Sunday, June 10, 2012

Review: Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R. L. LaFevers

Theodosia and the 
Serpents of Chaos

Theodosia Throckmorton has her hands full at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London. Her father may be head curator, but it is Theo—and only Theo—who is able to see all the black magic and ancient curses that still cling to the artifacts in the museum.

When Theo’s mother returns from her latest archaeological dig bearing the Heart of Egypt—a legendary amulet belonging to an ancient tomb—Theo learns that it comes inscribed with a curse so black and vile that it threatens to crumble the British Empire from within and start a war too terrible to imagine. Intent on returning the malevolent artifact to its rightful place, Theo devises a daring plan to put things right. But even with the help of her younger brother, a wily street urchin, and the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers, it won’t be easy . . . she quickly finds herself pursued down dark alleys, across an ocean, through the bustling crowds of Cairo, and straight into the heart of an ancient mystery. Theo will have to call upon everything she’s ever learned in order to prevent the rising chaos from destroying her country—and herself!

Performed by Charlotte Parry (Brilliance Audio on CD)

Charlotte Parry is a New York and London based actress with extensive theatre experience on and off Broadway, regionally and in the West End. Some of her favorite work includes the inaugural year of Sam Mendes' The Bridge Project - 'The Cherry Orchard and 'The Winters Tale' (BAM, International tour and West End), Coram Boy and The Real Thing (Broadway and West End - 3 TONY awards), two seasons with the Sir Peter Hall Company, and the chance to work with Tom Stoppard and Edward Albee on new plays.

Genre:  Middle Grade Historical Fantasy
Publisher Type:  Traditional
Rating:  *  *  *  *  *
My Review:
**My best British accent** I do so enjoy a well written middle grade fantasy!  Much in the vein of the 2001 movie, The Mummy Returns (one of my all time favorite movies), LaFevers writes a smashingly brilliant adventure (yes, still in the British accent mode).  

Theodosia -clever, bright and under appreciated- has grown up surrounded by ancient Egyptian artifacts.  Theo has learned to survive with her gift of sensing the dark magic (with which many artifacts were cursed) by studying ancient Egyptian texts on magic.  And this gift, both blessing and curse itself, has kept Theodosia on her toes.

This is such a well written and creative book.  I loved the plot premise and the Egyptian history.  LaFever's does a beautiful job of building the historical background without weighing the reader down with extraneous data.  It's fast paced and full of adventure and interesting characters.  I worried and fretted for Theo and those she loved.  I disliked her father, who seemed just hateful at times, but was glad that at the conclusion both he and Theo's mom affirmed their love and concern for their daughter. 

I got this one out of the library as an audio CD (I had just stumbled upon it while waiting for my children to finish up) and am so glad I picked it up!  Charlotte Parry, the actress who acted out the book for this recording, did an amazing job.  She sounded just as I'd imagine Theo would sound like.  Flawless!

In summary:  Loved it!  Loved it!  Loved it!!

Cover Art:
Totally awesome and appropriate!  I love the folk art style and how it's layered on the penciled background.  I'm also glad that Isis the cat made it on the cover.  I enjoyed Isis' part of the story (and yes, I worried about Isis throughout!).

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