Friday, February 19, 2010

Book Review - R. L. LaFever's Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R. L. LaFevers
Published by: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: April 9th, 2007
Format: Hardcover, 344 Pages
Challenge: 1st in Series
Rating: ★★★★★
To Buy

In the Museum of Legends and Antiquities Theodosia is trying to control the forces of chaos that wish to harm others through the curses and hexes contained in the various items on display throughout the museum. She is beset with the forces of darkness and the feeling of beetles scurrying up and down her spine that doesn't seem to affect anyone else there... even her father who was injured by one such nasty curse with a tumble down the stairs. It doesn't help much that she spends every waking (and sleeping) hour within the museum. But with her trusty cat, Isis, by her side, and armed with ancient texts, she does what she can with cobbled together spells and wax, carnelian, linen, and other such supplies. But what is she to do when her galavanting mother comes home with the discovery of a lifetime from the tomb of Amenemhab, the Heart of Egypt, with a curse so strong it could bring down a nation. Not to mention there was a bit of a miscalculation with the purifying of a statue of Bastet and Isis is now more demon than cat, her annoying little brother is due back from boarding school any day, there's a sneaky little pick pocket named Will on the prowl, and Grandmother Throckmorton is insisting Theo gets a new governess.

But when the Heart of Egypt goes missing from a hidden vault within the museum things have never looked worse. It could be the end of Theo's parents' careers. Of course, it really is something far worse! After tailing shadowy men connected with the British Museum through the back alleys of London, Theo saves the life of a could be thief and stumbles upon a secret society run by Lord Wigmere who do what Theo does, but without her inborn curse breaking ability. The Heart of Egypt must be returned to it's final resting place in order to stop biblical plagues falling down on the British Empire... but how is Theo to get to Egypt? How did the Heart of Egypt even get stolen? Does she have a traitor amongst her compatriots at the museum? And can she ever get her cat back? Chaos seems inevitable.

Theodosia Throckmorton is just a sheer delight of precocious brains, without that saccharine touch that can be seen amongst others of her ilk. She's no nonsense and straight to the point. With wonderful detail and wit, R. L. LaFever's brings us this magical and wonderful Edwardian England on the brink of World War I where mysticism and magic from the land of the Pharaohs is just as real a threat as the Germans. From Theodosia's prepping of ingredients to back alley chases, the world that's created just sucks you in and you don't want to leave. I think the best way of describing Theo and her adventures is very much an Amelia Peabody mystery, but much more accessible to younger readers, or in fact all readers, who don't like their prose to be overly stylized. Of course, I'm a sucker for all things Egyptian, so when I first saw this book on the shelf it was a must read. I'm glad that I picked it up, because the gorgeous production value of the hardcovers, from turn of the century maps to deckled edges, just touches the surface of how wonderful the book is inside. When I picked up this book, little did I know that I'd find myself a new favorite author and a new favorite heroine. I wish that a girl like Theo was around when I was younger, but I'm glad to have found her at all!

Also make sure to enter my giveaway for an ARC of the 3rd book in the series, Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus, thanks to Houghton Mifflin!


I love the sound of this book. And look at that adoreable cover. History? I'm in!

I just adore these books, the covers are beyond gorgeous, but they're fun and witty too boot!

This book review brings back memories of why I loved reading as a young child. A chill went down my spine as I read your review. I have not heard of this author but will rush off to see if I can find a copy. I take it this is a series?

Yes it is SariJ! The first two books are already out, with the third being released in April, but you could win it now! The giveaway I'm running till the end of the month is for the third installment. My reviews will be posted next week!

Post a Comment

Newer Post Older Post Home