This article is about the book. For the structure, see The Red Pyramid (structure).
The Red Pyramid is a 2010 fantasy, adventure novel written by Rick Riordan and is the first installment of The Kane Chronicles. The story is told as a transcription of a recording made by Sadie and Carter Kane, detailing the rise of the Egyptian gods in the modern world.
Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near-strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives. Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them—Set—has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe—a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.
Fourteen-year-old Carter Kane has been traveling around the world since he was eight years old. He was home schooled by his father, Julius Kane, who is a famous Egyptology scientist.
On Christmas Eve, Carter and Julius head to London to visit Carter's twelve-year-old sister, Sadie, who lives as a British student. Both siblings were separated at a very young age, Sadie to live with her grandparents, and Carter with his father. Julius picks up Sadie, and she discovers that one out of the two days of the year they get the spend together was going to be occupied by a trip to British Museum. Before heading there, Carter and Sadie spy on their dad talking to a strange man named Amos. They had no idea what the adults were talking about, but when Sadie pops out to say hi to her dad, Amos disappears. While at the museum, Sadie and Carter noticed that their dad was extremely interested in one specific artifact, the Rosetta Stone. Julius Kane ends up blowing the artifact up by trying to summon Osiris. He also accidentally releases the other children of the Demon Days: Nephthys, Isis, Horus, and Set. Set, the Egyptian god of chaos and storms and the most evil of the gods, ends up locking Julius in a sarcophagus and sending him through the floor. Meanwhile, Sadie and Carter sit by watching the entire event. The British police end up taking and "arresting" the two for questioning. This happens at Sadie's home, also her grandparents' home. Both tell the police what happened in the museum and about the mysterious man their dad had talked to earlier. Amos is revealed to be their uncle, who saved them from being taken into custody. Amos takes them to the family mansion in Brooklyn. He leaves them there to search around the house, but tells them not to go to the library. They decide to go into the library anyway due to Sadie's recklessness. While in the library, Set's warriors attack the house and Bast the cat goddess, who was disguised as Sadie's cat, Muffin, saves them. In the process, they loose Philip of Macedonia, the albino crocodile. They all escape, but Bast is later overcome by Serqet, the scorpion goddess. Not shortly after, they meet Zia Rashid, who helps distract Serqet while Sadie and Carter escape through a portal. In those past couple hours, Sadie and Carter learn a lot about what has happened and that they are blood of the pharaohs.
Zia takes them to the House of Life in Egypt, to be trained as magicians. The Chief Lector, Iskandar, dies, and is replaced with Desjardins, the Kanes have to flee again, as the House of Life sees them as a threat. They are godlings, meaning they host the gods Horus and Isis (hosting the gods is against the beliefs of the House). They go to Paris and retrieve a book from Desjardins' property which tells them how to defeat Set and save their dad. After meeting Nut, the Set Animal, and Thoth, they find out that they need the Feather of Truth to help defeat Set; they then go to the Egyptian underworld, the Duat, to retrieve the Feather of Truth. On the way out they are attacked by Sobek the crocodile god but they escape when Bast (who turned out not dead) sacrifices herself to save Carter and Sadie.
Desjardins calls upon Sekhmet, the lion goddess, but Zia saves them by sacrificing her own magic to create a column of fire, a powerful spell. With the help of their uncle, Carter and Sadie go to the Red Pyramid in Phoenix. While Carter and Set battle each other, Sadie performs a spell that transports the pyramid to Washington, D.C. However, before she can complete the spell, Sadie spots Apophis, who was going to use the red pyramid to escape Cleopatra's Needle.
After forcing Set to join their side to stop Apophis from escaping into the world, Zia is revealed to be a shabti. Carter and Sadie release the gods, and Julius decides to stay in the Duat as Osiris with their dead mother, Ruby Kane. Horus and Isis reward them by repairing the rest of Amos's house and reviving Bast. Carter and Sadie then go to recruit others to their group of magicians in Brooklyn to be trained.
- Carter Kane - Age 14, Carter is the descendant of Ancient Egyptian Magicians; he is one of the main protagonists. Described as always dressing 'impeccably' in khaki pants, dress shoes, and a button-up shirt. The host of Horus; his main weapon is a khopesh, an Ancient Egyptian sword favored by guards of the Pharaoh. His specialty is combat magic.
- Sadie Kane - Age 12, Sadie is Carter's sister, and also shares his magical ability. She was raised in England by her grandparents after her mother died. She has light skin, caramel colored hair which she usually dyes with streaks of bright colors, blue eyes, and never goes anywhere without combat boots. She is a powerful and natural magician who can read hieroglyphics and understand Ancient Egyptian. She becomes the host of Isis.
- Julius Kane - Carter and Sadie's father and husband to the late Ruby Kane, PhD in Egyptologist. He has dark brown skin, piercing brown eyes, a bald head and a goatee. He becomes the host of Osiris.
- Amos Kane - Brother to Julius Kane, described as dressing in a classy suit with sunglasses, and has the appearance of a barrel shaped Jazz musician. He is a powerful magician. He was the temporary host of Set, until he was done with using him.
- Zia Rashid - A powerful magician who Carter Kane has affection for. Considered the most promising student in the First Nome. She is the unknowing host to Nephthys. In this book, Zia turns out to be a Shabti created by Iskandar.
- Michel Desjardins - Current leader of the first Nome, strongly opposed to using the power of the gods.
- Mr. and Mrs. Faust - The grandparents of Sadie and Carter.
- Iskandar - The Chief Lector before Michel Desjardins. He lived during the reign of Cleopata VI and specialized in Statuary Magic. He created Zia's shabti.
- Serqet - Goddess of scorpions
- Isis - Goddess of magic and wife of Osiris. Her host is Sadie Kane, formerly her mother Ruby Kane.
- Horus - Falcon-headed son of Osiris, destined to reclaim the Throne of Ma'at. His host is Carter Kane.
- Bast - Goddess of cats, her host is Muffin, Sadie Kane's cat. Also a deadly combat mage. She is sworn to protect the Kane siblings.
- Set - God of evil and chaos, represented by the color red. Possesses Amos Kane when he is Set's captive.
- Osiris - God of the dead. His host is Julius Kane. Father of Horus.
- Anubis - God of funerals and assistant of Osiris, takes the form of a human with a jackals head, or an attractive teenage boy. He and Sadie show strong and mutual feeling towards each other.
- Thoth - God of wisdom and thought, illustrated as a 'mad scientist' character.
- Nut - Goddess of the sky. Her children are Osiris, Set, Horus, Isis, and Nephthys.
- Geb - God of Earth, husband of Nut, children are Osiris, Set, Horus, Isis, and Nephthys
- Sobek - Crocodile god. Servant of Set. His sweat creates rivers and oceans.
- Sekhmet Lioness goddess. Goddess of destruction and healing.
- Khufu - Amos's pet baboon and ally to the Kane family
- Philip of Macedonia - Amos's pet crocodile. It is a shabti.
- Doughboy - Julius Kane's shabti. Doughboy answers to Carter and Sadie also.
- Muffin - Sadie's pet cat and Bast's host.
- Bloodstained Blade - Sadie and Carter's boat captain.
- A Death at the Needle
- An Explosion for Christmas
- Imprisoned with My Cat
- Kidnapped by a Not-So-Stranger
- We Meet the Monkey
- Breakfast with a Crocodile
- I Drop A Little Man on His Head
- Muffin Plays with Knives
- We Run From Four Guys in Skirts
- Bast Goes Green
- We Meet the Human Flamethrower
- A Jump Through the Hourglass
- I Face the Killer Turkey
- A French Guy Almost Kills Us
- A Godly Birthday
- How Zia Lost Her Eyebrows
- A Bad Trip to Paris
- When Fruit Bats Go Bad
- A Picnic in the Sky
- I Visit the Star-Spangled Goddess
- Aunt Kitty to the Rescue
- Leroy Meets the Locker of Doom
- Professor Thoth's Final Exam
- I Blow Up Some Blue Suede Shoes
- We Win An All-Expenses-Paid Trip to Death
- Aboard the Egyptian Queen
- A Demon with Free Samples
- I Have a Date with the God of Toilet Paper
- Zia Sets a Rendezvous
- Bast Keeps a Promise
- I Deliver a Love Note
- The Place of Crosses
- We Go Into the Salsa Business
- Doughboy Gives Us a Ride
- Men Ask for Directions (and Other Signs of the Apocalypse)
- Our Family Is Vaporized
- Leroy Gets His Revenge
- The House Is in the House
- Zia Tells Me a Secret
- I Ruin a Rather Important Spell
- We Stop the Recording, for Now.
- School Library Journal Best Book of 2010.
- Main article: The Red Pyramid (graphic novel)
A graphic novel was released on October 2, 2012. The graphic novel is adapted by Orpheus Collar.
- The book makes occasional references to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, as it takes place in the same world.
- In the beginning of the book, Amos states that Manhattan has its own set of gods and that they must be kept separate from Egyptian gods. He says this while looking at the Empire State Building, the current home to Mount Olympus.
- Later in the book, Thoth mentions that the Greeks would confuse him with Hermes, something he takes offense to as Hermes is apparently of a very different character.
- The Hall of Ages that Carter, Sadie and Zia's shabti walk through has five ages. In The Lightning Thief, Chiron talks about the four ages preceding the Age of the West, including the reign of Kronos during the Fourth Age. In The Throne of Fire, we are told that a sixth age has begun. This coincides with Hyperion mentioning the dawn of the Sixth Age during The Last Olympian.
- Upon arrival at the First Nome, Sadie witnesses a magician using magic to control brooms. She notes similarities to The Sorcerer's Apprentice segment from the Disney film, Fantasia. Zia remarks that it was based on an Egyptian story.
- This may be a reference to Philopseudes, a Greek version of The Sorcerer's Apprentice. In this version, the Sorcerer is an Egyptian mystic, a priest of Isis called Pancrates.
- The plot is loosely based on the Osiris myth, and features similar elements to it:
- Set traps Osiris/Julius Kane in a coffin.
- Isis/Sadie embarks on a quest to find Osiris.
- Horus/Carter battles Set.
- Osiris dies and is reborn as the ruler of the Land of the Dead, this time with Julius as his permanent host.