ExtraOrdinary Apprentice Septimus Heap is back in the third installment of the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage entitled Physik. In the first two books,
Magyk and Flyte, we were introduced to Seventh Son of
a Seventh Son Septimus Heap who, unknowing of his true family and destiny, was serving in the young army. He eventually discovers his real family and his calling as Apprentice to ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand and all is well
- until he discovers a looking-glass that transports him to a time five hundred years ago. In this past time, Septimus is the unwilling apprentice to a Physician named Marcellus Pye, learning about the sacred art of Physik as he tries to find a way back home.
Back in Septimusí home time, there is even more trouble. Queen Etheldredda, dreaded mother of Marcellus Pye and now just a ghost, has found a way to be released from her portrait and wreak havoc again, five hundred years after she originally lived. To make matters worse, her sidekick, a nasty little animal called an Aie-Aie, is going around biting people and giving them the dreaded Sickenesse. Can Etheldredda be stopped? And can Septimus make it back home in time to use his newfound knowledge of Physik to cure the Sickenesse?
Those who are a fan of Septimus thanks to the first two books in the series will love the continued adventures of Sep and his family in Physik. The characters continue to grow and change, and there is no lack of adventure in this third installment. The book, which is lively and less frightening than the popular Harry Potter series, is appropriate for a wide age range of children (and is pretty entertaining for adults as well). The only drawback of Physik
is that those who have not read the first two books will
probably be pretty lost in this third book. Sage could have
done a more thorough job of reintroducing characters in a way that would not bore loyal readers
but still help new readers catch up.
On the whole, though, Physik is an imaginative, well-written book that will appeal to children and parents alike.