The Kane Chronicles
The US and UK logo for The Kane Chronicles
|Publisher||Disney Hyperion and Puffin Books|
|Media type||Print (hardback and paperback)|
The Kane Chronicles are a series of novels by Rick Riordan; based on Egyptian mythology, but set in the same universe as Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus. The first book, The Red Pyramid, was released on May 4, 2010. The second, The Throne of Fire, followed on May 4, 2011. The third and last volume, The Serpent's Shadow, was released on May 1, 2012. The novels are narrated alternately by the two protagonists, siblings Carter and Sadie Kane, descended from Pharaohs Narmer and Ramses the Great, forced to contend with Egyptian gods and goddesses.
Riordan explained his inspiration in an interview: "In my classroom, there was only one thing that was more popular than Ancient Greece, and that was Ancient Egypt… This was a matter of listening to a lot of fans, and a lot of young readers."
- 1 Plot
- 2 Supplementary works
- 3 Characters
- 4 References
- 5 External links
- In the books, Rick Riordan tells that the story is a written down version of a transcript he received from "Carter and Sadie". The story takes place in the same universe as the Camp Half-Blood chronicles.
Book One: The Red Pyramid
The book is written as an audial recording by the Kane siblings, Carter and Sadie, and begins when Carter Kane and his father, Julius Kane, go to London to visit Sadie, Carter's sister, who has been living in England with their grandparents for the past six years. Carter notices from the start that his father is acting uncommonly nervous and edgy, but pretends not to notice. At the London Museum, Julius uses the Rosetta Stone to summon Osiris god of the dead, but accidentally releases five gods: Osiris, Isis, Horus, Set and Nepthys. Julius is imprisoned by Set, brother of Osiris and the god of chaos. Carter and Sadie then embark to Brooklyn with their uncle, Amos, later to learn that Julius' side of the family is descended of the Pharaoh Narmer while their dead mother, Ruby, descended from Ramesses the Great. They are attacked at Amos' house by serpopards, and rescued by the goddess of cats, Bast. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, they are attacked again by the scorpion goddess, Serqet and rescued by character 'Zia Rashid', a trainee at the 'House of Life', which is an Egyptian-themed school of magic dedicated to confining the Ancient Egyptian gods. Zia opens a portal and takes the siblings to Cairo, where the first and biggest 'House of Life' is. Here, it is suspected that the siblings are possessed by Horus (war god of falcons) and Isis (goddess of magic), prompting M. Desjardins, the school's second-in-command, to desire their deaths.
Carter and Sadie were brave and begin to learn the use of hieroglyphic magic; but their training is disrupted when the school's 'Chief Lector' Iskandar dies, leaving Desjardins in command. They escape him and rejoin Bast, with whom they infiltrate Desjardins' house in Paris to obtain a book with which to oppose Set. Following a fight with the Set animal, they visit Thoth, the knowledge god, at Memphis, Tennessee, whence they are sent to gain both a 'Feather of Truth' and Set's secret name. Having obtained the Feather from Anubis, god of death rituals, they continue to Texas, where Carter fights Sobek, the god of rivers. He is rescued by Amos; but Bast and Sobek are exiled to the Duat, the Egyptian underworld. In New Mexico, they defeat the lion goddess Sekhmet and continue to Arizona, where Set has established the story's eponymous Pyramid. To overcome Set, Carter merges with Horus; but both are overcome. Sadie learns Set's secret name (translated as 'Evil Day') from Zia and merges with Isis, with whose aid she banishes Set to the Duat. Both protagonists then learn that Apophis may enter the mortal world, and that the Zia, the host of the river goddess Nepthys encountered hitherto is a ceramic shabti. Having returned to Brooklyn, they discover that their father has merged with Osiris; but themselves forsake Horus and Isis, retaining a portion of each god's power in a sacred talisman.
Book Two: The Throne of Fire
Having reestablished the regular training of children in Egyptian-themed magic, protagonists Carter and Sadie break into the Brooklyn Museum to seek part of the Book of Ra, hoping to wake Ra (the ancient sun god) against Apophis, The Lord of Isfet (chaos). Following a struggle with several monstrosities, they discover the necessity of three scrolls that control the embodiments of Ra, one being the scroll in the museum. Sadie returns to London to celebrate her 13th birthday; but when she arrives, her grandparents have been forced to incarnate Nekhbet- the vulture goddess- and Babi- the baboon god- and pursue Sadie and her friends, Liz and Emma. From Anubis, she receives her next destination. They are rescued by Bes (dwarf god) and re-unite with Carter and his companion Walt. They then travel to their opponent Vladmir Menshikov's house in St. Petersburg, Russia, in search of the second scroll. There, they are attacked by Menshikov's two-headed snake. Sadie destroys the snake, and Set reveals the location of the last scroll and that of their friend Zia Rashid, lost in the earlier book. Thereafter Bes and Carter search for Zia at her birthplace, where Zia is abandoned by Nephthys. Antagonists Menshikov and Micheal Desjardins attack Carter and Bes; but Menshikov is overcome by Carter. At the story's 'Valley of the Golden Mummies', Sadie and Walt obtain the last scroll, but are attacked by reanimated mummies; whereupon all four characters are rescued by Ptah, who reveals Walt will die young because of an ancient curse in his family. Upon learning that Menshikov prepares to attack their refuge 'Brooklyn House', Walt and Zia return to protect it, while Sadie, Bes, and Carter go to free Ra and defeat Apophis. En route, the latter discover Khnum who has forgotten his secret name (identified by Sadie). They then discover Ra, who appears irrational and senile. To gain time, they challenge the moon god Khonsu to senet, an ancient Egyptian version of gambling, and persuade Ra to merge with Khepri, the scarab and rising sun, but free Apophis in the process. Desjardins witnesses this and helps them banish Apophis; but dies doing so, and warns them that Apophis will later return. In the book's resolution, the return of Ra has deprived Horus of his throne, and Walt will die soon because of the curse on his family's blood line; whereas Bes has lost his memories in the game of senet, and Amos is now in command of the House of Life, whose members blame the protagonists for Desjardins' death.
Book Three: The Serpent's Shadow
In the opening of this book, protagonists Carter and Sadie travel to Dallas, Texas to meet a fellow-magician, J.D. Grissom, to obtain a heavily guarded magical scroll from the exhibit of Tutankhamen at the Dallas Museum of Art; but the scroll is destroyed before they can reach it, and all Grissom's subordinates killed. In Brooklyn, they discover that a box saved from the incident contains Tutankhamen's shadow. Inspired by Horus, Carter decides to consult Thoth; but Sadie insists on his attendance of their school dance. During the dance, Anubis suggests that the shadow contains record of identity, prompting Sadie to restore Bes' memory (forgotten by him in the second book) by his shadow.
The Russian magician Leonid reveals that renegade magicians are coöperating with Apophis. The House's superintendent Amos instructs Zia and Sadie to visit Bes while Carter and Walt visit Thoth. Carter and Walt find Thoth attacked by demons, whom they vanquish; and later ask the help of Osiris. Sadie learns from Zia that Amos is attempting to channel Set, and both learn from the hippo goddess Tawaret where to find Bes' shadow. Carter, Sadie, Zia, and Walt then obtain the character 'Setne' (a disgraced son of Ramesses II) from Osiris. Sadie and Walt search for Bes's shadow, while Zia, Carter, and Setne seek the Book of Thoth; but Setne secretly orders the character 'Bloodstained Blade' to kill the others. Sadie and Walt trick the hunting and weaving goddess Neith into assisting them; whereafter Walt exhausts himself to revive Bes's shadow, but survives by hosting Anubis. Walt thereafter discovers Setne's plan and sends Sadie to Carter and Zia. Meanwhile, Carter and Zia enter the Land of the Demons, where Carter realizes that Zia is hosting Kherpri, one of the three essences of Ra. With Sadie, they imprison Apophis' shadow, which summons aid to itself from which the protagonists are rescued by old ill gods. Ra is consumed by Apophis, but revived when Sadie and Carter destroy the latter; whereupon the gods leave the mortal world. In resolution, Carter and Sadie visit their father (combined with Osiris in the initial book) to report Setne's escape, and receive warning from their dead mother of "other gods" and "rival magic", which when combined with the initial book's mention of Manhattan having 'its own gods', implies a shared fictional universe with that of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, a world of both Greek gods and Egyptian gods.
This book was released on March 20 of 2012. Boasting lenticulars, an easy-to-assemble trading card pyramid, and full-color diagrams and maps, this deluxe, lavishly illustrated guide teaches readers how to compile secret messages, read hieroglyphics, and recite ancient magic spells. Featuring enough information and extras to satisfy avid followers and budding Egyptologists alike, this guide will cast a spell on readers of all ages.
A graphic novel based on The Red Pyramid was published on October 12, 2010. It follows a shortened version of Carter and Sadie adventures in The Red Pyramid with full color drawings.
The first ever Percy Jackson-Carter Kane crossover story was included in the back of the paperback edition of The Serpent's Shadow, published May 7, 2013, and subsequently became available as an e-single/audio purchase.
In the story, told from Carter's point of view and set on Long Island's south shore, in the vicinity of Moriches Bay, he is devoured by a giant magical crocodile he has been hunting, which immediately spits him out when stabbed by Percy, who has been hunting the crocodile also, because it has been menacing Camp Half-Blood, even devouring one of the camp's pegasi. They find themselves teaming up to fight the crocodile, which turns out to be a petsuchos, an ordinary crocodile turned to giant size and invested with the power of the Egyptian crocodile god Sobek by a magical necklace placed around its neck.
The sequel to 'The Son of Sobek', entitled The Staff of Serapis is the sixty-page crossover story in which Sadie and Annabeth meet. The sequel came out in April 2014, in the paperback version of The Mark of Athena, and then was released later on in the year in e-book/audiobook format read by Riordan and including a sneak preview of The Blood of Olympus.
In this story, told from Annabeth's point of view, Annabeth pursues a strange chimerical creature she encounters on the New York subway, is attacked by it, and then rescued by Sadie, who says that the creature was a figurine that suddenly came to life on the library table at Brooklyn House and fled the mansion. The two girls deduce that the creature is two parts of a tripartite creature, the Staff of Serapis, which belongs to the Egyptian god by that name, Hellenized after Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt and the subsequent founding of the last Egyptian dynasty by Alexander's general Pharaoh Ptolemy I. Serapis has taken up residence in a ruined lighthouse in the Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens and Annabeth and Sadie do battle with him.
Carter Kane — Protagonist; a descendant of Narmer and of Ramses the Great, and initially described as always dressing "impeccably". After the death of his mother, he has spent six years travelling with his father. His specialty is combat magic and his preferred weapon is a khopesh. He becomes the host of Horus in the book The Red Pyramid. At the end of the series, Carter is one of the most powerful magicians in the world, along with Sadie and his uncle Amos. He has dark skin and dark hair, making him look quite different from his sister. He shows more bravery and courage than he imagines, and is a rule-follower. He is often placed unwillingly in the position of a leader, until he willingly yet not selfishly becomes pharaoh of the House of Life and leader of the gods.
Sadie Kane — Protagonist; Carter's sister. Raised by her grandparents in London after her mother's death. Able to read hieroglyphics and translate the Egyptian language with ease. Expert in using magic words and spells. She is the host of Isis. At the end of the series, the third most powerful magician in her world. She prefers combat boots and has caramel-colored hair with red highlights. She is a rule breaker, and she normally won't memorize things. She "normally has her encyclopedia brother around." She has an interesting relationship with Walt and Anubis.
Walt Stone - A trainee of Carter and Sadie's. Has a curse ran down from his ancient godly family, and when he dies, he turns into the human host of Anubis.
Zia Rashid - She was born and raised in Egypt, by Iskandar, the Chief Lector. She hosts the great divine pharaoh of the gods : Ra.
Ruby Kane — Carter and Sadie's late mother, who appears occasionally as a ghost to advise her children.
Michel Desjardins — Lesser antagonist; a high-ranking member of the House of Life, opposed to cooperation with the gods (and therefore to Carter and Sadie).
Iskandar — 'Chief Lector' of the House of Life. Born in the 1st century BCE, during the reign of Cleopatra VII, he witnessed the end of the Egyptian monarchy and the absorption of Egypt into the Roman Empire. He was the last magician to be trained before the House of Life was forced underground and the spell used to prolong his life was lost. He was succeeded by Desjardins upon his death.
Vladimir Menshikov — Russian antagonist of The Throne of Fire.
Setne - An evil magician and son of Ramses the Great.Also known as Khaemwaset. Appears in The Serpent's Shadow as an evil ghost on trial for many crimes. Recruited by the protagonists against Apophis. Departs alive at the end of the series.
Sarah Jacobi - Leader of the rebel magicians, successful in gathering a massive following and secretly allied with Apophis, presumably for power. Vanquished by Anubis.
Kwai - Sarah Jacobi's assistant; the House of Life's persistent opponent throughout the later books and also a brief host of Apophis.
Jasmine 'Jaz' Anderson — One of the magicians in Brooklyn House; sixteen years old, originally from Nashville, described as a cheerleader, with blond hair. Her specialty is healing; she is introduced in The Throne of Fire, and incarnates Sekhmet. An attempt to banish evil spirits leaves her in a coma, from which she is awakened by Ra. She shares with Sadie how to cure Carter using his ren 
Cleo - One of the young magicians at Brooklyn House; the school's librarian. She is from Brazil.
Felix — A trainee at Brooklyn House, ten years old. He loves penguins.
Shelby A very young trainee at Brooklyn House.
Leonid - A Russian magician and partisan of Sadie and Carter's.
Horus — Leader of the gods until Ra's return, and again after Apophis is destroyed.
Osiris — Ancient Egyptian god incarnated by Julius Kane; his symbol is the 'Spine of Osiris'.
Nephthys — Wife of Set and mother of Anubis; sometime incarnated by Zia.
Bast - The cat goddess. Acts as Carter's and Sadie's guardian.
Bes — Egyptian god, able to terrify his enemies at will by saying "boo". Companion to the protagonists.
Serqet — Egyptian goddess; a minor antagonist.
Anubis — God of funerals, and periodic advisor to Sadie. Later incarnated by Walt.
Thoth — Ancient Egyptian god; founder of the House of Life. Twice advisor to the protagonists.
Sobek — Egyptian god; appears as a minor antagonist in The Red Pyramid and later aids Ra against Apophis.
Sekhmet — Egyptian goddess, here portrayed as alter-ego of Hathor.
Hathor — Egyptian goddess, here portrayed as alter-ego of Sekhmet.
Nut — Ancient Egyptian sky goddess; mother of Osiris, Isis, Horus, Set, and Nephthys. Wife of Geb.
Geb — God of the earth. Father of Osiris, Isis, Horus, Set, and Nephthys; husband of Nut.
Shu — The father of Nut and Geb, who separates Nut from Geb to form the present-day division of Sky from Earth. Later appears to criticise Anubis' infatuation with Sadie.
Ra — Sun god. Retired to the heavens, but revived in The Throne of Fire; later merges with Zia and recovers his lost mental integrity. Consumed by Apophis and later revived by Sadie and Carter.
Nekhbet — Egyptian goddess who takes Carter and Sadie's grandmother as host.
Babi — Egyptian god who takes Carter and Sadie's grandfather as host.
Apophis — Antagonist. Breaks free of his prison in The Throne of Fire, but banished again by Michel Desjardins. Freed later; but destroyed by Carter and Sadie.
Ptah — God summoned by Sadie and Walt to gain them the Book of Ra.
Magical creatures and animals
Philip of Macedonia — Amos's albino crocodile, later identified as a shabti. Protector and (briefly) transport to the protagonists.
Doughboy — Julius Kane's shabti; comically resentful of Julius. Thinks very high of himself.
Leroy - The Set animal, nicknamed by Carter.
Freak - Carter's pet griffin; initially a statue brought to life by Sadie. Assistant to Carter thereafter.
Khufu — Amos' pet baboon. Hilarious and lovable. Loves basketball and only eats things that end in O.
- Springen, Karen (November 11, 2009). "Riordan Sets His Sights on Egypt". www.publishersweekly.com. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- "Exclusive first chapter: 'The Kane Chronicles, Book Two". USA Today. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
- Official USA website
- Official UK website
- The Red Pyramid preview chapters