Flyte by Angie Sage

Posted December 2, 2013 in Book Review / 0 Comments

Flyte by Angie SageFlyte by Angie Sage
Illustrator: Mark Zug
Series: Septimus Heap #2
Also in this series: Magyk, Physik, Queste, Syren
Published by Harper Trophy on April 1st 2007
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Pages: 521
Format: Paperback
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four-stars

It's been a year since Septimus Heap discovered his real family and true calling to be a wizard. As Apprentice to Extra Ordinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand, he is learning the fine arts of Conjurations, Charms, and other Magyk, while Jenna is adapting to life as the Princess and enjoying the freedom of the Castle.

But there is something sinister at work. Marcia is constantly trailed by a menacing Darke Shadow, and Septimus's brother Simon seems bent on a revenge no one understands. Why is the Darke Magyk still lingering?

Bringing fantasy to new heights, Angie Sage continues the journey of Septimus Heap with her trademark humor and all of the clever details readers have come to love.

Main Points
Writing Style (mostly copied from Magyk review)
The style is simple enough. Not too overdone or descriptive, and paced well enough to make me want to keep reading, which is what I like in a fantasy novel. Some words seemed a bit oddly placed but it did not affect the style too much.
I noticed that the writing got a bit more descriptive in Flyte, as opposed to the simpler tone of Magyk. It was a nicer change. And I DID after all enjoy Flyte a bit more.
Content
For some reason I enjoyed Flyte a lot more than Magyk. Perhaps because we got to see more of the characters and come to know them a bit better. And perhaps because the issues were more interesting. So were the little mysteries- such as the skeleton hiding in the ShadowSafe pieces. It was a bit more dangerous than the first book. There was also a lot more death, which makes it more of a reality than the safety of the first book. There was also a lot more setting, new locations and things (such as the Port and the Ice Tunnels). And there was the one big issue that I haven’t seen much of in other middle grade books. It was about family. In this book, Septimus, part of a family of seven (not including Jenna) children, finally meets the rest of his family, the 4 brothers living in the woods. And their family situation in general is quite a unique one. Jenna was the seventh child for the first ten years of her life, and later it turns out she was adopted. Septimus was the real seventh child, as revealed in the end of the first book. However, throughout the second book, his oldest brother Simon still believes that Septimus is the adopted child. And in the first book, Septimus isn’t even named until the end, and another child believes he is Septimus. It is quite confusing.
Meanwhile, four of his brothers go to live in the woods. Nicko, who is closest to Septimus, works at a boatyard, Septimus studies magyk, and the oldest brother Simon goes to work for evil. But remember, Simon doesn’t accept Septimus as his real brother, and they clash constantly throughout the book, so he is constantly faced with deciding how much he should actually hurt Septimus. If he really wasn’t his brother, could he kill him? If he was his brother, should he kill him anyway, because he is trying to stop his evil plans, or should he respect family first? And he WAS about to kill his adoptive sister Jenna. In fact, he MIGHT have, if she hadn’t escaped. So Simon’s inner conflicts are a big issue throughout the book. It is resolved in the last sentence, however. No spoilers here.
It’s quite heavy stuff for a middle grade book.
Characters
Most of the returning characters are mentioned in the first review, so I won’t bother to go over them again here.
Septimus: I really like him. He’s a good main character. Very smart and resourceful, and not afraid to take charge in situations where he can get no outside help. But he’s different from Jenna in that he has a bit of a harder time having fun.
Beetle: nice. I can see he and Septimus becoming good friends.
Una Brackett: She’s a pure evil lady. She doesn’t like boys at all, which is kind of amusing seeing as Septimus is out there stopping evil and everything and she has no idea what’s going on and still hates Septimus.
Port Coven Witches: First of all, there are way too many different types of witches in this book. White Witches, Wendron Witches, and now the Port Coven Witches. Well, they aren’t so bad, except that they live in a house that is falling down on itself. They’re going to have to move out soon. And they like eating rats and hexing people….eh, not really that bad still. I’m still having a hard time believing anyone in this book is really evil. I know I said Una was, but she was just kind of a nasty lady. This is a middle grade book though, so we won’t be seeing any Voldemort-type stuff going on here.
Ending
This is my second time reading books 1-5, and I only remember what happens in the series up until this book, so I will definitely be reading the rest to refresh my memory. The ending was quite satisfying. Got some issues all tied up.

Good vs. Bad

Good:

  • Plot
  • Characters
  • Setting
  • Themes
Less than perfect:
  • Writing style
  • Bad guys

Bottom Line
I enjoyed this one more than the first. The plot and characters were better. The setting was well done and the themes/ideas presented were interesting for a middle grade book. Will I read the rest of the series? Definitely. Would I read more by this author? Probably not. This series is good enough for me. Plus it’s long. Would I recommend this book to others? Yes, most middle graders and younger children who could do with a bit of magyk.

About Angie Sage

Angie Sage (born 1952) is the author of the Septimus Heap series which includes Magyk, Flyte, Physik, Queste, Syren, Darke and Fyre, the final book which is scheduled to come out later in 2013. Also, she wrote The Magykal Papers, an additional book with extra information about Septimus’ world. She is also the illustrator and/or writer of many children’s books, and is the new writer of the Araminta Spookie series.

Angie Sage grew up in Thames Valley, London and Kent. Her father was a publisher. He would bring home blank books that she could fill with pictures and stories. Sage first studied medicine, but changed her mind and went to Art School in Leicester. There she studied Graphic Design and Illustration. She began illustrating books after college. Then she progressed to writing children stories, including toddler books and chapter books. Her first novel was Septimus Heap: Magyk. Angie Sage is married and has two daughters, Laurie and Lois.

Rating
Plot
four-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
four-half-stars
Setting
five-stars
Cover
four-half-stars
Ending
five-stars
Overall: four-stars

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