I have been a very bad girl of late with regard to completing my reading challenges. In fact, I must say reading challenges have always been a challenge for me. I find it very difficult to read more than a couple of books within a genre continuously. With the result that so far, I have never been able to complete a single reading challenge successfully.
To counter this, the last time I visited Eloor Library, I made it a point to pick up books 3 and 4 of Angie Sage’s Septimus Series (how’s that for alliteration? :)) for my Young Adult Reading Challenge. I had loved the first 2 novels in the series – Magyk and Flyte.
I’ve been resisting with Physik (book 3) before finally giving into temptation. Part of the reason I hesitated was because I was wary of finding that third time around would not be a charm. I am gladly wrong in this case and will happily admit so.
Summary and Review of Physik
In this book, an evil ghost of a Queen from centuries past wants to dethrone Princess Jenna and take over the palace. Septimus Heap is kidnapped into the past, he travels through time and is forced into apprenticeship with the Queen’s son Marcellus Pye who is an alchemist and physician.
Here, he learns how to cure people of various ailments. In the meantime, Princess Jenna and Nicko (his brother) are looking for ways to bring him back to the present day and foil the evil ghost’s plans.
The book starts off a little slow but then once it gets going, it really gets going. I also like that Angie Sage is quite happy to kill of a character when she feels it’s required. The death is not disturbing though. The dead person becomes a ghost and seems to be quite happy being one! So, I guess younger kids may not be too troubled by this.
Summary and Review of Queste
Queste, the fourth book in the series, was flat out incredible and I gobbled it up in two days. In this book, Septimus Heap is on a mission to rescue his brother Nicko and Snorri who are trapped in time. Villains old and new make an appearance, and reading this book was one hell of an adventurous ride, and I just didn’t want to get off.
I am also loving the hint of romance and possible love triangle that I am seeing in this book. It makes me want to just rush off and start devouring Syren – the next book in the series.
If you just stumbled across these books randomly and haven’t yet read books 1 (Magyk) and 2 (Flyte) you really should get them and read them first. Although in some series you can pick up any book at any point in the series and be OK with it as a stand alone story – that is not the case in this series. You will definitely not be able to understand/appreciate a lot of the details and references to characters if you hadn’t read the first 2 books. You need the history covered in the first 2 books to really enjoy it. So I would strongly recommend that you start at the beginning and read the first 2 books before moving on to this one.
Also, do not go in expecting any deeper meaning (ala Philip Pullmann or any such books), these are really nothing more than really well-written fun, adventure reads for children.
After reading these books, I feel strangely disloyal to the Hogwarts clan. I am really falling in love with the characters in this series!
All in all, I highly recommend this series of light-hearted fantasy fun for young adults of all ages.
To get a feel for this series, visit the Septimus Heap website – really nice and magyckal 🙂