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Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos Paperback – May 5, 2008
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
1. Eating broken glass
2. Changing a baby's diaper for the first time.
3. Digesting aforementioned broken glass.
4. Selling a boy on a great adventuresome novel with a female heroine.
It's a bit of a stereotype but one with at least a grain of truth to it. Certain boys of a particular literary persuasion will offer an unpleasant amount of resistance to reading a book when its protagonist is of the feminine variety. This is understood. Few quibble the point. As a result, nine times out of ten a hero who discovers a fantastical world in a fantasy novel will sport a name like Harry or Percy or Sebastian (no one said they had to be manly names). This can make it difficult for girls heroes. Either they have to share the spotlight with a boy (and is pictured on the cover with him if the publisher has their way) or their heroine already exists in a world of her own when the action begins. The latter is the case with one Theodosia Throckmorton. If you called her "spunky" to her face she'd probably grind your foot beneath her boot heel. Theodosia isn't cute or plucky or wide-eyed. She's sly and clever with just half a sandwich more intelligence than her fellow man. "Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos" is not a perfect creation, but it has enough originality and sheer verve to make up for those imperfections a reader might find.
When you're living in Edwardian England as the child of easily distracted museum curators, you have to do a lot of growing up on your own. Theodosia Throckmorton , for her part, has done her fair share.Read more ›
Theodosia, who is "cleverer than most", has a rare natural gift for sensing ancient curses, and removing them. When her mother brings home a very important, and seriously cursed artifact, the Heart of Egypt, Theodosia finds herself at the heart of a conspiracy. She has to recover the artifact, after it's stolen by evil-doers, and go to great lengths to un-do the damage wrought by the Heart of Egypt. She wrestles with a secret brotherhood, German troublemakers, an appealing young pickpocket, and her pesky younger brother, Henry. Not to mention stowing away on a ship, facing scorpions, and removing a curse from her black cat. Through it all, Theodosia remains strong and smart, considerably more on top of things than her relatively hapless parents and snooty grandmother. She's very cool.
Theodosia has an appealingly snarky voice (the story is told in the first person). Here are a couple of examples:
"I weighed my options: being followed through the streets of London by a menacing stranger or catching a lift with Grandmother Throckmorton.Read more ›
First, the egyptology in this book is much more interesting, and more full of colorful detail and atmosphere, than any other similarly themed series (including the new Riordan series, which drops more names but feels less authentic). This gives the whole series a creepy and magical feel that seems somehow more real than most kids magical fantasies.
Second, and much more importantly, Theodosia has a fresh, charming, spunky voice that is just wonderful. She can be snarky, sensitive, perceptive, fragile, tough, and no-nonsense. She is just a terrific star for this series, and is a wonderful treat. I have been delighted by the fact that recent series have elevated girls from secondary to lead roles, but this one has created a particularly charming star.
Now, to be fair, this book does not come with a dense back story, or a fully realized magical world. It is episodic, and the plots (society of good guys versus society of bad guys) aren't breaking any new ground. Think of it as more like the first in a series of Indiana Jones style plotlines. But, you don't usually get dialogue as sharp as this, or writing as well crafted, or characters as engaging in middle grade fiction. The sample chapter, above, gives you a pretty good sense of the book, (although I think the book gets better as it goes on), and I would strongly suggest that you take a look at that.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book instantly grabbed my imagination, and soon before I knew it, I had read the whole book! I recommend this for anyone who likes Egypt and fantasy . Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sara
My 8-year old daughter loves the whole series. Strong, young, female main character outwitting grown ups. What's not for a kid to love.Published 7 months ago by David W.
I looooove the Theodosia series! She's very spunky, quick thinking with lots of wit and a relatable set of complaints.Published 10 months ago by Kelly Lowerey
Review Originally Posted on Goodreads.com
I found this book at a used bookstore and became... Read more
Strong female character, historical London setting, Egyptology, adventure - what's not to like? I bought it as a Kindle deal of the day, but was so charmed I then read it aloud to... Read morePublished 15 months ago by D. Fulmer
Well, here we are . Spending time with yet another self-willed, lie-telling little sod. Such a weight of self aggrandizement nearly overwhelms her few, but considerable, gifts... Read morePublished 16 months ago by shiner
Such a great and creative writing,especially for the first book In the series! Awesome book you should totally read this!!!!Published 18 months ago by Seaside
Granddaughter loved it so I ordered the other three in the series. She is 12. She finished it in one setting of a few hours.Published 19 months ago by Dqindian44