Thursday, May 19, 2011

"An interesting turn of events, wouldn't you say, Miss Throckmorton?"

The kids and I were watching the latest Harry Potter dvd the other night and lamenting that it will really be all over when the final movie comes out this summer. Of course, the books finished up a couple of years ago, and it left a big hole in 'good books for kids.' There's been a tidal wave of copy-cats with similar themes but most of them haven't been very good.  One new series I've enjoyed, though, is the Theodosia books by R. L. LaFevers (which isn't a copy of the Harry Potter theme). I recently got an advance copy of the latest book from Amazon Vine, Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh, and I have to admit I enjoyed this one even more than the others. And it's a little embarrasing to become so engrossed in a kid's book.

Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh (The Theodosia Series)This time eleven year old Theodosia Throckmorton has returned to Egypt with her mother. She hopes to fulfill the promise she made to Awi Bubu (book 3) to return the Emerald Tablet to the wedjadeen, a secret group charged with protecting ancient artifacts and the magic they hold. After that she hopes to "get back to normal" on an archaeological dig with her mother and maybe even learn a little about the unusual stories about her birth. But nothing is normal for Theo, and the Serpents of Chaos are causing even bigger problems in Egypt (kind of reminded me of the recent uprisings there), and it looks like keeping her promise is going to be a lot harder - and much more dangerous - than she thought.

I'm certainly not in the target age group for this series, but once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. We meet some new characters, like Gadji the donkey boy and Major Harriman Grindle, since most others were left behind in London (except, of course, she's managed to smuggle her cat Isis along for the trip, much to her mother's consternation). And this is a surprisingly entertaining series. I started with the second book and found it a bit slow-going at first, but the Egyptian themes lend an interesting twist. And Theodosia herself is quite a charming character - in some ways she reminds me a little of Flavia de Luce, although her voice is more "droll" than "witty" and the writing is definitely geared to a younger audience. It's not Harry Potter, but kids - and some of their parents - will enjoy following along in her adventures, wherever they lead.

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