Magyk (Septimus Heap Series #1) by Angie Sage, Mark Zug |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Magyk (Septimus Heap Series #1)
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Magyk (Septimus Heap Series #1)

4.3 993
by Angie Sage, Mark Zug

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The Magyk Begins Here

Septimus Heap, the seventh son of the seventh son, disappears the night he is born, pronounced dead by the midwife. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across an abandoned child in the snow—a newborn girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take her into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is


The Magyk Begins Here

Septimus Heap, the seventh son of the seventh son, disappears the night he is born, pronounced dead by the midwife. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across an abandoned child in the snow—a newborn girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take her into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son Septimus?

Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This first book in the Septimus Heap series is a cheerful, clever offering.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“This first book in the Septimus Heap series is a cheerful, clever offering.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This first book in the Septimus Heap series is a cheerful, clever offering.”
Child Magazine
“A fresh take on the world of magic.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“This first book in the Septimus Heap series is a cheerful, clever offering.”
Listen up, all Harry Potter fans (especially the younger ones): A new wizard has come to town. Actually, the arrival of Septimus Heap, the "seventh son of a seventh son," is a tad unusual. He is stolen at birth and pronounced dead all in the first chapter. That same night, his wizard family finds and takes in another child, Jenna, who grows into a plucky young heroine with an enigmatic heritage of her own. Rest assured, though, the boy wizard is alive and kicking-as is this first book in a suspenseful new series full of intrigue, medieval atmosphere, light humor, and a fresh take on the world of magic. (ages 8 to 12)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2005
Publishers Weekly
This debut novel introduces the seventh son of a seventh son, who is destined to have deep magical powers. But in order to protect him, his identity must remain a secret. "The author eventually reveals the real Septimus in a clever, if predictable, turn of events," PW wrote. Ages 9-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Dark things are astir the night Septimus Heap is born, the seventh son of a seventh son. But he is stillborn, and the Heaps are devastated. They are somewhat mollified by the mysterious introduction of another baby, who is herself more than she appears. The Heap girl grows up in a tense world of selfish, evil Castle rulers who forbid all use and teaching of Magyk, until a chain of events begins that will cause the truth to be revealed. The first in a series, this story makes use of the themes of identity and belonging, perhaps not altogether originally, but with strong family bonds and interesting characters. Older children may find they have guessed a twist or two before they occur, but will read on anyway. 2005, HarperCollins, and Ages 8 to 12.
—Vicky Ludas
Two things about the book are annoying: the lack of a map inside the book and overly coincidental events. Other than those flaws, it is on par with Harry Potter and other fantasy novels I have enjoyed. Although the plot and story might be a bit predictable for older readers, they will enjoy it just the same. The unique world is full of magical beings and people. Once the book got hold of me, I couldn't put it down. Anyone who enjoys a good fantasy novel will enjoy Sage's first book of Septimus Heap. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2005, Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 576p., and PLB Ages 11 to 15.
—Patrick Darby, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-A wide cast of characters battle the forces of Darke Magyk in a well-realized world of fantasy. At birth, Septimus Heap is carried away for dead, and his father, Silas Heap, is entrusted with a baby girl. When the villainous Supreme Custodian tries to assassinate the now 10-year-old Jenna, who, it turns out, is the daughter of the murdered queen, the girl flees to the Marram Marshes along with some family members, the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, and a young army guard known only as "Boy 412." Pursued by the servants of the Necromancer DomDaniel, and aided by an engaging array of magical beings, they finally prevail in a satisfying and fairly exciting conclusion. Despite the hefty length, the novel is quite easy to follow. Many creative magical elements, such as the deliciously repulsive Magogs, add to the fun. Frequent point-of-view shifts give a well-rounded picture of the multiple plot threads and add many opportunities for light humor. On the other hand, with so many characters represented, it's hard to feel strong empathy for any of them. Jenna, the Queenling, and Boy 412, in particular, nearly emerge as full-blooded individuals at times, but neither quite stands out as an engaging hero. Villains are well drawn and varied, and most are more comical than truly menacing. The ease with which a once-formidable enemy like the Hunter is finally dispatched, however, detracts a bit from the eventual triumph of the protagonists. Overall, this is a fine choice for fantasy readers looking to delve into a new world with lots of magic, plenty of action, and a few neat surprises.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Heads up, Harry, there's a new young wizard on his way up. Ten years after a complicated bit of baby-switching, young Jenna learns that she's not a member of the tumultuous Heap household (six boys, just imagine), but a hidden Princess. The revelation comes as she's being swept to safety, her life forfeit to a crew of thoroughly knavish baddies headed by Necromancer DomDaniel. Along the way, she and her protector, ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand pick up not only an assortment of fugitive Heaps, but an orphaned pipsqueak dubbed "Boy 412"-who gradually exhibits stunning powers of Magyk, as the local brand of spellcasting is dubbed. Tongue firmly in cheek, Sage creates a vividly realized world in which pens and rocks can display minds of their own, and a forest "still had a bad wolverine problem at night, and was infested with carnivorous trees." Ultimately, Jenna and Co. overcome all such obstacles, as well as their sly, dangerous, but bumbling adversaries, and Boy 412's (thoroughly telegraphed) true identity comes out. A quick-reading, stand-alone, deliciously spellbinding series opener. (Web site) (Fantasy. 10-13)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Septimus Heap Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 7.12(h) x 1.21(d)
640L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Septimus Heap, Book One: Magyk

Chapter One

Something in the Snow

Silas Heap pulled his cloak tightly around him against the snow. It had been a long walk through the Forest, and he was chilled to the bone. But in his pockets he had the herbs that Galen, the Physik Woman, had given him for his new baby boy, Septimus, who had been born earlier that day.

Silas drew closer to the Castle, and he could see the lights flickering through the trees as candles were placed in the windows of the tall narrow houses clustered along the outside walls. It was the longest night of the year, and the candles would be kept burning until dawn, to help keep the dark at bay. Silas always loved this walk to the Castle. He had no fear of the Forest by day and enjoyed the peaceful walk along the narrow track that threaded its way through the dense trees for mile after mile. He was near the edge of the Forest now, the tall trees had begun to thin out, and as the track began to dip down to the valley floor, Silas could see the whole Castle spread before him. The old walls hugged the wide, winding river and zigzagged around the higgledy-piggledy clumps of houses. All the houses were painted bright colors, and those that faced west looked as if they were on fire as their windows caught the last of the winter sun's rays.

The Castle had started life as a small village. Being so near to the Forest the villagers had put up some tall stone walls for protection against the wolverines, witches and warlocks who thought nothing of stealing their sheep, chickens and occasionally their children. As more houses were built, the walls were extended and a deep moat was dug so that all could feel safe.

Soon the Castle was attracting skilled craftsmen from other villages. It grew and prospered, so much so that the inhabitants began to run out of space until someone decided to build The Ramblings. The Ramblings, which was where Silas, Sarah, and the boys lived, was a huge stone building that rose up along the riverside. I t sprawled for three miles along the river and back again into the caste, and was a noisy, busy place filled with a warren of passages and rooms, with small factories, schools and shops mixed in with family rooms, tiny roof garens and even a theater. There was not much space in The Ramblings but people did not mind. There was always good company and someone for the children to play with.

As the winter sun sank below the Castle walls, Silas quickened his pace. He needed to get to the North Gate before they locked it an pulled up the drawbridge at nightfall.

It was then that Silas sensed something nearby. Something alive, but only just. He was aware of a small human heartbeat somewhere close to him. Silas stopped. As an Ordinary Wizard he was able to sense things, but, as he was not a particularly good Ordinary Wizard, he needed to concentrate hard. He stood still with the snow falling fast around him, already covering his footprints. And then he heard something—a snuffle, a whimper, a small breath? He wasn't sure, but it was enough.

Underneath a bush beside the path was a bundle. Silas picked up the bundle and, to his amazement, found himself gazing into the solemn eyes of a tiny baby. Silas cradled the baby in his arms and wondered how she had come to be lying in the snow on the coldest day of the year. Someone had wrapped her tightly in a heavy woolen blanket, but she was already very cold: her lips were a dusky blue and the snow dusted her eyelashes. As the baby's dark violet eyes gazed intently at him, Silas had the uncomfortable feeling that she had already seen things in her short life that no baby should see.

Thinking of his Sarah at home, warm and safe with Septimus and the boys, Silas decided that they would just have to make room for one more little one. He carefully tucked the baby into his blue Wizard cloak and held her close to him as he ran toward the Castle gate. He reached the drawbridge just as Gringe, the gatekeeper, was about to go and yell for the Bridge Boy to start winding it up.

"You're cutting it a bit fine," growled Gringe. "But you Wizards are weird. Waddyou all want to be out for on a day like this I dunno."

"Oh?" Silas wanted to get past Gringe as soon as he could, but first he had to cross Gringe's palm with silver. Silas quickly found a silver penny in one of his pockets and handed it over.

"Thank you, Gringe. Good night."

Gringe looked at the the penny as though it were a rather nasty beetle.

"Marcia Overstrand, she gave me a 'alf crown just now. But then she's got class, what with 'er being the ExtraOrdinary Wizard now."

"What?" Silas nearly choked.

"Yeah. Class, that's what she's got."

Gringe stood back to let him pass, and Silas slipped by. As much as Silas wanted to find out why Marcia Overstrand was suddenly the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, he could feel the bundle beginning to stir in the warmth of his cloak, and something told him that it would be better if Gringe did not know about the baby.

As Silas disappeared into the shadows of the tunnel that led to The Ramblings, a tall figure in purple stepped out and barred his way.

"Marcia!" gasped Silas. "What on earth—"

"Tell no one you found her. She was born to you. Understand?"

Shocked, Silas nodded. Before he had time to say anything, Marcia was gone in a shimmer of purple mist. Silas spent the rest of the long winding journey through The Ramblings with his mind in turmoil. Who was this baby? What did Marcia have to do with her? And why was Marcia the ExtraOrdinary Wizard now? And as a Silas neared the big red door that led to the Heap family's already overcrowded room, another, more pressing question came into his mind: What was Sarah going to say to yet another baby to care for?

Silas did not have long to think about the last question. As he reached the door it flew open, and a large red-faced woman wearing the dark blue robes of a Matron Midwife ran out, almost knocking Silas over as she fled. She too was carrying a bundle, but the bundle was wrapped from head to toe in bandages, and she was carrying him under her arm as if he were a parcel and she was late for the post.

"Dead!" cried the Matron Midwife. She pushed Silas aside with a powerful shove and ran down the corridor. Inside the room, Sarah Heap screamed.

Silas went in with a heavy heart. He saw Sarah surrounded by six white-faced little boys, all too scared to cry.

"She's taken him," said Sarah hopelessly. "Septimus is dead, and she's taken him away."

At that moment a warm wetness spread out from the bundle that Silas still had hidden under his cloak. Silas had no words for what he wanted to say, so he just took the bundle out from under his cloak and placed her in Sarah's arms.

Sarah heap burst into tears.

Septimus Heap, Book One: Magyk. Copyright © by Angie Sage. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.


Meet the Author

Angie Sage was born in London and grew up in the Thames Valley, London, and Kent. She now lives in Somerset in a very old house that has a 480-year-old painting of King Henry VIII on the wall. The seven books in her original Septimus Heap series are international bestsellers. She is also the author of the Araminta Spookie series.

Mark Zug has illustrated many collectible card games, including Magic: The Gathering and Dune, as well as books and magazines. He lives in Pennsylvania.

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