Title: Septimus Heap, Book Four: Queste
Author: Angie Sage, illustrated by Mark Zug
Release Date: April 2008
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins)
Age Range: Children’s
Summary/Teaser: Septimus Heap, back from his latest time-travel adventure, soon encounters trouble at the Castle where he lives, apprenticed to the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, Marcia Overstrand. Merrin Meredith is back with a Darke curse in store for Septimus. Septimus and his friends Jenna and Beetle have plans of their own: rescuing Nicko and Snorri, who seem to be trapped back in time.
Review: My reading experience with this book wasn’t perfect. Let me explain: it has been ages since I read the first three book in this series (Magyk, Flyte, and Physik), so many of the mentioned events in this one were quite blurred in my mind. This, most certainly, doesn’t mean that the book itself was bad.
In fact, the book was quite entertaining. It was action-packed, funny, and magical, as were the first three books, to my recollection of them. The series is definitely for a younger audience (sometimes things are a bit silly, the solutions too simple), but I enjoyed it. The huge size of the book, nearly 600 pages, isn’t challenging to read at all. The text is relatively large, the narrative flowing, and the fantastic illustrations by artist Mark Zug positioned at the beginning of each chapter. Speaking of chapters, there are quite a few; the table of contents takes up several pages!
This series seems to be often compared to the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. But Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap books are unique. I can’t quite place it, but they just seem fresh and different. I can see the similarities they point out, though: the young, orphaned (only seemingly, for a while, in Septimus’s case), magical boy goes on to become a talented wizard. The two characters even share those trademark green eyes!
Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars.