This is an easy book to read. There are a lot of characters, and the kids are the featured characters. It is about wizards, like the Harry Potter series, but it's not quite as dark. The author seems to have a vivid imagination, and the story is continually moving.
Terrifically entertaining book with charming, memorable characters and exciting adventures throughout. You'll route for the good guys and despise (and occasionally laugh at) the bad guys. There are many nicely balanced scenes where genuine danger and heroic derring-do mesh together very well. A great book to read aloud to younger children. Older children will want to take this book away and race through it breathlessly by themselves. Though not quite as complex as Harry Potter, adults will still greatly enjoy the world and people of Septimus Heap.
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com
If you've been looking for a series that combines the magic of Harry Potter with the imaginative characters of Artemis Fowl, then Septimus Heap and his first book, MAGYK, is definitely the story for you. A quick, delightful read that can stand on its own, MAGYK is, without a doubt, an intriguing page-turner.
Septimus Heap, the seventh son of a seventh son, died shortly after birth. Born to a family of Wizards, there's no telling what he might have become, as his lineage as a seventh son would have made him unbelievably magical. But on that winter night when Septimus died, his father, Silas, found another newborn child in the forest. They named her Jenna, and she grew up thinking that she was the daughter of Silas and Sarah Heap, and the sister of six older brothers--Simon, Sam, Edd, Erik, Nicko, and Jo-Jo. Early on, though, Sarah had her own ideas of who Jenna really was, especially when she heard the news that the Queen had been murdered. Jenna Heap was, undoubtedly, the Princess.
Over the next ten years, darkness came to the Castle and the Ramblings, where the Heaps lived. With no Queen, evil came in the form of the Supreme Custodian, who along with his cohorts banned magic and ended the happiness the Queen's people had once known. As the Heap family attempt to ride out this time of darkness, the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, Marcia Overstrand, learns of the plot to kill the Princess, which will allow evil to truly take over the Palace. It seems that the only thing keeping DomDaniel, the Dark Wizard, from returning to the Castle is the presence of the Princess, and he plans to remedy that.
What follows is the flight of Jenna, Nicko, the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, and a Young Army recruit known only as Boy 412 to the Marram Marshes, where Aunt Zelda Heap, a White Witch, will be able to keep them from harm. As events unfold and DomDaniel does everything within his power to track down the girl standing between him and a ruling darkness, the Heap family will have to do everything within their means to stop him--and at the same time stay alive.
MAGYK is a delightful, entertaining story filled with action-adventure and fantasy. With a very large cast of characters who are as diverse as they come, this is one story not to be missed. If you like Harry Potter, you will definitely enjoy Septimus Heap. Filled with twists and turns, this is a story you'll stay up reading long into the night. And although at times predictable, you'll quickly be drawn into the life and times of the Heap family and their magical world.
I thought that this story was a bit on the unoriginal side, with the "misplace heir" plot and all. The characters were also a bit over-dramatic at times. The bad guys were really bad and the good guys overly naive. It was like having caricatures done in words instead of images. It was also annoying to see adults, who should know better, act no better than children in their impulsiveness which tended to result with bad endings.
I can't even compare this to something as enjoyable as the Harry Potter books and am not sure a fan of those would necessarily enjoy these. I didn't find them anywhere near as good and I love the HP series. The only real similarities is that there is magic and a bad wizard with his own followers.
I was a bit disappointed with this book, since I thought it would be better. There were times that I wasn't sure that I even wanted to finish it. It was filled with so many cliches from other fantasy stories that at times I was a bit put off by it all.
Overall, not a great read. I only plan to attempt the next two in the series because I have them on hand. One can only hope that it gets better.