This book was a 2007 Science Fiction & Fantasy Cybils Award Nominee.
It's not easy being the daughter of museum curators. Theodosia Throckmorton does her best, though. If only they weren't quite so... intent on bringing dangerous artifacts back with them from Egypt. Those things are cursed -- crawling with curses. Can no one sense this but Theo, and her perspicacious cat, Isis?
Of course, she's only eleven, and a Young Lady of Class and Breeding in 1906 is not meant to know about things as unladylike as curses! Girls are meant to be seen and not heard, and, well, Theodosia kind of fails at that one, although when her mother's on museum business, her Father forgets she's even IN the museum often enough that he's left her to fend for herself, eating endless jam sandwiches and wearing the same dress for days on end. Clive Fagenbush, the cabbage-smelling Second Assistant Curator sees Theo as a skulking, sneaking pest, and he's someone Theo's got her eye on. He's up to something, something as foul as he smells, make no mistake.
But all of Theo's suspicions and worries take second place when artifacts her mother has procured for the museum begin to pour in. The the Heart of Egypt, a hugely famous amulet legendarily worn by Egyptian royalty, has the worst curses on it Theo's ever seen. EVER. It will bring down the entire British Empire, and it's not a fit specimen for the Museum of Legends and Antiquities. No, no, no, it has to go back to where her mother found it, in the Valley of the Kings. IMMEDIATELY. Or people will die.
Unfortunately, Theo's not the only one intent on grabbing that artifact. There are thieves abroad -- and black-hearted souls who know the power of the curses, and want to wield them for their own nefarious intent. Is the ancient curse-removing magic Theo knows going to be enough? Is there anyone who can possibly help her?
Suddenly, everything is coming apart -- and Theo has run out of time.
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos is an edge-of-your-seat, completely absorbing, arresting novel with a fabulous heroine. You'll want to brush up on your Egyptology. You can look for the sequel hopefully soon, but until then, don't miss Theo's website and blog.