Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com
I have to state that it's taken me a very long time to write my review of PHYSIK, mostly because it took me such a very long time to finish the book. Although I absolutely loved MAGYK, and was nearly as impressed with FLYTE, it was much harder for me to get into the story of PHYSIK. I wasn't immediately struck by the newly introduced characters, and even some of my old favorites were, at first, acting quite different than they had originally. That being said, though, I'm glad I finally finished this third installment in the Septimus Heap saga, and can recommend it to others without feeling guilty.
The story opens with Silas Heap, father of the Heap clan, unknowingly unleashing the ghost of Queen Etheldredda, a Castle Queen who ruled long ago. Along with her spirit is also released that of her pet Aie-Aie, a rat-dog-snake hybrid that is hideous to look upon. Although Silas and his companion, Gringe, aren't first aware of what has happened, they'll soon learn that the room they unlocked would have been better left alone.
Nearly at the same time, Snorri Snorrelssen, a young North Trader, arrives at Sally Mullen's Tea and Ale House -- and can immediately sense that she's not welcome there, even if she can't understand the language that's being spoken. After weeks at sea, however, Snorri is not about to turn her back on her mission, that of following in the footsteps of her father.
Back at the Palace, Septimus Heap is putting off his studies with ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand, instead indulging in his new obsession of learning all there is to know about Alchemy. He wishes to learn under the famous Alchemyst Marcellus Pye, who just so happens to be the son of the dreaded Queen Etheldredda.
All of the usual characters are back in this installment: Jenna, Nicko, Aunt Zelda, Spit Fyre, and Alther Mella, along with new ones like the above-mentioned Snorri and Marcellus Pye. Some of them act as they've always acted; some of them act in surprising ways. All of it leads up to a showdown of wits and talents and, of course, the next book in the series.
As I said, I'm glad I finally finished reading PHYSIK, as I definitely plan to read QUESTE, the fourth book. Although some readers may have trouble in the beginning, as I did, once you get into the story of Septimus and family, you'll be quite enthralled until the very end.