Don't forget, dear Lovelies, that you have a chance to win a signed copy of this very book and that you also have a chance to win a very cool ancient Egyptian pen. To learn how you can win a signed copy of the book click here. To learn how to win the pen you need just click here. You have until Friday at noon to get your entries in, and the winners will be announced on Saturday. And with that little bit of housekeeping out of the way...
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R. L. LaFevers
Theodosia Throckmorton has her hands full at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London. Her father may be head curator, but it is Theo-and only Theo-who is able to see all the black magic and ancient curses that still cling to the artifacts in the museum. When Theo's mother returns from her latest archaeological dig bearing the Heart of Egypt-a legendary amulet belonging to an ancient tomb-Theo learns that it comes inscribed with a curse so black and vile that it threatens to crumble the British Empire from within and start a war too terrible to imagine. Intent on returning the malevolent artifact to its rightful place, Theo devises a daring plan to put things right. But even with the help of her younger brother, a wily street urchin, and the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers, it won't be easy . . . she quickly finds herself pursued down dark alleys, across an ocean, through the bustling crowds of Cairo, and straight into the heart of an ancient mystery. Theo will have to call upon everything she's ever learned in order to prevent the rising chaos from destroying her country-and herself!
This JCC is excellent. It sums up the book so nicely, that I don't even have to do that with this dish. Which is truly wonderful because I loved this book so much I want to give spoilers. Big globs of information that would give away everything you need to learn by reading the book. That's what happens, unfortunately, when I really love a book, I want to discuss it in detail and that's good if the person or persons I'm discussing it with have read the book, but bad if they have not. I will have my chance to discuss the book in detail however, when Theo is the Cherry Forums Book Club pick starting June 1st. I hope to see you there :).
Theodosia Throckmorton is a very clever girl. She loves the museum where her father is the Head Curator, and she loves seeing and learning about all the artifacts that come into the museum. This is a good thing, because just like the JCC says, Theo has the ability to see the curses that are attached to many of the artifacts that come into the museum, but she can't share this information with the adults surrounding her because they simply will not listen to such a young girl, "...even if that girl just happens to be the daughter of the Head Curator of the museum and is rather cleverer than most (or so I've been told; oddly, I don't think they meant it as a compliment)."
When Theo's mom returns home after a six month dig in Egypt, she brings many new "treasures" into the museum, and Theo knows right away that they are cursed and even though she has no idea what the curse is yet, she knows she will have her work cut out for her trying to rid them all, "Removing curses is not a task for the faint-hearted or financially strapped; unfortunately, I am both."
When the Throckmorton's return to the museum after Christmas holiday, they discover that the artifact her parents most cherish from the recent dig has been stolen. Theo knows she must get it back, not only because her parents need that for their exhibit or because she has yet to take the nasty curse off of it, but because once she does find the missing artifact her parents will have to see her and know what a help she is and finally give her the attention she really wants from them.
Theo's search for the missing artifacts leads her into some very dangerous territory, but Theo finds help in some very unexpected places:her brother, a street urchin, and even a secret organization of men sworn to protect England against the same dark curses Theo works to remove.
Theo takes us on an exciting journey that leads all the way to Egypt and back and has you biting your fingernails as the mystery mounts. I loved Theo. She is so smart, so brave, and yet so vulnerable all at the same time. Theo teaches us that girls, even the young ones have power. Theo with her amazingly organized brain (she writes down her recipes for removing curses) shows us that things are not always as they seem, be it an artifact leaking curses or the people in our lives, and she handles the obstacles set in her path with imagination and true grit.
"It takes a surprising amount of courage to place one's hand into an unseen area when your mind is thinking about vermin." This one sentence stood out for me, because of the deeper meaning in there. There is a little Theo in all of us, we just have to remember her, reach past the vermin in our mind, and grab hold of the unknown. Feel the fear, but instead of letting it stop us in our tracks, use it to take that leap of faith.
To learn even more about Theo, visit her website, where you can read her blog and even read an excerpt from TATSOC.