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Fyre- Angie Sage



Fyre is the seventh (and final) book in the Septimus Heap series. You can see my reviews of the previous 6 books by using the Septimus Heap tag.

Synopsis (from amazon)

Septimus Heap, Wizard Apprentice, must fight the remnants of the Darke Domaine. For this, the ancient Alchemie Fyre must be relit, a task which will test Septimus to his limits and send him on a perilous journey. Septimus will finally discover who he is – but at what cost? And who will prevail when the greatest Magyk of all is kindled?

Prepare for a spellbinding finale, as FYRE masterfully weaves together every character from this epic series.

Review

For some reason they don’t seem to have the edition of Fyre I read listed new on amazon anymore, but it’s most like the collector’s edition (which is not yet available). I ordered that particular version because of the cover. For some reason Bloomsbury have decided to change the cover design for the last book so it doesn’t fit with the other 6 I have on my shelves. it’s rather annoying, especially as I do not like the new cover even without comparison with other. The version I got was a ‘roughcut’. There are a few complaints about it on amazon (possibly why it has been taken down) but the pages are meant to be roughcut to look like old pages or parchment pages. I rather like the effect, it looks like an old spell book. The pages are also thinner which probably makes the book less weighty.

Anyway, on to the story. There are a few reasons why I read the whole series of Septimus Heap books, and none of them are that closely related to plot

– A friend gave me his copies of the first two books, so you know I may as well read them

– I have a thing about series (which I have spoken about before) and hate to leave them unfinished, unless it was a real struggle even to get through the first book.

– My boyfriend also wanted to finish the series, so we decided to take it in turns to buy each book (hence why he bought this one) with whomever pays for the book getting to read it first.

– I was interested enough in the storyline to want to know how it ends, but not enough to feel I had to know right now (as I was with Harry Potter)

If you have been reading the series as it comes out then I would recommend re-reading the series before you read Fyre, I didn’t and I think maybe my enjoyment suffered because of it. Fyre draws together lots of little storylines and characters from throughout the books. It’s one of the things I most like about the books because it is rather clever, but it does mean that if you have forgotten about a character or plot theme then you may find yourself a little lost in parts. Personally I think I forgot about 99% of the plot of Syren (although at the time of reviewing I did say that it didn’t seem to be a book which the series really needed).

Again I had that issue that for a long while everything was just being set up. Not much was really happening that engaged me, but by the end I wanted to stay up to finish reading. You can tell I wasn’t that interested from my status updates on goodreads, in the first 5 days I only read 57 pages- where it usually takes me a week to read a whole book.

The story generally though was a nice conclusion, and it did come together well. There was a bit of a message there too about self change and how circumstances can force people to be a certain way.

Oh yeah and one thing I didn’t like was Sage shoving in a blatant ‘read my other books’ message. The character seemed to be added just so she could say ‘look this character who has no real role and you’ve never heard of before, guess what? I wrote a series about her, you should read it’. Nothing would make me want to read that series less.

3/5

Buy it:

Hardback (£8.57)

Collector’s Edition- pre-order (£14.99)

Kindle (£6.69)

Paperback- pre-order (£6.63)

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Darke- Angie Sage


Image from Amazon

Darke is the Sixth book in the Septimus Heap Series

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Septimus is on the threshold of his fourteenth birthday, which falls on the shortest day of the year. While everyone celebrates and the Castle is lit with the traditional candles, Septimus has greater concerns on his mind. He has finally reached the period in his Apprenticeship known as Darke Week. During this crucial time, he hopes to undertake the very dangerous mission of restoring Alther from Banishment, following the attempted invasion of the Castle of Syren. But while this preoccupies him, other Darke things are afoot in the Castle.
Review
Oh I think this has got to be my favourite Septimus Heap book so far. I think they have been gradually getting less childish. While I would still classify Darke as a children’s book it is much more sinister than the last 5. With the horrible ‘Things’ and the two faced ring and it’s power it brings to mind Tolkien’s Dark Riders and The One Ring. I still feel somewhat sorry for Merrin, somehow despite everything he has done he still seems like a victim to me. Maybe because of the way he was introduced to the Darke, maybe just because in many ways he is still a child. Somehow that makes what he does seem not so bad. Increasingly the barriers between Magyk and Darke Magyk are being blurred. The bad guys are not so bad (certainly not in the way Dom Daniel was) and maybe the good guys are not so good either. It all adds up to a book which is distinctly more adult than the others in the series. I wouldn’t go as far as to say children shouldn’t read it. Nothing is too graphic except in where your own imagination may work on something.
4/5
My Septimus Heap Reviews (in order):

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Syren- Angie Sage


The cover art for Syren from the Septimus Heap...

Image via Wikipedia

Syren is Book 5 in the Septimus Heap series

Synopsis (from Amazon)

In the fifth book of this Magykal series, Septimus and his friends find themselves on an island whose secrets are as dark and dangerous as its inhabitants. Septimus Heap returns to the House of Foryx with Spit Fyre to pick up Jenna, Nicko, Snorri, and Beetle. But the journey home does not go well and when Septimus and his friends are caught in a storm, Spit Fyre crashes into the Rokk Lighthouse. They are rescued by the lighthouse keeper who is disturbingly sinister, and who has an equally sinister cat …And all the while, Septimus is trying to fight the strange pull he’s feeling to the island and its mysterious secrets.

Review

There is something about the Septimus Heap series in that it takes a while to really get going, you get hints that it will get exciting but it’s only towards the end that it actually becomes exciting with a gradual build. his was still true of Syren, although I do think it got going a little quicker than the previous books. I think I am enjoying the stories more as we go through the series as well, and whereas before I read the other books without and real anticipation I am actually really looking forward to Darke, I just wish it was out already!

Really my main problem with this series is that it isn’t much of a series in the way the books link together. In some ways this one was linked to the other books, and I can definitely see how it may link to the next book, but it also seems in some ways unneccessary to the series as a whole, and as if Sage was just trying to stretch out the books.

3.5/5

 

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Queste- Angie Sage


Cover of "Queste (Septimus Heap, Book 4)&...

Cover of Queste (Septimus Heap, Book 4)

Queste is the fourth book in the Septimus Heap series

Synopsis (from Amazon)

Septimus faces a perilous quest to find Nicko and Snorri, who have been trapped back in time. Everyone at the Castle is realising that Nicko and Snorri’s chances of coming back are slim. Septimus, aided by Alchemist Marcellus Pye, learns of a place where all time meets: the House of Foryx. But how does he get there? Jenna and Septimus find Nicko’s notes from the past and discover that he knows of the House of Foryx as well and has been creating a map to plot the house’s hidden location. With the help of the Questing Stone and Nicko’s faded maps, will Septimus be able to save Nicko and Snorri? Meanwhile, Simon Heap has taken on Merrin Meredith, former apprentice to DomDaniel, as his own apprentice, giving Merrin an opportunity he has been waiting years for. With the help of a frightening creature called a Thing, Merrin plans to reclaim the identity he used to have …that of Septimus Heap.

Review

I found I got through this Septimus Heap book much quicker than the others. It still took a while to get going but the end of the previous book (Physik) felt like much more of a cliff hanger than the previous books in the series so Queste felt like more of a sequel than just another book with the same characters. I wanted to find out what had happened after the last book so I was eager to get going. I was pretty impressed to, I’ve liked the other Septimus Heap books but the series seems to be getting better the further I get into it and I found a big difference with this book. I think this book was a bit more individual, a lot of the time I find the Septimus Heap books could just be any other book about wizards, you know it has everything you would expect from a wizarding novel but nothing that really sets it apart. I found with this novel that it was more like Sage had created another world, the forest and all its contents felt rather original, although there were still sections that were the type of things that are pretty standard to fantasy novels (not that that’s a problem, it’s just nice to have something different).

There was one thing I didn’t like in this book though and that was the sections with Merrin. I can’t say I ever really liked Merrin but I had some sympathy for him and that was pretty much destroyed by this book, and it was more or less uneccersary. I think Sage could have filled his role easily some other way seeing as he was basically there to secure one small plot point. I thought using him to secure that point was actually a little unrealistic and I could think of a few other ways in which it could be introduced without using Merrin.

4/5

 

 

 

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Physik- Angie Sage


Physik by Angie Sage

Image via Wikipedia

Physik in the third book in the Septimus Heap series

 

Synopsis (from Amazon)

When Silas Heap unseals a forgotten room in the Palace, he releases the ghost of a Queen who lived five hundred years earlier. Queen Etheldredda is as awful in death as she was in life, and she’s still up to no good. Her diabolical plan to give herself ever-lasting life requires Jenna’s compliance, Septimus’s disappearance, and the talents of her son, Marcellus Pye, a famous Alchemist and Physician. And if Queen Etheldredda’s plot involves Jenna and Septimus, then Dark adventure awaits With heart-stopping action and endless wit, Angie Sage continues the fantastical journey of Septimus Heap.

 

Review

 

Considering the simplicity of the Septimus Heap range of books Physik took me a long time to read, but I have been ill so I blame that factor, sometimes when I’m ill I just don’t have the attention span for reading, my new addiction to Twitter probably hasn’t helped either, but then again there is always a distraction. I do think generally speaking this series has progressed in quality of writing  at  least since Magyk although I have still read book which are better written (and don’t think this is me being a reading snob, I know my own quality of writing is less than stunning, and up to a point I can enjoy writing which isn’t of great quality to the same level as I can enjoy something you could describe as literary, sometimes more seeing as more complex writing requires more energy to read…I feel I am going off on a tangent). I felt as if Physik’s plot was a little more planned than the other two, and while this did give more flow to the story and allowed it to be more complex it did give a slight sense that the plot was a little artificial, I suppose you have to balance the two aspects when you choose whether to plan carefully or more write as you think (the second is what I do, I guess that is pretty obvious!). The one thing that did feel really artificial was the introduction of Snorri, I really liked her as a character, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her in the next book, but her introduction seemed more of a plot device and a convenience than other characters have and I didn’t really like that. At first her introduction puzzled me and I wanted to get back to the characters I knew but when I got further along I understood it and I actually thought that if her introduction had been written differently she would feel less like a plot device.
I feel like this review has been mainly negative but actually this has been my favourite book of the series so far, it’s more complex and the plot, while being a little slow to start has been more engaging. For the first time since I started this series I am actually looking forward to reading the next book in the series rather than just wanting to read it for the sake of finishing the series.

 

3.5/5

 

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Flyte- Angie Sage


Cover of "Flyte (Septimus Heap, Book 2)"

Cover of Flyte (Septimus Heap, Book 2)

Synopsis (from Amazon)

The evil necromancer DomDaniel has been disposed of, but something Darke is stirring. A Shadow pursues ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand around, following her every move, growing stronger every day. Septimus senses something sinister is afoot, but before he can act, Jenna is snatched – taken by the most unlikely kidnapper. Septimus must rescue his sister but does not, at first, realise what he will be facing. “”Flyte” is the second of Angie Sage’s engaging and energetic novels about Septimus Heap…We can’t get enough. More, please!” – “The Times”
Review
My memory is a little rusty on this one. I finished it over the weekend and I usually write my review the same or next day but haven’t been able to do that this time. As with the last Septimus Heap book I wasn’t bowled over with the writing style, although the standard stayed the same all the way through where it had got better by the end of Magyk. I did find myself a little more compelled to read this one too and it got going quicker, although it still took too long.
3/5

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Magyk- Angie Sage


Magyk

Image via Wikipedia

This book is the first in the Septimus Heap series

Synopsis (from Amazon)

A baby girl is rescued from a snowy path in the woods. A baby boy is stillborn. A young Queen is taken ill. An ExtraOrdinary Wizard mysteriously resigns from his post. And all on the same night. A string of events, seemingly unconnected, begins to converge ten years later, when the Heap family receive a knock at the door. The evil Necromancer DomDaniel is plotting his comeback and a Major Obstacle resides in the Heap family. Life as they know is about to change, and the most fantastically fast-paced adventure of confused identities, magyk and mayhem, begin.

Review

I was given this book by a fellow Harry Potter fan who described it as the new series he was addicted too. It’s taken me a while to get round to actually reading it, partly because despite some of my favourite books being fantasy I’m not a big reader of fantasy as a whole, and partly because I didn’t want to compare Magyk to Harry Potter, because I knew it would be pretty hard to meet up. Luckily to compare the two would be quite difficult, apart from tragic beginnings, and similar aged main characters the two have very little in common. Plot wise there were some pretty good ideas going on but, partly because of the way Magyk was written I did find it very predictable, the main twist is given away because of some bad decision making- which may be on part of the publishers rather than Sage herself. I must admit a fair bit of the plot didn’ seem particully original either, partly because I think Sage had used myths to do with magic- which is probably a good thing, and partly because it was predictable. There were some really good ideas though, I particully liked the dragon ring and it’s surrounding storyline. I will read the rest in ther series, because I dislike leaving a series unfinished but I wouldn’t activelly seek them out.

3/5

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