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Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos

(Theodosia Throckmorton #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  7,243 ratings  ·  657 reviews
Theodosia Throckmorton has her hands full at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London.

Her father may be head curator, but it is Theo - and only Theo - who is able to see all the black magic and ancient curses that still cling to the artifacts in the museum. Sneaking behind her father's back, Theo uses old, nearly forgotten Egyptian magic to remove the curses and pro
Hardcover, 344 pages
Published April 9th 2007 by Houghton Mifflin
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,243 ratings  ·  657 reviews

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colleen the convivial curmudgeon
I became aware of this series through's "People who like X book also read Y" book listing. It was under the listing for the Enola Holmes books, which I love, and the premise of this series seemed wonderful - Nancy Drew crossed with Indiana Jones. (While reading it, I thought more of the "Mummy" movie with Brendan Frasier, which I quite enjoy).

However... *sigh*

Other reviews have commented on a few flaws in the book. An American author writing British characters, and with the nigh inevi
Jul 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Like Roald Dahl's Matilda before her, Theodosia Throckmorton can't get any respect. At the young age of eleven she already has a formidable knowledge of Egyptian theology and black magic but her parents are too consumed with running their museum of antiquities to notice. Even worse, the elder Throckmortons often unwittingly place themselves in harm's way, forcing Theodosia to rescue them (but always behind the scenes in order to spare their pride.) I think kids will love the many jabs at adults' ...more
This was adorable! I SO would have eaten it up at 10-12 years-old! I think the reader, Charlotte Perry, made it even more delightful.
I liked Theodosia's spunk and cleverness; I'm a sucker for headstrong, independent, creative heroines. I also like that it's strongly hinted that she has access to magic that most people don't and that the Egyptian gods and goddesses are watching over her, but that's not central to her point of view - she knows she has skills and she assumes most people do or she w
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have to admit that I enjoyed this story more than I thought I would. The magic of visiting Egypt and climbing to the top of the pyramid of Cheops really appealed to me. To sail on the ocean in a steamship (not to mention, getting there as a stowaway). To visit Alexandria. To ride on a train to Ciaro and visit a biazzar. To visit an archeological dig in the Valley of Kings. Wonderful!

I was a little annoyed with the young girl in the story at first. She seemed a little too much . I quickly grew
- Short review -
Theodosia Throckmorton is essentially the female lovechild of Amelia Peabody and Walter Emerson (from the Amelia Peabody novels). Read it.

- Long review -
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos was an absolutely delightful experience. I was drawn to the cover and the premise from the beginning but as all good things which appear too good, I had my doubts. But without stressing too much, I dove into this book and was not disappointed by the journey it took me on!

Theodosia, a child
Miss Clark
Egypt. Magic. Mystery. Museums. Curses and cutthroats. Nazis. Secret societies and stowaways. Did I mention Egypt and mummies?

It is fun, engaging, with the promise of more to come, including, hopefully, more explanation regarding Theo's unique abilities.
Barb Middleton
Feb 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I like fantasy ...fantasy movies ...fantasy books ...and no matter how mediocre the movie or book, I know there will be action, adventure, and magic. Give me a big screen, a bowl of popcorn, a soda and I'm entertained.

This book was just that ...entertaining and fun. It has flaws but in the end, it satisfies. While certain parts of the story reminded me of the movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the book, The Red Pyramid, the plot has some unique twists, is original, and has a fun main character
Sarah Sammis
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
At the library I picked up a copy of Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris and quickly realized I had picked up the second book in the series. Since it was obvious to me that I would adore the series, I took the book back and found the first one so I could start at the beginning.

Now I cut my mystery reading teeth on Elizabeth's Peter's Amelia Peabody series. In that one Peabody and Emerson have a son who promises to be a better Egyptologist than either of them. He's so perfect at it (and everything
Samantha Hastings
Jul 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Theodosia is a charming character that is very clever; although, no adults seem to take her seriously. She still manages to take curses of artifacts that her mother, an archeologist, ships back from Egypt. One of the artifacts has a curse so powerful it could cause problems for all of England. Theodosia teams up with a street thief and Lord Wigmore (the head of a secret society) to stop the group The Serpents of Chaos and to return the artifact. I absolutely loved this book. I couldn't put it do ...more
Feb 26, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people less critical than me
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Not sold. After reading (and not finishing) Percy Jackson, I thought all I needed was a change up in mythology. I love Egyptian anything, so Theodosia seemed a sure bet. Not so much, though. Unlike Percy Jackson, this one is NOT well-written.

The main character and narrator is a bookish 11-year-old whose language usage isn't fitting either for a too-smart youngster, or a 1905 character. Plus, I have serious doubts that ANY 11-year-old would be reading hieroglyphs, daughter of the curator or not.
Jan 20, 2009 rated it liked it
This was a fairly good book---I thought it seemed more interesting to me as an adult than to my 9 year old who read it with me. She did great though, she learned a lot of new words! Oddly enough, this made me think of The DaVinci Code for children, complete with a clandestine society bent on protecting the secrets of Egypt.
Check out this review and more on my blog!

I’m a firm believer that a good children’s book is a book that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. If I’d read Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos when I was around ten years old I think I would have adored it, but as a twenty-seven year old it could only fall into the realms of ‘that was cute’. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading, though!

This book has one of the most enticing premises to a Middle Grade novel for me. Eleven year old Theodosi
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Theodosia sees evil spells and spirits. Her methods of dealing with these problems as well as her eventual meeting with other people who recognize their presence and are committed to keeping them from harming England and the World makes for an exciting adventure.

I was quite taken with this new book published in 2007. Theodosia a child often neglected by her loving but preoccupied archologist parents sees and feels evil spells. Her parents who do not share her ability continue to bring cursed obj
Dec 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: to-be-sold
I really wanted to like this book. The idea of a girl who works secretly in her parents' museum, undoing the curses on the objects as they come in, could not be more compelling. Unfortunately, neither Theodosia, her parents, the curators, nor her brother and the friendly pickpocket are at all sympathetic characters. Theodosia is the worst: after she botches a curse removal (the only one I saw her do, after all her grand brave talk about her own skills), she manages to get her cat possessed by de ...more
Bottom line: if you're in the mood to read a compelling book about genius 10-year-old girls solving mysteries, read Alan Bradley instead.

Theo's parents are horrible - particularly her father. What a despicable, loveless cretin he is - and to what end? His complete lack of involvement in Theo's life except to belittle, nag or ignore serves no purpose except possibly to allow Theo the freedom to do what she will. I contend that an absent-minded, loving father would allow the same potential for mi
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Theodosia is a young girl who can see the curses that stick to the artifacts which her mother brings home from Egypt. The fact that she is the only one who can see these curses leads to slightly infuriating situations. Because she is a young girl, most adults do not take her serious. It is therefore up to Theodosia to save the world, together with the help of her brother, a pickpocket and a secret society.

Theodosia is a wonderful character. She is witty, spunky, brave and smart. She does make so
Kaethe Douglas
Ahh. That was extremely satisfying. A nice feel for London in the Late Victorian. Theodosia is a marvelous character, taking a very studious and practical attitude towards magic when dealing with the ancient Egyptian artifacts in the museum her father runs. Whenever he stays overnight working on something, she beds down in a sarcophagus with a blanket and her cat, Isis.

LaFevers has positioned her story of good versus evil as struggle to use the power of the ancients to affect the modern world po
Abby Johnson
Sep 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Theodosia Throckmorton practically lives in the museum. Her parents work there and they're so caught up in their work, finding and studying ancient Egyptian artifacts, that they leave her on her own a lot. Luckily, Theo has plenty to keep her busy. There's the curses for one thing. Nearly every artifact her parents have brought home lately has been covered in black magic and curses, and Theo is the only one who's able to sense them and get rid of them. When Theo's mother brings home a powerful a ...more
Jennifer Nielsen
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Theodosia is a fantastic character. I love strong girls for middle grade readers and she leads the pack! Great book!
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was the best fantasy/mystery/horror book I have EVER read. It was heartbreaking, scary, funny, mysterious, and inspirational all at the same time. You should definitely read this if you liked Harry Potter and/or The Scourge. I loved this book.
Lauren Holley
This was a witty, and expertly written masterpiece!

Theodosius, or Theo is a mischievous, and too-clever-for-her-own-good girl! Sure, she's often brash, and abrasive, but she has a strong moral code, and is a kind and loyal friend. Not only that but she is the epitome of humor, and eccentricity! Which while her family nor the public appreaciate. I do! While temperament flickers to one thing to another for me, and the author should have used more common sense when creating the sadly depthless sup
May 24, 2019 added it
Shelves: caroline
2,5 rounded up
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youth
Adventure! Spells! Imagination! Friendships!
Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)
In the Museum of Legends and Antiquities Theodosia is trying to control the forces of chaos that wish to harm others through the curses and hexes contained in the various items on display throughout the museum. She is beset with the forces of darkness and the feeling of beetles scurrying up and down her spine that doesn't seem to affect anyone else there... even her father who was injured by one such nasty curse with a tumble down the stairs. It doesn't help much that she spends every waking (an ...more
Molly Hall
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love it when I discover a book that is so well-written it spans the genres from middle-grade to adult. Combining a precocious and lovable protagonist, an intriguing mystery, and sharp and witty writing, R. L. LaFevers' Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos does exactly that. Although categorized as middle-grade fiction, this novel is for anyone who enjoys a good story.

In the book, eleven-year-old Theodosia Throckmorton spends most of her time at the London Museum of Legends and Antiquities, a g
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When this little gem came across my desk, it looked like the dark offspring of Lemony Snicket and Edward Gorey. I admit, I was intrigued. When I read the book jacket, I was hooked. An eleven year old girl with the run of London’s Museum of Legends and Antiquities who routinely finds and destroys curses attached to ancient objects? Throw in an adventuresome mother, an annoying but clever younger brother and a quick-footed pickpocket, mix in the Cursed Object of all Cursed Objects, add a pinch of ...more
Aug 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
Theodosia, our eleven-year old, intrepid, curse-spotting heroine, is smart beyond her years. The eldest child of the Head Curator of a second-rate museum (in stature only - not in collection) and the daughter of two Egyptologists, she is not only functionally fluent in the deciphering of hieroglyphics, she reads all the Olde Textes that explain Egyptian curse magic and whips up protective amulets whenever necessary.

Also, she sleeps in a sarcophagus.

If it weren't for her highly developed sense
K. Lincoln
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Theodesia is the eleven year old daughter of adventurous archeologists who work for a museum. Her mother gallivants off to Egypt to open tombs and extract artifacts. Her father catalogs them.

Theodesia is mostly left to herself to rattle around the museum. Which is a good thing, because she's the only one in her family who can see/feel the black magic curses that are often on all the artifacts her mother brings home!

It's up to her to take care of the curses, and usually things go okay. However, t
Jun 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: j, history
There are a dreadful number of booktalks rising up in me about this book: "Imagine Gilda Joyce as a Victorian egyptologist's daughter with curse-fighting powers" or "Having trouble with ancient curses? Theodosia to the rescue!" or "Sleeping in a sarcophagus is surprisingly effective at protecting you from ancient Egyptian curses. When you have to sleep in a museum filled with said curses, of course, as Theodosia Throckmorton does."
This is a very talk-able book that will be easy to sell to kids,
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R.L. LaFevers (Robin Lorraine when she’s in really big trouble) grew up surrounded by shelves of old dusty books and a passel of brothers. She has also spent a large portion of her life being told she was making up things that weren’t there, which only proves she was destined to write fiction. She is the author of over fourteen books for young readers, including THEODOSIA AND THE SERPENTS OF CHAOS ...more

Other books in the series

Theodosia Throckmorton (5 books)
  • Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris (Theodosia Throckmorton, #2)
  • Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus (Theodosia Throckmorton, #3)
  • Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh (Theodosia Throckmorton, #4)
  • Theodosia and the Flame of Sekhmet (Theodosia Throckmorton, #5)
“I blew that clay pigeon to smithereens. I don't know why Mum got so upset. According to Uncle Andrew she's a crack shot herself. But she says I'm too young. What I'd like to know is how old does a person have to be before they get to do all the fun stuff?” 9 likes
“As far as I can tell, it doesn't make any difference to adults how clever children are. They always stick together. Unless you are sick or dying or mortally wounded, they will always side with the other adult.” 4 likes
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