R.J. LaFevers offers readers mystery, adventure, plenty of Ancient Egyptian dark magic and a wonderfully spunky main character in Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos. In my mind, there isn’t much more a girl (or boy, for that matter) could want in a book. Did I mention that most of the story takes place in a museum? Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better. I am a sucker for a good museum story. Oh, and it also happens to be the first in a series. Lucky us.
Theodosia Throckmorton spends a lot of time hanging around The Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London, where her father is the head curator. The Museum specializes in ancient artifacts, many of which have been recovered on archaeological digs by Theodosia’s adventurous mother. Even though her parents don’t realize it, the Museum is very lucky to have Theodosia, because she has a talent for recognizing and remedying the ancient curses that cling to most of the artifacts that arrive at the museum. When her mother returns from her latest dig with the Heart of Egypt – an amulet discovered in one of the tombs - Theodosia must put all of her skills in curse-removal into practice, because this artifact holds tremendous evil powers that could threaten her family, the British Empire and possibly the world at large. (Insert dramatic music here). Will she succeed? Will she save everyone? Not telling. So go read it to find out.
This book reminded me of the best kinds of old-fashioned kids’ books, you know the type where the main character is so much smarter than the adults even begin to know, and she goes up against evil forces without any of the doltish grownups even noticing until she has saved the day. Theodosia is funny and fearless (most of the time) and gifted, and she has an awesome cat sidekick, Isis, who spends a lot of the book cursed and inhabited by demonic powers. So much fun! Kids with any interest in Ancient Egypt (I think that’s probably the vast majority of kids) will devour the details in the story about ancient artifacts, hieroglyphs and curses. There are a few beautiful illustrations by Yoko Tanaka which are perfectly spooky and quirky and made me wish that there were more. Think of Theodosia as a little sister to the fabulous Enola Holmes. She’s equally independent, gutsy and brainy.
As a bonus for writers, R.J. LaFevers writes a blog that is packed with plenty of outstanding advice for aspiring authors. Super helpful and inspiring. Theodosia has her own website too. Three cheers for Theodosia!