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Magyk (Septimus Heap, Book 1) Paperback – Print, March 14, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fantasy fans on the younger side of Harry Potter will find a good jolt of action, mystery and humor in Corduner's light and swift reading of this magyk-filled adventure. Infants switched at birth, spell casting, Brownies, boggarts, dastardly villains and wizards add lively scenery and action throughout. Though a broad cast of characters threatens to become unwieldy, Sage's smooth storytelling pace and Corduner's assured, inviting voice keep things on track. Sharp listeners will have young Septimus Heap's fate (and that of Jenna, adopted by his family) figured out before recording's end, but will still enjoy the ride. And since Septimus is the gifted-by-birthright seventh son of a seventh son, and this is the first in a planned trilogy, listeners are left with the anticipation of more to come. Ages 9-up (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8–A wide cast of characters battle the forces of Darke Magyk in a well-realized world of fantasy. At birth, Septimus Heap is carried away for dead, and his father, Silas Heap, is entrusted with a baby girl. When the villainous Supreme Custodian tries to assassinate the now 10-year-old Jenna, who, it turns out, is the daughter of the murdered queen, the girl flees to the Marram Marshes along with some family members, the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, and a young army guard known only as "Boy 412." Pursued by the servants of the Necromancer DomDaniel, and aided by an engaging array of magical beings, they finally prevail in a satisfying and fairly exciting conclusion. Despite the hefty length, the novel is quite easy to follow. Many creative magical elements, such as the deliciously repulsive Magogs, add to the fun. Frequent point-of-view shifts give a well-rounded picture of the multiple plot threads and add many opportunities for light humor. On the other hand, with so many characters represented, it's hard to feel strong empathy for any of them. Jenna, the Queenling, and Boy 412, in particular, nearly emerge as full-blooded individuals at times, but neither quite stands out as an engaging hero. Villains are well drawn and varied, and most are more comical than truly menacing. The ease with which a once-formidable enemy like the Hunter is finally dispatched, however, detracts a bit from the eventual triumph of the protagonists. Overall, this is a fine choice for fantasy readers looking to delve into a new world with lots of magic, plenty of action, and a few neat surprises.–Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; Reprint edition (March 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060577339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060577339
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (421 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #680,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Angie Sage loves the sea, spooky old houses, and medieval England. Ms. Sage has created many books for children, including the Araminta Spookie series. You can visit her online at

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

136 of 146 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
After several picture books, Angie Sage makes a splash with her first novel. "Septimus Heap Book One: Magyk" treads familiar territory for fantasy fans, but it has enough humor and interesting magic to keep the story moving at a steady clip. As first-of-a-series books go, this is a keeper.

Ten years ago, Septimus Heap died in infancy. And on the same day, his father Silas Heap found a baby girl, and was instructed by the new ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia to raise her as his own. Ten years later, Marcia reveals that the girl Jenna is actually the future queen of that land. But she's in danger, and now a spy has found out where the girl lives.

Marcia tries to spirit Jenna to safety, but now nowhere is safe -- an Assassin, a Hunter, and the apprentice to an evil wizard are sent after them. Now Marcia, Silas, Jenna, the ghost of the wizard Althus, and a mysterious young boy are on the run. But not everyone is as they seem, and a boy claiming to be Septimus Heap may not be him at all...

The first few chapters of "Magyk" aren't too promising, since Sage's writing seems to be stuck in "picture book" mode. But when she gets to the present-day antics of the Heap family, she has settled comfortably into the writing groove. (Comfortable enough to even drop a blink-and-you'll-miss-it homage to J.R.R. Tolkien)

Sage's writing is solid enough, with enough details to keep the spare narrative from seeming colorless. Lots of goofy clothes, offhand humor, splashy magic and interesting characters are sprinkled throughout the book. Sage's style reminds one of Diana Wynne-Jones' early work, and her interesting magical (magykal?) systems and wizardly hierarchy seem to back that up.

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53 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Andersen TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read this with my 10 year old daughter, and she loved it. For me it was drawn out a bit long, and lacked the originality and spontaneity of some of the best contemporary fantasy, including the Harry Potter series and the work of Diana Wynne Jones. The actual story begins by feeling grand but ends in a way that is a bit disappointing -- although it does pave the way for some interesting possible developments in sequels. The Heap family and Marcia and Alther and Aunt Zelda and Boy 142 are portrayed very well, and each of them has something that makes them interesting and worth spending time with. The villian, as someone else here has mentioned, is a bit lame, and not the real terror that he is painted as. He ends up seeming like a raving madman with a bit of power, who doesn't plan very well, rather than an evil genius. The Hunter is much more interesting, which makes the conclusion of his part in the ongoing story a bit disappointing. As someone else mentioned, the author's tendency to boldface every magical term (including "Magyk") doesn't have the effect I think she intends. What she wants, I think, is to make these terms seem special but they end up sounding like brandnames, or even generic products. Still, the characters are endearing, and the story is enjoyable, and holds enough promise that I look forward to reading the sequels with my daughter. I just look forward to them in the way that I used to look forward to seeing Disney movies with my children, not in the way I looked forward to seeing, say, the films of Hayao Miyazaki (and not in the way that I look forward to reading the next Harry Potter book with her).
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Melinda Lundberg on March 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ever since Harry Potter, the world of children's literature has been swarmed by wanna-bes, filling bookstore shelves with stories ranging from mediocre to absymal. This book breaks that mold. Magyk is filled with characters so real they practically leap off the pages. The plot is engaging, and the setting is, indeed, magykal. Kids who have been searching for another great fantasy world will love this book. I can't wait for the next one to come out. The only complaint I had about the book was that the font is different every time something magykal happens. That stylistic choice didn't add anything to the story for me. In fact, I found it a bit distracting. Not enough to knock it down to four stars though. It was still great.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Let's not beat around the bush. Angie Sage has clearly been inspired by the world of Harry Potter, which makes it somehow impossible to review her work without comparing it to J.K. Rowling. Since Rowling's phenomenal series exploded across the world of publishing, there has been an onslaught of pre-adolescent youngsters with magical powers and unusual names popping up in the children's sections of bookstores and libraries everywhere. Charlie Bone. Percy Jackson. Artemis Fowl. And now, Septimus Heap. Considering the amount of lame Tolkien knock-offs that clutter up the fantasy genre, it's a little depressing to see so many authors race to leap on the "boy-wizard" bandwagon. Although "Magyk" is a harmless enough read, it cannot help but pale in comparison to Rowling.

Silas Heap is returning home to his family when he comes across an infant girl alone in the woods. Returning her home, he arrives to find that in his absence his infant son has died. Ten years later, their adopted daughter is revealed to be Princess Jenna, now hunted by the evil necromancer DomDaniel who is systematically taking over the Castle and the surrounding countryside. Warned by the Extra-Ordinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand, the family split up in order to escape capture, picking up a young recruit of the Young Army on the way: Boy 412, who is entirely overwhelmed by his new situation.

On the whole, "Magyk" is an entertaining little read, with a brisk pace, lively tone and a couple of intriguing twists which may catch younger readers off guard (although mature readers will see them coming a mile away - it's hard to believe a character is really dead when the book series is named after him).
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