Study Guide

The Red Pyramid Sacrifice

By Rick Riordan


What would you give up to make the world a better place? Your favorite pair of jeans? Your iPod? The season finale of Dancing with the Stars? Your life?

Many of the characters in The Red Pyramid face this question, and the answer isn't always pretty. Sometimes, if you believe enough in your cause, you have to be willing to give up everything, including your life. And because we're dealing with ancient Egyptian beliefs, we're not just talking about your life on this plane of existence, but your life in the afterlife, too. One wrong step, and you might find yourself faced with oblivion. These are the stakes of the game Sadie and Carter find themselves thrown into, whereas for normal teens the mention of "sacrifice" might bring to mind the idea of sacrificing a night of sleep to cram for a midterm.

Totally different ballgame, folks.

Questions About Sacrifice

  1. Were the sacrifices that Ruby and Julius Kane made inevitable? Was there another way they could have accomplished their goals?
  2. Which of the gods do you think has sacrificed the most?
  3. What sorts of sacrifices happen in the book? Sure, people give up their lives for what they believe in, but what else?
  4. What do you think Sadie and Carter would have sacrificed to have their parents back in the beginning of the novel versus at the end of the novel?

Chew on This

The sacrifices Julius and Ruby Kane made were worth it.

The novel mostly depicts the sacrifices that parents make for their children.