From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6 Theodosia Throckmorton wears gloves all the time. It's a good thing, because they often protect her from the cursed Egyptian artifacts that her parents keep bringing into their Museum of Legends and Antiquities. In this book, 11-year-old Theo once again gets herself mixed up with the Serpents of Chaos and the Arcane Order of the Black Sun as she and her brother try to steal the Emerald Tablet that they accidentally found in the museum basement. She is curious about the Egyptian magician, Awi Bubu, who seems to know quite a bit about the Tablet and about Theodosia herself, in the end revealing a secret about her birth that might explain her powers of detecting and eliminating curses. In a final standoff, Theodosia discovers her stiff-upper-lipped grandmother might be more interesting than she suspects and that she might be able to call a truce with a hated curator. Though this series involves a great deal of magic, its setting in Victorian England with colorful characters from all walks of life makes it seem like a realistic story. A few full-page graphite drawings dispersed throughout add to the descriptions of scenes. This is a book to recommend enthusiastically to any reader who likes Egyptian history, a good mystery, or fast-paced action. The ending also promises another exciting installment, leaving readers wanting more. Since past adventures and relationships are mentioned without explanation, this is a series best read in order. Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
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Theodosia Throckmorton, first appearing in Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos (2007), returns in another fantastical romp, steeped in ancient Egyptian lore and set in Edwardian England. With villains from previous series installments still at large, a new threat is added to the mix: the Arcane Order of the Black Sun, a secret society focused on the occult. Once again, supernaturally talented Theodosia navigates around her etiquette-obsessed grandmother and absentminded parents in a suspenseful, satisfying fantasy that’s filled with the specifics of magical ritual sure to delight readers who miss the goings-on at Hogwarts. Grades 5-8. --Gillian Engberg