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Septimus heap - all seven covers

Septimus Heap is a series of fantasy novels written by Angie Sage, featuring a protagonist with the same name as the series, Septimus Heap. All seven have been published, along with an encyclopedic add-on called The Magykal Papers and an e-book called the The Darke Toad which took place in the long period between Magyk and Flyte. The books of the series are respectively Magyk, Flyte, Physik, Queste, Syren, Darke and Fyre.

Septimus Heap is geared towards children 9 years and above. It has been published in 28 languages worldwide and has sold over 1 million copies throughout the United States.[1]

Plot

This series follows the adventures and story of the protagonist Septimus Heap, who, as a seventh son of a seventh son, has powerful magical capability. After he secures his apprenticeship with the arch wizard of the books, called the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, he must study for seven years and one day before he is qualified to take over. Along with him is an equally important character — Jenna, who is the princess of The Castle where they live. Together with his brothers and a large assortment of other characters, they must overcome the trials and tribulations that they encounter as they grow up. In Fyre it is revealed the series is set in the far future( Septimus is 14 in the year 12,004), and that Magyk is actually indistinguishable from highly advanced technology.

Books

Magyk

Main article: Magyk (book)

Magyk's plot revolves around the pauper-like Heap family. The parents, Silas and Sarah Heap, have seven children, the youngest Jenna, whom Silas Heap found in the snow on the day that their own youngest son, Septimus, was born and supposedly died. When Jenna finds out on her tenth birthday a secret, from ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand herself, she realises that she—and the Heap family—are in danger. On their journey to their Aunt Zelda's cottage, Jenna and Nicko Heap experience much new Magyk. Their new friend, Boy 412, also finds out who he truly is.

Flyte

Main article: Flyte (book)

After a year as the Extraordinary Wizard's apprentice, Septimus (Boy 412) witnesses his eldest brother, Simon, kidnap Jenna. Septimus goes out for finding people to help rescue Jenna, but so far he found his older brother, Nicko, and his old Young Army friend, Boy 409 (Wolf Boy). Now the three of them must save Jenna before all else goes wrong. Septimus also discovers the supposedly lost Flyte Charm.

Physik

Main article: Physik (book)

Physik begins with Silas Heap, who has unsealed a room housing the 500 year-old substantial spirit of Queen Etheldredda. Now that she's freed, she seeks to have immortal life. Queen Etheldredda has placed Septimus Heap to her own time 500 years ago as the apprentice to her alchemist son Marcellus Pye. Now Jenna, Nicko Heap, and their new friend Snorri Snorrelssen must save Septimus before Queen Etheldredda finishes her plan.

Queste

Main article: Queste (book)

Queste, taking a part six months after events of Physik, mainly centered around Septimus going on a perilous quest to the House of Foryx to find Nicko and Snorri, who have been trapped back in time. Everyone at the Castle is slowly beginning to realize that their chances of coming back are slim. Septimus, aided by ancient alchemist Marcellus Pye, learns of a place where all time meets: the House of Foryx. With the help of the Questing Stone and Nicko's faded maps, Septimus tries to find it and save Nicko and Snorri.

Syren

Main article: Syren (book)

Septimus ends up on a captivatingly beautiful island, one of seven set in a sparkling sea. He's stranded there with his badly injured dragon, Spit Fyre, along with Jenna and Beetle. There are some strange things about the island, including a Magykal girl named Syrah Syara, a cat-shaped lighthouse that has lost its Light, and an eerie presence that sings to Septimus — can he escape the persistent call? Trouble is also brewing for Lucy Gringe and Wolf Boy, who have become entangled with some nefarious sailors at sea, and for Milo Banda, Jenna's father, who is harboring a mysterious treasure chest in his ship's hold.

Darke

Main article: Darke (book)

Septimus and Jenna have their 14th Birthday when a Darke domaime surrounds the castle. Septimus must enter the Darke to save Alther and everyone in the castle. However, he can't do it alone and needs the help of Jenna, Simon, Marcellus, Beetle and Spit Fyre. Special surprises are instore including Identidies, Family, and promotions.

The Magykal Papers

Main article: The Magykal Papers

Septimus Heap: The Magykal Papers is a book by Angie Sage, illustrated by Mark Zug. It is an add-on book in the Septimus Heap series. The book contains all kinds of extra stuff from the novels. It is a full colour book – a different size – and Mark Zug did all the illustrations.

The book was published in the USA on April 2009 and in the UK in the summer of 2009.

Fyre

Main article: Fyre (book)

Now that Septimus and Jenna are fourteen years old, they have assumed larger roles in their Magykal world. Beetle is the Chief Hermetic Scribe of the Manuscriptorium and Jenna will soon be Queen, but Septimus is still battling the remnants of the Darke Domaine, which will remain until the power of the evil Two-Faced Ring is destroyed forever. To accomplish that, the ancient Alchemie Fyre must be relit—a task that sends Septimus to the very origins of Magyk and Physik, testing both his skills and his loyalties to ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand and Alchemist Marcellus Pye.

In a journey that encapsulates the entire Septimus Heap series, Septimus continues to discover who he is and expand upon his Magykal power and skills. Fyre weaves together every character from the series and incorporates many of the Magykal places from each book. Written with Angie Sage's distinctive humor and heart, Fyre is the grand finale that celebrates the greatest Magyk of all: When the Fyre inside is kindled and when the Time Is Right, anything is possible. 

Characters

Septimus Heap

The eponymous protagonist of the series, Septimus spent the first ten years of his life in the Young Army as Boy 412 after DomDaniel attempted to abduct him. As the seventh son of a seventh son, he has exceptional magical powers and is currently apprenticed to the ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand, who he trusts more than anyone else. He shares his birthday with Jenna, his adoptive sister. Septimus has a dragon called Spit Fyre as pet and Jim Knee as his servant.

Jenna Heap

Adopted by the Heap family as a baby in place of Septimus, Jenna is actually the daughter of the assassinated queen, and thus a princess. She is a small girl, with deep violet eyes and fair complexion. Although loving and caring at heart, she can sometimes be very stubborn. She had a live rock called Petroc Trelawney as a pet but lost him, and now has a duck called Ethel.

Nicko Heap

The sixth son of the Heap family, Nicko is currently an apprentice to the boat-builder Jannit Maarten. He has a medium-build, with the characteristic green eyes and curly straw-colored hair of the Heap family, and has a happy and helpful disposition. As a son of a Wizard, Nicko has learned magic but is not very interested in it. He is more interested in boats and sailing, a passion which brought him and Snorri Snorrelson closer.

Marcia Overstrand

The current ExtraOrdinary Wizard. Ambitious and willful, Marcia is a very powerful wizard. Although she often seems stern, bad-tempered and intimidating, there are a number of instances when she shows she truly has a good heart. She loves her apprentice Septimus dearly and feels great responsibility to protect both him and his sister, perhaps with her life. On the contrary, she feels a particular dislike for Marcellus Pye, especially after he kidnapped Septimus. She also has arguments occasionally with Silas Heap and Jillie Djinn, neither of which she gets on well with. She is a tall woman, with long, dark curly hair and deep-green eyes, and generally wears a deep purple tunic with purple python-skin boots. Her symbol and source of power, the Akhu Amulet, hangs around her neck.

Zelda Zenuba Heap

Zelda, known as Aunt Zelda, is aunt to the Heap family and greatly loved by all for her happy-go-lucky nature, although she and Marcia Overstrand are known to have disputes. As the current Keeper of the Dragon Boat, she resides in a cottage on Draggen Island in the Marram Marshes. She is of medium-build, wears a patchwork tent-like dress, has a shock of flyaway grey hair, a wrinkled smiling face, and the bright blue eyes of a White Witch. Apparently, she has absolutely no sense of taste and cooks dishes mainly consisting of cabbages and eel. The only person (besides herself) who can appreciate her cooking is Septimus. She has a pet cat called Bert who she transformed into a duck and is friends with the Boggart.

Snorri Snorrelssen

Snorri is an independent and somewhat mysterious young Northern Trader, who comes to The Castle to trade her goods. She helps the Heap family, and is especially friends with Nicko, with whom she shares a love of sailing. As a Spirit Seer, she can see all spirits, even if they have not chosen to reveal themselves to others. She has a close companion in her cat, Ullr, who is a ginger cat with a black tip during the day but transforms into a dangerous black panther with an orange-tipped tail at night.

Other characters

  • Heap family:
    • Silas Heap: The father of the Heap household. He is an Ordinary Wizard.
    • Sarah Heap: The mother of the Heap household. She is an herb-gardener and loves gardening.
    • Simon Heap: The eldest Heap son. He wanted to be Marcia Overstrand's apprentice but lost to Septimus Heap. He betrayed his family in the second book by turning evil but is now reforming his ways.
    • Sam Heap: The second Heap son. He lives in the forest with his other three brothers and the Wendron Witches.
    • Jo-Jo Heap: The fifth Heap son. He lives in the forest and has a crush on Marissa Lane, a Wendron Witch.
    • Edd & Erik Heap: The third and fourth Heaps. They are twins. They also live in the Forest.
    • Benjamin Heap: The grandfather of the Heap household. He is a shape shifter and has shifted to being a tree in the Forest.
  • Alther Mella: Ex-ExtraOrdinary Wizard, before Marcia Overstrand. He used to be Marcia's tutor before he was murdered, but his ghost now helps Septimus and the others on their adventures. His personality is described as benign and wise.
  • DomDaniel: A Necromancer and ex-ExtraOrdinary Wizard, he wants to regain control of the Wizard Tower from Marcia Overstrand and tries a number of times to do so. He has vanished into apparent non-existance after his bones were consumed by Spit Fyre.
  • Merrin Meredith: A boy who was mistaken for Septimus Heap and was apprenticed to DomDaniel, Merrin does not like Septimus for taking his place and is quite ungrateful to Zelda, though she saved him from being consumed by DomDaniel.
  • Sally Mullin: She is Sarah's friend and runs the Sally Mullin's Tea and Ale House near the Port at the Castle. She generally fills in Sarah with the stories going round in the Castle.
  • Wolf Boy: Better known as Boy 409, he is a friend of Septimus from the Young Army.
  • Augustus Gringe: The gatekeeper of the North Gate, he shares a passion for Counter-Feet with Silas Heap.
  • Lucy Gringe: Daughter of Gringe, she is in love with Simon Heap and fled with him to start their own life away from their fathers.
  • Rupert Gringe: Brother of Lucy Gringe, he is also apprenticed to Jannit Marten. He never like the Heaps until he became friend with Nicko Heap.
  • Beetle: Actual name O Beetle Beetle, he is Septimus' best friend from the Manuscriptorium. He assists Septimus on their adventures.
  • Stanley (Rat 101): An ex-Secret Service Message rat, Stanley wants to set up the Secret Service again by taking Jenna Heap's permission.
  • Queen Etheldredda: Ghost of an ancient queen with a history of filicide. She was responsible for the murder of Alice Nettles as well, but was destroyed by Marcia shortly after.
  • Marcellus Pye: Etheldredda's son, a renowned Alchemist, who has drunk the potion of immortality. He is over five hundred years old. He lives in the Castle near Snake Slipway. He seems to dislike having to interact with the outside world, as he understands so little of it.
  • Jannit Maarten: Boatbuilder at the Castle. Nicko is apprenticed to her.
  • Alice Nettles: Former Customs officer. Her ghost at present stays in the Palace.
  • Spit Fyre: Septimus' beloved dragon who is extremely lazy.
  • Dragon Boat: It is a real dragon who once decided to be a dragon boat to save her master, the first ExtraOrdinary Wizard Hotep-Ra.
  • Milo Banda: Jenna's biological father, he is away most of the time on voyages.
  • Morwenna Mould: The Witch Mother of the Wendron Witches, she promised that the witches will never attack people from the Castle when Silas saved her once from wolverines, but breaks her oath when she did not get Jenna as her own in a bargain she made with Ephaniah Grebe.
  • Jillie Djinn: Chief Hermetic Scribe at the Manuscriptorium. She is somewhat stubborn, strict and annoyingly officious and is not on good terms with Marcia.
  • Ephaniah Grebe: The restorer of documents at the Manuscriptorium, a half-man half-rat, Ephaniah helps Jenna restore Nicko's map of the House of Foryx.
  • Tertius Fume: Ghost of the First Chief Hermetic Scribe. Tertius Fume is disliked by all for his general unpleasantness. He is especially loathed by Marcia Overstrand. He is the one responsible for sending Septimus off on the Queste.
  • Hotep-Ra: The first ExtraOrdinary Wizard. He was the one who built the Wizard Tower. The Dragon Boat belonged to him. He resides now in the House of Foryx.

Locations

Maps are provided in all the books. Magyk contains a map of the Castle and the surroundings till the Port in the south. An enlarged map of the Castle is also included. Flyte has the map showing the Badlands and the Borderlands in the north. Physik again has an enlarged map of the Castle with more details and showing the Alchemie chambers. Queste has the map for the House of Foryx, drawn by Snorri for Marcellus. Syren has a map of the Isles of Syren, as well as an overview of The Small, Wet Country Across the Sea and the continent across from it.

  • The Castle is the centre point of the story. The place is situated beside the river and is a circular land cut off from the surrounding forest by an artificial moat on the western side. It grew as a small village but later population increased and it became the hub of activity. The Castle is the main habituated place for the characters in the series. Among other structures, the Wizard Tower, the Palace and the Ramblings are located in the Castle.
  • Wizard Tower is the place where the ExtraOrdinary Wizard stays along with an assortment of Ordinary Wizards and the ExtraOrdinary apprentice (at present it is Marcia Overstrand and Septimus Heap). The 23-floor tower was built by the first ExtraOrdinary Wizard Hotep-Ra. It is a purple building with a gold pyramid at the top and a haze of magic around it.
  • The Palace is the royal residence, home to Jenna, Sarah and Silas. It is much older than the Wizard tower and hides many secrets, including the Queen's room which is accessible only by the Queen or the Princess and contains a secret passage from the Castle to the Marram Marshes in the south.
  • The Ramblings is where the Heap family lives as well as over 100 other families. It was built out of necessity for anyone who needed a place to live. It resides along the river on the castle's east side.
  • Marram Marshes are a long stretch of marshland near the mouth of the river. They are the home of Zelda Heap, the White Witch, and of many creatures like Brownies, Quake Oozes, Boggarts and pythons. In the middle of the marshes lies Zelda's cottage on Draggen island. It is build above a secret temple where the Dragon-Boat was buried before Septimus and the others freed her.
  • The Port lies in the extreme south near the sea. It is a place full of strangers. Ships load their cargo there and get it verified by the customs officer which was Alice Nettles. There is also the Port Witch Coven who are quite dangerous unlike the Wendron Withces and can lure a stranger in their trap or even turn them into toads. There is a shortcut from the Port to Zelda's house in the Marram Marshes.
  • The Badlands are a rocky and hilly valley on the northern borders. DomDaniel, the Necromancer, used to stay there and practice his dark magic in an observatory atop a hill. Simon Heap now stays there with Lucy Gringe. The Badlands are a dangerous place inhabited by Land Wurms; giant carnivorous snakelike animals.
  • House of Foryx is a magical house situated somewhere in the deep forest where it is perpetual winter. It is an octogonal building flanked by four octagonal pillars and is the place where all times meet, and from where people can go from one time to another. People can come into the building from any time but can leave from it to their time, only if somebody from their own time stands outside the main door, otherwise they are lost in time and may even go out to a time when the House of Foryx didnot exist so that there is no chance of coming back. The house is named after Foryx, a huge elephantine creature in the Septimus Heap universe.

Reception

The series received extremely positive reviews from fans as well as critics galore. Angela McQuay of Curledupkids said that the books are "fast-moving and touching book with plenty of adventure, creatures, charms, spells and bad guys to keep both children and adults interested. Though you don’t get to know the characters as well as you do in the Potter books, there is more action, to keep you turning the pages. Charms and spells are capitalized and written in a different font, making it easier for youngsters to recognize them and also lending a magical quality to the book itself."[2]

Gailgauthier.com also gave a positive review, saying "Septimus Heap books are well-written. The plot and world are more logical than other wizard books that come to mind. There are no parallel universes, for instance. (Just how does a wizard and human world co-exist, anyway? How can you possibly get from one to another? And if those wizards are so smart, why are they using parchment and quills when the lame humans have word processors?) There are no dramatic swings between cartoon portrayals of humans and deep important themes. There are no long stretches filled with clever details that don't necessarily move the story along." However they also had concern over the fact that the books might not have been so popular because the presence of themes like "similarities to those other wizard books.You have a boy who is a powerful wizard but didn't know it for the first ten or eleven years of his life; a large, poor wizard family with one son who goes bad; a powerful evil wizard; a powerful good wizard; ghosts."[3]

Kimberley Pauley of Yabookscentral.com praised the books - "Angie Sage's new series is an engrossing fantasy read with a believable magical world and interesting, quirky characters" she also pointed out that comparisons with Harry Potter are illogical as both are one of a kind[4]

The audiobooks were also praised - "The chapters are short enough to keep children of seven-plus interested but, as ghosts, rats, soldiers and dragon boats help Silas and the young Princess fight the evil necromancer Dom Daniel, there is enough to keep the whole family amused " [5]

Similarity of names

If there was at all any negative reception, that was that some critics pointed out similarities of names with the Harry Potter series especially Jenna's pet rock which is named Petroc Trelawney (similar to Sybill Trelawney from the Potter series) and the presence of a Boggart. But these were mere coincidence as British author Phil Knight noted that "The Petroc Trelawney in the Septimus Heap books is nothing at all to do with Professor Trelawney. He is a Radio 3 presenter who may well be known to Angie Sage personally, but otherwise will be known over the air. Think: why would Jenna call a pet rock 'Trelawney'? To a Radio 3 listener like me, it's perfectly logical... And as to Boggarts, they've been around here in the North of England for a long time. Manchester has Boggart Hole Clough, for example. They're not really like either Sage's or Rowling's creatures, but pre-exist either of them."[6]

In Darke, there is character named Bertie Bott, similiar to Bertie Bot, who invented every flavor beans in Harry Potter.

Spin-off

Main article: TodHunter Moon (series)

In 2013, The author, Angie Sage, revealed that she is writing spin-off stories about the Septimus Heap world, featuring Alice "TodHunter" Moon as the protagonist of the TodHunter Moon (series).

Film

In 2007, Warner Bros. purchased film options for the series. David Frankel has been attached as a director, with Karen Rosenfelt to produce the film, and Sage serving as an executive producer. As of 2016, however, the film has not been officially greenlit for production and its status remains unclear.

External links

References

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