Study Guide

Bast in The Red Pyramid

By Rick Riordan


Here, Kitty Kitty!

Were you hoping a book based on ancient Egyptian mythology would include the cat goddess Bast? We sure were.

When Bast is first summoned from where she's lain dormant inside her mortal host, Muffin, she appears as a woman, "small and lithe like a gymnast. Her jet-black hair was tied in a ponytail. She wore a skintight leopard-skin jumpsuit and Muffin's pendant around her neck" (8.83). Her eyes are yellow with black slits. She fights with knives, or inside a green warrior avatar, and she is totally fierce.

Bast made a deal with Julius Kane when she was released from Cleopatra's Needle. That deal included protecting Sadie and Carter, and Bast takes her duties seriously. She tells them: "At first I was protecting you two because I promised. Now, even if I hadn't promised, I would. You two are like kittens to me" (29.27).

Bast's likes include Friskies and milk. Her dislikes include water, jackals, and snakes. Like most cats, Bast always manages to land on her feet.

Fraidy Cat

When Sadie and Carter first meet Bast, she says she was imprisoned battling a chaos monster in a prison in the Duat. Well, it turns out she was bending the truth a little: she was actually fighting Apophis, the embodiment of chaos. Following Ra's order to do so was a great honor, of course, but at some point Bast realized that Apophis would take her with him into nothingness.

Until Julius and Ruby Kane broke Bast out, that is. To her great shame, Bast took the escape route offered. As she tells the kids: "I am the queen of cats. I have many strengths. But to be honest… cats are not very brave" (26.68). She knew she was losing her fight, and she didn't want to die eternally. Can you really blame her?

Still, when the time comes, Bast decides to use up her entire life force to defeat Sobek so that Sadie and Carter can safely escape. The resulting blast shoves her soul so deep into the Duat that she may not emerge for centuries, or ever. So when it counts, Bast is brave. Of course, luckily for Sadie and Carter, Bast does come back at the end, so yay. It must be true about cats having nine lives.