The Kane Chronicles: The Throne of Fire

 

Set's plan to destroy North America with his "red pyramid" failed, thanks to Carter and Sadie Kane, hosts of Horus and Isis. But Set's plan revealed a much more frightening reality. Ma'at is weakening. The chaos serpent, Apophis, is rising. And if he succeeds, the entire world will be plunged into darkness.

But, standing in his way, are Carter and Sadie Kane. And they have an idea. In the olden days, Apophis feared only one person, the sun god Ra. Now, Carter and Sadie much venture deep into the duat, through the houses of night, and restore Ra to the throne of the Gods.

And they have just five days to do it.

 

 

 

/*** THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS ***\

**/** SPOILERS ARE PRESENT **\**

 

 

This book was heads and tails better than, The Red Pyramid. There was more action. The stakes were higher. And the pending, five-day deadline created a great sense of craziness.

Again, I'm going to comment on the beautiful cover art for this book. This is arguably one of the prettiest covers I've seen on a book before. Major props to the artists.

 

Now, onto the analysis of the story.

 

The story started off with a bang. Stealing a giant statue from a museum while a wedding was going on. And of course, as normally happens with the Kane's, chaos breaks out in minutes.

Sadie procures the Book of Ra, and sets fire to half of Brooklyn. This also awakens a griffin, which Carter named 'Freak'.

But most exciting of all were the Aarows of Sekhmet. We know the dangers of Sekhmet from the first book. And so, when I heard her name mentioned, I knew hell was going to break loose further. What I didn't expect was the fun warning one gave Carter.

Thankfully, it was also helpful in a way. Telling Carter that Zia was located in "The Place of Red Sands". Without that infromation, Ra may not have risen at all.

 

But I would like to get on with Freak. What fun a Griffin could be in this series. While not as fast a portal, Freak coul travel through the Duat and at any time, so it could be a transport method whenever they needed it. It would also work well as a defense for Brooklyn house. I think a lor of magicians would at leats back down if they attacked and then saw a griffin swooping down on them.

 

Next, the ba visions. Sadie's simply gave us our first look at Vladimir Menshikov (which also showed us where the second part of the Book of Ra was hidden), who would later be very important. But Carter's on the other hand, was much more interesting.

The vision of Apophis's scarab prison definantly completed its mission of scaring Carter. Beyond that, just foreshadowing another place we would see our protagonists later.

 

The next major talking point was Sadie's irresponsible trip to London for her birthday. The world is ending in five days, and all she can think about is seeing her friends and grandparents for her brithday. Priorities Sadie. Priorities. And just as Carter said, the trip would be dangerous.

I felt the whole ordeal with Nehkbet and Babi was kind of stupid. It wasn't really important in anyway (except that Anubis gave Sadie the sword), but it did give us some good action.

But the better point is: why the hell did Sadie's friends act so calm throughout all of this. They didn't know about any of the Egyptian gods stuff (or magicians for that matter), but they jus like accept Sadie's story. Any normal person would have dismissd that story as a creative day dream. But also, What did they actually see? They aren't magicians so they wouldn't see Nekhbet or Babi as they actually were. Nor would they see Anubis. But the did. Why??

 

Sadie's trip did give us an early introduction to Bes though. While I was completely for sending Bast back to battle Apophis, it happened. But Bes was pretty cool. The fast-driving, chocolate loving god was very helpful, especially in Russia and Egypt. The weird "BOO!!" power was interesting as well. But not particulalrly helpful, seeing as it only worked once. (It would have been fun if it was used to execrate Apophis though).

 

Now, Valdimir Menshikov. This guy was an unhelpful traitor. As well as a hypocrit. He summons Set at his house (he also knows his secret name). Then wants to execute Carter for hosting Horace. How much more hypocritical could you be. (Then again, Desjardins summoned Sekhmet in the first book for a similar reason). But the guy was also working for Apophis. Why did he think it would be a good idea to consult with the chaos serpent. Its like Luke in the PJO series. I guess Riordan's character's never learn from eachother.

And a question that was constantly being asked throughout the book: Did Apophis (Menshikov) want Ra to rise with him? It seemes it at sometimes. Carter and Sadie stealing the second Book of Ra sure was easy. A lot easier then it should have been. But Menshikov then tracked down Carter in Egypt to execute him. And then he was happy that Apophis wouldn't have to hunt down Ra in the duat when Sadie and Carter showed up with him.

 

Next, the peculiur actions of the god of evil, Set. Since when does Set become helpful? When Carter attacks a two headed snake. Thats when. First, he takes Sadie and Carter to Bes. Then reveals where the last book fo Ra was located (of course Sadie had to give up his secret name for that info). And then he willingly tells Sadie the name of Zia's village. Thats called being helpful. And it doesn't fit our idea of Set, the god of evil. Ol' well.

 

Now, onto one of the more important ba travels in the series. Sadie's ba goes back in time and witnesses the act of Ra giving his secret name to Isis. During that act, Sadie discovers what the name is. Its the sum of experiences of a person or deity. That becomes incredibly important when she saves Carter from the Tjesu Heru venom, but also while awakening Ra, and some more in the last book. Congratulations, Sadie. You win he prize for most important discovery in this book.

 

Now, after Sadie's ill advised trip to London, Carter needs to even the score, and takes an ill advised trip to "The Place of Red Sands" to save Zia. Of all the, The-World-is-Getting-Ready-to-End, stories I've read, I've nvere read one where the protagonists are so selfish. Lets go save a girl then the world. Lets celebarte my birthday four days before the world is getting ready to end.

And so, Carter goes off to rescue Zia. This is where Carter discovers something about accessing Horace's power. A similar expereience is all that's needed for him to channel the god's power. He relates it to sympathetic magic, where you use a smaller copy of something to manipulate a larger copy. Other than that the trip to "The Place of Red Sand" was uneventfu. Except of course, that Carter and Bes find the Crook and Flail of Ra hidden with Zia. (Though it was funny that Zia had little memory of Carter and no feelings for him).

 

While Carter is off finding his girlfriend, Sadie and Walt are tracking down the third and final book of Ra. While the actual finding of the book isn't super important, this is where we finally find out what Walt has been hiding for the duration of the book.

It turns out, Walt is related to the Pharaoh Akhenaten and King Tut. But he suffers from a curse that was placed on his familt eons agao by the followers of Amun-Ra. They cursed the Akhenaten family because the Pharoah had renounced the original gods and instead worshipped only the solar disc. Apparently, this was a major crime back then.

It going to be fun next book to see how this curse, and his imminant death, will be combatted by Carter and Sadie. And we can all believe that Sadie will stop at nothing to save him.

 

We're getting near the end of the book now and that leaves the Houses of Night and the Battle for Brooklyn House.

 

Since it was first, the Houses of Night. The first three weren't very interesting, just the giant Khnum asking for his secret name. Nothing much. Then the lake of fire. Again; nothing major. But then the duo come to Sunny Acres. A rest home for the gods.

This where they find out that they do have a schedule in the duat. If they take longer than twelve hours to get through the duat, the sun will rise regardless, trapping them and Ra in the duat while Apophis razes the Earth into chaos.

This is also where they find Ra. Good thing Sadie is a good reader and fast thinker. Otherwise, they may have never found Ra to begin with. And good thing that Anubis gave Sadie the death sword, or she would have burnt up reading the second portion of the book. That would have been interesting.

The next major part of the Houses of Night was the one in the Underworld. Where Sadie and Carter play the moon god in Senet for extra hours to get through the eighth house. This is also where poor Bes gets his soul "eaten". Poor Bes. But sacrifices must be made in a war. And they most certainly were in a war.

After that, they claim the House of challenges was not very challenging so that leaves only one thing left. Face down Apophis with Ra on their side.

 

Unfortunately, Ra was semi-attentive baby when the face down began. And this is where we confirm what we believed about Menshikov. He is indeed working for Apophis. And he becomes the main worker for Apophis, like Face of Horror in the last book.

Desjardins also makes an appearance here, but as a good guy. He finally thought it over and came to the conclusion that to defeat Apophis, the Path of the Gods would have to be followed by at least some people. And so he does the last thing he can.

Desjardins attempts an execration of Apophis. We heard about execrations in the Winter Palace with Menshikov. It involved destroying or banishing an immortal deity. Pretty handy. One problem though. Apophis was too powerful and Desjardins wasn't powerful enough. The execration only bought the world some time. (**Spoiler** its only six months).

 

And that leaves just the Battle for Brooklyn House left. The Kane's and Ra come out of the duat and immediately go to booklyn. And attack. The attack was already underway. But its helpful when Carter shows up as a fifteen foot combat avatar and the retired God of the sun appears out of no where for the first time in an eon. Needless to say, after that, the battle wasn't too much of a battle. More like a massive retreat,

 

And with Desjardins dead from his semi effective execration spell, the role of chief lector falls to Amos. Not the best thing for the House of Life, who still despise the Kane family. But again, ol' well.

 

And with that one more thing. This can be seen througout Riordan's books. The smallest things, like the Carter statue, and the sword from Anubis, play huge roles in the end. Riordan definantly knows how to incorporate even the smallest things into his books. And he does a good job if it.

 

With that, the sun-god has risen. Apophis has fallen, kind of. And the world if safe, for now. But Apophis is not finished. See if Carter and Sadie can defeat him in the final book, The Serpent's Shadow.