With the Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan speaks directly to the part of my soul that is still unabashedly in love with Hercules and Xena. The expert handling of the myriad stories of Greek gods is done in such a phenomenal way that it is no wonder that they are a run-away hit of YA delightfulness.
But, Canaries, did you know that Riordan writes another series? And that this one speaks directly to the tatoo on my foot that has the funny angstrom-A from Stargate?
In the Kane Chronicles, Riordan tells the story of Carter and Sadie Kane, blood of the Pharaohs, magicians in the House of Life, and erst-while hosts to Horus and Isis. The books are darker than their Greek counterparts, both in content and consequences, but they still have Riordan’s trademark humor which is infinitely amplified by the excellent portrayal of a brother-sister relationship. They are fast-paced, utterly engaging and the audiobooks are pretty much my favorite pieces of recording this side of James Marsters’ Harry Dresden.
And, amazingly, I don’t think anyone is reading them. Okay, obviously someone is reading them. It is Riordan, after all. But for all of my friends that gobble up Percy Jackson as fast as the books come out, none of them seem to have cracked the Kane Chronicles. Well, I’m here to encourage you: the third book in the series drops today. Get ye to a bookstore and read ‘em all. Stick those pdf files on your e-readers. You’ll thank me — I promise. Need more enticing? Here’s the premise of the first two books:
Book One: The Red Pyramid
Christmas Eve is always an awkward time for the Kane Family. Most of the year, twelve-year-old Sadie lives in London with her grandparents while her brother, fourteen-year-old Carter, and their dad travel all over the world for the elder Kane’s job as a world-renown Egyptologist. But Christmas Eve is a visitation day, a 12-hour period that they have to spend pretending to actually be a family. And this time it looks like the day will be even more unbearable, as Papa Kane has decided to spend it at the British Museum of National History.
But what should have been a boring visit takes a sudden turn to the bizarre when their father blows up the Rosetta Stone with magic, a process that releases five of the most powerful gods of the Egyptian pantheon — two of which immediately take up lodging in the heads of Sadie and Carter. Their father is trapped in a coffin and banished to the underworld, and it is up to the Kane children to learn how to use their magic and control the new voices in their heads if they have any hope of defeating the evil Set and rescuing their father.
Book Two: The Throne of Fire
Carter and Sadie didn’t quite rescue their father. He’s permanently intertwined with Osiris and ruling the underworld. But at least he has a job with clear directions. At the opening of the second book, the Kane siblings and their new initiate magicians at Brooklyn house are trying to figure out how to go about raising Ra, the sleeping sun god who is the only one who may have the power to defeat Apophis, who is hellbent on driving the world into Chaos. And they have to be careful about it, because the other magicians from the House of Life are watching their every move, dead-set against the Kanes’ plan to follow the path of the gods and learn how to properly tap into divine magic in order to defeat their enemy.
The Kanes only have five days to figure out how to wake Ra. And save their new friend Walt, who is suffering under a mysterious curse. And figure out the location of the place of red sands, the place where the real version of Carter’s almost-girlfriend-who-turned-out-to-be-a-lifelike-clay-replica is sleeping. And somewhere in there, Sadie would really like to squeeze in a 13th birthday party for herself, thank you very much.
All in a week’s work for the Kanes.
Book Three: The Serpent’s Shadow
The third book (and last) in the Kane Chronicles series is sure to bring plenty of action, suspense and ridiculously funny banter as the Kane siblings once again try to thwart the rising of Apophis, an Egyptian god bent on bringing capital-C Chaos to the world. Read more about it in our Monday Mine Inspection, where we take a quick peek at this and a few other awesome titles coming out this week.
Here’s the real question…if Greek and Egyptian mythologies faced off, which side would win?