evil. Heavily untrained and are constantly outnumbered they somehow manage to hold their own in battles against other magicians, gods, and the gods’ monsters along with some help from few friends including Bastet, the loyal Cat Goddess. They are pretty much facing death at every turn while trying to figure out exactly who the real enemy is. However this quest continues to the other two novels of the sequel too as the Kane siblings realise the threat of Apophis, the serpent of chaos and evil as well as their responsibility to protect the world by re-establishing the Ma’at, the order.

The story is, as mentioned above, full of ancient anecdotes and mythos of Egyptian gods and goddesses, and thus sometimes could get boring. Nevertheless, if you have ever liked the Ancient Egyptian Civilisations, the series will certainly take your breath away. However the too many side stories and side quests, at one point, might make the plot confusing, but you can easily catch up with just a little bit of weight on your brains.

When it comes to the narration of the story, I found it really fascinating because the story is told from the points of view of both Carter and Sadie alternatively, with side notes and asides, usually to bicker or smirk at the other. As I noted it gives away a much balanced view on the incidents and situations that take place in the story. It also provides some fun bickering. However, it might become hard to keep track of who is narrating for some readers, causing them to have to keep jumping out of the story to check the name on the page headings –an unfortunate disruption of the plot.

Riordan balances his action with humour, sometimes subtle and sometimes slapstick. Carter describes his father as looking “like a buff evil scientist.” A basketball-fanatic baboon named Khufu will only eat foods that end in ’o’, such as Doritos, burritos, and flamingos (the image of flamingos as a food is disturbing I know). The humour provides a lighter counterpoint to the intense action of constant life or death situations.

So overall, I believe that Riordan has been able to keep up a smooth flow of the plot with good pacing and dramatic representation of the events. Especially the way he develops the characters of Carter and Sadie to become one, from being almost foes, is praiseworthy and their love, which gradually grows, for each other is so heart-warming to see.

So, I guess I gave you an insight to the book without many spoilers (apologies if I did) and hope you would try this series out.

Happy Reading everyone!

By Induwara Athapattu