Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ancient Egyptian curses, a dark and dusty old museum, and secret societies

Theodosia Throckmorton spends way too much time in the museum where her parents work. Her mother is in Egypt on an archaeological dig, and her father is so absorbed in his work that he not only forgets meals (for himself and his daughter), but often he forgets all about going home at the end of the day, leaving Theo to sleep, of all places, in a sarcophagus. She doesn't really mind it - she is an Egyptian scholar in her own right, despite her young age, and she loves the museum and its fascinating artifacts. But still, her father never seems to notice anything she does - in his eyes, she is just a child, and if she calls too much attention to herself, he might even remember that she should have gone back to that horrible boarding school months ago.

Theo's main trouble is that she is the only one who appears to notice all the curses on the artifacts her parents bring back from Egypt. She has learned through her research how to make protective amulets and such, but her her parents simply find them quaint and amusing and refuse to wear them. But one of the curators appears just a little too interested in the items with the worst curses, and Theo suspects he is up to something. When Theo's mom returns from Egypt with an impressive array cursed artifacts, including the supremely cursed Heart of Egypt, which suddenly turns up missing, Theo realizes that there is more to the disappearance than meets the eye. And as usual, no one believes her. Little does she know the entire fate of England rests in her hands...

This is the kind of book that, when I was a kid, would have sent me running straight to the library to check out books on mummies, ancient Egypt, Egyptian artifacts, pharaohs, gods and goddesses. It's exciting, with a feisty, resourceful protagonist who is intellectual and courageous. I hope there are more tales of Theo's adventures to come.

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L LaFevers; illustrated by Yoko Tanaka (Houghton Mifflin Co., 2007)


  1. This looks like a fantastic kids book! I always loved reading about ancient Egypt!

  2. It reminded a little bit of Elizabeth Peters' Egypt mystery series, which is one I often recommend to older kids and teens who are starting to move into the adult section and are looking for good books. Ancient Egypt is fascinating, isn't it!

  3. I love the sound of this one! Thanks for the great review.

  4. Nymeth - I hope you like it - you'll have to let me know what you think if you read it. I really am hoping for a sequel - she's set up a lot of fun stuff with the characters, especially
    Theo's brother, who is interesting if slightly peripheral to this story.


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