July 16, 2007


By Angie Sage
Rating: 4 1/4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

This is book 3 in the Septimus Heap series. Sage continues her lighthearted wizarding series with a stronger entry than the last one, Flyte (see review, October 2006). Newcomers will definitely need to have read the first couple of books to follow this new storyline. Septimus' father, Silas Heap, unseals a room in the attic of the palace and unleashes the ghost of Etheldredda--a horrible queen from 500 years ago. Etheldredda plots to take her queenship back up, but to do so, must dispose of both Jenna, the current princess, and Septimus Heap, the apprentice to the ExtraOrdinary Wizard. Both Jenna and Septimus (as well as Nicko and a newcomer named Snorri) will find themselves victims of Etheldredda's plot and be sent back 500 years into the past. Sideplots which weave into the main story include the dragon named Spit Fyre, Snorri the Northern trader and spirit-seer, Marcellus Pye and his experiments with "physik" (which involves medicine and chemistry), and a mysterious illness plaguing the town. The series continues to add some layers to its characters, insert humorous incidents, and bring the overall storyline a little further along. Fans will be happy to see Silas and Sarah Heap, Lucy Gringe, Stanley the message rat, Wolf Boy, Beetle, and other favorites. The plot moves well and wraps up the main points, but leaves us hanging for the next installment, for there is unfinished business involving Marcellus Pye, Snorri and Nicko. Overall, a solid entry in this enjoyable series.

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