Queste by Angie Sage

Posted July 2, 2014 in Book Review / 0 Comments

Queste by Angie SageQueste by Angie Sage
Illustrator: Mark Zug
Series: Septimus Heap #4
Also in this series: Magyk, Flyte, Physik, Syren
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on June 23rd 2009
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Pages: 596
Format: Paperback
Source: Owned
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four-stars

There's trouble at the Castle, and it's all because Merrin Meredith has returned with Darke plans for Septimus. More trouble awaits Septimus and Jenna in the form of Tertius Fume, the ghost of the very first Chief Hermetic Scribe, who is determined to send Septimus on a deadly Queste. But Septimus and Jenna have other plans--they are headed for the mysterious House of Foryx, a place where all Time meets and the place where they fervently hope they will be able to find Nicko and Snorri, who were trapped back in time in physik. But how will Septimus escape the Queste?

Queste, like all the books in the Septimus Heap series, is filled with nonstop action, humor, and fantastical adventure as Septimus continues his journey of Magykal self-discovery.

Main Points
Writing Style (same for entire series)
The style is extremely simple but still fun and engaging from a kid’s point of view (I’d assume). It definitely kept me engaged, because while the plot was going a million directions at once, it was easy to follow. There is no complex language (or concepts) or difficult vocab whatsoever. It’s very straightforward but not frustratingly so. It also had fun things like how all the Magykal words were bolded. Some might find it condescending (as I read on other reviews) but I enjoyed it. I think that, to a kid, it would help things fall into place a lot easier. And just in general how words are spelled in funky ways to give it that Magykal touch.
Plot:
I forgot how much I liked this series. It’s a long book, like all of them, but this one was particularly good. It sort of relies on some elements from the previous book, but it mostly goes in a new direction. Naturally, we pick up on the cliffhanger from the last one- and this book is the search for Septimus’ and Jenna’s brother Nicko. There are several twists, however, and the whole point is not what you think it is. There were also some laugh-out-lines, as always. I love her writing. Given the number of pages, it kind of drags out slowly, but it doesn’t seem that way because it’s such a quick read (I finished this in 2 days).
Characters:
I really like all the characters. They are so lively and done so well. From the best ones to the bad ones, they are all very 3D.
I’m still kinda iffy on Jenna, but she’s growing on me. She can be really stubborn, but she means well. I guess I liked her more in the last book. In this one, she was kinda frustrating. BUT. I remember one particular conversation she had with Septimus about their future- how he could choose whether or not to be a wizard, but she couldn’t choose not to be queen. That was a really important conversation, I think, and it represented their growing up. They’re still kids, but they have a lot more responsibility now, and that’s partially revealed by their quest to save Nicko.
I didn’t mind Septimus so much here. He wasn’t my favorite, but I liked him. In fact, Beetle was probably my favorite. He was a true friend, so helpful and knowledgeable. There was nothing off about him whatsoever, and his little crush on Jenna was SO CUTE. (I’m pretty sure it’s the only real hint of romance in the series so far, putting aside Lucy/Simon and Alther/Alice.)
I actually really began hating the witches in this book. They’re so nasty and probably have really dark intentions. And Septimus’ Forest brothers are all caught up in it, except good old Sam. I really liked Sam. He had a good head on his shoulders.
Simon kinda did a 180 here. He was all dark and evil before, but he seems totally reformed. I mean, nothing can excuse all the horrible things he’s done in the past, but I did feel a bit sorry for him. I couldn’t help it! I always have a soft spot for the baddies. In this book, he’s banished from the Castle, but I hope he gets accepted back in the future.
Setting
I don’t think I included this section on previous reviews in this series, but I LOVE the setting. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It’s done so well. There are tons of maps, and it’s described really well. Honestly I feel like if someone dropped me off in their world, just ANYWHERE, I would know where to go and what to do. I feel so part of it when I read. It’s so magical, but not like Harry Potter where it’s cut off from the rest of the world; rather, it IS the world.
Ending
Everything wraps up quite nicely, after a few twists, of course. It doesn’t really require a sequel, I don’t think- not many loose ties, but mostly a few storylines that could be expanded on (like Beetle and Jenna, Simon and Lucy, etc.).
Good vs. Bad
Good:
  • plot
  • characters
  • writing
  • setting
Less than perfect:
  • possibly length
Bottom Line
Another wonderful addition to the Septimus Heap series. I loved the plot, and the few twists along the way. Sage’s writing is really fun. It was a bit of a long book, but worth it- it held my attention all the way through. The characters were very 3D and well done. The setting was very well described. Would I read more by this author? I will certainly be continuing the series. Would I recommend this to others? Definitely.

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

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