Queste (Septimus Heap Series #4)

( 460 )

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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  • Septimus Heap Series
    Septimus Heap Series  

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Mary Ann Darby
The Heap family is again facing myriad challenges in the fourth of the enjoyable fantasy series, Septimus Heap. Nicko and Snorri are still stuck in the past, and Jenna is determined to mount a rescue. Meanwhile Merrin has grown tired of taking orders from Simon, so he unleashes Darke Magyk in his determination to take revenge on Sepitmus. The ghost of Tertius Fume uses Merrin's Darke Magyk to send Septimus on a Queste, but Septimus is accompanied by Jenna and Beetle, who help in his encounters with witches, an abyss, and howls of beasts on their way to the House of Foryx, the place where all times meet. Septimus manages to unravel the mystery behind the string of failed Questes, rescue Nicko and Snorri, and return with Jenna and Beetle to the Castle with the help of the inimitable Marcia Overstrand. The multiple threads of Sage's saga require the reader's full attention, but her clever wit and enchanting cast, from Septimus to Spit Fyre to Stanley the messenger rat, will keep her audience happy. It is not a series to start in the middle: Sage is building her tale and counts on her readers' knowledge of earlier books for understanding of plot and character motivation. Quiet Septimus seems to be joining the ranks of reluctant hero in a delightful and engaging series that can be shelved alongside the Keys to the Kingdom and Pendragon series. Reviewer: Mary Ann Darby
VOYA - Eve Minkin
Queste is a great installment for the series of Septimus Heap books, although the main story line starts slowly and takes a long time to develop. Little time is spent at the climax, and the ending is not extremely clear cut. But fans of the other books will enjoy this one, although it isn't quite as good as the last few. Reviewer: Eve Minkin, Teen Reviewer
Children's Literature - Julia Beiker
In book four of the "Septimus Heap" series, our young adventurers Septimus and Jenna must find a way to locate the House of Foryx where all time meets so they can rescue Nicko and Snorri from a worse fate then dying. Things get complicated fast when Septimus is chosen to pick from the questing stones before he even finishes his apprenticeship. Just when he thinks he has outsmarted the questing stones, he realizes that he has accepted a quest without even realizing he has been tricked by the thing. Now the stone in his hand has turned green and his friends still do not know about it. How will he keep it a secret and still continue to find the House of Foryx? Our poor Beetle helps out his comrades Septimus and Jenna only to have fate boot him out of a job that he loves by making him go along on the quest too. More then one enemy steps in the way of our adventurers and causes havoc throughout this book. Not even surviving the quest that no apprentice has returned from, can save our heroes. The author Angie Sage takes almost 600 pages to tell this epic fantasy and yet the pages fly by like magic. Maybe a spell penetrates the pages that make these characters come to life and brings suspense and unpredictability to this quest. Although action-packed, humor and caring fills the pages as the reader roots for our heroes to outwit and triumph over all the obstacles, including their own fears. This book is part of the "Septimus Heap" series. Reviewer: Julia Beiker
School Library Journal

Gr 4-9- Fans of Septimus's previous adventures will welcome Sage's latest installment with an eagerness the book deserves. There are fearsome dealings afoot for 12-year-old Septimus Heap, and this time they begin with the foolish Darke Magyk of Merrin Meredith. When Merrin summons Things to do his bidding and aids a malevolent ghost of the first Chief Hermetic Scribe, the result sends Septimus on a Queste. No apprentice has ever survived such an ordeal, but the boy is determined to use this chance to find his brother Nicko, now trapped in time in a mysterious place called the House of Foryx. With his sister Jenna and friend Beetle by his side, he will either succeed in rescuing Nicko and his girlfriend or fall victim to a curse that has claimed too many others. Newcomers to Sage's world would do very well to read earlier books in this series before embarking on this latest title. Characters are almost overly abundant and many crop up in a chapter called "Endings and Beginnings" without making an appearance in the rest of the book. But fans looking for enjoyable characters, a well-paced plot, and the author's customary use of humor and verve will not be disappointed in this newest chapter in Septimus's life.-Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Still showing no signs of strain, the saga of wizard-in-training Septimus Heap cruises through its fourth episode-and 2,200th page-thanks to generous wads of breezy charm, gusts of spectacular Magyk and a buoyant plot combining drama and comedy in just the right proportions. Here young Princess Jenna draws Sep and his bookish buddy Beetle along in her wake as she determinedly sets out for the remote House of Foryx to rescue time-lost brother Nicko and his companion Snorri. Unbeknownst to the others, Sep is also unwillingly engaged in a usually fatal Queste. Among the teeming cast, which is further swollen by crowds of ghosts and malicious Things, Sep's erstwhile stand-in Merrin Meredith takes on new prominence as a hilarious touchstone for trouble, with an infuriating gift for escaping the worst consequences of his actions. Zug provides finely detailed portraits or spot art at each chapter opening, the volume comes with a "Magykal CD" (not seen) and Sage closes with several seemingly unrelated vignettes tantalizingly labeled "Endings and Beginnings . . . ." Sail on, Septimus. (Fantasy. 10-12)
ALA Booklist
“The Septimus Heap series remains one of the best outcomes of the young-wizard furor catalyzed by Harry Potter.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060882099
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/23/2009
  • Series: Septimus Heap Series , #4
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 92,967
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 940L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

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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First Chapter

Septimus Heap, Book Four: Queste

Chapter One

Nicko's Release

Jannit Maarten, boatbuilder, was on her way to the Palace.

Jannit, a lean, spare woman with a long stride and a sailor's pigtail, had never in her strangest dreams thought that she would one day be tying up her rowboat at Snake Slipway and heading for the Palace Gates. But, on a chilly gray spring day, here she was, doing just that—and feeling more than a little apprehensive.

Some minutes later Hildegarde, the sub-Wizard on door duty at the Palace, looked up from her night-school assignment titled "The Politics, Principles and Practice of Transformation." She saw Jannit hesitantly walking over the wide plank bridge that spanned the ornamental moat and led to the Palace doors. Happy to have a break, Hildegarde jumped to her feet with a smile and said, "Good morning, Miss Maarten. How may I help you?"

"You know my name!" said Jannit, amazed.

Hildegarde did not tell Jannit that she made it her business to know everyone's name. Instead she said, "Of course I do, Miss Maarten. Your boatyard repaired my sister's boat last year. She was very pleased with the work."

Jannit had no idea who this sub-Wizard's sister could possibly be, but she could not help wondering what boat it was. Jannit remembered boats. She smiled awkwardly and took off her battered sailor's boater, which she had worn especially for her visit to the Palace—it was Jannit's equivalent of a party frock and tiara.

"Ladies are welcome to keep their hats on," said Hildegarde.

"Oh?" said Jannit, wondering what that had to do with her. Jannit did notthink of herself as a lady.

"Is there someone you wish to see?" Hildegarde prompted, quite used to tongue-tied visitors.

Jannit twisted her boater around in her hands. "Sarah Heap," she said. "Please."

"I will send a messenger. May I tell her what it is you wish to see her about?"

After a long pause Jannit replied. "Nicko Heap," she said, staring at her hat.

"Ah. Please take a seat for a moment, Miss Maarten. I will find someone to take you to her right away."

Ten minutes later Sarah Heap, thinner than she had been but still in possession of the usual quota of Heap straw-colored curls, was at the small table in her sitting room. She gazed at Jannit with worried green eyes.

Jannit was perched on the edge of a large sofa. Although Jannit felt ill at ease, this was not the reason she was on the edge of her seat. It was because that was the only space left on the sofa—the rest was covered with the clutter that always seemed to follow Sarah Heap. With a couple of plant pots digging into her back and a teetering pile of towels settling cozily up against her, Jannit sat up very straight and then almost jumped off the sofa as a soft quacking came from a pile of clothes beside the fire. To Jannit's amazement, a pink-skinned, stubble-covered duck wearing a multicolored crocheted waistcoat emerged from the pile, waddled over and sat beside her feet.

Sarah clicked her fingers. "Come here, Ethel," she said to the duck. The duck got up and went to Sarah, who picked it up and sat it on her lap. "One of Jenna's creatures," Sarah said with a smile. "She never was one for pets and suddenly she has two. Strange. I don't know where she got them from."

Jannit smiled politely, unsure how to begin telling Sarah what she had to say. There was an awkward silence and at last she said, "Um. Well . . . it's a big place you have here."

"Oh, yes. Very big," said Sarah.

"Wonderful for a large family," said Jannit, immediately wishing she hadn't.

"If they want to live with you," said Sarah bitterly. "But not if four of them have decided to live in the Forest with a coven of witches and they refuse to come home, even for a visit. And then of course there's Simon. I know he's done wrong, but he's still my first baby. I miss him so much; I would love to have him living here. It's time he settled down. He could do a lot worse than Lucy Gringe, whatever his father says. There's plenty of room for them all here—and children, too. And then there's my little Septimus. We've been apart all these years and there he is, stuck at the top of that Wizard Tower with Marcia Fusspot Overstrand, who whenever she sees me has the nerve to ask if I am enjoying seeing so much of Septimus. I suppose she thinks it's some kind of joke, since I hardly ever see him now. In fact ever since Nicko . . ."

"Ah," said Jannit, seizing her chance. "Nicko. That's what—well, I expect you can guess why I'm here."

"No," said Sarah, who could but didn't want to even think about it.

"Oh." Jannit looked down at her boater and then, very purposefully, put it on top of a pile of something behind her. Sarah's heart sank. She knew what was coming.

Jannit cleared her throat and began. "As you know, Nicko has been gone for six months now and as far as I understand, no one knows where he is or when—indeed, if—he is ever coming back. In fact—and I am very sorry to say this—I have heard that he will never return."

Sarah caught her breath. No one had dared to say this to her face before.

"I am very sorry to have to come here like this, Madam Heap, but—"

"Oh, it's Sarah. Please, just call me Sarah."

"Sarah. Sarah, I am sorry, but we cannot struggle on without Nicko any longer. The summer season is looming, when even more foolhardy idiots will be putting to sea to try and catch a few herring. They'll all be wanting their boats ready, plus the fact that the Port barge is in . . .

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

Average Rating 4.5
( 460 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(303)

4 Star

(93)

3 Star

(36)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(21)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 463 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    You can get lost in this story so easily that it's hard to get out of it.

    This book takes you through time and on queste that you can get lost in. The queste is like no other that I have read. You go through times that you ae almost jumping up and down, bitting your nails, and sreaming because it's so thrilling and mysterious that it feels like you can't get to the answer quick enough. And when you get there you feel like it was worth the nail bitting, screaming and jumping up and down.

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2011

    Definitely read this book!!!!

    I really enjoyed this book! The characters all seemed very real there was not a dull moment in the book. I had trouble putting it down! The story was written in such a way that it sounds like it really happened and each setting painted a vivid picture in my mind. It was exactly as I would have imagined it. I think Queste is a great book for children 11-13 as the plot might be a little confusing to younger children. Overall, Queste was a great read and the rest of the series just keeps on getting better and better......

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2011

    Fantasy Lovers Wanted

    This book is for all fantasy lovers. They will find it very enjoyable, even though it is a bit slow at times. Queste is a book for all ages, not just for teens. Im 11 and thought it was pretty cool. (WARNING: THIS BOOK MAY NOT MAKE SENSE IF YOU DID NOT READ THE OTHER BOOKS)

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    Havnt read it yet

    I have read all the books so far and i just finished the third book phisk amd it was amazing. And i have a feeling this book will be no exception. It will hopefully answer the question all of the falthfull readers have been wondering, will Septimus get snori and niko back??? Will septimus forget about gim and her and move on to being the greatest wizard??? Who knows. I will hopfully find out soon

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    Quste

    A great find. As with the other three, I was taken away on a majical journey. I highly recomend this series.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Amazing book!!!

    This is a great book series I would recomend it to anybody!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2011

    Very Enjoyable

    I have really enjoyed reading these books. I like sci-fi fantasy books and have read Jordan's Wheel of Time and many other series including Harry Potter. This is a simple yet interesting series.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A fun series

    This series is often compared to Harry Potter, but I think in many ways it's much different. The only parallels that I see are that it involves a boy, who at one point is an orphan, and magic. Definitely written for a younger audience, the Septimus books have a tendency to be a little silly sometimes and the endings easily resolved. However, in contrast, Sage deftly creates an interesting world with often odd and humorous characters who have the ability to surprise the reader. The plot structures of each story vary, and, to any fantasy reader's great joy, she doesn't use the same antagonist throughout every single book. Some of the characters switch sides, and other, new bad guys emerge as the series progresses. Also, unlike many series writers, Sage will start a chain of events that last throughout several books, continuing to hook readers from book to book. She does not wrap everything up neatly, but is still able to finish a book in a way that makes the story seem complete. Then, the reader has the anticipation of discovering how some of the issues that arise in earlier books will unravel in later additions.

    As each book passes, more and more interested elements reveal themselves about the world that Angie Sage has created. I love the concept of the House of Foryx, the Witch's Way, the Queste and how it was initially intended to work, but that it was distorted from its original purpose. Also, Hotep-Ra showing up in the House of Foryx was another great twist that I didn't see coming. On a literary note, Sage has proven to have a keen ability to continue to evolve her characters from story to story in a way that's not only enticing to readers, but also shows a larger character arc that makes the characters seem very palatable. I could imagine myself in this world, interacting with these magical people. Septimus and Jenna especially wrestle with many internal issues that often mirror the difficult circumstances that happen around them. It's brave of Sage to show that the two main protagonists can make the wrong decisions, which lead to catastrophic things happening in not only their lives, but the lives of everyone else around them as well. Even throughout books four and five, Jenna still struggles over the fact that her decision to lead Septimus into the room with the two-way mirror in book three has split her family apart. I recommend all the books in this series to readers 9+.

    -Lindsey Miller, www.lindseyslibrary.com

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    Sonny

    I bought this at a libary thinking boring but it is amazing if i were a teacher i would give it a A++

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2011

    Justin Bieber

    Justin Bieber is 16

    2 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2011

    Interesting story

    Another good book in the story

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2009

    Angie Sage has done it again.

    Queste, the forth book in the Septimus Heap Series, continues where book three left off. The story is exceptional and just plain entertaining for readers of all ages. I can't wait for book five to continue the fun.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2009

    Septimus Heap's story continues!

    I have found all the books (so far) of Septimus Heap (by Angie Sage) to be engaging and entertaining. Though I sometimes pre-guess what is to be revealed, that does not diminish but rather enhances the thrill of the story.

    Though intended for young readers, I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a good story (I'm 46...)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2008

    Are you ready for an adventure?

    Have you ever been on a Queste? If not just wonder, the adventures begin when you open this book. From the palace, to the forest, and to the house of Forx, adventures lie everywhere. .In this epic journey far a way to a place where all times meet. Septimus Heap travels along with his sister Jenna, and his best friend Beetle, but what lies ahead? A mixture of witches, magic, and enchantment, this book will never leave your hands until your finished. This is the best book ever!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Hate it

    This bok is horrible i like fanatasy adventure and im 11 why dont i like it???

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    A dreadfull rhyme

    Blue to get ready, Green to go, Yellow to guide you through the snow, Ornge to warn you that over you'll go, The red will be the final gust, Now seek the black, There is no going back

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2010

    Queste

    I loved this book. This was an especially good read for me because Merrin is probably my favorite character from this series. There was an interesting plot (like usual in this series), and great story structure. I've read this series over and over again, I love it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Deceptions and Finding Truths

    This story takes us on an incredible journey that you don't really see coming. Some things talked about in previous books return in this book and you learn more about them and you get to see old characters returning to do their worst. A tale of time, being caught in time, and returning to home. You'll like this story if you have read the others.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Candace Cunard for TeensReadToo.com

    The fourth tale of Septimus Heap delivers action, adventure, magic, and a good share of surprises. <BR/><BR/>The tale begins when Nicko Heap and Snorri, who in a previous book found themselves transported out of their own Time, discover a clue that might allow them to return to their home Time. However, the path home is a tricky one: Nicko and Snorri must find their way to the mysterious House of Foryx, "the place where all Times do meet." Once they are there, the difficulties are not over. Finding and entering the House of Foryx is hard enough, but once they are in, they must wait for someone from their own Time to enter before they will be able to leave and return home. <BR/><BR/>Meanwhile, the notes regarding Nicko and Snorri's preparations for this journey have survived until Septimus's time, under the care of the long-lived alchemist Marcellus Pye. Using the notes and lists that Nick has left behind, Septimus and Jenna are able to figure out what it is that Nicko and Snorri are attempting, and set off to reach the House of Foryx themselves, so that their appearance might allow Nicko and Snorri to return to the correct Time. However, their plans are complicated by the pernicious ghost of Tertius Fume, who contrives to send Septimus against his will on a Queste from which no apprentice wizard has ever returned. <BR/><BR/>While the plot rambled in places, I enjoyed the overall arc of the story, and in the end I was glad for the slow development at the beginning which built up to the climax. Sage's characterization was impressive; I got a good idea of the relationships that had formed between characters in previous books, as well as a sense of their internal states and motivations. Her large cast of secondary characters was deftly managed as well. <BR/><BR/>As a newcomer to the series, getting my bearings was slightly confusing, but after a while I began to understand the backstory better, thanks to the author's hints and insinuations at what had happened before this book. There were still moments when I felt like I was missing out on something--moments where I was sure that the emotional impact would have been greater had I read the previous three books in the series--but overall I was still able to enjoy it, and would recommend it thoroughly.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2008

    OMG!

    I'm beyond excitement for septimus heap, but I read so fast that I'll probably finish it in only a day! I really hope it's gonna be long, otherwise I'll read through it in only a night! Speaking of which, I had a dream about it recently, and that's made me even more estatic about it! Oh, gosh, I wish April would get here sooner!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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