8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2009
I was surprised by this book. It started off seeming to be yet another fantasy adventure set in a fake medieval world, and I was all ready to think of it as derivative and formulaic. And then boy 412 leapt out of the book, pulled a sardine from under his red beanie hat and slapped my face with it repeatedly until I saw sense. . . Or rather nonsense. A rather delightful nonsense that was entertaining and very interesting.
This book is extremely funny. Some of that will only be clear to older readers - I got my 7 year old to read it and she has also enjoyed it immensely, but she missed some of the humour, so I guess the 9-11+ age group are ideal for this book, although I loved it as an adult too.
Some of the storyline is predictable even for children (my test group of one shows this), some is predictable for adults, but not necessarily for children (same test group!) But predictable or not, the story is just thoroughly entertaining, well written, and with a very beautiful ending that made me set down the book and blink away a tear before anyone dared accuse me of getting emotional over a story.
I thoroughly recommend this book, but I would venture to say the natural audience would be anyone who loved Harry Potter. The mixture of magic, humour and wry observations on life will surely appeal to the same readership.
51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2005
My eleven year old son has never been a reader but when he saw the cover of Magyk in tescos he asked me if I would buy it for him.Another wasted purchase I thought! However we had only travelled a few miles before he was completely engrossed! Words like brilliant,fantastic and can I go to bed early to read please were coming from the back of the car!!The chapters are fairly short,the pace is quick,add a touch of magyk,wizardry and evil and voila my son is hooked and waiting for the next instalment.I hope book two is as spellbinding!
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 24 May 2005
I originally bought this book for my eight year old son, but picked it up one afternoon and soon found that I was consumed with the narrative. Its a spellbinding mix of magic, puzzle and intrigue that will leave you desperately awaiting the next installment. I can recommend this book to children and adults, and I am going to read this as a class novel to my year four children in September. The short quirky chapters make it easy to read in short bursts, but I Promise you, it won't take you long to realise that you can't put it down. It's been along time since I have been inspired to read with such zest, in fact the last time was when I first read The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe. Dare I say it, I think it is better than Harry Potter!!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2005
Bought this book in Tesco to read it on the train and I found myself almost missing my stop. It is a lighter read than Harry Potter and the author has some of Terry Pratchett's easy style.All sort of myths are in it - the seven son of the seven son; the lost and found princess; charms. The story follows the Heap family of ordinary wizards and the princess they brought up as their own after their seven son, of the seven son, apparently died shortly after birth.
Hope that the second book will be as good as this one.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2007
I found the book easy to read and certainly had some clever ideas for the more magical aspects, however, I did find it quite niggling that, as one reviewer has already mentioned there were similarities with Potter that actually could have easily been avoided. For example Jenna's pet rock "Petroc Trelawney" and she actually had a character with a similar name to Weasley. I know they are not big things but they were a few irksome items that took my mind away from this book and into Potter. There of course is as well the storyline similarities of the evil wizard plotting a comeback and the young boy just discovering his true magical talents who is the one to fight him.
Despite this I think the series, so far, is a fabulous read for the age group it is marketed to. The younger audience will most likely not take notice of any of the things that niggled at me and take it at face value as a good story. Perhaps those of us a bit older are just hoping to find our next Potter - the series that crosses over into the adult market with a new and challenging tale.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2005
I started to read Magyk with my son of ten. He went to bed at midnight as he could not keep his eyes open any longer and I continued to read all night!! I was so sorry the next morning when the book was finished and can't wait to read book 2. As I write this my son is lying on the floor, which is where he has been all evening, and is reading the book avidly. What wonderful story.
35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2006
Oh this is one of them rare books where every moment curled up between the pages is a moment in pure joy! I was devestated when it ended and desperatly seeking book nr 2.
The story tells of the Heap family, who one lifechanging night looses their newborn son, but by twists of fate they adopt an orphan girl that very same night. But things arent always as it seems, and people arent always who they say they are! The girl is the heir to the throne, overtaken by the evil necromancer. And now he wants the "Queenling" dead once and for all. The Heaps have to split up and hide together with the extraordinary wizard. And together they need to find out how to get the throne back, without getting killed! Meanwhile their lost son (which by the way is the 7th son of the 7th son) Septimus Heap, who were supposed to have died that fateful night 10 years ago, reappears as the evil Necromancer's apprentice! ...oh dear!
I know... its sounds... NOT that good. But oh... it is! Fair enough some characters lack alittle depth, but its such a huge character gallery (The Heaps have 8 children) but its okay. Really it didnt bother me one bit! The beginning and the end is a bit clishè, but you see... thats not what makes this book! This book is ALL about the journey from page one to page 576! Its funny, cute and Angie has great skill when it comes to describing happenings and action, seen from more than one pair of eyes! Its like your favorite film, yes you know how it starts and how it'll end, but that doesnt make you love it any less! Because you love the journey it takes you on! And thats exactly how Magyk felt like!
I beg of you... just try it out! You will be hooked!
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
If you've been looking for a series that combines the magic of Harry Potter with the imaginative characters of Artemis Fowl, then Septimus Heap and his first book, MAGYK, is definitely the story for you. A quick, delightful read that can stand on its own, MAGYK is, without a doubt, an intriguing page-turner.
Septimus Heap, the seventh son of a seventh son, died shortly after birth. Born to a family of Wizards, there's no telling what he might have become, as his lineage as a seventh son would have made him unbelievably magical. But on that winter night when Septimus died, his father, Silas, found another newborn child in the forest. They named her Jenna, and she grew up thinking that she was the daughter of Silas and Sarah Heap, and the sister of six older brothers--Simon, Sam, Edd, Erik, Nicko, and Jo-Jo. Early on, though, Sarah had her own ideas of who Jenna really was, especially when she heard the news that the Queen had been murdered. Jenna Heap was, undoubtedly, the Princess.
Over the next ten years, darkness came to the Castle and the Ramblings, where the Heaps lived. With no Queen, evil came in the form of the Supreme Custodian, who along with his cohorts banned magic and ended the happiness the Queen's people had once known. As the Heap family attempt to ride out this time of darkness, the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, Marcia
Overstrand, learns of the plot to kill the Princess, which will allow evil to truly take over the Palace. It seems that the only thing keeping DomDaniel, the Dark Wizard, from returning to the Castle is the presence of the Princess, and he plans to remedy that.
What follows is the flight of Jenna, Nicko, the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, and a Young Army recruit known only as Boy 412 to the Marram Marshes, where Aunt Zelda Heap, a White Witch, will be able to keep them from harm. As events unfold and DomDaniel does everything within his power to track down the girl standing between him and a ruling darkness, the Heap
family will have to do everything within their means to stop him--and at the same time stay alive.
MAGYK is a delightful, entertaining story filled with action-adventure and fantasy. With a very large cast of characters who are as diverse as they come, this is one story not to be missed. If you like Harry Potter, you will definitely enjoy Septimus Heap. Filled with twists and turns, this is a story you'll stay up reading long into the night. And although at times predictable, you'll quickly be drawn into the life and times of the Heap family and their magical world.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2009
It's a great book, fun and very entertaining!
But adults be warned, it is aimed at a slightly younger audience than Potter or His Dark Materials. This might grate on some adults that are looking for a more challenging read but I admired the lively way that the author spoke to her audience.
Some accusations of unoriginality have been thrown at the book, but to be fair Petroc Trewlawny is named after a real-life Radio 3 presenter. Equally the young boy discovering magical talents to beat the evil wizard (or evil leader/evil despot/evil king) is as old the hills. In fact when George Lucas used the plot device in Star Wars he was relying heavily on the theory of monomyth suggested by Joseph Campbell (who was an anthrolpologist who suggested that there is essentially a common story with an archetypal hero). I have read widely in the genre and see the Heap books as no more unoriginal than Rowling.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2006
This book sits on my bookshelf, and unlike many of the others it doesn't gather dust. It's so full of quirky and amusing details everywhere you look that you can come back to it again and again, always laughing about something you didn't take in last time.
The use of "Magyk" is an interesting idea, different to the normal one word spells that most fantasy novels use nowadays. The unique spelling of some of the words annoyed me to begin with, but throughout the book I started to notice it less and less.
Although I started to suspect the ending about half way through, it was still a good mystery that remained throughout. A lovely hardback with a very attractive front cover, this is without a doubt one of my all time favourite books!