The Throne of Fire Read online
Text copyright © 2011 by Rick Riordan
All rights reserved. Published by Disney • Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. For information, address Disney • Hyperion Books, 114 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10011-5690.
Hieroglyph art by Michelle Gengaro-Kokmen Composition by Brad Walrod
Table of Contents
1. Fun with Spontaneous Combustion
2. We Tame a Seven-Thousand-Pound Hummingbird
3. The Ice Cream Man Plots Our Death
4. A Birthday Invitation to Armageddon
5. I Learn to Really Hate Dung Beetles
6. A Birdbath Almost Kills Me
7. A Gift from the Dog-headed Boy
8. Major Delays at Waterloo Station (We Apologize for the Giant Baboon)
9. We Get a Vertically Challenged Tour of Russia
10. An Old Red Friend Comes to Visit
11. Carter Does Something Incredibly Stupid (and No One Is Surprised)
12. I Master the Fine Art of Name-Calling
13. I Get a Demon Up My Nose
14. At the Tomb of Zia Rashid
15. Camels Are Evil . . .
16. . . .But Not as Evil as Romans
17. Menshikov Hires a Happy Death Squad
18. Gambling on Doomsday Eve
19. The Revenge of Bullwinkle the Moose God
20. We Visit the House of the Helpful Hippo
21. We Buy Some Time
22. Friends in the Strangest Places
23. We Throw a Wild House Party
24. I Make an Impossible Promise
For Conner and Maggie, the Riordan family’s great brother-sister team
Also by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book One:
The Lightning Thief
Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Two:
The Sea of Monsters
Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Three:
The Titan’s Curse
Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Four:
The Battle of the Labyrinth
Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Five:
The Last Olympian
The Kane Chronicles, Book One:
The Red Pyramid
The Heroes of Olympus, Book One:
The Lost Hero
This is a transcript of an audio recording. Carter and Sadie Kane first made themselves known in a recording I received last year, which I transcribed as The Red Pyramid. This second audio file arrived at my residence shortly after that book was published, so I can only assume the Kanes trust me enough to continue relaying their story. If this second recording is a truthful account, the turn of events can only be described as alarming. For the sake of the Kanes, and for the world, I hope what follows is fiction. Otherwise we are all in very serious trouble.
C A R T E R
1. Fun with Spontaneous Combustion
Look, we don’t have time for long introductions. I need to tell this story quickly, or we’re all going to die.
If you didn’t listen to our first recording, well…pleased to meet you: the Egyptian gods are running around loose in the modern world; a bunch of magicians called the House of Life is trying to stop them; everyone hates Sadie and me; and a big snake is about to swallow the sun and destroy the world.
[Ow! What was that for?]
Sadie just punched me. She says I’m going to scare you too much. I should back up, calm down, and start at the beginning.
Fine. But personally, I think you should be scared.
The point of this recording is to let you know what’s really happening and how things went wrong. You’re going to hear a lot of people talking trash about us, but we didn’t cause those deaths. As for the snake, that wasn’t our fault either.
Well…not exactly. All the magicians in the world have to come together. It’s our only chance.
So here’s the story. Decide for yourself. It started when we set Brooklyn on fire.
The job was supposed to be simple: sneak into the Brooklyn Museum, borrow a particular Egyptian artifact, and leave without getting caught.
No, it wasn’t robbery. We would have returned the artifact eventually. But I guess we did look suspicious: four kids in black ninja clothes on the roof of the museum. Oh, and a baboon, also dressed like a ninja. Definitely suspicious.
The first thing we did was send our trainees Jaz and Walt to open the side window, while Khufu, Sadie, and I examined the big glass dome in the middle of the roof, which was supposed to be our exit strategy.
Our exit strategy wasn’t looking too good.
It was well after dark, and the museum was supposed to be closed. Instead, the glass dome glowed with light. Inside, forty feet below, hundreds of people in tuxedos and evening gowns mingled and danced in a ballroom the size of an airplane hangar. An orchestra played, but with the wind howling in my ears and my teeth chattering, I couldn’t hear the music. I was freezing in my linen pajamas.
Magicians are supposed to wear linen because it doesn’t interfere with magic, which is probably a great tradition in the Egyptian desert, where it’s hardly ever cold and rainy. In Brooklyn, in March—not so much.
My sister, Sadie, didn’t seem bothered by the cold. She was undoing the locks on the dome while humming along to something on her iPod. I mean, seriously—who brings their own tunes to a museum break-in?
She was dressed in clothes like mine except she wore combat boots. Her blond hair was streaked with red highlights —very subtle for a stealth mission. With her blue eyes and her light complexion, she looked absolutely nothing like me, which we both agreed was fine. It’s always nice to have the option of denying that the crazy girl next to me is my sister.
“You said the museum would be empty,” I complained.
Sadie didn’t hear me until I pulled out her earbuds and repeated myself.
“Well, it was supposed to be empty.” She’ll deny this, but after living in the States for the last three months, she was starting to lose her British accent. “The Web site said it closed at five. How was I to know there’d be a wedding?”
A wedding? I looked down and saw that Sadie was right. Some of the ladies wore peach-colored bridesmaid dresses. One of the tables had a massive tiered white cake. Two separate mobs of guests had lifted the bride and groom on chairs and were carrying them through the room while their friends swirled around them, dancing and clapping. The whole thing looked like a head-on furniture collision waiting to happen.
Khufu tapped on the glass. Even in his black clothes, it was hard for him to blend into the shadows with his golden fur, not to mention his rainbow-colored nose and rear end.
“Agh!” he grunted.
Since he was a baboon, that could’ve meant anything from Look, there’s food down there to This glass is dirty to Hey, those people are doing stupid things with chairs.
“Khufu’s right,” Sadie interpreted. “We’ll have a hard time sneaking out through the party. Perhaps if we pretend we’re a maintenance crew—”
“Sure,” I said. “‘Excuse us. Four kids coming through with a three-ton statue. Just going to float it up through the roof. Don’t mind us.’”
Sadie rolled her eyes. She pulled out her wand—a curved length of ivory carved with pictures of monsters—and pointed it at the base of the