Reviews for Throne of Fire

Booklist Reviews 2011 May #2
Readers of The Red Pyramid (2010) will not be unduly surprised that the magical powers of Carter and Sadie are growing or that they have the purest motives for breaking into the Brooklyn Museum to steal a three-ton Egyptian artifact or that battling griffins and plague spirits wreaks a certain amount of havoc. Still, with only five days left before the spring equinox, when an evil magician will let the Egyptian serpent god, Apophis (think chaos), loose in the world again, it's time for action. As in his earlier novels for children, Riordan combines hard-hitting action scenes, powerful magic, and comic relief with the internal waves of love, jealousy, and self-doubt that make his young heroes so very human. The book concludes with glossaries of Egyptian commands and terms as well as gods and goddesses, but even readers who lose track of the details will enjoy the high-energy story as it races toward a conclusion. Lit by flashes of humor, this fantasy adventure is an engaging addition to the Kane Chronicles series. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

BookPage Reviews 2011 May
Fired up for The Kane Chronicles

Rick Riordan’s writing space is not decorated with images of mythical creatures or epic battle scenes—what one might expect from a teller of fantastical, dramatic tales like The Kane Chronicles trilogy.

The first book in the best-selling series, The Red Pyramid, debuted last year, and book two, The Throne of Fire, goes on sale May 3. But despite the book’s title, there is no fiery throne—the author sits on a regular desk chair. “My office is pretty nondescript,” he says in an interview from his home in San Antonio, Texas, “just a room with a computer.”


"It's a typical week in the life of the Kane family," Riordan laughs. "Gods are annoying that way."

And he laughs when asked if he’s an exceptionally organized person. He’d have to be, in order to write two children’s book series at once (The Kane Chronicles and The Heroes of Olympus), hard on the heels of an earlier series (Percy Jackson and the Olympians), plus helming a multi-author series (The 39 Clues), not to mention doing plenty of signings and events, right?

“Not really,” Riordan replies. “I’m very easily distracted and don’t normally sit for 10 hours at a stretch staring at the screen. I do hit-and-run writing.” He adds, “I’m writing a book every six months now. I wanted to see if I could pull it off. It’s made me a lot more disciplined and productive.”

Riordan is no stranger to such brainbending scenarios—before he started writing for kids, he was a middle school teacher and the author of the award-winning Tres Navarre adult mystery series. “When I got the contract to write kids’ books as well, I didn’t want to leave teaching, but I felt like I had one too many balls in the air,” he says.

And so, after some 15 years as an English and history teacher, Riordan left to pursue writing full time. Thanks to his books’ popularity, though, he’s found himself in classrooms, libraries and bookstores all over the country, meeting eager young fans that often number in the thousands.
“I’ve had amazing crowds,” Riordan says. “Thanks to my teaching background, I like to give every kid my attention, and I don’t always get to spend the one-on-one time I used to be able to have. But the kids are so great—even if they have to wait in line for a long time, they’re so excited to be there, they jump up and down.”

Books didn’t make a young Riordan jump for joy, however; at least, not at first. “I really was a reluctant reader in elementary school,” he says. “Dyslexia runs in my family. I was never diagnosed, but I have a feeling it maybe was part of my struggle.” Eventually, book recommendations from his teachers (“I had wonderful English teachers—they got me into mythology”) and maternal encouragement turned Riordan into an avid reader. “My mother got me interested in storytelling; she was really instrumental in my path as a reader and writer,” he says.

It’s fitting, then, that a character inspired by his mother is at the heart of The Kane Chronicles: Sadie Kane, a confident and clever 12-year-old raised in London by her grandparents after her mother’s death. 

“My mom was an Air Force kid who grew up in London and moved back to the U.S. in high school,” Riordan says. “She felt she didn’t really belong in either country and was caught between two cultures. It was an interesting dynamic for me to play around with.”

Sadie’s 14-year-old brother, Carter, stays with their father, a globe-trotting Egyptologist who, after six years apart, reunites the siblings on a Christmas Eve trip to the British Museum. No boring excursion, that: It touches off a series of ever-wilder events and revelations, including the fact that they’re descended from ancient Egyptian pharaohs and have special powers that they must harness so they can use them to save their father from the angry Egyptian gods he has unleashed.

And that’s just book one! In book two, The Throne of Fire, the Kanes discover that Apophis (who’s even more evil than the kids’ nemesis, Set, in The Red Pyramid) wants to “come back, rule the world, swallow the sun and ruin everybody’s day,” Riordan says. The only way to stop Apophis is to bring back his archenemy and find the Book of Ra . . . in one week. “It’s a typical week in the life of the Kane family,” Riordan laughs. “Gods are annoying that way.”

The gods may be, but the books sure aren’t—whether it’s sibling rivalry, talking animals or learning that parents are only human (or are they?), The Kane Chronicles are exciting, edifying and enthralling. Readers will learn about mythology and geography, ponder family and identity, and thrill to the suspense that builds with the turn of every page.

As readers join Carter and Sadie on their adventures in The Throne of Fire, Riordan will be working on book three of The Kane Chronicles and book one of The Heroes of Olympus (a sequel series to Percy Jackson and the Olympians). He’ll also be spending time with his family and fitting in book tours, too.

For now, though, most of Riordan’s time will be spent in his nondescript office. “I’ve had to cut back on the amount of visiting I do,” he says. “For now, the best way I can communicate [with my readers] is writing the best books I can as fast as I can.”

Copyright 2011 BookPage Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
With Apophis, Lord of Chaos, about to break his millennia-long imprisonment, Sadie and Carter (The Red Pyramid) must awaken Ra the Sun God to unite the gods and magicians and save the world. Riordan's formula works; globetrotting action and irreverent commentary fly fast and furious as the pair battle gods, evil magicians, and mythical Egyptian monsters in this humorous, lively volume. Copyright 2012 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #5
In The Red Pyramid (rev. 7/10), siblings Carter and Sadie Kane learned that, as descendants of Egyptian pharaohs, they are magicians who can communicate with (and fight against) the Egyptian gods. Now with Apophis, Lord of Chaos, about to break his millennia-long imprisonment, Sadie and Carter must awaken Ra the Sun God to unite the gods and magicians against Apophis and save the world from destruction. Globetrotting action and irreverent commentary fly fast and furious as the pair battle gods, evil magicians, and mythical Egyptian monsters to retrieve the Book of Ra, then re-create the Sun God's nightly journey through the underworld to revive his spirit, meeting their dead parents and gambling for their own souls along the way. The author's formula works -- the Egyptian myths offer a backdrop with plenty of depth, against which Riordan's wisecracking heroes can play out their high-stakes family, relationship, and personal dramas. And with Ra awakened but old and weak, the magicians in rebellion, personal peril and/or teenage heartbreak in store for the Kanes, and Apophis still on the rise, the expected third book in the Kane Chronicles promises to be as lively, humorous, and welcome as the first two. anita l. burkam Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 May #2
In Carter and Sadie Kane's last adventure (The Red Pyramid, 2010), they fought Set, god of evil; now the stakes are even higher. Apophis, god of Chaos, is rising, and he's in a whole different league. Related as a transcript of an audio recording made by Carter and Sadie, the tale begins with a bang in the Brooklyn Museum. They manage to smash up the museum, set Brooklyn on fire and ride off in an Egyptian reed boat pulled by a screeching griffin, and that's just in the first 30 pages. The dynamic duo survives their first adventure with a scroll in hand or, more precisely, a third of a scroll. They must now find the other two thirds to piece together the Book of Ra. The plan: to awaken Ra, the powerful Egyptian sun god, to counter Apophis. From Brooklyn, it's on to London, Russia, Egypt and the River of Night. This volume begins so thunderously that the narrators seem more like frenetic tour guides than friendly companions, pulling readers along at a breakneck pace. Riordan supplies them with his trademark wisecracking voice and explores themes of power, responsibility, family, love and loyalty as the tale hurtles along. What a week for the Kanes. If they don't quite vanquish evil for all time, they at least avert disaster long enough for Riordan to write Book Three, coming the spring of 2012. (Fantasy. 8-14) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2011 June

Gr 5-8--Elaborating on the ominous revelation that caps The Red Pyramid (Hyperion, 2010), this planned trilogy's middle episode sends dual narrators Carter and Sadie Kane from their newly established school for sorcerers in Brooklyn to the underworld realm of the Duat, leaving massive trails of destruction on their way to a first face-off with Apophis, snake god of Chaos. Given just five days to find the retired god Ra--god of order, or ma'at--before Apophis escapes millennia of confinement and destroys the universe, the squabbling sibs also have their own growing magical abilities to explore; hostile factions of both human wizards and Egyptian gods to battle; monsters to face; temptations to overcome; infatuations to work through; rescues to make; and, of course, plenty of digs, wisecracks, fashion notes, and teen chatter to deliver. Fortunately they have some sturdy allies--notably Bes, the god of little people and memorable for more than just his Speedo with "Dwarf Pride" written on the butt that is his battle costume. Despite helpful lists of Egyptian deities and terms at the back, readers unfamiliar with the opener may have trouble at the beginning keeping up with both the continuing plotlines and the teeming cast, but Riordan kickstarts the action, never lets up on the gas, balances laughs and losses with a sure hand, and expertly sets up the coming climactic struggle without (thankfully) ending on a cliff-hanger. It's a grand ride so far, showing nary a sign of slowing down.--John Peters, formerly at New York Public Library

[Page 132]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

VOYA Reviews 2011 August
The second book of The Kane Chronicles picks up three months after The Red Pyramid, Book 1 (Hyperion, 2010)ends. The siblings and their associates attempt to break into a museum to locate the first part of the Book of Ra. Unfortunately, the museum and the scroll are both heavily protected by curses, magical guards, and a high-tech alarm system. They cause massive damage to the museum and just barely escape with their lives, but they obtain the first piece of the Book of Ra. They need to find and recover the other two pieces within four days. Carter and Sadie will use the Book of Ra to awaken the long-retired Egyptian god Ra in hopes that he can save the world from the chaos threatening to overtake it. The gods and magicians start taking sides, and Ra could be the world's only hope Once again, the action follows audiorecorded events from Carter and Sadie. They speak directly to the readers and at times each other. Carter and Sadie face difficult choices and must overcome impossible odds to achieve their goal. Danger follows them, and they escape near-death scenarios, creating a fast-paced, exciting read. Sadie and Carter share their adventure with sarcasm, wit, humor, and courage. Throne of Fire is a breathless, action-packed tale that will leave readers clamoring for the next chapter.--Jennifer RummelThrone of Fire is a quick-paced story of a brother and sister in a storm of Egyptian magic. Through protagonists Sadie and Carter, Riordan creates a fantastically rendered pair of siblings just at the dawn of adulthood. It begins the way novelist Kurt Vonnegut would have loved: "as close to the end [of the world] as possible." Readers from eleven to adulthood will escape to this world beyond history. 4Q,5P.--Sabina Bedford, Teen Reviewer 4Q 5P M J Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.