Rick Riordan is the author behind the Percy Jackson book series, which I’ve read and enjoyed.
While the Percy Jackson books are about Greek mythology, Riordan, a history teacher, admitted that if there’s a culture that tops the Greek one in class discussions, it’s the Egyptian ancient culture (obviously not the current one).
And so, it is from that basis that he wrote his second book series (there’s also a third one being a continuation of the Percy Jackson series and titled: The Heroes of Olympus): The Kane Chronicles.
The first book of the series is titled The Red Pyramid and it follows the lives of Sadie and Carter Kane, two siblings, who lose their mother to mysterious causes and are forced to live apart for six years: Carter globe-trotting with his Egyptologist father and Sadie with her grandparents, in London.
However, on Christmas eve, as Carter and his father Julius show up in London for their annual visit of Sadie, a sense of alarm is in the air but the kids do not know the cause. And when their dad takes them to the British Museum to examine the Rosetta Stone and ultimately destroying it, it is revealed that their dad is not a regular human. He can do magic. And soon enough, it is revealed that they are both descended from powerful Royal Egyptian bloodlines, making them both Magicians and holding the blood of the Pharaohs.
However, with power comes persecution – especially when both Sadie and Carter are truly clueless about the power they have. And when both start to have visions that foretell the Egyptian God Set preparing the destruction of North America, they must do all they can to stop him.
The interesting thing about Riordan’s books is that, even though they might be childish at times, they still hold very interesting material for you to read and it offers that material in a rather entertaining context. In this case, I am personally much more interested in Egyptology than I am with Greek mythology so I was positively entertained when the author used the stories of Egyptian gods to advance his plot.
The characters jump around many parts of the world using portals. They go from London to New York to Cairo to Paris to Memphis to Phoenix and Washington. Mix all of that in a rather tightly-packed book and you’re offered with a story that doesn’t let down. There’s always something happening.
Moreover, the writing style adopted by Riordan for this book is interesting. The book starts by saying that he received the text as a recording from both Sadie and Carter and that the book is more or less the transcript.
The book itself can be separated into two major parts that intertwine: the part told by Sadie and the part told by Carter, both of which are subtly quite different since both characters have different interests.
All in all, The Red Pyramid, albeit being a little hard to get into at first, is a very entertaining book for anyone who’s read the Percy Jackson books and liked them. It is the first book of the Kane Chronicles trilogy.
Review of book two: The Throne of Fire coming up tomorrow.