The Throne of Fire: The Kane Chronicles, Book 2

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
The Throne of Fire: The Kane Chronicles, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Riordan's usual winning mix of action, mythology, and humor.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 21 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

If readers thought they learned a lot about ancient Egypt in the first book, that knowledge will really help them here. If they get lost this time, thankfully, there's a three-part glossary in the back with Commands Used by Carter and Sadie (complete with the hieroglyphs), Other Egyptian Terms (like Duat and Ma'at), and Egyptian Gods and Goddesses Mentioned in The Throne of Fire. In the course of the book more gods enter the picture, Ra's nightly journey in the Duat is explained in detail, and the characters visit London; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt where real museums, pyramids, and relics are described.

Positive Messages

Shows the importance of making the difficult, better choice instead of the easy one. The need for balance between chaos and order is also explored in an accessible way.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sadie and Carter were admirable in the first book and are even more so here as they become mentors for the magicians-in-training in Brooklyn and grapple with how to make the right (and often tougher) decisions over what's easy or what will gain them power. Even though Sadie's the younger sister, she's very powerful, smart, well-spoken, and capable. Carter learns to act self-assured even when he isn't to help his young recruits stay positive. Bes is a good mentor to the teens and is willing to make tough sacrifices.

Violence

Lots of magic, gods, demons, and scary creatures fly around and fight. Despite a description of a bad guy with gouged-out eyes, the author doesn't usually dwell on gore. Teens Sadie and Carter are attacked numerous times and repeatedly mention that they expect to die on their quest. One teen character is dying from a curse, and a trusted mentor loses his soul in a bet. Sadie and Carter talk about the sadness over absent parents who gave their lives to help the Egyptian gods.

Sex

A kiss and some talk of crushes.

Language

A couple of mentions that characters swear under duress, but the words aren't printed. Sadie, a Brit, says "bloody."

Consumerism

Brands mentioned include iPod and Cheetos.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is the second book in Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan's Kane Chronicles series, which weaves ancient Egyptian history into the modern world. Kids will definitely need to read the first book, The Red Pyramid, to keep up with all the Egyptian gods and terminology presented here. Expect about the same level of fantasy violence as the first book -- lots of battles, no real gore, and lots of humor to break the end-of-the-world tension. The main characters, Carter and Sadie, were admirable in the first book and are even more so here as they take on roles as mentors for other young magicians and grapple with how to do what's right, even if it's the more difficult choice.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3, 8, 11, and 13 year old Written byKathyJ September 6, 2012

Eh, it's confusing.

My twelve year old son hates to read. He LOVED the Red Pyramid and bought it for his sister for Christmas. WOW! So, naturally I thought he would love this ne... Continue reading
Adult Written byBryan P. November 14, 2016

The Best Egyptian Mythology

Carter and Sadie are in a mission in Brooklyn to find the book of-Ra with two other magicians, Jaz and Walt. When Sadie hears Jaz and Walt talking, Sadie learns... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bynoveleater September 23, 2011

Better than book one!

I wasn't a fan of The Red Pyramid, although I enjoyed it more than The Lost Hero, and I wasn't planning on reading the sequel, but a friend bought me... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 28, 2012

LOVE IT!!!!!

I absolutely adore everything with mythology. If you're like me, this is soooo the book for us! Also percy jackson is one of my favorites. I recommend them... Continue reading

What's the story?

It's almost the end of the world. Again. But in this installment of the Kane Chronicles series, it's a battle between the force of chaos -- the giant snake Apophis, who's about to break out of his prison -- and the Ma'at, or order. Brother-sister team Carter and Sadie are convinced that the best way to fight Apophis is by waking the sun god, Ra. But first they have to find three torn parts of a scroll to work the spell, recover Ra's boat in the Duat, and, of course, find Ra himself, who retired eons ago. All this by the spring equinox, just days away. But the House of Life isn't convinced that Ra is the one who will save the day and is threatening to come after Carter, Sadie, and all their new magic students training in Brooklyn. Some of the gods aren't gung-ho about Ra's return either -- and of course it's always the scary ones with big teeth and claws who are ready to pick a fight.

Is it any good?

Sadie and Carter's world may be ending -- a common theme in many fantasy books these days -- but they really are in for a fun ride, and so are readers. If our summary of the book's plot didn't make sense, readers will definitely want to re-read The Red Pyramid and check out the handy glossaries in the back of THE THRONE OF FIRE (thank goodness they're included this time!). With the complex story set-up out of the way already, Throne of Fire gets right to the action. It digs into life in Brooklyn, with new recruits in training, and is filled with adventures that mix gods and mortals, world travel via portal, pyramid and museum pillaging, and inventive combat magic.

Riordan's wit is in top form here, introducing a new protector god who's irreverent to say the least (not spoiling the surprise). To say nothing of the funny chapter headings (such as "A Birthday Invitation to Armageddon") and the teasing brother-sister banter as Sadie and Carter take turns narrating. And, as always, the brilliant author manages to work a little educational material into a great summer beach read.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what drew them to this series. Is it because of author Rick Riordan? How does this series compare to the Percy Jackson books?

  • A popular theme with many big fantasy series is the end of the world. Why do you think that is? Why do you think authors enjoy playing with that idea -- and why are readers interested in it?

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