cover image The Throne of Fire

The Throne of Fire

Rick Riordan, read by Kevin R. Free and Katherine Kellgren. Brilliance Audio, unabridged, 11 CD, 13 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-4558-0838-0

The amazing performances of Kevin R. Free and Katherine Kellgren make this YA fantasy%E2%80%94the second volume in Riordan's The Kane Chronicles%E2%80%94enthralling for listeners of any age. Descendants of the House of Life, Carter and Sadie Kane are teenage magicians responsible for preventing Egyptian gods from interfering with mortals. And this time around, the brother-and-sister team face off against the chaos snake Apophis%E2%80%94something that's bound to interfere with Sadie's 13th birthday party. But even being chased through the streets of London by monstrous gods doesn't slow down Sadie. Meanwhile, Carter continues to train a troupe of young magicians to battle the forces of evil. Free deftly handles Carter's narration; he sounds exactly like a 14%E2%80%93year-old boy, while voicing dozens of other characters. Kellgren's narration is no less impressive, and her interpretation of a budding teen girl is exuberant and believable, as are the multitude of other colorful characters she creates. Between these two spirited performances, the characters come to life and leave listeners breathless. A Hyperion hardcover. (May)