Study Guide

Nectanebo II in The Red Pyramid

By Rick Riordan

Nectanebo II

Carter encounters this New Kingdom pharaoh-sorcerer in his ba form (a spirit with a human head and the body of a bird). Here's how he looks to Carter: "His eyes, lined with kohl, narrowed as they studied me. A black ornamental wig glistened on his head, and his face was etched with wrinkles. One of those fake braided pharaoh beards was stuck on his chin like a backward ponytail" (13.46).

Even weirder than the fact that he's surrounded by glowing red light at the entrance to the First Nome is the fact that he says to Carter: Pari, niswa nafeer. This translates as: "Go forth, good king," meaning that Nectanebo recognizes that either Carter or the god inside him (or both) would be a good potential king. Interesting that a minor spirit-world character would comment on that, eh?