The Kane Chronicles, Book Two The Throne of Fire (Anglais) Broché – 14 août 2012
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Witty and inspired. Gripping, touching and deliciously satirical (Times )
A fantastic blend of myth and modern (Eoin Colfer, author of Artemis Fowl )
Sure to become a classic (Sunday Express ) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .
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Young fans of the Percy Jackson series may find themselves a bit slower to warm up to this one. Not impossible, mind you, and I think all of them will still thoroughly enjoy these books. However, I noticed that my ten-year-old was taking longer to read this one, just as he had with book one, The Red Pyramid.
I think the reason for this is not that the books are less well-written, or the characters less well-drawn. These books are every bit as exciting and character-driven as their predecessors. However, they are a bit more densely-packed with unfamiliar information. Geographically, they range much farther than the Percy Jackson series does. Percy's quests take place in the United States. If my son had a question about a location, he usually didn't have to go farther than asking me in order to get more information. Additionally, the mythology itself was more accessible to him (and me). I can't think of any Disney cartoons off the top of my head that deal with Egyptian gods.
Once he realized during the first book that this was slowing him down, he took to reading it near the computer. We bought this book on Kindle, in order to have immediate access to helpful websites, and, suddenly, this is more like his own quest than just a book. He's learning, and he's loving it.
This book, like the last is told from the points of view of dual protagonists: Carter Kane and Sadie Kane. For kids, this may be a bit daunting, as the switch back and forth involves two distinctly drawn characters with different voices. I like it, because my son, who normally shies away from books with female protagonists, is absolutely willing to read this. Thank you, Rick Riordan, for doing something about the bias in kidlit and helping our next generation to learn how to see things from different points of view.
The book contains just enough exposition to get you through it if you haven't read the first (for example, if your child gets this as a gift, you won't have to run straight out and buy the first book before he or she reads this one; however, your child probably will want to read the first book at some point).
Themes you may want to discuss with your child upon reading:
Empire - the concept of empire plays huge in this series, perhaps even more than it did in the Percy Jackson series. This makes the books both relevant and relatable to current events, if you want to bring them up with your child. There's nothing heavy-handed, though, or preachy or judgmental or especially patriotic, so if you prefer to avoid the topic, you won't be asked any questions you prefer not to answer.
Family - The Percy Jackson series was replete with absentee father issues. The Kane chronicles begin with the loss of a father by two kids who had already lost their mother. To make matters worse, the siblings have been separated for years and they do not resemble each other at all. The books so far have dealt deftly with the kids' discoveries of common ground and likenesses, despite their early separation, and the concepts of love and family are never far beneath the surface.
Chaos versus Order - this is the nature of the struggle, and the book doesn't present the choice as an easy one.
I'm still reading most of what my son reads, and I enjoyed this one as much as he did. I'm looking forward to the next installment, and so is he.
To add to all the confusion, Carter has found some information leading to Zia's possible location. In this fresh, intense, and humorous race, it is all about the Throne of Fire.
I liked this book even more than the first in the series. It is in many ways, similar. A race to save the world in just a few days, with several battles and bits of humor along the way. This tends to be the pattern in Riordan's mythology books. The difference in this book is that it has a theme of identity. None of his other mythology books seem to as clearly have a theme. A great sequel. I liked how it went further into Egyptian mythology. Very excited for the next, and final book in the Kane Chronicles!
I confess I do not enjoy the Egyptian mythology series, The Kane Chronicles, AS MUCH as the Greek mythology series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, or the other new Greco-Roman mythology series, The Heroes of Olympus. However, I do enjoy all of these, and I think they are excellent for all ages. He is enriching our interest in ancient mythologies, and making us look at all mythologies in a humorous way.
This second book of The Kane Chronicles is a little darker than the first book, but there are still plenty of hilarious moments, some comic relief I found timely. New characters are introduced, and we are brought in contact with previous characters, some of which we were not sure we would see in this installment. The new characters span a continuum from good to evil, and bring elements of comedy and tragedy.
I will not give the details of the story, but if you have read the first novel, you already know Apophis, the deification of chaos and evil, is rising in this novel. You may already know, also, that a particular god must be woken if Apophis is to be properly opposed and the balance preserved between Chaos and Ma'at.
This book is highly recommended for anyone with a sense of humor that also has interest in ancient cultures and myth.
As in the first novel in the series, this book alternates narrators between brother and sister Sadie and Carter Kane. The first book was more a book of discovery and introduction to the world. They learned about their ties to Egyptian past and their abilities to wield magic through their ties to the House of Life.
This second book takes us on a new journey of adventure in which the Kanes are hunted both by human magicians from the House of Life (who are against magicians aligning themselves with the gods) and from the Egyptian gods and goddesses who are trying to free Apophis, the ancient lord of Chaos who will destroy the world.
In the previous book, Carter and Sadie were serving as vessels for the gods Horus and Isis. In this book, they still have links to those gods but no longer posses their essence/skill. Thus, the young novices are in even more dire straits than before. Fortunately they have allies willing to help them, but only to an extent. Even with the help of some minor gods, the Kanes still have to do a lot of the heavy work themselves.
There are also strange moments of romantic tension in the book. Carter is pining after the co-starring heroine from the first book (Zia) and Sadie is caught in a love triangle between the god Anubis and a mortal magician she's training. Carter is a little older than Sadie (I think he's 14 and she's 13 in this book), but they still seem a little young to be having so many romantic thoughts...especially in the middle of a world-ending crisis. I guess moments of intensity can lead to intense emotions, but the romantic longings still felt misplaced. Fortunately they weren't terribly overt.
I still find this series a bit slower read than the Percy Jackson series but at the same time it's a bit more interesting and educational since I know less about the Egyptian mythos. I really enjoy the alternate voices of Carter and Sadie. They are both sarcastic and witty but they also have distinct tones and reactions, which makes the narrative deeper and more engaging. I also had a lot of fun with some of the new characters introduced to the mix (the god Bes was very funny).
I found the adventure/plot of this book more intriguing than that of book 1. Looking back at the Red Pyramid, that plot from a high level is very much boilerplate adventure. While this second book still has a lot of standard tropes or cliches from adventure novels, the method of execution felt more fresh and engaging and left me enjoying this book more than the first.
4 out of 5 stars
This book was better than the first and funny. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a fun read.
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