Rummanah Aasi
 One of the highly anticipated children/middle grade book of the summer is Rick Riordan's The Serpent's Shadow, the third installment of his Kane Chronicles series. With his trademarks of adventure, mythology, action, and a dash of romance, The Serpent's Shadow is a delightful read and a great conclusion to the series.

Description (from the publisher): He's b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sade Kane can't seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. The Kanes' only hope is an ancient spell that might turn the serpent's own shadow into a weapon, but the magic has been lost for a millennia. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent's shadow . . . or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld.

Review: Siblings Carter and Sadie Kane are once again trying to save the world from the forces of Chaos. The giant Chaos snake Apophis and his rebel magician allies are on the rise and hungry for power. Luckily, Carter and Sadie Kane are back, prepared to the best of their abilities, and ready to fight Apophis and restore Ma'at, the order of the universe.
  The Serpent's Shadow has a lot to offer it's readers. Though filled with expected action-pack excitement, there is a lot of character growth for the big cast of characters. The story like the previous two installments are told in alternating and enjoyable voices of Sadie and Carter. The dual narrative allows Riordan to focus on both genders as well as solidify the siblings as individual characters, highlighting her/his strengths, weaknesses, and insecurities. Though we've watched the Kane siblings prove they are more than capable of taking a lead role in restoring Ma'at, there is a bit of a hesitation that each feels. I really felt I got to know each of the characters on a more personal level in this book than I did in the last two books and I think a lot of it has to do with the characters growing up and maturing.
  Riordian deftly executes the theme of duality throughout the series: the battle of order versus chaos, living an ordinary life versus taking the risks to fail and become extraordinary, and perhaps much more touching-being protected and sheltered by parents versus stepping out of their parents shadows and becoming their own person. I thought that the theme was brought to a full circle with this book. We witness first hand the obstacles the Kanes and their allies face with the lots of twists and turns in the story. Although adults are present in the book and hold important roles, they take the backseat and let the kids drive, sort out their own problems. The line between friend and foe are blurry at best, especially when the ghost of an ancient psychotic magician is willing to offer help.
 The Serpent's Shadow is a rousing adventure with plenty of magic and food for thought. There are hints to future stories featuring other gods and I'm curious if Riordan will combine the Percy Jackson's gang with the Kane's, which could be really exciting. 

Rating: 4.5 stars

Curriculum Connection: Social Studies, English

Words of Caution: There is PG rated violence which happens mostly off the page. Recommended for Grades 5 and up.

If you like this book try: The Ank of Isis by Christine Norris, Children of the Lamp series by Philip Kerr or The Secrets of the immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott
6 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Rummanah? Why I haven't I read anything by Rick Riordan yet? His books sound amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Percy Jackson movie, and since books are almost always better than the movies, I have no doubt I'll love it. Have you read the Percy Jackson series as well? Do you recommend one over the other?


  2. I'm a little embarrassed that I haven't read any of Riordan's books yet since I love mythology and know how many people adore his books. My brother loved his Percy Jackson series and learned quite a bit of Greek mythology through it.

    I don't think he has read this series yet so I'll see if I can find the books for him at our library.


  3. @Jenny: I absolutely loved the Percy Jackson series but not the movie. I would definitely start with that series just to get a sense of his storytelling style.

    @Z: I definitely learned a lot of Egyptian mythology while reading this series. It was learning while reading an awesome story!


  4. Tina~ Says:

    Ive never heard of these, but it sounds like a great adventure....I love Greek Mytho so sign me up for sure.....;)


  5. I haven't started this series. I don't know why because I love Egyptian mythology, it's probably my favorite. My son has read it though, loves the series. And the new Percy spin-off as well. I still haven't read the last Percy because I didn't want it to end. Silly I know. And I agree they changed so much in the movie, even locations, I just didn't like that at all.

    Heather


  6. Candace Says:

    I didn't read your review since I haven't started the series but I'm happy to see the good rating! I have the first book and hopefully can read it one of these days!


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