Syren by Angie Sage

Posted February 8, 2015 in Book Review / 0 Comments

Syren by Angie SageSyren by Angie Sage
Illustrator: Mark Zug
Series: Septimus Heap #5
Also in this series: Magyk, Flyte, Physik, Queste
Published by HarperCollins on December 8th 2010
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade
Pages: 628
Format: Hardcover
Source: Owned
Buy on Amazon

In this fifth book in the Magykal series, Septimus ends up on a captivatingly beautiful island, one of seven set in a sparkling sea. He's stranded there with his badly injured dragon, Spit Fyre, along with Jenna and Beetle. There are some strange things about the island, including a Magykal girl named Syrah, a cat-shaped lighthouse that has lost its Light, and an eerie presence that sings to Septimus—can he escape the persistent call?

Trouble is also brewing for Lucy and Wolf Boy, who have become entangled with some nefarious sailors at sea, and for Milo Banda, Jenna's father, who is harboring a mysterious treasure chest in his ship's hold.

Charismatic storyteller Angie Sage continues Septimus Heap's Magykal journey with more laugh-out-loud adventures, more enchanting charms and spells, and an ever-deepening understanding of the interior life of a young hero. spells, and an ever-deepening understanding of the interior life of a young hero.

Main Points
Writing Style (same for whole 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.

I absolutely loved the plot in this one. It was a little less character-development-heavy, but the plot kept things going at a really fast and exciting pace. It was so intense. We had several different plotlines going on at once and each one was so exciting that I both hated to leave one and was eager to see which one we were going to see next.

It was really funny how they collided- Lucy’s adventures met up with Wolf Boy’s quest which intercepted Septimus’s adventure, then Septimus met up with Jenna and Nicko and Snorri and Beetle and their adventures later intercepted Lucy’s and Wolf Boy’s and it was one giant party, basically.

But that was kind of where the character issues came in. Septimus sort of felt like a loner because no one else seemed to understand the importance of what was going on- and I don’t think they ever understood how he felt. Beetle was his closest friend throughout all of that- and when he went to go after Septimus once, Jenna (who I consider his second closest friend) stopped him and just waved it away, saying he would be better by morning. This shows how little she understands about him- or perhaps how much? She was right, in a way, but also I feel like she was a bit oblivious throughout the adventures. She was mostly oblivious to her previously-absent-and-wealth-obsessed father trying to buy her with gifts, but she sort of wised up when his priorities became clear. Funnily enough, it was Septimus that convinced her that Milo was just Milo and not really a bad guy. (Still, I don’t like him much.) And she was oblivious to a few more things as well. But we also see more of her inner struggle- that has been present throughout the series- with being the Princess, basically the Queen. At one point she can’t participate in some heroic activity because Septimus points out that she needs to be protected- “the Castle can’t get another Queen.” She gets really disappointed, and from that I can tell it’s going to be hard for her to fit into that role. But some people have duties, and if they’re born into it…well, that’s just their lot. Also Beetle’s little crush on her is so cute, but it’s been a few books. I hope she notices soon. Lol.

Simon also has completely done a 180 and while it took Marcia awhile to buy into it, I felt he was honest from the beginning. I feel like he has finally decided to put Lucy first in his life and he truly cares for her. I feel like they have a happy ending.

The ending of the story itself was very nice, only leaving one thing open- Wolf Boy’s quest. In this book, his initial adventure is going on a quest in order to become Zelda’s official apprentice. He completes it, but the object he was supposed to bring back had to be used in other ways so I’m not sure if it’s valid anymore. Well, I suppose it might go on about that in the next book. Same with Syrah’s ending- she was a girl that was Possessed by the Syren, and it is said that when you are Possessed you can’t fall asleep outside of the place you are Possessed, otherwise you will die. She became unPossessed, but she fell…into a sort of coma, I think. So I worry that she will not wake up. I hope she lives.

Good vs. Bad
  • plot
  • characters
  • setting
  • ending
  • basically everything
Less than perfect:
  • a few loose ties at the end
Bottom Line

All in all, this was a very intense next installment in the series. The plot was super exciting and there was even a bit of character development. We have a few happy endings and a few uncertain ones. Would I read more by this author? I definitely want to at least finish the series. Would I recommend this to others? Yes.


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.

Overall: five-stars


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