Book Review -The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

Close your eyes

Hold on, that doesn’t work because you’ll have to read this.

Damn

Picture this then, you’re in a small room quite similar to that of an art gallery with pristine white walls and sterile air. In front of you are two white marble pedestals, on top of one of the pedestals is an ocean green Greek trident; when you look at it you hear voices of philosophers in your head like Aristotle and construction works of engineering and scientific discovery, you see fights across great plains and statues of gods like Zeus and Athena erected and worshiped. You turn to the second pedestal, on it stands a Roman Praetor’s helmet; you see large armies form behind battle standards, their polished helmets glinting in the sun, you see large meetings of Senates and hear the voices of politicians but then your thought process is interrupted. There’s something else in the room, something emitting energy that’s seeping into your bones and electrifying you, the room temperature is increasing, the white tiles under your feet turns to sand and the rest of the room falls away and leaves a vast desert. In front of you on an obsidian black pedestal is a pharaohs crown, you reach out to hold it but instead you grasp a book covered in sand, you remove the sand enough to see it’s title, there in gold lettering it reads “The Kane Chronicles“.

I loved Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books as well as the Heroes of Olympus set but the one that had me, and still does is unequivocally the Kane Chronicles trilogy.

The series depicts the lives of newly reunited brother and sister Carter and Sadie Kane whom, due to a tragic catalyst are thrust into the world of Egyptian gods and monsters. The two, forced to navigate their way around the world of Egyptian mythology in order to save what they love must also navigate the treachery of the real world together while so far from alike -Sadie a young woman of similar complexion to their white mother, raised by her grandparents in London and prone to a rebellious streak.

If people are going to single me out, I might as well give them something to stare at -Sadie Kane, The Red Pyramid.

Carter, a young man of similar complexion to their black father, raised and home-schooled by their father as they traveled the world and lived on a suitcase during his father’s archeologist explorations. He was taught and raised to be immaculate, gentlemanly, disciplined and soak up basketball stats like a sponge.

“My name is Carter Kane. I’m fourteen and my home is a suitcase.” -Carter Kane, The Red Pyramid

Unlike Greek or Roman mythology I’ve always found Egyptian mythology slightly frightening when I was younger. I would read an article or two before bed and completely fail to sleep, so when I came across a novel series that depicts everything Egyptian, not just back then were the Pyramids were one of the biggest man-made constructions but even now in our modern world and then put into the lenses of teenagers whose personalities and experiences couldn’t have been more polarised, resulted in a brilliant three part series that I couldn’t help but read and enjoy. The immersion of Egyptian gods, monsters, and actual detailed historical facts did well to give you a picture of what it would have been like centuries ago while the combination with the modern world plays with your imagination, like giving you the absurd mental picture of a regal Egyptian god in a three-piece suit.

The addition of the intricacies of youth such as drama, relationships, becoming of age let’s you relate, stirs the emotions a bit and gives life and comedy to what would then have been a sombre documentary on Egypt. A lot of moments in the books transcend the Egyptian plot such as how the world views Sadie and Carter as siblings with different skin complexions and how they see the world, quite a few moments bring you back in real life until you get hooked and reeled back into the madness again.

The beauty is found when it lets your imagination dance around so much that the lines between what’s real and what isn’t start to blur. When you mentally stop trying to differentiate but simply read, get fascinated by a deity drinking a glass of coffee or play chess or laugh when a feline goddess gets catty, the Kane Chronicles gives you that space and a great story-line to bargain. It’s historically informative, a great laugh, entertaining and very insightful.

The Kane Chronicles.
I deeply recommend.

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