Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

*Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos* by R.L. LaFevers- young readers fantasy book review
Also by R.L. LaFevers:

Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris

Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh

Also illustrated by Yoko Tanaka:

One Moon, Two Cats

Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos
by R.L. LaFevers
Ages 9-12 352 pages Sandpiper May 2008 Paperback    

Theodosia is tasked with the unruly job of removing evil curses from the ancient artifacts her mother brings home from her archeological adventures. This is a self appointed position – Theodosia is eleven years old and should really be away at a boarding school, or at the very least home with a governess. Instead, she hides out at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities, where her father is head Curator. Cursed or blessed, whichever it may be, she has the uncanny ability to sense and see black magic and ancient curses.

When faced with a shipment of “new” artifacts, Theo (as she is called by her family) feels the sensation of icy-footed beetles marching down her spine if any are cursed with the forces of ancient evil. Thankfully Theo has managed to get her hands on some texts covering ancient Egyptian black magic and hieroglyphics and has devised a three-step test to confirm the presence of an evil spell on objects. The first level is covered through hunches and gut instinct - the sensation of icy-footed beetles scuttling down her back, the suffocating air, the smell of sulfur, and other such pleasantries. The second-level test involves encircling the object with bits of wax. If the wax turns a lovely greeny black, then she must move on to the third-level test. The most dreaded of all tests, the third-level test involves viewing the artifact in the moonlight: “Moonlight is the only way to make the inscribed curses visible to the human eye.” Once the curse is confirmed, Theo scours the ancient texts to find a ways to remove or nullify the curse.

Theodosia is soon to face her biggest challenge ever. Her mother has brought home the Heart of Egypt, a legendary amulet belonging to an ancient tomb. In doing so, she has unleashed the Serpents of Chaos, and Theo is tasked with saving her country from the evils of a curse so black it threatens to crumble the British Empire.

With lively characters, never-ending adventure, the fascination of ancient artifacts and black magic, this novel is sure to delight readers young and old. The wit and clever deception of Theodosia leaves the reader both cheering and laughing as she begins to understand the politics of the world, the complexities of her family, and the worth of her intuitive “gift”. Readers will be hooked from the first page and left craving more when they reach the end.

click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
web reviews
  Regan Windsor/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (