Study Guide

Shezmu in The Red Pyramid

By Rick Riordan


With a name like that, this guy's got to be a winner.

Sadie and Carter encounter him on their way into the Land of the Dead, when he emerges from a boiling river: "[H]e towered several meters over the boat. His body was humanoid—bare-chested and hairy with purplish skin. A rope belt was tied around his waist, festooned with leather pouches, severed demon heads, and other charming bits and bobs. His head was a strange combination of lion and human, with gold eyes and a black mane done in dreadlocks. His blood-spattered mouth was feline, with bristly whiskers and razor-sharp fangs" (27.55).

Yeah… sounds like he could use a trip to a dentist, dermatologist, and aesthetician all in one. His manners are charming, too, since he threatens to eat the kids if they can't name him. Yum, the blood of pharaohs. Luckily, Sadie keeps him chatting until he reveals that he is called Slaughterer of Souls, Fierce of Face.

Until then, however, she also has to endure his free perfume samples and obsession with blood. In the end, though, he plays by the rules and lets the kids through. We're noticing a running theme here—the Egyptian gods obey the rules, even when the rules make no sense to humans.