Septimus Heap: Book One – Magyk
Illustrations by Mark Zug
Ages 9 to 12
HarperCollins, 2005, 0-06-057733-9
On a cold winter’s night two babies are born. One is Septimus, the seventh son of Sarah and Silas Heap. The other is the Princess, daughter of the Queen. On the night of their birth a midwife suddenly announces that Septimus is dead and whisks his body away. At the same time, Silas finds the little baby princess is the snow. Marcia Overstrand, an Apprentice Wizard, has placed the baby there knowing Silas will find and care for her. It is vital that no one should know where the baby princess is for her mother has been killed and the Queen’s murderer is eager to do away with the princess as well.
Now, ten year later to the day, Marcia is back demanding that Silas and Sarah hand the hidden Princess over to her. The child, whom everyone knows as Jenna Heap, suddenly discovers who she is and that someone very evil is out to get her. The Heaps however love Jenna dearly and they insist on doing all they can to protect her.
What follows is a mad dash away from The Castle to the relative safety of Aunt Zelda’s hidden cottage in the Marram Marshes. Jenna’s enemy, the Necromancer DomDaniel, is not easily thwarted however. He knows he cannot seize power completely until the princess is dead and he is determined to make sure this happens as soon as possible. To makes matters even more complicated it would appear that Septimus Heap is not in fact dead and yet no one is sure where he is now.
There can be no doubt that this new series is going to attract a great deal of attention and a dedicated following of readers. Wonderfully rich characters, deliciously silly situations, and plenty of magic of all kinds makes this story a gripping, even addictive, read from start to finish.
Readers will be delighted to discover that the author includes some supplementary material at the end of her wonderful story. There are descriptions of what happens to many of the characters from the story, a brief biography of the author, a set of letters between Marcia Overstrand (ExtraOrdinary Wizard) and Aunt Zelda, a recipe, and some very intriguing spells.
Readers may like to visit the Septimus Heap webpage for more information about this delightful tale, its characters, and the author.
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