Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris by R. L. LaFeversTheodosia and the Staff of Osiris by R. L. LaFevers

Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris

byR. L. LaFeversIllustratorYoko Tanaka

Paperback | September 7, 2009

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about

Theodosia Throckmorton is in a fix. Attending a reception given by one of the directors of her parents' museum, she unexpectedly stumbles across Mr. Tetley of the British Museum in most unusual circumstances! Theodosia last saw him in a showdown in an ancient Egyptian tomb, so his reappearance could mean only one thing: the Serpents of Chaos are back! Once again Theodosia will have to take on secret societies, evil curses, and dark magic too sinister to imagine. Blocked at every turn, she will have to rely on her own skill and cunning-along with help from unexpected places-to stop an evil conspiracy that strikes at the very heart of Britain.
R. L. LaFevers also wrote Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos and the next book in the series Theodosia and the Emerald Tablet, which will release in the spring of 2010. She lives in southern California.
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Title:Theodosia and the Staff of OsirisFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 7.75 × 5.5 × 1.02 inPublished:September 7, 2009Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0547248199

ISBN - 13:9780547248196

Appropriate for ages: 7

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't enjoy it There was not enough action and it was very slow. There are way better books out there regarding assassins.
Date published: 2017-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good! I expected great things from this book and I was not disappointed! It was very intriguing and well written.
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Great story with accurate historical touches and references. The characters were extremely interesting and the chemistry between the two main characters interested me throughout the whole story. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great novel It seemed as if I were actually in the past in this story-the detail and plot was amazing
Date published: 2017-07-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Adventure I enjoyed this one! It provided a really nice blend of Irish mythology and contemporary eras to provide a really great adventure story. I myself didn’t know anything about Irish Travellers so it was a good lesson for me to learn from as well. Not sure what I can say about the romance aspect in the book. Don’t get me wrong, I love Teagan, Abby, Aiden and Finn. Their characters are fun to read and I loved to comedy aspect that was prevalent throughout the book. However I just couldn’t feel the chemistry they supposedly had. I know there’s other books to follow after this one, so maybe I’ll be able to see the chemistry then. One other thing I have to say is, a glossary of the Irish terms would have been helpful. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of every term you came across during the novel. Also a pronunciation guide would have been helpful here too. (We all know Irish terms aren’t read like they look) However, I loved every aspect of this book. The comedy was great, the adventure/questing part was great to read (anyone felt disgusted as I did about the toe part? Omg lol) greatly recommended and I will be picking up the other two novels after this one.
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Love the story, I was hooked right from the start and couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Such a good read! Great book in this series of three and dives more into the political tension and action of the country. Great read way better than my lame review writing skills make it sound!
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great story! Great book about the power of women acting as spies, assassins, and political activists. I loved the action and intrigue in this book and the other two in this series and the little bit of romance kept things interesting.
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this series Robin Lefevers writes an interesting and new series about young women trained to be assassins for Death. Lovely historical fiction with characters youll love!
Date published: 2017-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read Robin Lafevers weaves an interesting plot with unforgettable characters. A good story line that is interesting and complex.
Date published: 2016-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book, Looking forward to the next one. Easy Read...
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ah-ma-zing The romance, mystery, and historical aspect of the book was wonderfully written and reminded me very much of Graceling (one of my favourite books) and the Seven Realms Series (my favourite series of all time). I was very hooked in with the premise and was not disappointed. My only problem is that it was kind of hard to understand and keep up with since it is partly historical and had a lot of things going on. But other than that, this book has come to be one of my favourites.
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cool historical fantasy I am a little late beginning this trilogy, but I enjoyed the first book and it probably won’t take me too long to catch up. What I liked: The characters. Ismae is strong of spirit and is very observant and clever. She really developed and changed throughout the book. True, her position as an assassin is ruthless, and often times I questioned her bloodthirst, but she became more merciful and discovered a different path for herself. This part of the book is perfect, in my opinion. I don’t want to give too much else away about this. I also really liked Duval. He had a couple of rough moments, but nothing truly worrisome, and I appreciate that he wasn’t a jerk like so many YA love interests. He was noble and angry and smart and he tried very hard to make things work out for the best of everyone. Plus, he is a good big brother, and who can resist one of those? Another thing I appreciated was the use of actual history and political conflicts. It did make some aspects of the book predictable, but it was cool to think “Hey, I’m reading the dialogue of someone who actually existed.” One of the strongest points, and one that should have been played on far more, in my opinion, was the mythology of the nine old saints. This world building played on existing Celtic and Greco-Roman mythologies, but it was unique at the same time. One more thing I liked: the ending. So squee! What I disliked: Not enough mythology! This was one of the strongest parts of the story and it should have been more present. I was expecting this book to involve more of the supernatural and was disappointed that it didn’t. Also, the court stuff got a bit boring/confusing at times. It could have used some clearing up, and I think Lafevers could have done more to make us care about Brittany and not just the characters because the predicament, bad as it was, didn’t quite feel urgent enough. Also, although I ship Ismae and Duval, I think the love story was a bit too easy. Ismae was not trusting of men because they abused her, and then she spent three years in a convent away from any men. I don’t think she’d fall quite as easily as she did. The romance built slowly enough, but the attraction/stirrings were far too early. Last thing: a lot of telling and not enough showing. I grew a bit impatient/disinterested when Ismae simply stated what she was feeling. It distanced me from the story, I think. Overall, a pretty fresh book. I don’t quite think it deserves all the hype, but it’s worth checking out.
Date published: 2016-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addicting I started reading this book and I COULD NOT put it down. I desperately needed to know how it was going to end. I feel like the plot could have been a little better and more unique, but it was so well written that almost didn't matter. I would recommend this book to anyone that is a fan of the Graceling series or the Hunger Games. An amazing read.
Date published: 2015-10-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointing Grave Mercy was similar to Throne of Glass to me. Not so much in plot, which albeit did have some similarities, but in outline. Badass assassin girl gets sent on a mission to bring down some people, but ends up just wearing a lot of pretty dresses, playing politics she knows nothing about, and ultimately falling in love with the one who "saves" her from the life she was currently living. Don't get me wrong, if done well it can work, but I think the pitfall for Grave Mercy was that nothing really happened. Just like where many other first books fall short for me, it was heavy character development with the plot coming in second and the world building being non-existent. Ismae was so frustrating. She just blindly trusted the covenant and did as she was told. She never questioned anything, which would be fine EXCEPT the only reason she did start questioning the covenant was because they wanted her to kill Duval and his family. So, of course, when a man is involved you don't want to do what you have believed your whole life without question. I personally think it would have been better off that she never questioned anything and just did whatever she was told. I think that would have made for a better story, imo. But at the same time, I did like Duval. Gavriel Duval was a pretty great character, actually. He was loyal and dutiful to his sister and I loved every aspect of that. However, I do think that he was almost TOO perfect. He did everything wonderfully for all the women in his life (save his mother, I guess). I just felt as though everything that he did and had happen to him was too conveniently perfect. And do NOT get me started on how freaking ridiculous it was that [to save him from poision, Ismae had to have sex with him. Like come on. I am all for characters in YA books having sex, but at least give them a good, BELIEVEABLE reason to do so] Their romance was stunted to me. It felt forced upon the reader and I did not think the chracters actually had that much chemistry. Yes, they were in each other's faces some times, but I did not think they were around each other enough or communicating enough to fall in love the way they did. My heart did melt at Duval's quote at the end. But really I didn't see it. I would have said that Ismae could have just as easily ended up with de Lorney or Beast as with Duval. The narrative didn't naturally lead me to believe that the two of them would be together. The world building was a little lacking for me. I know the majority of the history (although I was taught it a long time ago so I am a little rusty on it) but the author's note at the end cleared up some stuff. I would actually suggest reading that first because then you get a sense of what is happening and why the conflict is there. I understand that it is a historical fiction-fantasy novel and it is set in actual events, but outlining that a tad more at the beginning would have helped clear that up for people who don't know the particular history of Brittany. And I don't mean in an info-dump. There was ample opportunity to drop a bit more information than what was given to allow the reader a fuller picture of the time period, the conflict, and what exactly Ismae needed to do. I also want to mention that I understand girls can be bamfs just by demonstrating their feelings or being vulnerable but when the premise is that she is an assassin, I do expect her to assassinate more than three people in a book. #sorrynotsorry Overall: 3/5 stars. I was a little disappointed with this one because Iwas expecting an action packed display of assassinations and bamfness. But I did not get that.
Date published: 2015-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from GRAVE MERCY This book is amazing, it had everything I loved inside of it romance,vioence,betrayel... It was a non-stop page turner, I actually woke up at 1am just to read 3 chapters So I sugest to anyone who wants a great read and wants to ger lost in the weldof the midevil times
Date published: 2015-07-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not worth it. Picture assassins. Picture deadly nuns. Picture intrigue and political games worthy of Game of Thrones. And then stop picturing it. This is a book for people who thought Throne of Glass was a novel about assassins too. I felt very let down by the promise of this book. It could and did start off great. The characters at the convent are intriguing. The friendship so rarely seen in YA is fantastic. But then the rest of the book kills it. The supposed assassin goes to court to figure out which enemies of the Royal family to kill. She actually spends a good chunk of her time staring around rooms at people in the wild hopes she will just happen to see the "marque" that signifies her God wants her to kill someone. She blunders through investigations and is too distracted by the dashing young courtier she had been assigned to watch to bother noticing obvious clues. The romance is grating and unsubtle. A case of lust being wildly mistaken for love. She almost literally falls for the first man she is around outside the convent she has been in for three years. Which I guess explains her desperation, but still. Have some dignity, woman. The only bright side was the plot twist, which gets resolved and almost immediately, so does everything else. Which was a little took convenient, but okay. I'd pass on this series.
Date published: 2015-04-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great series! I enjoyed the series. All 3 books were well written & exciting from beginning to end. It has been a while since I read a book & couldn't guess what was coming next in the story - but all 3 books have surprised me. Worth the read.
Date published: 2015-02-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! Great concept! Entertaining easy read :-)
Date published: 2014-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Even Better Than The First! I read Grave Mercy last year and I loved it. I was pretty excited for Dark Triumph and when I received a surprise copy for review I was so happy I did a little dance in the street. Don't judge me. Well I finally got to read it and I loved it even more than Grave Mercy. Dark Triumph follows around Sybella this time and there is less politics and more personal story this time. Which I think is one of the reasons I liked this one so much more. Sybella had run away from home and gone to the convent to escape her evil father (is he ever evil) and the convent sends her back to his household to be a spy. Who better than family? Someone who will be allowed free reign in the household. Her father doesn't really trust anyone though, he is of course D'Albert. All Sybella wants is to kill him, he's evil and deserves it, but she never sees a marque on him. She begins to lose faith in Mortain, since he is allowing such evil to live and is debating even going against her god to ger her vengeance. Then there is Beast, the love interest. I can't help but like him. He's a warrior with a soft spot and he make a great team with Sybella when they are travelling. The two of them together are extremely deadly. Once again, Robin LaFevers writes amazing scenes that you can get lost in, characters that you love, others you hate and takes you on a ride that keeps you wanting more. I just love her writing style so much! This is not a small book, about 400 pages, and I found myself tearing through it. I'm slightly disappointed that I have to wait so long for the next book! This is one of the best series that I've ever read and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, or even anyone looking to try something new.
Date published: 2013-08-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 3.5 stars Meggie highly recommended this book to me and even though I knew she liked historical fiction and I didn't, I gave it a chance because she liked Ismae a lot... and I'm glad I did. I didn't like part that she has a huge scar on her back and can't undress in front of anybody. I mean, the biggest asset you have when you're a female assassin during those times is your body, charm, and beauty. Being a woman is a powerful thing and it would have made more sense if that was the very first thing the covenant taught their assassins. Just batting your eyes, smiling, and giggling can make a guy fall head over heels and not think of you as danger. She didn't even know what she was feeling when Gavriel touches her when in fact, she should have been trained especially in this area. And how can she bed men and spy around when she can't even undress in front of anybody? It was also kind of boring at times and it was a very long read. Definitely not a YA book, as most young adults wouldn't finish it. I kept falling asleep reading the first half - literally two nights ago I couldn't sleep and I was restless so I thought it would be a good idea to read a bit more of this book so I could fall asleep, and I did! There are also times when I had to whip out my dictionary - thank god for Kobo making it easier for me, just highlight the word and dictionary will open up. It was also frustrating when Ismae spent more time talking about all those cool weapons o
Date published: 2013-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breath taking sequel! What a beautiful sequel! I loved Grave Mercy so much I didn’t even bother to read the description for Dark Triumph. So it was a pleasant surprise when I realized I was in for yet another totally unique adventure. Whereas Grave Mercy was the story of Ismae, Dark Triumph turns the lens to Sybella and her adventures. Even though her appearance was rather brief in Grave Mercy (in the grand scheme of things) I found Sybella incredibly interesting. She was broken and angry and you wanted to know why. We come to her in Dark Triumph long after her training is completed. The covenant has sharpened her anger and thirst for justice and turned her into a dangerous killing machine. But then they send her right back to the place it all started. To the man that caused all that damage – her father. Dark Triumph is a personal story. It deals with questions of trust and family and guilt. You’ll often find yourself wondering if Sybella will ever truly be able to move past the sins of her father. I think despite the extreme nature of Sybella’s situation the internal obstacles she faces regarding her perceived guilt and her instincts to distance herself from those who may love her are not unfamiliar ones. They’re themes many people will be able to relate to in varying degrees. Since Dark Triumph is more of a personal journey it takes its time to unfold. It reveals all its twists and surprises when it’s good and ready too. The action heavy scenes – those ones that generally make the pages fly – are few and far between. Though I really enjoyed the sort of slow burn that is Dark Triumph, I have to admit I didn’t lose myself as completely as I did with Grave Mercy. Grave Mercy captured my heart right away and I read it all in one sitting (all 549 pages). Dark Triumph on the other hand took me a couple of days. It’s not a book you can binge on. It’s a book you need to set aside time for and dig into bit by bit. Recommendation: Dark Triumph is yet another example of Robin LaFevers brilliant writing. It’s beautiful and layered. There’s action, deceit, murder and a little bit of unexpected romance. There’s no middle book syndrome here, no useless filler. LaFevers has earned a place on my list of favourite writers for life. This and other reviews at More Than Just Magic (http://morethanjustmagic.org)
Date published: 2013-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Flight of Phoenix Great I like these books! (8 year old son)
Date published: 2013-02-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Flight of Phoenix Great I like these books! (8 year old son)
Date published: 2013-02-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Flight of Phoenix Great I like these books! (8 year old son)
Date published: 2013-02-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Flight of Phoenix Great I like these books! (8 year old son)
Date published: 2013-02-16

Read from the Book

Chapter One: A Grand Fete The lace on my party frock itched horribly. I don’t understand how they can make things as complex as motorcars or machines that fly but can’t invent itchless lace. Although Mother didn’t seem to be plagued with this problem, I would have to pay close attention to the other ladies at the reception this evening to see if they exhibit any symptoms.“You’re surprisingly quiet, Theodosia,” Father said, interrupting my thoughts.“Surprisingly”? Whatever did he mean by that, I wonder? “I would have thought you’d be chattering a mile a minute about Lord Chudleigh’s reception.” Tonight was to be my big introduction to professional life. And I planned to savor every second of it. I would be the first eleven-year-old girl ever to walk in their midst. What if they should ask me to make a speech? Wouldn’t that be grand? I would stand there, with all eyes on me—keepers and lords and sirs and all sorts of fancy folk—and then I would . . . have to say something. Maybe having to speak wouldn’t be such a great idea after all. Mother put her gloved hand on Father’s arm. “She’s most likely nervous, Alistair. The only young girl among so many important dignitaries and officials? I would have been tongue-tied at her age.” Well. That wasn’t very comforting. Maybe I should have been more nervous than I was. The carriage turned a corner and my stomach dipped uneasily.We reached Lord Chudleigh’s residence in Mayfair, a large red brick mansion with white columns and windowpanes. At the door, a butler bowed and greeted Father by name. Then we were motioned inside, where we joined an absolutely mad throng of people, all dressed in fine frocks and evening coats. There were marble floors, and the hallway sported Greek columns. Actually, the whole place had the touch of a museum about it: Grecian urns, a bust of Julius Caesar, and even a full coat of armor standing at attention. Suddenly I was glad of all that itchy lace—otherwise I would have felt dreadfully underdressed. I slipped my hand into Mother’s. “Lord Chudleigh’s house is even grander than Grandmother Throckmorton’s,” I whispered. “Don’t let her hear you say that,” Father said.“How could she possibly hear me?” I scoffed. “She’s miles away in her own grand house.” The look on Father’s face gave me pause. “Isn’t she?” I asked hesitantly.“I’m afraid not.” His tone was clipped, as if he wasn’t very happy about it, either. “She moves in the same social circles as Lord Chudleigh.” That was the sort of news that could ruin an entire evening. One might think that was a bit of an overstatement, if one didn’t know my grandmother. I stared out at the crowd of people, desperate to spot Grandmother. If I saw her first, it would make avoiding her all that much easier.Although really, I oughtn’t worry, I told myself as we moved into the enormous ballroom. I was on my best behavior and had no intention of drawing any unpleasant attention to myself. Not even Grandmother would be able to find fault with me tonight. Except she believes children in general, and me in particular, should be seen as little as possible and heard even less. Just my being here would be an enormous affront to her sense of propriety.Music played in the background, but people weren’t dancing—they just stood about talking and drinking champagne. We weaved our way among the guests until a tall man who looked vaguely familiar waved us over. Father immediately altered his course and began herding Mother and me in that direction. When we reached the gentleman, he leaned forward and thumped Father on the back. “It’s about time you showed up, Throckmorton. At least you had the good sense to bring your lovely wife.” Mum put her hand out, but instead of shaking it, the man lifted it to his lips and kissed it! He’d better not try that with me, was all I could think. Luckily, he didn’t. In fact, he ignored me until Father cleared his throat and put his hand on my shoulder. “And this is my daughter, Theodosia, Lord Chudleigh. The one we spoke about.” “Ah yes!” Lord Chudleigh bent over and peered down at me. “Our newest little archaeologist, eh? Following in your mother’s footsteps, are you, girl? Well done.” He reached out and patted me on the head. Like a pet. I’m sorry, but you simply don’t go around patting people on the head like dogs!Father tightened his hand on my shoulder in silent warning. “So. What’s all this I keep hearing about an artifact of your own?” Chudleigh looked smug. “After you came rushing home in such a hurry, I had to make a quick run down to Thebes to secure the site.” Father winced slightly. “So you’ve mentioned.” Under his breath he added, “Three times.” Then, louder, “I’m terribly sorry about that. If my son hadn’t been so ill . . .” “Eh, it felt good to get out into the field and get a taste of what you do.” Chudleigh nudged Father with hhhhhis elbow. “I got a chance to find a little something of my own down there, too. Standing in plain sight, it was. Don’t know why you and your wife didn’t send it straight along with the first batch. In fact, I have a treat for everyone tonight.” He puffed up his chest and rocked back on his heels. “In honor of my most recent find, we’re going to have a mummy unwrapping!” A mummy unwrapping! My stomach recoiled at the very idea. Didn’t he understand that mummification was a very sacred death rite of the ancient Egyptians? That unwrapping a mummy would be the same as undressing his grandfather’s dead body? “Sir,” I began, but Father’s hand pressed down on my shoulder again. Surely I was going to be bruised black and blue from all this hand clamping.“Fascinating, sir,” was all he said. “We’ll look forward to it.” “Good, good. Thought you might.” Chudleigh nodded. Father excused us, took Mother’s and my elbows, and began to steer us away. Mum muttered under her breath, “I thought unwrappings went out with Queen Victoria.” I whirled around to Father when we were out of earshot. “Why didn’t you say something? That’s desecration, isn’t it?” “Yes, I suppose it is, Theodosia. But I’m not personally responsible for every mummy that comes out of Egypt, you know. Besides, the man’s on the museum’s board. I can’t risk getting on his bad side, and telling him that unwrapping his new mummy is bad form would certainly do that.” I turned to Mother.“Oh, no,” she said. “Don’t look at me. I’ve already got a hard enough row to hoe being a woman in this field. I can’t afford any appearance of sentimentality or emotion.” Well, it had been worth a try. “Where do you think Chudleigh found the mummy? I never saw one in the tomb or annex. Did you?” “Well, no. But then again, I was preoccupied with getting you out of there safely. Now, let’s get this wretched evening over with. Oomph!” Mother removed her elbow from Father’s ribs. “Tonight’s supposed to be a treat,” she reminded him.Indeed, I had hoped for a lovely evening out with my parents. I had also hoped that my dressing up in fancy clothes and attending one of their social events might have allowed them to see me a little differently.Or simply see me, rather than spend the entire evening looking over my head at other adults.Pretending I hadn’t heard them, I raised up on my tiptoes, trying to spot the mummy. I couldn’t believe I would have overlooked a mummy lying about in plain sight, even if I had been being chased by the Serpents of Chaos. It was hopeless. There were too many people, all of whom were taller than I was. When I pulled my gaze back down, I found an elderly man examining me through his monocle as if I were a bug at the end of a pin. A very round woman dressed in mustard-colored ruffles lifted her lorgnette to the bridge of her nose, then tut-tutted. Honestly! You’d think they’d never seen an eleven- year-old girl before.“I suppose we’d best go pay our respects to Mother.” Father made the suggestion with the same enthusiasm he might have shown for leaping off the London Bridge straight into the foul, icy water of the river Thames.Which was precisely how I felt about seeing Grandmother, frankly. Luckily, the crowd shifted just then and I spied someone I recognized. “Oh look, Father! There’s Lord Snowthorpe.” And although he wasn’t one of my favorite people, he was standing next to one of my favorite people, Lord Wigmere. Only, I wasn’t supposed to know Wigmere even existed, as he was the head of the Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers, a secret organization whose sworn duty was to keep watch over all the sacred objects and artifacts in the country. Because the British Empire had amassed quite a few relics and ensorcelled items, it was quite a job. It was the Brotherhood that stood between our country and any of that ancient magic getting loose and wreaking horror upon us. Well, them and me, that is. I waved at the two men.“No, Theo!” Father hissed. “I don’t wish to speak to—” “Throckmorton!” Lord Snowthorpe called out.“Oh, blast it all. Now look what you’ve done.” Didn’t Father realize that Snowthorpe was a hundred times better than Grandmother? Besides, I was hoping one of these gentlemen might be as repulsed by the mummy unwrapping as we were. Since they didn’t work for Lord Chudleigh, perhaps they could put a stop to it.When we reached Snowthorpe, Lord Wigmere winked at me, then ever so slightly shook his head, letting me know I wasn’t to let on I knew him. I winked back. There were a lot of false hearty hellos and good-to-see-yous exchanged, then Snowthorpe got down to his real reason for wanting to say hello: nosiness. “I say, did that Heart of Egypt of yours ever turn up?” he asked.Father stiffened, and Mother raised her nose into the air. “I’m afraid not,” she said. “The burglar got clean away.” That was a subject I wouldn’t mind avoiding for a while longer. Say, a lifetime. My parents had no idea that I had been the one to return the Heart of Egypt to its proper resting place in the Valley of the Kings. It had been the only way to nullify the dreadful curse the artifact had been infected with. Of course, I’d had a bit of help from Wigmere and his Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers. But my parents didn’t know that, either.“What was all that rot you fed me about having it cleaned, then?” Snowthorpe demanded.“We . . .” Father turned to Mother with a desperate look on his face. She stared back, fumbling for something to say.They couldn’t have looked more guilty if they tried, so I spoke up. “The authorities had asked us to keep quiet until they made a few inquiries. They didn’t want the perpetrators to catch wind of how much they knew or who they suspected.” Four pairs of eyes looked down at me in surprise. “Isn’t that what they said, Father?” “Yes,” he said, recovering nicely. “Exactly what they said.” Wigmere’s mustache twitched. “Do introduce me to this charming young lady, Throckmorton.” As if we needed any introduction! We’d only worked closely together on averting one of the worst crises ever to reach British soil. “Forgive me. Lord Wigmere, this is my daughter, Theodosia Throckmorton. Theodosia, this is Lord Wigmere, head of the Antiquarian Society.” I gave a proper curtsy. “I’m very pleased to meet you, sir.” “And I you.” Before Snowthorpe could begin jawing on again about the Heart of Egypt, I decided to raise my concerns. “Have you heard what Lord Chudleigh’s planning for this evening?” I felt Father scowl at me, but I did my best to ignore him, which was rather difficult when his heated gaze threatened to burn a hole through my skull.Snowthorpe brightened. “You mean the mummy unwrapping?” “Yes, but don’t you think it’s wrong to do it as . . . entertainment?” Snowthorpe dismissed my words with a wave of his hand. “Gad no! It’s good for business, that. People love mummies, and whenever their interest goes up, so do museum ticket sales.” “But isn’t it desecration?” The pleasant expression left Snowthorpe’s face and he looked down at me, almost as if seeing me for the first time. “You sound just like Wigmere here. He’d have us ship all our artifacts back to Egypt if he had his way.” Well, certainly the cursed ones, anyway. I sent a beseeching look in Wigmere’s direction, but he shook his head sympathetically. “I already tried and got nowhere. Chudleigh’s too intent on having his fun.” Disappointment spiked through me. I looked over my shoulder. The crowd had broken up a bit and I caught a glimpse of a table with guests clustered around it, but I still couldn’t see the mummy itself.Really, this fete of theirs was no fun at all. Not what I thought of as a proper party. I caught yet another old codger staring at me and realized that such scrutiny had made me beastly thirsty. I suddenly craved a glass of lemon smash or cold ginger beer. As I searched the crowd for the man with the refreshment tray, yet another old lady examined me through her opera glasses. I wrinkled my nose. Didn’t these people realize how rude that was? The woman dropped her glasses, and I was dismayed to find myself staring into the shocked face of Grandmother Throckmorton! I quickly turned away, pretending I hadn’t seen her.Seconds later, a very stiff-looking footman appeared at Father’s side. “Madam wishes me to request you attend her immediately.” “What?” he asked, then caught sight of his mother. “Oh yes, of course!” He bid goodbye to Wigmere and Snowthorpe, then herded us over to where Grandmother was conversing with a rather short, barrel-shaped man. When we reached her, she offered up her cheek to Father for a kiss. He did so (grudgingly, I’m sure), and then she turned to Mother and inclined her head slightly. “Henrietta.” “Madam.” Mother nodded back.Grandmother ignored me completely. She still wasn’t speaking to me for having run away while under her care. Even so, I wanted to prove I could be polite even if she couldn’t and gave my very best curtsy. “How do you do, Grandmother? It’s very good to see you again.” Grandmother sniffed in disapproval, then asked Father, “What is she doing here?” “Now, Mother. She did make a rather remarkable find, locating that secondary annex to Amenemhab’s tomb. Lord Chudleigh suggested we bring her along to celebrate her first find for the museum.” “This is no place for children and her schedule is already far too irregular. If you cannot see to her proper upbringing, perhaps I shall take her to hand.” Grandmother studied me for a long moment, then continued. “Have you had any luck in locating a new governess for her?” Mother and Father exchanged guilty glances. I could tell they’d forgotten all about it. “Not yet. But we’ll keep looking.” Mother missed the look of scorn Grandmother sent her way, but I didn’t. I narrowed my eyes and glared at the old bat. Except she was so busy ignoring me, she missed it and turned to the man standing beside her. I was left to stew on the idea of Grandmother overseeing my upbringing. I was torn between horror at the thought and fury at her treatment of Mother. “Alistair, I’d like you to meet Admiral Sopcoate.” Admiral Sopcoate had a jolly face. He was quick to catch my eye, then smiled. I liked him immediately. Admiral Sopcoate shook Father’s hand. “What is it you do, again, Throckmorton?” Father opened his mouth to respond, but Grandmother talked over him. “He’s the Head Curator of the Museum of Legends and Antiquities.” When Grandmother said nothing more, Father quickly stepped in. “And this is my wife, Henrietta. She’s the museum’s archaeologist and brings us a number of our most spectacular finds.” Grandmother sniffed. “And this is my daughter, Theodosia,” Father continued. Admiral Sopcoate reached out and took my hand. (No head patting or hand kissing here! I knew I liked him for a good reason.) “Pleased to meet you, my dear.” “And I you, sir.” Still determined to be on my best behavior, I added, “Perhaps you’d like to come by and see our museum someday? We’d be happy to give you a tour.” Grandmother’s eyes flared in irritation. She fixed me with a gaze that clearly said, Do not dare speak again in my presence, then turned back to the admiral. “We were just discussing Admiral Sopcoate’s newest addition to the home fleet, the Dreadnought.” “Yes! Have you seen her yet, Throckmorton?” Sopcoate asked. “I can’t say as I have,” Father said. “Although I’ve read a bit about it in the paper.” “The Dreadnought is the newest crown jewel in Her Majesty’s fleet,” Sopcoate explained. “Makes every other battleship in the world obsolete.” “If you ask me,” Grandmother butted in, “we can’t have enough battleships. Not with Germany’s determination to become the world’s greatest naval power.” “Now, now, Lavinia,” Admiral Sopcoate reassured her. “The British Navy is twice as strong as the next two navies combined.” Lavinia! He’d called her by her Christian name! I’d forgotten she even had one. “Not if Germany has its way,” she answered darkly. “They are determined to challenge our naval supremacy.” “Don’t worry.” Sopcoate gave a jolly wink. “Once those Germans see the Dreadnought, they’ll put aside their misguided ideas of naval equality with England.” “But isn’t that rather like baiting a bear?” Father asked. “How do you know they won’t come out swinging, determined to build even more battleships of their own?” Couldn’t grownups talk of anything but politics and war? I knew that the Germans and the British were on the outs with each other, but if you asked me—although no one did—that was mostly the fault of the Serpents of Chaos. They were a secret organization dedicated to bringing about disorder and strife in their quest to dominate the world. Specifically, they wanted Germany and Britain at each other’s throats. They wanted instability and utter chaos so they could move in and seize power. However, now that Wigmere and I had foiled their plans, this whole war-cry nonsense would surely die down.Luckily, before the adults could go on too long, we were interrupted by a faint clinking sound. Lord Chudleigh was striking his champagne glass with a tiny fork. “Time has come, everyone. Gather round. Here’s your chance to see a mummy unwrapped, the unveiling of the secrets of the Egyptians.” An excited murmur ran through the crowd, and everyone shuffled over to the table on which the mummy lay. I tugged on Father’s hand. “Do I have to watch, Father? Can’t I wait over there?” He patted my shoulder. “There’s nothing to be afraid of, you know.” Of course I knew that! That wasn’t the issue. It just seemed wrong to be unwrapping the poor mummy in front of all these gawking visitors who didn’t give a fig about ancient Egypt or the scholarly pursuit of Egyptian burial practices.As we drew closer, I made a point of hanging back behind Mother and Father, but then Admiral Sopcoate stepped aside. “Here, young lady. Come stand in front of me so you can see better. You don’t want to miss this!” Of course, he was just being kind. I opened my mouth to say, “No thank you,” but caught Grandmother’s eye. The warning glint told me that refusing wasn’t an option. Biting back a sigh, I stepped forward and found myself in the front row, merely three feet away from the mummy on the table.“This unidentified mummy was found inside the newly discovered tomb of Amenemhab,” Chudleigh went on. “We’re hoping that by unwrapping him tonight, we will learn more about who he was, as well as insights into the mystery of mummification. Are you ready?” A wave of assent rose up from the gathering.“Throckmorton, Snowthorpe, would you do the honors, please?” Father blinked in surprise. He quickly hid the look of distaste that spread across his face and stepped dutifully forward.“Let’s start from the feet, shall we?” Snowthorpe suggested.I thought about closing my eyes, then wondered if Grandmother Throckmorton would be able to tell. Testing the theory, I screwed my eyes shut—just for the merest of seconds. Immediately there was a sharp poke in my shoulder blade and a disapproving sniff. I opened my eyes and thought briefly of handing her a handkerchief. Honestly! I didn’t see how it was rude to close one’s eyes but perfectly all right to sniff constantly, like one of those pigs that can root out truffles.I turned my attention back to the front, but looked steadfastly at Father instead of the mummy.It takes a surprisingly long time to unwrap a mummy. To entertain his guests, Lord Chudleigh jawed on about mummy legends and curses—the most sensational rubbish he could find, and most of it not even close to the truth. When he got to the part about how they used to grind up mummies to be ingested for their magical properties—that part true, unfortunately—I was so utterly revolted that I blurted out, “You’re not going to grind this one up, are you?” There was a long moment of silence in which everyone chose to stare at me, and I suddenly remembered my promise to do nothing to call unpleasant attention to myself. Chudleigh gave a false laugh. “No, no. Of course not. This one will become a part of my own personal collection.” “Oh. I beg your pardon,” I said, vowing to keep my mouth shut from now on.At last Father and Snowthorpe came to the mummy’s head. I studiously kept my eyes glued to Father’s face. When the last bandage was lifted away, the crowd gasped in delighted horror.I will not look, I will not look, I told myself. But sometimes the more you concentrated on not doing something, the more drawn you were to doing it. In the end, my curiosity got the better of me and I looked.“Behold—the unknown priest of Amenemhab!” Lord Chudleigh called out.A smattering of applause ran through the crowd, and unable to help myself, I stepped forward, my eyes fixed on the mummy’s face. It was a face I had seen only a few short months ago, when I’d been forced to confront three of the Serpents of Chaos in Thutmose III’s tomb. Their leader’s words rang in my ears. That is twice he’s failed me. There shall not be a third time.“Oh no, Lord Chudleigh.” The words bubbled out before I could stop them. “That isn’t an unknown priest of the Middle Dynasty. That’s Mr. Tetley. From the British Museum.”

Editorial Reviews

"Clever and exciting, just like the previous book, this also features a layered relationship between theodosia and her grandmohter. Nonstop action in a delightfully English package."