Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by R. L. LaFevers (2010)

May 16, 2011 at 9:04 am (fantasy, historical fantasy, juvenile)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the juvenile and young adult shelves contain some good, fun fiction that isn’t the classics you remember (and may re-read from time to time).

The adventures of Theodosia Throckmorton are one of these.  Being the eleven-year-old daughter of obsessed early 20th-century British Egyptologists, Theo reads hieroglyphics almost as easily as English, and probably knows more about the ancient Pharoahs than about the British monarchy.

Her ability to perceive Egyptian curses seems to be an inborn ability, however.  But in a pleasing nod to practicality, being able to perceive the curses isn’t the same as being able to remove them – that takes research and experimentation.  And she’s done quite a lot of that; some of her discoveries surprise the older and more experienced men she runs into in the series.

This volume is the third of the series (the fourth, The Last Pharaoh, just came out this April).  Without going into spoilerish detail, Theodosia’s parents run (and practically live in) the Museum of Legends and Antiquities, and having managed to avoid being sent to boarding school, Theo also spends most of her time there.  The series involves three conflicting groups interested in the ancient Egyptian artifacts and magic that Theo knows perhaps too much about: the Order of the Black Sun (a cult), the Serpents of Chaos (another cult!), and the Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers (a secret government agency that deals with magical problems).

So.  Some of the artifacts that are in the museum are very powerful, and these groups want to get their hands on them.  Theo, with help from friends and occasionally the Brotherhood, has to figure out how to thwart them.  The magic is real – there’s a statue of Anubis that occasionally animates, and the plague of ambulatory mummies, and of course the wide variety of curses.

The stories feature actual Egyptian history and culture, as well as that of Edwardian London (crushing poverty, limited non-marriage opportunities for women and all).  They’re good clean fun, Theo is a clever but not perfect hero who sometimes gets in over her head, and I’m hoping my public library adds the fourth book to its collection so I can read it.

See also http://www.theodosiathrockmorton.com/ (where you can get a look at the Gorey-esque cover art, too).

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3 Comments

  1. Paul (@princejvstin) said,

    Where were these books when we were teenagers, Kris? 🙂

    • diaryofatextaddict said,

      There were good books back then, too! I vaguely remember quite a few …. 😉

  2. Paul (@princejvstin) said,

    Maybe I just had less than well stocked libraries on Staten Island (and don’t get me started on the lack of good bookstores). There are reasons why I jumped to adult genre fiction, early…mainly because I could get a hold of it to read.

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