(Cover picture courtesy of My Escape From The Real World.)
Septimus Heap, the seventh son of the seventh son, disappears the night he is born, pronounced dead by the midwife. That same night, the baby’s father, Silas Heap, comes across an abandoned child in the snow—a newborn girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take her into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son Septimus?
Some people have been calling Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap series “the next Harry Potter.” Honestly, those words have been thrown around so carelessly that I don’t think they have meaning anymore. Magyk and the other six books in the series are good, but they’re certainly not on the level of Harry Potter.
Magyk is for ages nine and up and I think kids around that age will really enjoy the series. Angie Sage has created a quas-Medieval world (with plenty of twists and diversity) populated with all kinds of characters that kids will love. Her plotting is decent enough and does throw some unexpected twists, but a lot of the ‘twists’ were predictable, even when I was in the target age group. Obviously, Septimus is still alive. I mean, it’s called the Septimus Heap series. Still, there were a few pleasant surprises and most kids won’t be able to see them coming.
Aunt Zelda, Jenna, Silas, Boy 412 and Marcia are all colourful characters. They may seem a bit shallow to older readers, but Angie Sage’s target age group will love them. As a bonus, this isn’t your typical children’s book where the adults have it all wrong: the adults help the main characters (who are children). Magyk also has great messages about believing in yourself and you can’t judge people by their appearances. The writing style is a bit more simplistic than other books aimed at the 9-12 age group, but the plot, world-building and characterization more than make up for it.
I give this book 3.5/5 stars.