Review: The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1)
Series: The Kane Chronicles #1
Also in this series: The Throne of Fire, The Serpent's Shadow
Released by Hyperion on 4 May 2010
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology
Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.
One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.
Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe - a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.
I bought this boxset of the Kane Chronicles when it was on sale online somewhere, and I thought ‘well I’ve read most of Rick Riordan’s other books, this series would probably be just as cool’. I didn’t really know much about Egyptian mythology, at least not as much as I did about Greek/Roman or Norse. So I kind of went into this story ‘blind’, only knowing that it all happens in the same universe (Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, Gods of Asgard, and now the Kane Chronicles too).
The Red Pyramid tells the story of fourteen-year-old Carter and his twelve-year-old sister Sadie Kane. Sadie has been living with their grandparents in London for years, while Carter has been traveling the world with their father. One night, the two meet again, but that is also the night everything goes wrong. Carter and Sadie find out that the ancient Egyptian Gods have escaped, and one of them in particular is trying to make their lives even more difficult than they are.
This book is a little bit different than Riordan’s usual recipe, but I liked it very much. There was still enough adventure and enough trouble for the Kane’s along the way (though it also made me a bit frustrated that so much went wrong). View Spoiler »One big difference between this series and Riordan’s other books is that the Kane’s aren’t demigods. They are magicians, who are also godlings (I believe that was the word that was used) who can host a god inside their bodies for a long time. I liked this difference, though I thought it was also a bit of a shame that they weren’t demigods. « Hide Spoiler. I still learned a couple of things about the Egyptian Mythology in a fun way, and that is what makes these books so amazing.
The main characters are Carter and Sadie, who are fourteen and twelve, but to be honest they felt so much older to me. They could have easily been made eighteen and sixteen, and I don’t think I would have noticed any difference. In fact, it may have made the characters even better in my opinion – because I did feel like they were too mature for their age. View Spoiler »Maybe they acted like this because they were hosting Horus and Isis, but still I think that even if that hadn’t happened they would have felt much older. « Hide Spoiler I also liked how Carter and Sadie were mixed race, though Carter looked more like their (black) father, and Sadie like their (white) mother, which got them a lot of weird looks every time they said they were siblings.
On their journey to stop Set, they meet a lot of characters, including a cat goddes named Bast, a babboon named Khufu and – wait for it – a crocodile named Philip of Macedonia. Just the (subtle) humour that Riordan puts in his books is amazing. But honestly, the book could have been shorter. It was a bit over 500 pages, and I think that some of the fights could have been deleted in order for them to get to Set sooner. Of course, being what Carter and Sadie are means they will be hunted forever, but still why so much trouble? I just feel so bad for these characters sometimes, they think ‘oh well that was the worst of it’, and then SOMETHING EVEN WORSE HAPPENS NEXT. *sighs*
The writing was amazing as usual, and there was one particular thing I liked more about these books than I did with all the others: it was first person narrative. The story was written as if Carter and Sadie were telling it to you (via recording, I believe) and so they had to tell the story from their point of view, and honestly that made it a lot better. I really wish Riordan had done this for all of his books, because I am just not a fan of third person narrative, especially not if there’s multiple POV’s.
Anyway, I really enjoyed The Red Pyramid and I will obviously pick up the next book, The Throne of Fire. If you loved Percy Jackson or Heroes of Olympus, and you want to learn more about Egyptian mythology, you should pick up these books!
My opinion in one gif: