Magyk by Angie Sage
Digital Audiobook narrated by Allan Corduner
Published by Katherine Tegen, Harper Collins on May 11, 2005
Series: Septimus Heap #1
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Young Adult
Length: 564 pages or 12 hours, 10 minutes
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The first part of an enthralling new series leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters, clever charms, potions and spells. Ages 9+.
The 7th son of the 7th son, aptly named Septimus Heap, is stolen the night he is born by a midwife who pronounces him dead. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across a bundle in the snow containing a newborn girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take this helpless newborn 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?
The first part of this enthralling new series leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters, clever charms, potions and spells, and a yearning to uncover the mystery at the heart of this story...who is Septimus Heap?
Angie Sage writes in the tradition of great British storytellers. Her inventive fantasy is filled with humor and heart: Magyk will have readers laughing and begging for more.
This is a fantastic book.
I don’t mean to belittle middle grade books, but they are notoriously uncomplicated. There are a few fantasy series that are the exception – Harry Potter is technically a children’s book, after all. But most of them are dialogue heavy contemporaries with little to no world building. Magyk is nothing like that.
First of all, the audiobook is fantastic. The narrator is great, telling the story with a light lilt. Listening to the audiobook also meant that I never once had to read the magic spells or the word “Magyk” creatively spelled and capitalized. I think that would have annoyed me and I would not have been able to enjoy the book as a whole as much as I did.
We’re in a world where magic is outlawed, everyone lives in a castle, and there’s a forest with witches on one side and a boggy marsh filled with fantastic creatures. It doesn’t have the deep edges of fantasy as you find in YA or adult fantasy, but the descriptions of the world are good and the characters are fun. We have a lot of characters in this book, but they are well spread apart and easy to keep straight.
It’s the little bits in this story that make it fun and interesting. Things like the underground tunnel beneath Aunt Zelda’s house, like the rules of ghost hood, like the libraries of magical books. Angie Sage even follows through at the end of the book with the whereabouts of several minor characters, which is fantastically fun.
Fun. This book is just fun.
It’s not overly original. It’s a basic medieval style fantasy with a good vs. evil plot. I personally don’t mind that – there are some cliches and tropes I forgive, because I enjoy them. That said, other may be bored and frustrated by the unoriginality of this one.
For myself, I am definitely down for book two. I want to know what happens to the various Heaps and cantankerous Marcia.