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Themes

Family: you can't live with 'em; you can't live without 'em. For Sophie and Josh, they have to live with family and without family every day of their lives. They have each other, sure, but their parents are, for the most part, M.I.A. And we get some other rather dysfunctional family relationships, too, like that of Scatty and her grandmother, or of the Morrigan and her sisters. Still, the bonds between Josh and Sophie, and between the Flamels stay strong, no matter what. What The Alchemyst tells us is that family is a choice. Josh and Sophie choose to stick together, and that's what keeps them alive. Here's hoping it stays that way.

Questions About Family

  1. Where are the parents in this story? Seriously, if Sophie and Josh were your kids, wouldn't you be calling them every five seconds, wondering what in the world is going on? Why do you think the 'rents are missing in a book so centered on family? How does that affect Josh and Sophie's relationship?
  2. Let's take a look at some of the sibling groups in the novel: Hekate and Bastet, the Morrigan and her dead sisters, Sophie and Josh. Why are there so many different pairings? And what are the dynamics like in each of them? Are any of these pairings similar? Total opposites? 
  3. How does power affect family bonds in this novel? Does Josh's relationship to Sophie change after she is Awakened? Does Bastet's relationship to Hekate change once Hekate summons the Ghost Wind? And how might the Morrigan's relationship to Bastet change now that Dee has discovered the Morrigan's dead sisters live inside her?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Families are a choice. Josh and Sophie stick together because they choose to. Sophie comes back for Josh because she actually wants him by her side, not simply because he's her brother, but because they have a deep bond that they choose to maintain.

Nick Flamel doesn't really understand family. If he did he wouldn't ask the twins to risk each other's lives, and he certainly wouldn't have allowed Hekate to Awaken Sophie and not Josh.

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