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Headscratchers: The Kane Chronicles
  • How exactly is this series supposed to fit into the same universe as Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus? What happens when an egyptian god has domain over the same thing as a greek/roman god? Like Hathor and Aphrodite? Or Ra and Apollo? (Or would that be Helios?) Or (good lord) Geb & Nut and Gaea & Ouranos? Also what connection does the greek Underworld have to the parts of the Duat that deal with the afterlife?
    • I think the setting automatically handwaves it, different layers of reality and whatever, but they did explain the thing with the afterlife. Kinda. In Percy Jackson it said that the afterlife can look like whatever the dead person is expecting, and in The Kane Chronicles there's the deal with the Romans who got stuck between the two as ghosts because they didn't get properly prepared for either. Which raises bigger questions about what happens to people who don't get any burial rituals at all, but it seems like the afterlives are either different sides of the same thing, or interchangeable. We'll probably never know.
    • For that matter, what happens with Isis who was both worshipped by both the Romans and the Egyptians?
      • Maybe it's something to do with the fact she was originally Egyptian, and being worshipped by the Greeks/Romans didn't change that. Because she was not of Greek/Roman origin like the other Greek deities, she may still be considered Egyptian.
    • Besides all that, it's implied that the Egyptian gods are more primal than the Greek and Roman ones. Amos called them "powerful, primeval forces, but...not divine in the sense one might think of god." Plus, they always fall into the same patterns and have always required hosts to interact with the mortal world. All this could indicate that they're of an entirely different stock than the Greco-Roman pantheon.

  • 'Kay, so the books make occasional references to the Greek/Roman parts of The Verse, and that's just dandy. But considering that Riordan is writing them at the same time as The Heroes of Olympus, why aren't there any allusions to the Egyptian mythology in the other series?
    • Easy. The Greek/Roman system is, for all intents and purposes, still alive and kicking: the gods still fuss about with mortal lives, their children are still highly influential. While the Egyptians are in a state of disrepair: the gods are trapped, the magicians don't like using any major powers... it's a simple matter of influence. The Kane Chronicles has references like Amos saying that Manhattan has its own gods because this is relevant to the Kanes: they should stay away from Manhattan, because the Greeks could seriously mess them up if they cross into their turf. The Egyptians don't have the same kind of power at this point, so it would be a little silly for Chiron to say something like "make sure you don't cross into Graceland" because the Egyptian gods and the magicians are all weak. They can't do anything to the Greeks/Romans, they aren't a threat, and if it wasn't for the ruckus being caused by Apophis, the magicians would pretty much all be okay with letting their gods continue to sink further into obscurity. The Greek/Roman gods are still relevant, and so it makes sense for the magicians to take note of them. The Egyptian gods are not.

  • The way The Throne of Fire starts out, it feels like there's a book missing or something. Suddenly, there's a house full of students, and the story begins in the middle of a mission? It's so abrupt that I actually checked to make sure I hadn't accidentally picked up the third book.
    • A lot of books start like that. Instead of picking up exactly where the last left off, it starts a few months after the events. He could have started months earlier and spent chapters explaining how each student came and whatnot, but that would add at least a hundred pages of plot that could just as easily have been handled in a few pages (as he did).

  • These other pharaoh-descended/magical kids. Do their families know already, like the Kane family, the Kane kid's maternal grandparents, and Walt's family? If so, why aren't these kids already being trained at the House of Life? If not, how on earth did they get their parents to let them go to this 'school'?
    • Another problem: why is no one's family talked about? We hear about Walt's bloodline, but no one else really mentions their family. Also, why were so many kids added at all, when only two really mattered? Unless the remaining kids get character development in the next books (which, granted, they might), these remaining students will become mice.
      • This troper kinda though that they're there to flaunt the Kanes' authority and awesomeness or to add mooks to the Nome. As for their parents, at least one of the two is probably aware of the House of Life - there could be tons of people like Sadie's grandparents, who know about magic, don't use it but still end up passing it on to their children.

  • So, nobody at the school except Sadie and Carter have hosted gods, right? That would make the other kids on the same level as the magicians from the House of Life (or lower, since they've had less training), since all of the Kane kids' extra power comes from (a) having been godlings and (b) being the most powerful/ double-concentrated magical kids around, neither of which they can pass on to their students. So how do these barely-trained kids hold their own against the magicians that attack them?
    • One of the children said that they were currently being owned by the House of Life until Ra came along. I took that as a hint that Ma'at somehow helped them out, if that's even possible.
    • The initiates are being taught the 'Way of the Gods' which means they draw on the power of their chosen god when they do magic but only the Kanes and Walt are actually Hosting Gods which is several power levels up from following and drawing on same. It is significant that it took the hit squad magicians the WHOLE NIGHT to wear down the kids enough to actually get inside - just in time for the sunrise and return of Ra to recharge them.

  • Sadie and Carter, teaching school. WHAT. I get that it's a parallel to the Camps of the PJO and HO series, but it doesn't work. It's two kids, with very little knowledge or experience, passing on what exactly?
    • They're still the two most powerful magicians in the world that aren't associated with the 1st House (who at that point, wants to kill them), apart from Amos. They do have a lot of teaching they can do, and it's necessary for them to get as many people as they can before the final fight against the trouble that's brewing.
      • Didn't Amos help them at first? I don't remember the books all that clearly, but I thought they mentioned him not helping out anymore, so he much have had to at some point.
    • It's mentioned in the third book that after dealing with the Red Pyramid madness all of the school-age kids started attending an arts school in Brooklyn, except for Carter who preferred being home-schooled like he always has. The siblings only teach magic subjects, and many of the older initiates are skilled enough to self-teach, anyway.

  • Does it seem to anybody else that the characters' ages are way off? Sadie is supposed to be 12-going-on-13, but she acts much older, especially when it comes to guys and the way she thinks about them. She and her friends are allowed 'nights on the town'?! Maybe it's different in England, but in the States at least, that's pretty unusual, where 12 is still getting-dropped-off-at-the-movies-by-a-parent age. Carter falling in love/ getting obsessed with Zia in the manner of an older guy— maybe not *much* older, but 16-18 rather than 14, at least. Walt's conversations about being able to spend time with Sadie before dying? Again, sounds like much older kids talking, rather than a 16-year-old talking to a barely-13-year-old. It's like Riordan has gotten to comfortable writing in the mindset of the older teens from his previous series and can't get into a proper 12-14 year brain.
    • A lot of works do the same thing, where the given age is basically just for show and the real age is "typical teenager". You see the same thing in a lot of shows, such as Jimmy Neutron where we're supposed to go along with the fact that the main characters are in 5th grade (or something). There's probably a trope for this, but I don't know the name.
    • If you don't believe this to be a proper portrayal of love, then dude, you must not have been a teenager for some time. There're plenty of 13- and 14-year-olds who feel like that. Rickyrio has it right, in my book.
    • Hey. Who you calling old, man? I'm totally radical and not a day over, um, 30. Well maybe a few days. Damn. Okay, you win, maybe I haven't been an angsty teen recently enough to judge properly. Touche.
      • I'm sixteen and I was bothered by that too, until I realized that their mindset isn't purely about romance in the first place. Maybe I'm just making shit up, but when I compared the characters to the ones in PJO, I got the impression that they're slightly less adventure-hero-like when it comes to dealing with stress. It's probably not what the author intended, but the siblings act like they're somewhat messed up in the head and awfully close to having a mental breakdown. Carter's actions in particular tend to make a very limited amount of sense later on. He wasn't even a typical teenager in the first place and the only person he interacted with on a daily basis was his father, so if he had a view on romance in the first place then it came from books or TV, and his love for Zia seems more like an devotion or obsession anyway. Finding out that your crush was a statue can mess you up in all sorts of ways (not speaking from experience), so he probably just ended up focusing his issues on that.
      • Your 'not speaking from experience' made me spit-take, literally.
      • Sadie never seemed to have anything beyond casual crushes on Anubis and Walt anyway until Walt told her about the curse (and it's not like she gets the whole romance thing anyway). Walt himself explained why he likes Sadie this much; in his mind, she gives meaning to whatever time he has left. He knew for years that he was about to die, so of course he'd have a different way of thinking that your typical teenager.
      • Sadie, yes, the indirect characterization Riordon gives us does not match up with the direct characterization he gives us, she simply acts to old for a twelve year old who grew up in a more or less normal environment. Before anyone tries to point fingers, being raised by relatives instead of parents is fairly normal. Carter on the other hand, with a stretch of suspension of disbelief could be reasonably considered fourteen. What we are told about the way he grew up–that is, moving around a lot, not interacting much with other children, and dealing with occasionally being in dangerous situations–lends itself to acting more adult and having a slightly older mindset than usual.
  • Ok so Egyptian myth is right, the Greek myth is right,the Roman myth is right, oh and The Son of Neptune seems to indicate that the Chinese myth is also true. Does this mean that the Norse myth is right along with every other pantheon out there?
    • Seems likely. Heck, his next series may very well be Norse, since aside from Greek/Roman and Egyptian, it's the best-known pantheon. Odds are, they're true, but many of them may not make appearances due to a lack of cultural references to them in America (how many people know the Aztec pantheon, for example? Which is kinda sad, since they're geographically closer to America than Greece, Rome, or Egypt ever was.)
      • Not just likely, confirmed. He has plans for a Norse series that he's been working on since before The Lightning Thief came out. Of course, he's got to get through his other two series first, so he's stated a release date sometime around 2015. As for the Aztec issue, I would add that, besides the lack of modern cultural relevance, the Aztec pantheon is simply not as well defined as the Greek/Roman, Egyptian, and Norse ones. Specifically, the hierarchy is way less structured in most American mythology. Also, an Aztec based series would be difficult as there is no real Big Bad: Greeks have Titans and Giants, Egyptians have Apophis/chaos, and Norse has the Jotun all opposing their gods. Not so in Aztec, which has a few gods who occasionally are considered evil, but not any that could fill the roll of antagonist. It would also be hard to have an Aztec-worshipping mortal, as Aztecs didn't have mortal children of gods (unlike Greeks and Norse) or pharaohs who were the physical embodiment of the gods (Egyptian). So even ignoring the lack of American cultural influence, Aztec and other pre-Columbian era American myths just don't fit with Riordan's usual MO, which means it's pretty unlikely we'll be seeing any of them soon.
      • Additionally, the Aztec myth cycle isn't particularly suited to young adult works. If the Greek Pantheon is R rated, the Aztec one is practically triple XXX. Add that to the fact that they practiced human sacrifice and cannibalism on an immense scale, and that the priests would "gain the powers of the Gods" through human sacrifice and occasionally wearing a flayed woman's skin, it doesn't lend itself well to being bowdlerized. Add that to the fact that almost all the information about Aztec (and Mayan, for that matter) religion comes from only a handful of sources (none of which are reliable) it's evident why he didn't want to go that route.
      • As far as this troper knows, the Norse gods didn't have half-divine kids either. Or if they did, they weren't well-recorded.
      • A number of Norse heroes (most notably the Volsungs) were demigods or 'legacies' and most Teutonic royal lines claimed to be descended from Odin.
    • In-Universe, it would probably make sense that the Aztec gods died out (similar to Pan) after their civilizations fell apart and their cultural significance faded away.
    • Just for posterity, I should mention that Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods gives an offhand mention to the Indian gods being real too.
  • If the Kane Chronicles takes place in the same universe as the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus series, wouldn't the Greek gods have something to say about an Eldritch Abomination snake causing Apocalypse How - and for that matter, the Gigiantes and Gaia not appreciate the competition?
    • The Greek/Roman gods don't think those Egyptian weaklings are worth paying attention too. And I can totally see Apophis and Gaia working together (secretly, of course).
    • If the Kane Chronicles synchronize with the last year of the Titan Wars then Saturn and Apophis BOTH are different aspects of a power surge in Chaos as opposed to Order. Possibly the Kanes and the Demigods are fighting different facets of the same cosmic struggle?
      • According to Word of God, the Kane Chronicles begin shortly after the Titan War ends.
      • The Let's You and Him Fight nature of the Crossover Sequel Hook at the end of The Serpent's Shadow makes me question that, but the Avatars and Demigods could very well end up working together against an even greater threat than Gaia and Apophis combined. Yamata no Orochi, anyone?
      • I wonder if it'll be a fight that includes the Norse Heroes as well.
    • Also, there's no if about it - Riordan's written a crossover short story [1] featuring Percy and Carter.
  • Are Sadie and Carter really that powerful? By the end they are supposed to be the second and third most powerful magicians of the House, but isn't that more to do with everyone more powerful than them being killed in the war instead of those two being that experienced or knowledgeable? True, they have a lot of talent, but the rely primarily on their gods to both power and give them their spells. On their own, they appear to know only basics. Wouldn't Zia bet more powerful than either given she is a fully trained magician and she channels Ra, the most powerful of the Egypitan gods?
    • Imagine a world where everyone fights with swords. Two teenagers invent the gun, and practice with it for a while. Then they lend a really big gun to a friend, who has never used one before. Everyone else still has swords.
Junie B. JonesHeadscratchers/LiteratureKeep The Aspidistra Flying

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