The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles Series #2)

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Overview

In this exciting second installment of the three-book series, Carter and Sadie, offspring of the brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane, embark on a worldwide search for the Book of Ra, but the House of Life and the gods of chaos are determined to stop them.
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The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles Series #2)

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Overview

In this exciting second installment of the three-book series, Carter and Sadie, offspring of the brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane, embark on a worldwide search for the Book of Ra, but the House of Life and the gods of chaos are determined to stop them.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

"Carter here. Look, we don't have time for long introductions. I need to tell this story quickly, or we're all going to die. If you didn't listen to our first recording, well...pleased to meet you. The Egyptian gods are running loose in the modern world; a bunch of magicians called the House of Life is trying to stop them; everyone hates Sadie and me; and a big snake is about to swallow the sun and destroy the world." From that nearly breathless beginning, the lynchpin volume of Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles trilogy descends into even more exciting labyrinths of intrigue and danger. One of the best.

Publishers Weekly
The amazing performances of Kevin R. Free and Katherine Kellgren make this YA fantasy—the second volume in Riordan's The Kane Chronicles—enthralling for listeners of any age. Descendants of the House of Life, Carter and Sadie Kane are teenage magicians responsible for preventing Egyptian gods from interfering with mortals. And this time around, the brother-and-sister team face off against the chaos snake Apophis—something that's bound to interfere with Sadie's 13th birthday party. But even being chased through the streets of London by monstrous gods doesn't slow down Sadie. Meanwhile, Carter continues to train a troupe of young magicians to battle the forces of evil. Free deftly handles Carter's narration; he sounds exactly like a 14–year-old boy, while voicing dozens of other characters. Kellgren's narration is no less impressive, and her interpretation of a budding teen girl is exuberant and believable, as are the multitude of other colorful characters she creates. Between these two spirited performances, the characters come to life and leave listeners breathless. A Hyperion hardcover. (May)
From the Publisher
In The Red Pyramid (rev. 7/10), siblings Carter and Sadie Kane learned that as descendants of Egyptian pharaohs, they are magicians who can communicate with (and fight against) the Egyptian gods. Now with Apophis, Lord of Chaos, about to break his millennia-long imprisonment, Sadie and Carter must awaken Ra the Sun God to unite the gods and magicians against Apophis and save the world from destruction. Globetrotting action and irreverent commentary fly fast and furious as the pair battle gods, evil magicians, and mythical Egyptian monsters to retrieve the Book of Ra, then re-create the Sun God's nightly journey through the underworld to revive his spirit, meeting their dead parents and gambling for their own souls along the way. The author's formula works-the Egyptian myths offer a backdrop with plenty of depth, against which Riordan's wisecracking heroes can play out their high-stakes family, relationship, and personal dramas. And with Ra awakened but old and weak, the magicians in rebellion, personal peril and/or teenage heartbreak in store for the Kanes, and Apophis still on the rise, the expected third book in the Kane Chronicles promises to be as lively, humorous, and welcome as the first two.—Horn Book

Elaborating on the ominous revelation that caps The Red Pyramid (Hyperion, 2010), this planned trilogy's middle episode sends dual narrators Carter and Sadie Kane from their newly established school for sorcerers in Brooklyn to the underworld realm of the Duat, leaving massive trails of destruction on their way to a first face-off with Apophis, snake god of Chaos. Given just five days to find the retired god Ra god of order, or ma'at before Apophis escapes millennia of confinement and destroys the universe, the squabbling sibs also have their own growing magical abilities to explore; hostile factions of both human wizards and Egyptian gods to battle; monsters to face; temptations to overcome; infatuations to work through; rescues to make; and, of course, plenty of digs, wisecracks, fashion notes, and teen chatter to deliver. Fortunately they have some sturdy allies notably Bes, the god of little people and memorable for more than just his Speedo with "Dwarf Pride" written on the butt that is his battle costume. Despite helpful lists of Egyptian deities and terms at the back, readers unfamiliar with the opener may have trouble at the beginning keeping up with both the continuing plotlines and the teeming cast, but Riordan kickstarts the action, never lets up on the gas, balances laughs and losses with a sure hand, and expertly sets up the coming climactic struggle without (thankfully) ending on a cliff-hanger. It's a grand ride so far, showing nary a sign of slowing down.—SLJ

VOYA - Sabina Bedford
Throne of Fire is a quick-paced story of a brother and sister in a storm of Egyptian magic. Through protagonists Sadie and Carter, Riordan creates a fantastically rendered pair of siblings just at the dawn of adulthood. It begins the way novelist Kurt Vonnegut would have loved: "as close to the end [of the world] as possible." Readers from eleven to adulthood will escape to this world beyond history. Reviewer: Sabina Bedford, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Jennifer Rummel
The second book of The Kane Chronicles picks up three months after The Red Pyramid, Book 1 (Hyperion, 2010)ends. The siblings and their associates attempt to break into a museum to locate the first part of the Book of Ra. Unfortunately, the museum and the scroll are both heavily protected by curses, magical guards, and a high-tech alarm system. They cause massive damage to the museum and just barely escape with their lives, but they obtain the first piece of the Book of Ra. They need to find and recover the other two pieces within four days. Carter and Sadie will use the Book of Ra to awaken the long-retired Egyptian god Ra in hopes that he can save the world from the chaos threatening to overtake it. The gods and magicians start taking sides, and Ra could be the world's only hope. Once again, the action follows audiorecorded events from Carter and Sadie. They speak directly to the readers and at times each other. Carter and Sadie face difficult choices and must overcome impossible odds to achieve their goal. Danger follows them, and they escape near-death scenarios, creating a fast—paced, exciting read. Sadie and Carter share their adventure with sarcasm, wit, humor, and courage. Throne of Fire is a breathless, action-packed tale that will leave readers clamoring for the next chapter. Reviewer: Jennifer Rummel
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Sadie and Carter Kane return in this second installment of "The Kane Chronicles" in all their wise-cracking, teen angsting, magical glory. The world is going to end in less than five days—at the Spring Equinox—unless they can (1) find all three parts of the book of Ra, (2) find the sun god Ra himself and wake him up, and (3) bring the gods and magicians of the world together to defeat the return of Apophis, the god of Chaos. All pretty typical stuff for the Kane family, we are reminded, who have nascent magical powers due to their Egyptian pharaoh ancestry. Enemies become allies, and they are all needed as Egyptian gods, evil magicians, demons and monsters are swarming to stop Carter and Sadie from succeeding in this fast-paced adventure. The story is told alternately from Sadie and Carter's point of view—ostensibly relayed to the book's author via an audiotape that he has transcribed. They strike just the right tone for siblings who have been raised largely apart but are now each other's only living family. Sadie and Carter's worries about boyfriends and girlfriends take on a bit of humor when said beings are not ordinary humans. This should appeal to both genders and may even spark interest in learning more about Egyptian history and mythology. Text is followed by a glossary of hieroglyphs, some Egyptian terms, and a list of the gods encountered. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Elaborating on the ominous revelation that caps The Red Pyramid (Hyperion, 2010), this planned trilogy's middle episode sends dual narrators Carter and Sadie Kane from their newly established school for sorcerers in Brooklyn to the underworld realm of the Duat, leaving massive trails of destruction on their way to a first face-off with Apophis, snake god of Chaos. Given just five days to find the retired god Ra—god of order, or ma'at—before Apophis escapes millennia of confinement and destroys the universe, the squabbling sibs also have their own growing magical abilities to explore; hostile factions of both human wizards and Egyptian gods to battle; monsters to face; temptations to overcome; infatuations to work through; rescues to make; and, of course, plenty of digs, wisecracks, fashion notes, and teen chatter to deliver. Fortunately they have some sturdy allies—notably Bes, the god of little people and memorable for more than just his Speedo with "Dwarf Pride" written on the butt that is his battle costume. Despite helpful lists of Egyptian deities and terms at the back, readers unfamiliar with the opener may have trouble at the beginning keeping up with both the continuing plotlines and the teeming cast, but Riordan kickstarts the action, never lets up on the gas, balances laughs and losses with a sure hand, and expertly sets up the coming climactic struggle without (thankfully) ending on a cliff-hanger. It's a grand ride so far, showing nary a sign of slowing down.—John Peters, formerly at New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423142010
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 8/14/2012
  • Series: Kane Chronicles Series , #2
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 23,681
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 7.46 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan (www.rickriordan.com) is the author of three different mythology-based series for Disney-Hyperion: the best-selling Percy Jackson series, the Kane Chronicles, and The Heroes of Olympus series. The first book in the Kane Chronicles, The Red Pyramid, was a number 1 New York Times bestseller. The five books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series have sold millions of copies, been published in more than thirty countries, and inspired a major motion picture. Rick's novels for adults include the hugely popular Tres Navarre series, winner of the top three awards in the mystery genre. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and two sons.

Biography

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a terrific YA series by former middle school teacher and mystery writer Rick Riordan that revamps Greek mythology in a fun, fresh way kids find enthralling. A trouble-prone teen with attention deficit disorder and dyslexia, Percy is the half-blood son of Poseidon, one of 12 Olympian gods making mischief right here in 21st-century America. Praised by critics, librarians, and teachers, the Percy Jackson books have been honored with numerous awards and appear consistently on The New York Times bestseller list.

The series grew out of a sequence of bedtime stories Riordan invented for his son Haley -- who, at eight, had just been diagnosed with learning disabilities. Although Haley was having trouble in school, he loved the Greek myths and asked his dad to tell him some stories about the gods and heroes. Riordan ran through the standards from mythology, then began to invent new tales featuring some of the same characters and introducing a brave boy hero enough like Haley to make things interesting!

Haley begged his father to write the stories down, and in 2005, The Lightning Thief was published to excellent reviews. It was an instant hit with preteens, who loved the concept of a kid much like themselves -- i.e., embroiled in the everyday problems of school, family, and relationships -- embarking on heroic quests, soothing vengeful gods, and battling monsters.

In addition to Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Riordan also writes books for adults, most notably a series of high-octane Tex-Mex thrillers featuring private investigator Jackson "Tres" Navarre, a complicated loner with an offbeat pedigree. (Tres -- pronounced "Trace" -- is a tai chi master with a Ph.D. in medieval literature who turns to detective work when he is unable to find a teaching job!) The first novel in the series, 1997's Big Red Tequila, scooped the Anthony and Shamus Awards, two of the three most prestigious prizes for Mystery & Crime fiction. Riordan completed the trifecta when his sequel, The Widower's Two-Step, won the coveted Edgar Award in 1999.

Between the two series, Riordan remains incredibly busy. For several years, he balanced writing with teaching English to middle school students. Reluctantly, he has left teaching (a career he thoroughly enjoyed) in order to write full-time, but he still harbors hopes that someday he'll return to the classroom. Meanwhile, he makes frequent visits to schools and enjoys meeting young readers on his book tours.

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    1. Hometown:
      San Antonio, TX
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 5, 1964
    2. Place of Birth:
      San Antonio, TX
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English and History, University of Texas

First Chapter

WARNING:
This is a transcript of an audio recording. Carter and Sadie Kane first made themselves known in a recording I received last year, which I transcribed as The Red Pyramid. This second audio file arrived at my residence shortly after that book was published, so I can only assume the Kanes trust me enough to continue relaying their story. If this second recording is a truthful account, the turn of events can only be described as alarming. For the sake of the Kanes, and for the world, I hope what follows is fiction. Otherwise we are all in very serious trouble.

CARTER

1. Fun with Spontaneous Combustion

Carter here.
Look, we dont have time for long introductions. I need to tell this story quickly, or we're all going to die.
If you didn't listen to our first recording, well . . . pleased to meet you: the Egyptian gods are running around loose in the modern world; a bunch of magicians called the House of Life is trying to stop them; everyone hates Sadie and me; and a big snake is about to swallow the sun and destroy the world.
[Ow! What was that for?]
Sadie just punched me. She says I'm going to scare you too much. I should back up, calm down, and start at the beginning.
Fine. But personally, I think you should be scared.
The point of this recording is to let you know what's really happening and how things went wrong. You're going to hear a lot of people talking trash about us, but we didn't cause those deaths. As for the snake, that wasn't our fault either. Well . . . not exactly. All the magicians in the world have to come together. It's our only chance.
So here's the story. Decide for yourself. It started when we set Brooklyn on fire.
*
The job was supposed to be simple: sneak into the Brooklyn Museum, borrow a particular Egyptian artifact, and leave without getting caught.
No, it wasn't robbery. We would have returned the artifact eventually. But I guess we did look suspicious: four kids in black ninja clothes on the roof of the museum. Oh, and a baboon, also dressed like a ninja. Definitely suspicious.
The first thing we did was send our trainees Jaz and Walt to open the side window, while Khufu, Sadie, and I examined the big glass dome in the middle of the roof, which was supposed to be our exit strategy.
Our exit strategy wasn't looking too good.
It was well after dark, and the museum was supposed to be closed. Instead, the glass dome glowed with light. Inside, forty feet below, hundreds of people in tuxedos and evening gowns mingled and danced in a ballroom the size of an airplane hangar. An orchestra played, but with the wind howling in my ears and my teeth chattering, I couldn't hear the music. I was freezing in my linen pajamas.
Magicians are supposed to wear linen because it doesn't interfere with magic, which is probably a great tradition in the Egyptian desert, where it's hardly ever cold and rainy. In Brooklyn, in March—not so much.
My sister, Sadie, didn't seem bothered by the cold. She was undoing the locks on the dome while humming along to something on her iPod. I mean, seriously—who brings their own tunes to a museum break-in?
She was dressed in clothes like mine except she wore combat boots. Her blond hair was streaked with red highlights—very subtle for a stealth mission. With her blue eyes and her light complexion, she looked absolutely nothing like me, which we both agreed was fine. It's always nice to have the option of denying that the crazy girl next to me is my sister.
"You said the museum would be empty," I complained.
Sadie didn't hear me until I pulled out her earbuds and repeated myself.
"Well, it was supposed to be empty." She'll deny this, but after living in the States for the last three months, she was starting to lose her British accent. "The Web site said it closed at five. How was I to know there'd be a wedding?"
A wedding? I looked down and saw that Sadie was right. Some of the ladies wore peach-colored bridesmaid dresses. One of the tables had a massive tiered white cake. Two separate mobs of guests had lifted the bride and groom on chairs and were carrying them through the room while their friends swirled around them, dancing and clapping. The whole thing looked like a head-on furniture collision waiting to happen.
Khufu tapped on the glass. Even in his black clothes, it was hard for him to blend into the shadows with his golden fur, not to mention his rainbow-colored nose and rear end.
"Agh!" he grunted.
Since he was a baboon, that could've meant anything from Look, there's food down there to This glass is dirty to Hey, those people are doing stupid things with chairs.
"Khufu's right," Sadie interpreted. "We'll have a hard time sneaking out through the party. Perhaps if we pretend we're a maintenance crew—"
"Sure," I said. "‘Excuse us. Four kids coming through with a three-ton statue. Just going to float it up through the roof. Don't mind us.'"
Sadie rolled her eyes. She pulled out her wand—a curved length of ivory carved with pictures of monsters—and pointed it at the base of the dome. A golden hieroglyph blazed, and the last padlock popped open.
"Well, if we're not going to use this as an exit," she said, "why am I opening it? Couldn't we just come out the way we're going in—through the side window?"
"I told you. The statue is huge. It won't fit through the side window. Plus, the traps—"
"Try again tomorrow night, then?" she asked.
I shook my head. "Tomorrow the whole exhibit is being boxed up and shipped off on tour."
She raised her eyebrows in that annoying way she has. "Perhaps if someone had given us more notice that we needed to steal this statue—"
"Forget it." I could tell where this conversation was going, and it wasn't going to help if Sadie and I argued on the roof all night. She was right, of course. I hadn't given her much notice. But, hey—my sources weren't exactly reliable. After weeks of asking for help, I'd finally gotten a tip from my buddy the falcon war god Horus, speaking in my dreams: Oh, by the way, that artifact you wanted? The one that might hold the key to saving the planet? It's been sitting down the street in the Brooklyn Museum for the last thirty years, but tomorrow it leaves for Europe, so you'd better hurry! You'll have five days to figure out how to use it, or we're all doomed. Good luck!
I could've screamed at him for not telling me sooner, but it wouldn't have made any difference. Gods only talk when they're ready, and they don't have a good sense of mortal time. I knew this because Horus had shared space in my head a few months ago. I still had some of his antisocial habits—like the occasional urge to hunt small furry rodents or challenge people to the death.
"Let's just stick to the plan," Sadie said. "Go in through the side window, find the statue, and float it out through the ballroom. We'll figure out how to deal with the wedding party when we get that far. Maybe create a diversion."
I frowned. "A diversion?"
"Carter, you worry too much," she said. "It'll be brilliant. Unless you have another idea?"
The problem was—I didn't.
You'd think magic would make things easier. In fact, it usually made things more complicated. There were always a million reasons why this or that spell wouldn't work in certain situations. Or there'd be other magic thwarting you—like the protective spells on this museum.
We weren't sure who had cast them. Maybe one of the museum staff was an undercover magician, which wouldn't have been uncommon. Our own dad had used his PhD in Egyptology as a cover to gain access to artifacts. Plus, the Brooklyn Museum has the largest collection of Egyptian magic scrolls in the world. That's why our uncle Amos had located his headquarters in Brooklyn. A lot of magicians might have reasons to guard or booby-trap the museum's treasures.
Whatever the case, the doors and windows had some pretty nasty curses on them. We couldn't open a magic portal into the exhibit, nor could we use our retrieval shabti—the magical clay statues that served us in our library—to bring us the artifact we needed.
We'd have to get in and get out the hard way; and if we made a mistake, there was no telling what sort of curse we'd unleash: monster guardians, plagues, fires, exploding donkeys (don't laugh; they're bad news).
The only exit that wasn't booby-trapped was the dome at the top of the ballroom. Apparently the museum's guardians hadn't been worried about thieves levitating artifacts out of an opening forty feet in the air. Or maybe the dome was trapped, and it was just too well hidden for us to see.
Either way, we had to try. We only had tonight to steal—sorry, borrow—the artifact. Then we had five days to figure out how to use it. I just love deadlines.
"So we push on and improvise?" Sadie asked.
I looked down at the wedding party, hoping we weren't about to ruin their special night. "Guess so."
"Lovely," Sadie said. "Khufu, stay here and keep watch. Open the dome when you see us coming up, yeah?"
"Agh!" said the baboon.
The back of my neck tingled. I had a feeling this heist was not going to be lovely.
"Come on," I told Sadie. "Let's see how Jaz and Walt are doing."

We dropped to the ledge outside the third floor, which housed the Egyptian collection.
Jaz and Walt had done their work perfectly. They'd duct-taped four Sons of Horus statues around the edges of the window and painted hieroglyphs on the glass to counteract the curses and the mortal alarm system.
As Sadie and I landed next to them, they seemed to be in the middle of a serious conversation. Jaz was holding Walt's hands. That surprised me, but it surprised Sadie even more. She made a squeaking sound like a mouse getting stepped on.
[Oh yes, you did. I was there.]
Why would Sadie care? Okay, right after New Year's, when Sadie and I sent out our djed amulet beacon to attract kids with magic potential to our headquarters, Jaz and Walt had been the first to respond. They'd been training with us for seven weeks, longer than any of the other kids, so we'd gotten to know them pretty well.
Jaz was a cheerleader from Nashville. Her name was short for Jasmine, but don't ever call her that unless you want to get turned into a shrub. She was pretty in a blond cheerleader kind of way—not really my type—but you couldn't help liking her because she was nice to everyone and always ready to help. She had a talent for healing magic, too, so she was a great person to bring along in case something went wrong, which happened with Sadie and me about ninety-nine percent of the time.
Tonight she'd covered her hair in a black bandanna. Slung across her shoulder was her magician's bag, marked with the symbol of lion goddess Sekhmet.
She was just telling Walt, "We'll figure it out," when Sadie and I dropped down next to them.
Walt looked embarrassed.
He was . . . well, how do I describe Walt?
[No thanks, Sadie. I'm not going to describe him as hot. Wait your turn.]
Walt was fourteen, same as me, but he was tall enough to play varsity forward. He had the right build for it—lean and muscular—and the dude's feet were huge. His skin was coffee-bean brown, a little darker than mine, and his hair was buzz cut so that it looked like a shadow on his scalp. Despite the cold, he was dressed in a black sleeveless tee and workout shorts—not standard magician clothes—but nobody argued with Walt. He'd been our first trainee to arrive—all the way from Seattle—and the guy was a natural sau—a charm maker. He wore a bunch of gold neck chains with magic amulets he'd made himself.
Anyway, I was pretty sure Sadie was jealous of Jaz and liked Walt, though she'd never admit it because she'd spent the last few months moping about another guy—actually a god—she had a crush on.
[Yeah, fine, Sadie. I'll drop it for now. But I notice you're not denying it.]
When we interrupted their conversation, Walt let go of Jaz's hands real quick and stepped away. Sadie's eyes moved back and forth between them, trying to figure out what was going on.
Walt cleared his throat. "Window's ready."
"Brilliant." Sadie looked at Jaz. "What did you mean, ‘We'll figure it out?'"
Jaz flapped her mouth like a fish trying to breathe.
Walt answered for her: "You know. The Book of Ra. We'll figure it out."
"Yes!" Jaz said. "The Book of Ra."
I could tell they were lying, but I figured it was none of my business if they liked each other. We didn't have time for drama.
"Okay," I said before Sadie could demand a better explanation. "Let's start the fun."
The window swung open easily. No magic explosions. No alarms. I breathed a sigh of relief and stepped into the Egyptian wing, wondering if maybe we had a shot at pulling this off, after all.
*
The Egyptian artifacts brought back all kinds of memories. Until last year, I'd spent most of my life traveling around the world with my dad as he went from museum to museum, lecturing on Ancient Egypt. That was before I knew he was a magician—before he unleashed a bunch of gods, and our lives got complicated.
Now I couldn't look at Egyptian artwork without feeling a personal connection. I shuddered when we passed a statue of Horus—the falcon-headed god who'd inhabited my body last Christmas. We walked by a sarcophagus, and I remembered how the evil god Set had imprisoned our father in a golden coffin at the British Museum. Everywhere there were pictures of Osiris, the blue-skinned god of the dead, and I thought about how Dad had sacrificed himself to become Osiris's new host. Right now, somewhere in the magic realm of the Duat, our dad was the king of the underworld. I can't even describe how weird it felt seeing a five-thousand-year-old painting of some blue Egyptian god and thinking, "Yep, that's my dad."
All the artifacts seemed like family mementos: a wand just like Sadie's; a picture of the serpent leopards that had once attacked us; a page from the Book of the Dead showing demons we'd met in person. Then there were the shabti, magical figurines that were supposed to come to life when summoned. A few months ago, I'd fallen for a girl named Zia Rashid, who'd turned out to be a shabti.
Falling in love for the first time had been hard enough. But when the girl you like turns out to be ceramic and cracks to pieces before your eyes—well, it gives "breaking your heart" a new meaning.
We made our way through the first room, passing under a big Egyptian-style zodiac mural on the ceiling. I could hear the celebration going on in the grand ballroom down the hallway to our right. Music and laughter echoed through the building.
In the second Egyptian room, we stopped in front of a stone frieze the size of a garage door. Chiseled into the rock was a picture of a monster trampling some humans.
"Is that a griffin?" Jaz asked.
I nodded. "The Egyptian version, yeah."
The animal had a lion's body and the head of a falcon, but its wings weren't like most griffin pictures you see. Instead of bird wings, the monster's wings ran across the top of its back—long, horizontal, and bristly like a pair of upside-down steel brushes. If the monster could've flown with those stubby things at all, I figured they must've moved like a butterfly's wings. The frieze had once been painted. I could make out flecks of red and gold on the creature's hide; but even without color, the griffin looked eerily lifelike. Its beady eyes seemed to follow me.
"Griffins were protectors," I said, remembering something my dad had once told me. "They guarded treasures and stuff."
"Fab," Sadie said. "So you mean they attacked . . . oh, thieves, for instance, breaking into museums and stealing artifacts?"
"It's just a frieze," I said. But I doubt that made anyone feel better. Egyptian magic was all about turning words and pictures into reality.
"There." Walt pointed across the room. "That's it, right?"
We made a wide arc around the griffin and walked over to a statue in the center of the room.
The god stood about eight feet tall. He was carved from black stone and dressed in typical Egyptian style: bare-chested, with a kilt and sandals. He had the face of a ram and horns that had partially broken off over the centuries. On his head was a Frisbee-shaped crown—a sun disk, braided with serpents. In front of him stood a much smaller human figure. The god was holding his hands over the little dude's head, as though giving him a blessing.
Sadie squinted at the hieroglyphic inscription. Ever since she'd hosted the spirit of Isis, goddess of magic, Sadie had had an uncanny ability to read hieroglyphs.
"KNM," she read. "That'd be pronounced Khnum, I suppose. Rhymes with ka-boom?"
"Yeah," I agreed. "This is the statue we need. Horus told me it holds the secret to finding the Book of Ra."
Unfortunately, Horus hadn't been very specific. Now that we'd found the statue, I had absolutely no idea how it was supposed to help us. I scanned the hieroglyphs, hoping for a clue.
"Who's the little guy in front?" Walt asked. "A child?"
Jaz snapped her fingers. "No, I remember this! Khnum made humans on a potter's wheel. That's what he's doing here, I bet—forming a human out of clay."
She looked at me for confirmation. The truth was, I'd forgotten that story myself. Sadie and I were supposed to be the teachers, but Jaz often remembered more details than I did.
"Yeah, good," I said. "Man out of clay. Exactly."
Sadie frowned up at Khnum's ram head. "Looks a bit like that old cartoon . . . Bullwinkle, is it? Could be the moose god."
"He's not the moose god," I said.
"But if we're looking for the Book of Ra," she said, "and Ra's the sun god, then why are we searching a moose?"
Sadie can be annoying. Did I mention that?
"Khnum was one aspect of the sun god," I said. "Ra had three different personalities. He was Khepri the scarab god in the morning; Ra during the day; and Khnum, the ram-headed god, at sunset, when he went into the underworld."
""That's confusing," Jaz said.
"Not really," Sadie said. "Carter has different personalities. He goes from zombie in the morning to slug in the afternoon to—"
"Sadie," I said, "shut up."
Walt scratched his chin. "I think Sadie's right. It's a moose."
"Thank you," Sadie said.
Walt gave her a grudging smile, but he still looked preoccupied, like something was bothering him. I caught Jaz studying him with a worried expression, and I wondered what they'd been talking about earlier.
"Enough with the moose," I said. "We've got to get this statue back to Brooklyn House. It holds some sort of clue—"
"But how do we find it?" Walt asked. "And you still haven't told us why we need this Book of Ra so badly."
I hesitated. There were a lot of things we hadn't told our trainees yet, not even Walt and Jaz—like how the world might end in five days. That kind of thing can distract you from your training.
"I'll explain when we get back," I promised. "Right now, let's figure out how to move the statue."
Jaz knitted her eyebrows. "I don't think it's going to fit in my bag."
"Oh, such worrying," Sadie said. "Look, we cast a levitation spell on the statue. We create some big diversion to clear the ballroom—"
"Hold up." Walt leaned forward and examined the smaller human figure. The little dude was smiling, like being fashioned out of clay was awesome fun. "He's wearing an amulet. A scarab."
"It's a common symbol," I said.
"Yeah . . ." Walt fingered his own collection of amulets. "But the scarab is a symbol of Ra's rebirth, right? And this statue shows Khnum creating a new life. Maybe we don't need the entire statue. Maybe the clue is—"
"Ah!" Sadie pulled out her wand. "Brilliant."
I was about to say, "Sadie, no!" but of course that would've been pointless. Sadie never listens to me.
She tapped the little dude's amulet. Khnum's hands glowed. The smaller statue's head peeled open in four sections like the top of a missile silo, and sticking out of its neck was a yellowed papyrus scroll.
"Voilà," Sadie said proudly.
She slipped her wand into her bag and grabbed the scroll just as I said, "It might be trapped!"
Like I said, she never listens.
As soon as she plucked the scroll from the statue, the entire room rumbled. Cracks appeared in the glass display cases.
Sadie yelped as the scroll in her hand burst into flames. They didn't seem to consume the papyrus or hurt Sadie; but when she tried to shake out the fire, ghostly white flames leaped to the nearest display case and raced around the room as if following a trail of gasoline. The fire touched the windows and white hieroglyphs ignited on the glass, probably triggering a ton of protective wards and curses. Then the ghost fire rippled across the big frieze at the entrance of the room. The stone slab shook violently. I couldn't see the carvings on the other side, but I heard a raspy scream—like a really large, really angry parrot.
Walt slipped his staff off his back. Sadie waved the flaming scroll as if it were stuck to her hand. "Get this thing off me! This is so not my fault!"
"Um . . ." Jaz pulled her wand. "What was that sound?"
My heart sank.
"I think," I said, "Sadie just found her big diversion."












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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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(269)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 5293 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Totally excited

    i love all of his work PJ and the Olympians, Red Pyramid, and The Lost Heroes is amazing. I don't know how he comes out with all these books so fast, but I am not complaining. I am on pins and needles waiting for this new book i know it wont disappoint he never dose! at least from my point of view!

    110 out of 154 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Great story

    Great story with colorful characters and a fast moving plot. It kept the kids entertained for hours. Days later, they were still talking about it.

    85 out of 100 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Quite Good

    I loved this book- it was hard to put down.

    71 out of 87 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 28, 2011

    i love this book!

    this is a fantastic book with percise egyptian knowledge with a twist. great book must read ... ;)scj

    55 out of 82 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read

    I loved the Kane Chronicles especially the second book! They keep you entertained for hours.

    41 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 13, 2011

    OMG

    OMG I CANT WAIT FOR THIS BOOK TO COME OUT!!!=D
    the cover look soooo awesome!I dont hav anything bad to say about his books only good ;)

    38 out of 75 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 9, 2011

    So excited

    I am way hyped for this book to come out!!! The first book was exceptionally good and I expect this one will be better. Keep it up Mr.Riordan!!

    34 out of 59 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Wow

    I love this book......personally, I think Rick Riordan is the best author in the entire universe. His other series-Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and Heroes of Olympus-are racing pretty equally in which which is better. Considering all of his writing, I am always super excited when a new Rick Riordan book comes out-my friends think its a little scary. But this book is amazing, none the less, and I would recomend it to anyone and everyone.

    31 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    I read this book

    I was reading this great book when a guy with a ski mask tried to steal my nook so i kicked his shins and ran for my life

    26 out of 113 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 3, 2011

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I pre ordered this on my nook color and i just started reading this its awsome im on chapter ten so ill be done by the end of the day. I love love love this aurthor but i want the second book to lost hero it dosent come out untill fall. BOO!!! :'(

    23 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 13, 2011

    Rick Riordan Has Done It Again!

    This book is even more funny and exciting than the first. With danger at ever turn, this book will keep you hooked until you finish the last page. Rick Riordan has done it again! Expertly written and certainly a page turner! I personally lve this book! You must get it!

    18 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2011

    Can't Wait for this next installment

    This is worth the wait. The first book was my first of Rick Riordan's. I loved the PJ and the Lightening Thief movie. The Red Pyramid was very entertaining. Hoping this second one is even better

    15 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Awsome book

    Just finished his the throne of fire and the aventure that Sadie and Carter had made me want to be them and then sometimes not really i hope his thrid book comes out some soon or im going to go crazy

    13 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 16, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    If you have not had the pleasure of reading one of Mr. Riordan's previous books, you have missed out on hours of imaginative story telling. His style of writting pushes the reader to the next chapter which makes it great for all ages.

    His story telling style resembles a slightly more mature Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. His books are not evolving with the reader as Harry Potter did, and I feel this is a compliment.

    If you want to read this book, I would recommend the first in the Kane Chronicle Series, but you will not be lost if you start with Throne of Fire.

    11 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2011

    Amazing!

    Wow! I can`t believe how amazing this is! It was so great I borrowed it whenever I could!

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2011

    Big jump!

    Rick Riordan's Throne of Fire is the most intriguing book of the series yet. The jump from the Red Pyramid is great. The beginning is hard to get into, but once you are into it, you can't put it down. I know I couldn't. Must read for everyone.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 17, 2011

    Wow!

    This book is wonderful! It has everything I could hope for from a book. It is one of my very favorite series that you are almost guarenteed to love. A must read!

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 16, 2011

    Best Book

    Such an book amazing almost as great as Harry Potter, literally such an amaxing author and books!

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2011

    AWESOME

    This book deserves 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 stars!

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Nah

    The beginning of The Red Pyramind was absoloutly fantastic. But its sad to say that as it went on it was one of the worst books i had ever read. I am sorry to say that this series is at Ricks worst, i could not even finish book 1. But the cover for this book is exxtremely awesome.

    7 out of 120 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 5293 Customer Reviews

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