Rummanah Aasi
  I've been meaning to pick up R.L. Lafevers aka Robin Lafevers middle grade series, Theodosia Throckmorton, quite sometime after learning about it from Small Review. Thank you, Smalls! I know my younger self would have loved Theodosia as much as I love her today. I recently read and enjoyed the first book. I do plan on reading and catching up to this series in the future.

Description: Twelve-year-old Theodosia Throckmorton uses arcane knowledge and her own special talent when she encounters two secret societies, one sworn to protect the world from ancient Egyptian magic and one planning to harness it to bring chaos to the world, both of which want a valuable artifact stolen from the London museum for which her parents work.

Review: Theodosia and the Serpent of Chaos reads like a mash-up between Nancy Drew and Indiana Jones. The book is filled with warmth, laugh out loud humor, and action, but don't expect too much of characterizations or clean, straightforward plot line as there are many plot threads unfolding.
Theodosia is a plucky and precocious heroine, who I loved instantly. She is a very keen observer in her parents run London's Museum of Legends and Antiquities. She constantly laments about how little her parents pay attention to her because of her age, which is the root to her snarkiness. Theodosia is unlike many girls in Edwardian England because she has a sixth sense of detecting dark magic. When she tries to alert her parents, it falls on deaf ears.
  The plot begins rolling when Theodosia's mum, an archaeologist, returns from Egypt with crates of artifacts. Only Theodosia can feel the objects' dark magic, which, after consulting ancient texts, she has learned to remove. Then a sacred amulet disappears, and during her search, Theodosia stumbles into a terrifying battle between international secret societies. She has use to her wits and the advantages of a child who is usually ignored to find out clues about who is behind the stolen object and how to stop the chaos the object is about to bring to England.
  Theodosia and the Serpent of Chaos is a very fun and quick read. I loved the precise, and atmospheric details (nicely extended in Tanaka's few, stylized illustrations) that will capture and hold readers, from the contents of Theodosia's curse-removing kit to descriptions of the museum after hours, when Theodosia sleeps in a sarcophagus to ward off the curses of disgruntled dead things. I think a lot of kids can empathize with Theodosia and her plight or attention. I was also excited to learn more about archaeology and liked how the story brings up questions about the ownership and responsible treatment of ancient artifacts. Though the mystery is wrapped up in the end of this book, there are many other story lines that will continue in later installments. I hope to read more about Theodosia and her adventures and highly recommend them to kids who are interested in learning about Ancient Egypt along with a good dose of humor, action, and magic.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for strong Grade 3 readers and up.

If you like this book try: The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan, Kat, Incorrigible series by Stephanie Burgis, Children of the Lamp by Philip Kerr, The Long-Lost Map by Pierdomenico Baccalario
6 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Oooo this was written by the Grave Mercy author? I had no idea! These sound like really fun books, anything that combines Nancy Drew and Indiana Jones is a complete win even if it does delve deep into character complexities. I'm going to recommend these to my cousins, I think they'd love them.


  2. There are so many things I picked out in your review that I liked about this book. The setting, the characters, a mystery that wraps up. This sounds like a fantastic little series. I am putting it on my kids wish book list. Thanks!


  3. Oh I have heard of this series and I think it is too fun. I'm so thinking it would be perfect for some little cousins of mine. So glad you enjoyed it as well!


  4. I think I'd love this series one, because I love Robin Lafevers and also, I really love the pictures and the name of the character. I just love saying it. Also being about archaeology doesn't hurt much. I'll have to keep my eyes out for a deal on this series. Nice review.

    Heather


  5. Sam Says:

    Ahhh! I had no idea R.L.Lafevers had written a MG book! I quite liked Grave Mercy and am curious about this one now. I'm glad you liked it overall, Rummanah. :)


  6. I loved Grave Mercy - still need to read the sequel! - and so will be adding this one to my wishlist. Thanks for the recommendation, Rummanah. I read MG once in a while and this sounds like something my brother and cousin might enjoy.


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