I am currently re-reading the Septimus Heap books by Angie Sage to celebrate the release of the 6th book Darke. The first book in the series is Magyk, followed by Flyte, Physik, Queste, Syren and Darke.
Jenna Heap is a young girl of eleven who lives with her adoptive family: six older brothers and loving parents. All her family members are trained in magyk, including her father, Silas Heap, who is the seventh son of a wizard himself. The family tragically lost their seventh son, Septimus, shortly after he is born. Jenna was found by Silas on the same day, close to death and buried in the snow.
After it comes to light that Jenna is the lost Princess, she is taken to safety by the ExtraOrdinary Wizard while a Darke force hunts them. She finds help and safety in the most unlikely places; not the least from a young guard who answers only to the name ‘Boy 412’.
I think these books would appeal to the young and the old alike. Through the use of such a large and diverse family, the Heaps, Sage is able to teach us the importance of familial relationships. The Heaps are a strong family unit who, together, overcome some very difficult times. The series is fast paced and full of humour – with adventures which hurtle along at break-neck pace. The characters are rich and diverse, and strangely real.
Comparisons to Harry Potter are inevitable: both stories are about a young boy wizard who has to find his place in an unknown and sometimes hostile world. I believe that the Septimus Heap series is a great work in its own right, and comparisons to Harry Potter, although flattering I’m sure, only cheapen its worth. But if you enjoyed that series, then give this a try.