From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8–Septimus Heap, Apprentice to the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, is back in this sequel to Magyk
(HarperCollins, 2005). The defeated, but not destroyed, DomDaniel is still bent on ruling the Castle as ExtraOrdinary Wizard by removing Jenna, the rightful heir to the throne. This time it's Simon Heap who, as the necromancer's new Apprentice, pursues Jenna through both new and familiar territory. Meanwhile, a sinister plot unfolds at the Castle to banish the current ExtraOrdinary Wizard, Marcia Overstrand, by means of a Darke Shadow that follows her around and grows ominously more visible by the day. Readers will find themselves quickly immersed in this imaginative world, moving from one well-crafted adventure to another at a suspenseful pace. While some intricacies of the plot may be lost due to the ungainly cast of characters (listed at the end of the book), others are simply not logical, such as when the good characters allow Simon to escape without so much as a second thought despite his many attempts to murder them. This seems to be an obvious lead-in to the next book in the series, though other questions surrounding Jenna's parents will nag at readers' minds. Those who have been waiting for Flyte
to see Septimus Heap grow into his role as Apprentice will not be disappointed and are likely to return for more.–Emily Rodriguez, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
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Gr. 5-8. At the close of Sage's Magyk
(2005), Necromancer DomDaniel had his bones picked clean by Quake Ooze Brownies--but fantasy evil-doers are a rather resilient lot. Indeed, the dark wizard has recruited weak-minded Simon Heap, still smarting over brother Septimus' claim to the ExtraOrdinary Wizard's apprenticeship, to dispatch future queen Jenna and assist in the villain's resurrection. A cat-and-mouse chase ensues, encompassing a legendary charm that confers true flight and a baby dragon that imprints upon Septimus, and deepening Sage's zealously particularized magical culture (which still involves distracting pepperings of bold-faced lingo). In the absence of the identity mix-up that propelled book one in the Septimus Heap series, similarities to Harry Potter stand out even more baldly--from the presence of benign talking ghosts to asides about enchanted sweets ("FizzFroot," "Mint Blasts"). Purists will scowl, but many readers, won over by Sage's confiding, whimsical tone and tightly interlocking plot elements, will welcome Septimus Heap as their second-favorite wizard... Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved