Any reader will be suspicious about Septimus's death, given that the series is named after him. Still, it is fun to watch events unfold. This is the first volume in the series (of which there are three books to date), and it is a fun-filled, suspenseful, enjoyable read. It contains elements typical of fantasy novels (a princess raised in hiding, an orphan unaware of his heritage, an evil overlord who usurps the throne, etc.), but the telling is fresh and creative, and the characters are delightful - definitely not stock fantasy characters. I particularly enjoyed the ExtraOrdinary Wizard with her pointy purple snakeskin boots and gruff exterior that hides a heart of gold, as well as the ghost of the previous ExtraOrdinary Wizard. He can only go to places he went when he was alive, which puts a crimp in his spying on the bad guys when they start meeting in the former ladies room, because, as a well-brought-up young man, he'd never set foot there in his life!
Although this is the first book, it is a stand-alone novel with a satisfying, conclusive ending. I am definitely looking forward to revisiting Sage's fantasy world in the next installment of the series. Many thanks to Deslily for the recommendation!
Books in the Septimus Heap series to date:
- Magyk (2005)
- Flyte (2006)
- Physik (2007)