I have a new favorite author: Rick Riordan.
Ok, he's not actually my favorite. NO one, and I mean no one, can replace David Eddings.
But Rick is worming his way up with two of his fantastic YA fiction series: Percy Jackson & the Olympians and The Kane Chronicles.
I know, I know: you've all read Percy Jackson. Well, I just read it for the first time, and I gotta say, the movie did NOT do it justice. Heck, the movie was why I had no desire to read the books. But a while back, a co-worker of mine recommended The Kane Chronicles, and oh.my.goodness.
If you think Percy Jackson is good, you will LOVE The Kane Chronicles.
In a similar vein to Percy Jackson, The Kane Chronicles are a trilogy set in modern times, and the protagonists, a brother and sister, get caught up in ancient mythology that actually exists, this time Ancient Egypt. Carter and Sadie Kane are children of famous Egyptologists, but they have been raised separately for the past 6 years, ever since their mom died, Carter traveling the world with his dad and Sadie in London with their maternal grandparents.
In the first book, The Red Pyramid, after their dad destroys the Rosetta Stone and frees Egyptian gods that had been bound for thousands of years, Carter and Sadie learn that they are descendent of Ancient Egyptian pharaohs, and because of their descent, they are also powerful magicians.
Oh yeah, and they have about 5 days to save the world.
The books are transcripts of recordings that Carter and Sadie sent out to spread the truth and gather other magicians. The Red Pyramid and The Throne of Fire, the second book, are full of Egyptian gods, magic, sibling rivalry, and apocalyptic destruction. (The third is set to come out May 2012.)
But my favorite part of the books is the sibling interactions. As any teenaged siblings, Carter and Sadie fight and mock each other incessantly but also support one another during the hard times. If you are a sibling, you will enjoy how Rick Riordan perfectly captures the sibling interactions.
Because of the two narrators and the two accents (because they were raised separately), I recommend listening to these books (after reading them first, of course), and the narrators do a great job, except for their Southern accents. So painful!
The best part about reading these books? When Spencer and I went to the Met shortly after I finished these books, I was able to spout off tons of facts and say my favorite phrase many, many times: "Did you know that...? Did you know that...? Did you know that...?"