Syren – Septimus Heap, Book 5
Katherine Tegen Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2009
Book 5 takes place immediately after the end of book 4, Queste. When I say immediately after, I mean the next day! We find Septimus stranded on a beautiful island with his friends and Spit Fyre where he is drawn into a mystery that answers some questions but raises more. (After all, we do have 2 more books after this one!) As always there’s a huge cast of characters, some new, most reoccurring, but always entertaining!
o Septimus Heap, young apprentice to Extra-Ordinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand who seems to get into trouble a lot.
o Jenna, young princess who will be Queen of the Castle when the Time is Right
o Beetle, best friend to Septimus, likes FizzFroot drinks
o Spit Fyre, Septimus’ almost full grown dragon whose favorite breakfast is bananas and sausages
o Ullr, the beautiful orange cat who transforms into a panther at night. (He is a main character because he’s a cat of course!)
Secondary characters, the usual suspects:
o Nikko, brother to Septimus Heap, lover of all things nautical
o Snorri, Northern Trader girl who inadvertently got mixed up in the craziness that is the Heap world
o Wolf Boy, aka Boy 409, former Young Army and Septimus’ best friend before Beetle
o Lucy Gringe, love of Simon Heap’s life
o Simon Heap, outcast brother of Septimus
o Milo Banda, wandering father of Jenna
o Merrin Meredith aka Daniel Hunter aka Septimus Heap, who took Beetle’s job at the Manuscriptorium and holder of the Two-Faced Ring (which is filled with darke magyk and is very important in future books)
o Barney Pot, young nephew of Billy Pot, Dragon Keeper, and had the bad luck to run into Aunt Zelda.
o Jim Knee – “an exotic figure wearing a yellow cloak, jerkin and breeches, all topped off by a hat…that looked remarkably like a pile of ever-shrinking yellow doughnuts…” pg 77
o Theodophilus Fortitude Fry, described as “a most unpleasant—and deeply superstitious—skipper [of the Marauder].” Pg 137
o Jakey Fry, “a redheaded boy with a mass of freckles and watery green eyes like the sea.” Pg 138
o The Crowe Twins, crew members of the Marauder—“were theoretically, identical, but one was fat and one was thin….They were exceedingly stupid…their eyes were as blank and pale as those of a dead fish on a slab….” Pg 138
o Miarr Catt, Watcher at the CattRokk Light, “a lighthouse perched on a rock in the middle of the sea, the very top of which resembled the head of a cat, complete with ears and two brilliant beams of light that shone from its eyes.” Pg 232
o Syrah Syara , “her thin, straggly dark hair framed a careworn face covered in freckles. Septimus had the distinct feeling he had seen her before—but where?” Pg 360
As with all the previous books, I found this one equally entertaining. Laugh-out-loud moments, an exciting mystery and we learn a bit more about life before Septimus’ time (the Days of Beyond, which is the time way before anyone remembers). Once again, Angie Sage weaves mystery and magic, all the while keeping the story moving forward towards an exciting end.
Rating: 5 paws!
Angie Sage (born 19 June 1952) is the author of the Septimus Heap series which includes Magyk, Flyte, Physik,Queste, Syren, Darke and Fyre. She is also the illustrator and/or writer of many children’s books, and is the new writer of the Araminta Spook series.
Angie Sage grew up in Thames Valley, London and Kent. Her father was a publisher. He would bring home blank books that she would fill with pictures and stories. Sage first studied medicine, but changed her mind and went to Art School in Leicester. There she studied Graphic Design and Illustration. She began illustrating books after college. Then she progressed to writing children stories, including toddler books and chapter books. Her first novel was Septimus Heap: Magyk.