Septimus Heap, Book Three: Physik
by Angie Sage
Book Three of the Septimus Heap
series embroils its young hero, the apprentice to the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, in a wholly new adventure that involves kidnapping, time travel, alchemy (or, in this book's parlance, Alchemie), restless ghosts, a mysterious plague, rampaging mobs, an assassination plot, a youthful romance, a young dragon's first flame, a shape-changing animal, secret passages, magical mirrors (or glasses, rather), and a terrible sacrifice. In other words, it has everything you are hungry for after digesting the last Harry Potter
It all begins when Septimus Heap's father - ordinary wizard Silas Heap - foolishly opens a "Sealed" room in the palace attic. In so doing, he unwittingly raises the 500-year-old ghost of the Castle's most awful ruler ever: Queen Etheldredda. Soon afterward a plague breaks out in the Castle, which by a remarkable chain of events leads to Princess Jenna being driven out of her own city by an unruly mob. Jenna flees on the back of the young dragon that has bonded with her brother Sep, who has been snatched before her eyes by an ancient creature on the other side of a mirror. Meanwhile, Marcia (the ExtraOrdinary Wizard) receives a letter from Septimus from 500 years in the past.
It soon appears that the only way to save the apprentice is to go "through the looking-glass" to a strange and disturbing time - a time when Queen Etheldredda sought to extend her rule by murdering her own heirs - a time when a man similar to Nicolas Flamel has learned the secret both of unlimited wealth and of endless life - a time in which Jenna and her friends may be trapped themselves, or worse. And since Jenna looks exactly like a princess the Queen has already disposed of, things could grow a great deal worse!
In this story, we see Septimus Heap advance to a level of maturity and knowledge surprising in one his age. We see Jenna come into a bit more of her royal destiny. We see new villains emerge into the foreground, while old ones lurk just out of sight. We see many old friends still being themselves - more so than ever. We see young lovers brought together for the first time, long-separated couples reunited, and loved ones separated by a seemingly unbridgeable gulf - and left that way, for another tale to tell what becomes of them. And we see loads of magic, danger, discovery, and adventure on land and water, replete with a just enough confusing running about to keep you guessing about the real plot that marches steadily through all.
Keep your eyes peeled for Book Four, titled Queste.
Recommended Age: Age: 12+
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