Physik by Angie Sage

(Cover picture courtesy of HarperCollins Children’s Books.)

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 everlasting 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 it will surely involve Nicko, Alther Mella, Marcia Overstrand, Beetle, Stanley, Sarah, Silas, Spit Fyre, Aunt Zelda, and all of the other wacky, wonderful characters that made magyk and flyte so memorable.

(Summary courtesy of Amazon.)

With heart-stopping action and a dash of humor, Angie Sage continues the fantastical journey of Septimus Heap.

Physik is probably my favourite book in the entire Septimus Heap series so far and I’ve read the first five of them.  Why is it my favourite?  Well, the characters are much better developed, Angie Sage is a bit more descriptive so we get a better idea of what the world looks like and we get to see the Castle at the height of its glory.

Jenna has matured more in this book and is more of a princess than she was in Magyk or Flyte.  Septimus is also moving right along in his Apprenticeship when it gets rudely interrupted by Marcellus Pye and the horrible Queen Etheldredda.  I don’t want to give too much away, but Queen Etheldredda isn’t just any ordinary ghost, which causes even more trouble for Septimus and Jenna.  We also get introduced to a new character, Snorri, who is my personal favourite because of her backstory, her cat and her special Spirit Seeing abilities.

The world of Septimus Heap is also much more developed and we get to see a lot of origins of the traditions we find in the first two books.  Along the way, we learn about Physik, which is this world’s version of science.  In a weird reversal of our world, Magyk is looked upon as more reliable than Physik and Marcia even goes so far as to laugh at Septimus when he wants to learn more about it.  There isn’t much laugh-out-loud humour in Angie Sage’s books, but they’re not completely dark and serious either, which is what makes them great for ages 9-12.  The illustrations at the beginnings of every chapter also do so much to enhance the reading experience.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

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  1. DogG6

    Wow awesome I had read four books and part of the fifth Septimus Heap series almost exactly a year ago. Pretty humurous books, and Angie Sage is pretty good at making exciting plot twists.

    • Carrie Slager

      I don’t really find the Septimus Heap series incredibly funny, but you’re right when you say that there is humour. And I didn’t predict some of the plot twists, which is nice for a change in a children’s book.

      • DogG6

        Definitely, it was a unique twist to figure out the main character of the rest of the series at the end of the book. And yes, humor-wise it’s not Hitchhiker’s Guide or anything, but it does have a nice light hearted and fairly often funny tone to it. And that each book has fresh ideas, whereas even though I like Rick Riordan’s books very much, they all have the same “the world’s ending on the summer/winter solstace in five days and the main characters have to go to these places to find a secret to save the world!” story every book.

        • Carrie Slager

          True. It seems like all books dealing with mythology also deal with the world ending on a traditional festival day, like Litha or Samhain (although they’re generally called something else).

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