Sunday, 24 March 2013

Book review: The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

Be careful what you summon!
In ancient times, the magicians of Egypt were recognized as the best in the world. Each god’s temple had a branch called the House of Life, where magicians were trained to battle monsters, duel enemy sorcerers, and when necessary, even do combat with the gods themselves.
What if the House of Life still existed? 
When a magical accident unleashes the Egyptian gods into the modern world, Carter and Sadie Kane discover that they are descended from the most powerful Egyptian magicians, and only they have the power to set things right! 
Join their adventures against the mythical forces of Ancient Egypt in The Kane Chronicles.(Summary from Rick Riordan's website)

I just finished The Serpent's Shadow - the third and last instalment in The Kane Chronicles - and decided that instead of reviewing only that one book, I'd review that  whole trilogy.
Now, I love Rick Riordan, he's an amazing writer - probably one of my favourites. He did not disappoint with The Kane Chronicles. It was a great trilogy, and I'm quite sad that it's over. It's focused a lot on Egyptian mythology, just like Percy Jackson and the Olympians in on Greek mythology. But the two series are still totally different. That is something I was afraid of when I picked up The Red Pyramid, I'd been afraid it'd be just like PJO. It isn't. If you ask me, this trilogy is so much more complicated, and that's not because Rick has intentionally made it that way. Egyptian mythology just is more complicated that Greek. And I have learned so much from this series, all I know about Egyptian gods and believes I have learned from The Kane Chronicles, nothing is from school.
It isn't just my interest in mythology that makes me love The Kane Chronicles, but it's also the characters and the plot. Sadie and Carter Kane grow so much during the three books. In the beginning of The Red Pyramid they barely know each other, and they are both just two kids. Now, when I've finished to trilogy, I find it hard to think of them as a 13 and a 15 year old, because they seem so grown up. Rick also portrays that gods perfectly (not that I know much about their personalities from elsewhere). He even managed to make me fall in love with a short, loud, and ugly dwarf god in speedos. How many people can do that? There is also a love triangle in The Kane Chronicles, but don't let that prevent you from reading it, because Rick Riordan knows how to write love triangles. He doesn't let them take over to book, and he solves them in a way that makes all three parties happy. The triangle in The Kane Chronicles is between the god of death and funerals, Anubis, Sadie Kane, and the trainee Walt Stone. I - with the help of my bad luck - managed to get spoiled on how the triangle ended before I read it. I won't say what happened, but I will say that it was a brilliant way to solve the problem.
The Kane Chronicles in narrated be both Carter and Sadie, when they take turns retelling their story to a recorder, which they then mail to Rick and he writes it down. This is a great way of writing, because not only does it let us look into the minds of both siblings instead of only one, but I could use this fact to reassure myself that they were both going to be fine every time I was sure one of them was about to die. This happened a lot. Rick Riordan is such a great writer, though, that many times I was positive that the world would end and Carter and Sadie would die, even though I knew that they wouldn't.
I think that the only downside the The Kane Chronicles id the terrible character art (sorry, whoever designed them, but they're not pretty). That doesn't affect the actual books, though, so it's fine.

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