The Serpent’s Shadow
Book 3 of The Kane Chronicles
by Rick Riordan
Well, The Kane Chronicles have come to an end. And while I’ve been really been enjoying the series and think it has gotten better with each book, there’s a part of me that’s happy to be done with it. It seems to me that Rick had a good thing going with the Greek gods in his Percy Jackson series and wanted to branch out into the other mythological pantheons, and this series was his taking care of the Egyptians. He did a great job wrapping up all the loose ends of the series and almost put a ‘happily ever after’ bow on top of it. There were a few allusions made to the other existence of the other pantheons and stories taking place, but this was mostly written in a silo. (That being said, I am aware of there being at least one crossover book between the Kanes and Percy Jackson). But enough about the series, onto the book!
The Serpent’s Shadow picks up a few months after where The Throne of Fire left off. Some handwaving is done at the beginning to indicate the character growth and development. It’s done well enough to set the stage for the book, but I’m again wanting to have seen it for myself instead of just hearing about it. Chaos has escaped its bounds and is (apparently) wreaking havoc upon the world. It will stop at nothing in its desire to completely destroy everything, and it’s up to Carter and Sadie to stop it. But what can two young adults do against one of the great cosmic forces of existence? Their attempts at waking Ra to deal with it didn’t go so well, and they’re wise enough to know a frontal assault would be suicide.
They cleverly figure out a way that might work, but it’s one shot in a million. But they make the shot and Carter takes the throne as the new Pharaoh. The ending is quite satisfying and I felt very content closing the book after the last page.
One thing I found in these books is that it is surprisingly easy to forget that Carter and Sadie are young teens. A sentence toward the end of this book sums it up nicely:
It felt strange being called children. I didn’t feel like a child anymore. Children weren’t asked to fight Chaos serpents. They didn’t lead armies to stop the end of the world.
Had a different set of ages been slapped on them making them late teens instead of early, I don’t think a lot would have changed in the books. Sure some of the side-characters’ antics might have been toned down a little, but I don’t think there would have been much different about any of the main characters. I don’t know how I feel about that – it could be a sign of a good author (keeping things general enough to cater to a larger audience), or it could be an indication that Rick didn’t know kids would have really handled the pressures and experiences that Carter and Sadie had.
My rating for this book matches the others, so it’s a good indicator of how I’d rate the entire series:
( ) definitely won’t read again
(x) might read again
( ) definitely would read again
( ) wouldn’t recommend
(x) might recommend
( ) definitely would recommend