Book Review: The Serpent’s Shadow

And so, Rick Riordan‘s The Kane Chronicles come to end. Well, maybe. He certainly left enough hooks in The Serpent’s Shadow to bring back his hero siblings — Carter and Sadie Kane — for more adventures down the road (more on that in a minute), but for now, Carter and Sadie have successfully saved the world from the Egyptian god of chaos – the shadow serpent Apophis — and restored Ma’at to the world.

Just as Riordan is exploring Greek and Roman mythology with his Lightning Thief and Lost Hero series of books, here he delves deep into the lore of Egyptian magic and gods. My complaint remains the same: it gets confusing when he starts using the various gods. I have been reading this series and other Riordan series aloud to my son and we are constantly stopping and figuring out which god is which.

Luckily for him (and for me), I had ordered through Scholastic books a Kane Chronicle Survival Guide. At first, I thought the guide was just cheesy, but it turns out it was invaluable for us as readers, as my son kept stopping me and grabbing the book, and finding information about the gods and magic and more. He’s only 7 years old, so I certainly encouraged these research moments.

The writing in this series is not quite as strong as the other series Riordan is writing, but still, there is plenty of action, suspense and magic to keep my son interested. The narrator flips from Sadie to Carter, so we see the adventure unfolding through different eyes, and yes, we do learn quite a bit about Egyptian mythology and history. Early on in the series, my son and I made the predication that Riordan has some grand scheme to bring all of his series together: Percy Jackson and friends from The Lightning Thief series, Jason and others from The Lost Hero series, and the Kane kids from this series.

And Riordan continues to plant those seeds with mention to the Kanes about “other magic” in the world soon to a concern. And my son (he’s seven, remember) made a connection between a character that seems to run through all three: the son of the god of the dead. Here, he is Anubis, but in the other two series, he is Nico. They seem to be the same character, with the same personality.

So, who knows? We’re game to keep reading what he writes (The Mark of Athena comes out this fall — this guy writes up a storm!) and figure it all out.

Peace (in the adventure), Kevin

  1. Fascinating idea with Nico being Anubis. Kudos to your son for coming up with that but just to point it out, Anubis is not just a son of a god. He himself is also a god. Nico however, is just a demigod. Its as plain and simple as that. But anyway, I liked the idea of them being the same person. Certainly would have been fascinating.

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