Posted by: Nyxks | September 21, 2007

Septimus Heap Book One Magyk

Septimus Heap Book One Magyk
by Angie Sage © 2005
Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN 0-06-057731-2
564 pages
Hardbound
$16.99 (U.S.) $21.99 (Canada)
reviewed by: Mike Gleason

There will, undoubtedly, be comparisons drawn between this series and the Harry Potter series, and that is inevitable. It is not, however, necessarily fair. The two universe share some similarities, as dot he heroes. The differences, however, are significant. One can see similarities between some of the characters in the two series – Alther Mella (the late Extra-Ordinary Wizard) has a lot of Albus Dumbledore in him. And Septimus and Harry share some characteristics. But this is a darker, more medieval world.

The story is told quickly and cleanly and, unlike many in the magickal genre, does not rely on strange names (okay, I’ll grant I don’t l know many folks named Silas or Zelda, but at least it isn’t some obscure name in an Elvish dialect) to set the tone. Ms. Sage does that with very clear descriptions of places and people. The universe she has created is one which the reader feels must exist, perhaps just beyond that next hill, or around the next bend in the river.

An adult reading this book will recognize the importance, and hidden identity, of Boy 412. Younger readers will probably be surprised, but should begin to find it growing obvious about halfway through the book.

The younger reader will, undoubtedly, be dismayed when it appears that Septimus Heap has become apprenticed to DomDaniel (an evil Wizard), devoted to the destruction of the rightful Princess and in league with the Supreme Custodian who wishes to see the entire Heap family destroyed. As with any good mystery, however, appearances can be deceiving.

The story is fast-paced and appealing. The characters are kid-friendly. Since the Harry Potter series is winding down, this looks like a good bet to step in and fill the void of well-written fiction (with a magickal theme) for younger folks. Personally I look forward to seeing more in this series.

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