The Serpent's Shadow (Riordan novel)

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The Serpent's Shadow
The Serpent's Shadow (2012).jpg
Author Rick Riordan
Illustrator John Rocco
Country United States
Language English
Series The Kane Chronicles (Book 3)
Genre Fantasy novel
Publisher Hyperion Books
Publication date
May 2, 2012 (hardcover)
Pages 429
ISBN 978-1423140573
Preceded by The Throne of Fire

The Serpent's Shadow is a 2012 fantasy adventure novel based on Egyptian mythology written by Rick Riordan. It is the third and final novel in The Kane Chronicles series. It was published by Disney Hyperion on May 1st 2012.


This book begins when Carter and Sadie, brother and sister, travel to Dallas, Texas the 51st nome, with their initiates, and meet J.D. Grissom, the leader of the nome. They tell him that they need a heavily guarded magic scroll from the King Tut exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art, or his nome will get attacked and destroyed by the forces of Apophis, the chaos snake, who will rise, swallow the sun, and destroy the world in three days' time. Sadie sees a face in the wall, which tells that they will not understand the scroll and they instead need a golden box. However, the nome is attacked, and the scroll is destroyed. To save everyone from getting killed, Sadie summons Ma'at, repulsing the forces of chaos but almost losing her life. They discover that all of the 51st nome has been destroyed, and all of the magicians killed by the minion's of Chaos. At the 21st nome in Brooklyn, they discover that the golden box Sadie was told to retrieve by the wacko magician, (Uncle Vinnie) is a shadow box of king Tut.

Horus, the Egyptian God of War, visits Carter as a pigeon and hints a connection between shadows and statues. Carter suspects that there is a better way to execrate Apophis than perhaps blowing himself and Sadie into crazily small pieces, and decides to consult Thoth, Egyptian god of Knowledge . He tells everybody at dinner and Sadie makes him go to their school dance. During the dance, Sadie meets Anubis, her godly boyfriend, and he suggests that the sheut is like a computer backup drive, but Shu, god of wind, and also Anubis' great-grandfather breaks them up later. Sadie gets an idea about using Bes' sheut to give him back his ren.

The Russian magician they met last year comes with bad news. Sadie takes him to the First Nome to meet Amos. He tells them that the rebels, led by Sarah Jacobi and Kwai, have teamed up with Apophis. Amos tells Zia and Sadie to visit Bes. Meanwhile, Carter and Walt go visit Thoth. Thoth is being attacked by demons. Walt and Carter repulse them, and Thoth helps them understand who Setne is. They realize they have to visit the Land of the Dead at his trial and persuade Osiris to help them.

When Zia and Sadie are visiting the House of Rest, Sadie realizes that Amos is calling on the Path of Set, god of evil, who he once hosted. Tawaret, hippo goddess, tells them where Bes once hid his sheut. Carter, Sadie, Zia, and Walt meet and exchange information. They meet Osiris, lord of the dead, and persuade him to let Setne go with them. Sadie and Walt go to look for Bes' sheut, while Zia and Carter go with Setne to find The Book of Thoth.

They go to the serapeum of Apis, and later Setne tricks them by giving orders to Bloodstained Blade to kill them. Meanwhile Sadie and Walt visit the goddess Neith, who tells them she will help them if they can survive her hunt till sunset. They survive by using their shen amulets to split up and transfer to each other's side, and then in the end right before sunset Sadie tricks Neith by mesmerizing her with tales of hunting jelly babies and the likes. Walt uses the rest of his energy to revive Bes' sheut, and then he survives by becoming the host of Anubis.

He realizes Setne's plan and tells Sadie to go help Carter and Zia. Meanwhile they enter the Land of the Demons, and Carter and Zia kiss. Carter realizes that Zia has become the host of Ra. They find the sheut and Setne binds them with the Seven Ribbons of Hathor. Sadie comes to help and they bind Apophis's shadow to the statue. The shadow sends a distress call to all forces of Chaos, and they arrive.

Tawaret arrives with the gods from the Fourth House (Divine Nursing Home) and saves them from a tragic death.. When they return to the mortal world, the Brooklyn House is at the First Nome, helping Amos and the others protect it. Ra is reborn with Zia as his host and is not senile anymore. The other gods come to help them, while Ra gives Carter the pharaoh's throne. He orders the other gods to help. They enter the First Nome to help protect Amos against the rebels. Apophis eats Ra, and then Sadie and Carter execrate his shadow. He regurgitates Ra and dies. Ra and the rest of the gods retreat from the world.

Carter and Sadie go to see their father to report Setne's escape. Their father is just happy that they're alive and succeeded in saving the world. Sadie talks to her mother who asks her to be careful because her gift of prophecy has shown her visions of "other gods" and "rival magic".

Carter takes Zia out on a trip in the Mall of America. She tells him that she will be staying in Brooklyn House. They share a passionate friendship and start a relationship. Meanwhile, Bes and Tawaret finally get together after many centuries. Walt, now the host of Anubis, dances with Sadie and the pair also have a romantic time.

The book ends with an invitation to anyone with pharaoh's blood to join the House of Life. Sadie also mentions having to check out "unexplained magic" in Long Island.


  • Carter Kane:(Age 14, Red Pyramid and Throne of Fire; age 15, Serpent's Shadow) — The host of the Falcon god, Horus and has the "blood of the pharaohs," being a descendant of Narmer and Ramses the Great through both sides of his family. He is one of the main protagonists, and is initially described as always dressing "impeccably" in dress shirts and pants, but relaxes into a more modern style as the series progresses. He has dark skin, curly dark brown hair and brown eyes. After the death of his mother, he spent six years traveling with his father and, as he put it, "living out of a suitcase". His specialty is combat magic and his preferred weapon is a khopesh, an ancient Egyptian sword.
  • Ruby Kane: is Carter and Sadie's mom who dies at Cleopatra's Needle trying to seal away the chaos snake Apophis.
  • Sadie Kane: She is twelve and was a host of Isis. She was 6 when her mother died, and lived in England with her grandparents ever since. She is described to have blue eyes and caramel hair, not brunette nor blonde. As she stays in England, her skin is paler than Carter's and has a slight British accent. Her father gave her a cat whom she named Muffin, although it is actually the goddess Bast who is the protector of the Kane siblings. Sadie is the bold one from the Kane siblings, she is more reckless and more of a troublemaker. She teases her brother all the time, though she actually cares for him.
  • Julius Kane: An Egyptian magician who becomes Osiris. He is Carter and Sadie Kane's father. His wife, Ruby Kane, died trying to seal away the chaos snake Apophis in Cleopatra's Needle.[1] He is also an Egyptologist.
  • Amos Kane: An Egyptian magician who became a partial host of Set. He is Julius Kane's brother, and a former protector of the Kane children. The children find out that he has been Set's host.[1]
  • Zia Rashid: An Egyptian magician who is a host of Ra.[1]
  • Bast: The Egyptian goddess of cats. She becomes the Kane children's protector after Sadie calls for her to defend and help the children and the world.
  • Set:The Egyptian god of deserts (and not destruction because it's apophis). He is the main antagonist, his host is Amos.
  • Apophis: The embodiment of Chaos. He used Face of Horror as his host as well as creating chaos for him to feed on.
  • Ra: He was once the king of the Gods