“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.”
Last year, I read through the first Kane Chronicles book in a day. And while, technically, I was also able to finish the second book in a day–that day was split into two parts because of work and other responsibilities. Also, I didn’t enjoy the second book as much as I did the first one.
The Throne of Fire doesn’t immediately pick off after the events of The Red Pyramid. Weeks have passed since then, and our two protagonists are now joined by a few same-age colleagues. And while this development doesn’t detract from the story (the main adventure still mostly comprises of Carter and Sadie, the two protagonists), I’m not sure if I like what had happened. I get that the story is building up to an epic battle and they will need warriors, something akin to what happened in Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian, but does the training of new heroes have to be so similar to Camp Half Blood?
With the first book, I thought it was separate enough from the Camp Half Blood series of books that it didn’t feel like a cheap knock-off. I’m starting to reconsider that stand after reading The Throne of Fire. Because aside from the teens-as-gods formula that made it similar to the Percy Jackson series, the Kane Chronicles now also have semi-ambivalent gods, a dwarf god, a ‘school’ for teen magicians, and a sort-of prophecy that will propel the stories for the rest of the series. Now, I’m thinking The Kane Chronicles is just an Egyptian version of the Percy Jackson series–except this one’s a bit annoying.
I mentioned in my blog post about the first book that I really didn’t like the one-sided conversations that pepper the book as asides by the characters. I mean, I’m fine with the book-as-transcript conceit it is trying to pull off–but do we really need the barbs that Carter and Sadie lobby at each other throughout the book? We get that they are brothers and sisters that like to riff on each other–it’s evident in their characterization whenever they are together. So why do we need the asides?
Overall, The Throne of Fire is just as easy to read as the other mythology-based Rick Riordan books. But if you make me choose, I’d say that the books from the Camp Half Blood series are more interesting than this one–also, they are more fun to read. I’ll probably pick up the next book from this series, but if I have the same feelings as I did with this book, I’ll probably just stick with Camp Half Blood from then on.