Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Throne of Fire (MG)

The Throne of Fire. Kane Chronicles #2 Rick Riordan. 2011. Hyperion. 464 pages.

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.

The sequel to Rick Riordan's The Red Pyramid. Once again it is narrated by a brother-sister team, Carter (14), and Sadie (13). These two were raised apart and they're only now getting to know one another. But surviving dangerous situations one after another after another has helped these two bond a bit. Though they still bicker over who gets to tell what as the story unfolds. In this adventure, the two are looking to piece together the Book of Ra (it is in three sections, each hidden in a secret location). They're hoping the Book of Ra will help them resurrect Ra, a retired Egyptian god. A god they're hoping will be strong enough to help them defeat Apophis. And to add to the pressure, they only have a week to do it.

I'm not a big fan of how this one is told. Of how the book(s) are being recorded on audio, of how both are hoping that by sharing their stories other magicians will step forth to help the two battle the forces of evil and save the world.

And I'm not a big fan of the alternating narrators. It's not that I dislike either Carter or Sadie. It's just that I feel if it was told by one character, that maybe just maybe I'd connect more with the story? I'm not sure if it's the way the story is told or if it's just the story itself.

While I'm mentioning all the little things I didn't quite love, let me focus on the "romance." For me. It distracts from the story. To have Carter DROP EVERYTHING because he discovers the location of a certain someone?! To leave the saving the world to his sister and her friend just so that he can find her, "save" her, and maybe just maybe see if she feels the same way about him as he does about her?! I mean when I got to that section I was like YOU'RE KIDDING ME?! HE'S REALLY GOING TO DO THAT? And I felt the same way when Sadie left Carter--earlier in the novel--to go London so she could celebrate her birthday party with some friends. I mean the world is ending in less than five days and instead of finding a way to STOP it from ending, you want to party?! And Sadie's interest in Anubis and Walt?! It felt weird to me. Not necessarily her having crushes on them both. But on either one being even remotely interested in her in that way. I mean she *just* turned thirteen. And Walt is sixteen. And Anubis--well he's a god, and she's human. I thought the book had more than enough drama without Carter and Sadie being distracted by puppy love.

So what did I love? Well, I loved how compelling the second half of this novel was. I mean once the action starts, it STARTS. And it's hard to put it down once it starts getting good. Once things start to come together, I wasn't distracted by the things that didn't quite work for me. I just had to keep reading; I had to know what happened next.

The Throne of Fire has action, adventure, and drama. Also mythology--Egyptian mythology--of course.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

6 comments:

Ms. Yingling 4:41 AM  

I ordered five copies of this but will have to wait until school is over to read this. The alternating narrators didn't work for me. Have to see how it goes.

Melissa 10:00 AM  

You're not the first person to mention the romance thing, though the other review I read mentioned it was because of Carter and Sadie's ages that it bothered them.

I liked it well enough, but agree it's just not the best Riordan has to offer.

Lena Sledge 11:27 AM  

Thanks for the review. I bought this book, and not knowing there was a prequel, so I haven't read it yet. I was hoping my son would read them first. But now I'm wondering if that's a great idea or not. Maybe I should read them both first.

Anonymous,  3:17 AM  

I enjoyed the book, yet I found that author had made a mistake about how Sadie did everything and Carter was no more than a side kick, I thought that at these points the book should be called The chronicles of Sadie Kane

Anonymous,  9:37 PM  

I absolutely loved the books. I think you are wrong, I believe he was trying something new. It was a great book and I recommend it to EVERYONE!

Anonymous,  11:07 PM  

this book is great! I love Rick Riordan!

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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