Illustrator: Mark Zug
Series: Septimus Heap #3
Also in this series: Magyk, Flyte, Queste, Syren
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on March 27th 2007
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
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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.
With heart-stopping action and a dash of humor, Angie Sage continues the fantastical journey of Septimus Heap.
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. It continued in Physik. It was also quite a bit more humorous and punny.
But if you keep reading, you’ll see why this book is much darker. There is a lot more death and evil. It is horrible. I left a lot out in the review. There are still yet some terrible parts that you would have to read the book to know of. It is most heartbreaking. But it didn’t stop the book from being good. It made me feel like I was finally reading something with more substance! Quite unexpected for a Middle Grade.
Jenna: In my opinion, she was probably the best character in this book. She was so genuine, so caring, the entire time, and when NO ONE ELSE cared about a certain event in the end, she was the ONLY ONE who did. It sickened me that even SEPTIMUS didn’t care.
Snorri: I loved her. She was a great new character addition to the series. She and Ullr (her cat) fit in perfectly to their world. She was very useful throughout the entire adventure. And she probably saved Jenna’s life, what’s more.
Nicko: He was a true brother, and also in love, which may or may not have been a good thing for him in the end.
Wolf Boy: Very helpful.
Marcia: Slightly frustrating in her lack of ability to do anything…really. She is rarely of help to Septimus during his adventures. It’s quite sad, because she’s portrayed as a heroine of great importance. Nope. Not really.
Silas (Jenna’s and Septimus’ father): Okay, we always knew he was a bit dim, but in this one, he was quite an idiot. All he cared about was his stupid Counter colony (yes, Counter-Feet is a fantastic game that ranks among my top fictional board games, which includes Card Wars from Adventure Time and Wizarding Chess from Harry Potter), and as a result of that this whole string of horrible events happened. He nearly killed countless people. And I doubt he ever even realized it.
Gringe: Also an idiot.
Alther: Actually somewhat helpful.
Alice: We saw a lot more of her in this book, and she seems pretty awesome. But what happened to her was so sad! It wasn’t fitting at all! Okay, maybe a little bit, but it still came out of nowhere.
Spit Fyre: I mean, he’s just a dragon and rarely thinks about anything besides food, but he still was kind of a bother…okay, more than a bother….but aside from finding Septimus, he was just a plain nuisance. He practically ruined everything. Stupid dragons. And they poop too much!
Marcellus: I liked him a lot. Well, young Marcelllus. He really meant well, even though he had somewhat selfish dreams of immortality. Better him than his mother.
Etheldredda (his mother): She was a DEVIL! A child-murdering DEVIL! I hated her. She probably makes my top ten most evil villains list, somewhere around numbers 3 or 4. Oh, and may I say? She was TEN TIMES the villain that DomDaniel was. Although equally as difficult to kill….
See my Quote It Saturday #6 post.
Ending (spoilers; highlight to read)
Oh goodness. I have so much to say about the ending that I’m basically going to give a play-by-play and my thoughts on it.
When they get back, it’s all about Jenna and Septimus. No one even notices Nicko and Snorri aren’t there. No one gives a crap. (In fact, Septimus’ parents never even realize Nicko’s missing in this book.) It is terrible. Septimus even goes so far as to be mad at Nicko for leaving them and chasing after Snorri. Does he have no HEART? Was he really so eager to leave Snorri behind also? Did he not care for either of them AT ALL? Jenna is distraught and mad at Septimus. She also has brought back Ullr with her, now in cat form again, but mourns the loss of Nicko and Snorri, who are now sitting on a riverbank in a Time 500 years ago. She is the only one who CARES.
Alther and Alice saw Nicko and Snorri travel back in time, but a mistake from Spit Fyre (stupid dragon) made it impossible for them to follow. So those two knew that Nicko and Snorri did not return. But do they care? It doesn’t appear so. Like I said, it’s all about Septimus and Jenna. Well, she is the Princess and he is the ExtraOrdinary Wizard’s Apprentice, so they are a pretty big deal, but still. Septimus’ lack of concern, his outright anger, makes me want to shake him and slap him silly. Some main character! He’s a jerk! He lost his own brother!
Then Etheldredda’s ghost comes back to try and kill Jenna, who is on her own like an idiot. She should not be alone anywhere. She’s the Princess. And people are trying to kill her. So it gives Etheldredda a perfect opportunity. She’s got a pistol with a Named Bullet, which is inscribed with the initials I.P. for Infant Princess. Named Bullets are always supposed to find their target. So Etheldredda aims the pistol at Jenna, who is sleeping, and is about to fire. But she conveniently has Ullr next to her, and Ullr and Snorri conveniently have a special connection so Snorri can control Ullr from 500 years ago. So Snorri tells Ullr to attack Etheldredda, and he does, but she was ready for him and hit him aside. Alther and Alice appear as Etheldredda points the pistol at Jenna again, who has woken up by this time. Alther is a ghost so he cannot do much, but Alice throws herself in front of the bullet and dies. (Her real name was Iona Pot- like the initials I.P., remember?) Alther and Alice were in love and now they can be truly together, but Alther is still saddened by her death and becomes useless for the rest of the book, in which Etheldredda’s ghost continues to try to kill Jenna. She stalks her invisibly and no one knows. Alther would have known if he had been paying attention, but no, he’s too upset about Alice. How unfortunately convenient.
Anyway, the book ends some short time later with the death of Etheldredda’s ghost. At the end, Nicko and Snorri do not return. No one suddenly realized they are missing. Jenna remains the only one who knows and cares. It’s a horrible ending, and it made me want to pick up the next one right away, but I have other books to read first…unfortunately. « Hide Spoiler
- character development
- actual substance
- certain character’s actions