AudioFile magazine praised the audiobook, raving
Author Rick Riordan explores Egyptian mythology in the Kane Chronicles series. Riordan’s works transition well to the audiobook format with their formula of equal parts nonstop adventure and well-camouflaged education. Dual narrators add a welcome level of complexity as Carter and Sadie Kane recount their story in turns. Kevin Free channels his inner adolescent well as the world-traveling Carter, and Katherine Kellgren’s Sadie steals the show with her sardonic wit. Even though Kellgren is once again portraying a young British heroine, Sadie is a far cry from Bloody Jack in class, setting, and temperament.
The novel opens with Carter and his father Julius Kane going to visit Carter's sister Sadie, who has lived with her maternal grandparents since the death of their mother, Ruby Kane. Julius, who is secretly a magician, but posing as a simple Egyptologist, takes the siblings to the British Museum, where he tries to bring Osiris (the Egyptian god of the Underworld) back into the mortal world. His magic also has the unintended side effect of summoning the gods Horus, Isis, Nephthys, and Set, as well as alerting the magicians Zia Rashid and Michel Desjardins to his actions, which are illegal in the magic community. Set, a god of chaos, captures Julius and destroys the museum. Unbeknownst to Carter and Sadie, each of the gods chooses a mortal host from the humans in the room.Carter and Sadie are taken to Brooklyn by their uncle Amos, who tells them they are descended from a long line of magicians, beginning with the Egyptian pharaohs Ramesses the Great and Narmer. He also explains the grave danger Set poses to the world, and goes to find him. While he is away, the mansion is attacked by Set's minions. With help from Sadie's cat Muffin, who is host to the goddess Bast, and Zia Rashid, they escape to Cairo. Once there, Carter and Sadie discover they are hosts to the gods Horus and Isis, respectively. They train in magic until the magicians' leader Iskandar dies and Michel Desjardins orders their deaths for collaborating illegally with the gods. The siblings escape and formulate a plan to defeat Set — hoping to rescue their father and clear their names within the magic community.They travel to Set's lair in New Mexico, gathering ingredients for a magic spell and evading hostile monsters and magicians. After Bast sacrifices herself defending them from Sobek, Carter and Sadie encounter Amos and then Zia. The foursome heads to Set's hideout where they learn the final piece of the spell they need from a dying Zia, the unknowing host of Nephthys. Carter, Sadie, Horus, and Isis use the spell to bring Set to his knees, although they stop short of completely destroying him because they realize his actions were dictated by a far worse enemy — Apophis, a much more powerful god of chaos. Desjardins reluctantly allows Carter and Sadie to go free after they part with Horus and Isis.After a tearful goodbye with Zia, who turns out to have been a magical copy of the real young magician, Carter and Sadie return to Brooklyn. They visit their father, now in the underworld with their ghostly mother, and are saddened to be parted from him. As a gift, Osiris (hosted by the deceased Julius) helps Bast return to the mortal world. The novel ends with Carter and Sadie describing their plans to recruit other magicians to (illegally) study the path of the gods. Carter also resolves to seek out the real Zia Rashid, while Amos Kane begins therapy after being forcibly possessed by Set.