Kathy's Reviews > The Red Pyramid

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
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Dec 02, 2010

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bookshelves: fantasy, historical-fiction, sci-fi, wizard-witch, young-adult

The author bases this story/series on the Egyptian gods, godesses, mythology... and he is very true to our understanding of them... and I think he’s trying for a little Harry Pottering - but to me fails... his heroines are 2 pre-adolescent siblings...

Dr. Julius Kane and his wife are of royal pharaoh blood (different pharaoh families)... and they both have strong gifts - of magic and divination... and his wife takes great pains to understand the magical world in terms of physics, and to explain it their children that way... Mrs. Kane/seer can see that the Chaos god is on the bridge of destroying our world, and that the gods/goddesses that had been locked in the other world need to be freed to work with humanity (and specifically those who have pharaoh blood) to keep the right balance - to bring back the magic of Egypt...

And their two children are pivotal in this... When Mrs. Kane dies when the kids are 4 & 6, the courts (the magician’s court & the earthly court) place Sadie with Mrs. Kane’s parents in London, and her father/brother visit one day, twice a year... Carter stays with dad, and they travel the world - his father as an archeologist goes to universities, museums, & dig sites - sometimes it looks like he is hiding - and Carter has a very interesting upbringing. Carter sees his father use things from his magical bag...

And when Sadie is 12 and Carter 14 (and they don’t get along too well), their father dies at the London museum as he uses the rosetta stone to call on the god Horus - but ends up opening a portal for all gods. And Sadie & Carter are in trouble... the gods/goddesses use hosts, and Sadie & Carter are hosts for Isis & Horus, though they do not realize it for a while... There is shared consciousness, shared power, shared hmmmm. They learn that the magicians, from ancient times, confined the gods when they got too interfering with humanity, and they are set up worldwide, in Houses of Life. Seth is building a red pyramid in Arizona, and once the capstone is set and the sun rises, chaos will reign...

Sadie & Carter navigate through a lot of stuff to get to the pyramid, to try and rescue their father, and to save the world... Their connections to their shared gods grows... they meet people - both magicians and demons and other gods that give them clues (even if they are not always working for the same goal)... they travel through the other dimension to get to Washington DC from London in 2 minutes, and use various ways of travel to get to Anubis’ underworld, temples, etc. as they duck those out to stop them and learn to use their powers. They also ‘travel’ into the past and into weird places when they sleep - I started to feel sorry for these two, they rarely got any rest...

In the end, both merge with their shared gods, and defeat Seth... they both tell those gods to ‘leave’ them until they are better prepared to coexist with them... their father is in the underworld & shares with a god, and his wife is there in spirit (with her metaphysical explanation for the kids on the laws of conservation - energy & matter do not disappear, but change)... And Sadie & Carter will further their studies, and in the finding and training of others with pharaoh’s blood.

Notable characters: Khufa / baboon demon, who communicates with grunts, and plays a great game of basketball. Zia, a student in the House of Life, whom Carter likes. Anubis, gatekeeper to death, who has a special bond with sadie... Nut & Geb - husband & wife - gods of air and earth - who do not get to see one another, and she sends a love note to him through Sadie. Bast, in cat form she stayed with Sadie & the grandparents, for protection... and she is more with the kids than not, advising them, and doing her best to protect them - she had been ‘rescued’ by their father, and owes them.
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