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4.8 out of 5 stars
66
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 17 July 2017
Can't put down these Septimus Heap books - even though I have read them previously!
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on 15 July 2017
A great continuation of an amazing series.
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on 25 August 2015
Thanks. Good service.
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on 9 August 2013
I happened to get the first book free,read all now,so much fun,I'm a 54 year old man,Adults please read them
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on 24 October 2011
The Septimus Heap books have to be one of my favourite children's series and definitely go a long way towards filling my Harry Potter hole. I never buy hardback editions of books - I can't afford to spend over £10 on one book! - but for Angie Sage's books I make an exception because each tome is just such a beautiful item and the pages deserve to be thick and crisp. Each chapter has a beautiful pencil drawing on the first page which gives me huge green eyes of jealousy that I can't draw like that but really add a magical, tangible dynamic to the story.

I have to specify when and where you need to read a Septimus Heap book: on a chilly winter's evening, preferably with a howling wind outside, when there's no on else at home and you can curl up in the comfy chair by the fire complete with duvet. OK, that setting is not essential but that is definitely where you can feel the full benefit of the wonderful warming sensation you get from reading Angie Sage. It's like reading a big mug of hot chocolate with a generous serving of whipped cream and marshmallows. Darke is especially in need of a duvet because Septimus and in fact the entire Castle find themselves swallowed up by a terrifying Darke Domaine. This is what I love about Angie Sage, she always manages to conjure up something completely different for each book, putting her characters in new situations so they are always developing in new ways. That, in my opinion, is the true skill of a great series writer. Septimus' world is just so stuffed full now with engaging settings, fascinating mythology and colourful characters, it really feels like you are stepping into Angie's world every time you open a new book. It's always a thrill to meet with old characters again and discover some new ones. In Darke, you actually get to know a lot better many of the other characters apart from Septimus as the story divides between several character groups. Sep's sister Jenna blossoms into a courageous leader, selfless Beetle takes heroism to a new height while the wayward Simon redeems himself.

I think the strongest message in the Septimus Heap books is definitely that of family which is perfect for the middle grade/young teen age group it's aimed at. Very often Angie Sage introduces a lost soul character who struggles through the book but in the end is either rewarded or redeemed by finding his lost family. Quite a few characters end this way in Darke, which is actually a nice resolution at the end of the Darkest book in the series. Angie Sage has really struck a great balance between the looming threat of the situation and lighter moments. She pushes her characters to the edge but always reins in the tension with characteristically witty moments, making the characters more flawed and endearing - even the baddies!

I cannot urge you enough to explore this series, even if you don't usually read books geared more towards younger teens. It's definitely one of those Harry Potter moments where anyone can read them to enjoy a brilliant story and a big grin session. They are not overly "young" to read and have a decent level of complexity both in the world Angie Sage has created and in her stories to make them engaging whatever age you are. I'm in my mid-twenties and I just love them - and I can't wait for more!
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on 18 July 2011
I have read all this series in ebook form, and for once that worked greatly to my advantage as I had not realised, when my preorder became available, that I was getting the kindle edition long before the hard back hits the shelves in the UK. Why we in the UK should be made to wait so long is not clear to me, as this is a perfect summer read for children and young adults, as well as adults who enjoy a thoroughly engaging tale, with a huge cast of wonderful characters.

If you found Darke first, please note that this is part of a series that starts with the book "Magyk". Magyk is a wonderful piece of writing and you should go and buy it now. No seriously, right now!

If you are still reading this review it is either because you ignored my advice (shame on you) or you have enjoyed this series so much that like me you are still reading it as quickly as you can. If that is the case, I am wasting my time telling you how good a story it all is, so here are some thoughts on the latest book.

Darke begins on the eve of Septimus and Princess Jenna's 14th birthday. They are on the brink of adulthood as measured in their society, and things are changing. Septimus is also about to embark on yet another extraordinarily dangerous parts of his apprenticeship - Darke Week. Add to that a banishing accident with poor Alther, and the return of some other shady characters and you have all the elements of another page-turning tale. Your only regret reading this is likely to be that the story is over, and you have to wait so long for the next installment.

I give the story five stars. It is as good as ever. If I have some minor criticisms, these would be that maybe the humour was not quite so quick coming as earlier books. And yet the quirky humour is still very much in evidence. There are also some literary references that may or may not suit the story (depending on your mood). A refernce to "Their and Back Again lane" pays homage to "The Hobbit" and the character Bertie Bott will certainly have everyone thinking of every flavour beans.

This series bears some resemblance to Harry Potter of course. It is about a student in magic (or magyk at least). It is to span 7 books, and the quirky humour is reminiscent of JK Rowling's style. But these books are anything but derivative or formulaic. This is a very different tale in a very different world, and is in no way a Harry Potter clone. So I am not quite sure why we have Bertie Bott! But like all the other characters, Bertie is interesting.

I particularly like Angie Sage's endings (and the epilogues), and this book is no exception.

A first class read. It may not be the best book I have ever read in my life but it richly deserves five stars.
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on 7 June 2013
I have read all of the books in this series and loved everyone of them! I would recommend this book to either a girl or a boy for a reading age of 9-12 years. Rebecca aged 10
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on 1 April 2012
Oh I think this has got to be my favourite Septimus Heap book so far. I think they have been gradually getting less childish. While I would still classify Darke as a children's book it is much more sinister than the last 5. With the horrible `Things' and the two faced ring and it's power it brings to mind Tolkien's Dark Riders and The One Ring. I still feel somewhat sorry for Merrin, somehow despite everything he has done he still seems like a victim to me. Maybe because of the way he was introduced to the Darke, maybe just because in many ways he is still a child. Somehow that makes what he does seem not so bad. Increasingly the barriers between Magyk and Darke Magyk are being blurred. The bad guys are not so bad (certainly not in the way Dom Daniel was) and maybe the good guys are not so good either. It all adds up to a book which is distinctly more adult than the others in the series. I wouldn't go as far as to say children shouldn't read it. Nothing is too graphic except in where your own imagination may work on something.
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on 24 August 2012
I own each of these books in Hardback but when this one came out money was short. Amazon had it on sale in the Kindle store so I leapt at the chance for a bargain. i didn't like the sound of the story from what I read on the blurp. However it didn't disappoint at all. I was absolutely glued to this book, I didn't put it down for about 6hours which is how long it took me to read it.

It carries on nicely from Syren which was also a great book. There are twists and turn with a bit of laughter thrown in. Again as with the others I was sad to see some key characters go but I suppose it was their time.

I recommend this book and the entire series to everyone who can get their hands on it. It's a great book and deserves more recognition.
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on 14 February 2012
ALTHOUGH I HAVE JUST CELEBRATED MY 70TH.BIRTHDAY I LIKE CHILDRENS BOOKS.I HAD TO WAIT A LONG TIME TO GET THIS LAST BOOK IN THE SEPTIMUS HEAP SERIES BUT IT WAS WELL WORTH THE WAIT.THE STORIES WERE GOOD & ORIGINAL,EACH BOOK MADE YOU WANT TO READ THE NEXT
THEY ARE ACTION PACKED UNLIKE LOTS OF ADULT BOOKS WHEN YOU WADE THROUGH A GOOD PART OF THE BOOK BEFORE THE STORY REALLY
STARTS TO COME TO LIFE.I LIKE CHILDRENS BOOKS BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE TO READ ABOUT SEX,VIOLENCE & QUITE UNCALLED FOR SWEAR WORDS.
I DON'T LIKE THE USE OF COMPLICATED LONG MADE UP NAMES FOR PLACES & PEOPLE IN CHILDRENS BOOKS.I PASS ON THE CHILDRENS BOOKS TO
A YOUNG FRIEND IN IRELAND WHO IN TURN PASSES THEM ON TO HER FRIENDS.A GREAT SERIES I WAS SORRY WHEN IT FINISHED.
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