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Syren: Septimus Heap #5    by Angie Sage order for
by Angie Sage
Order:  USA  Can
Katherine Tegen, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Septimus Heap's Magykal journey continues in Syren, fifth (following Magyk, Flyte, Physik, and Queste) in Angie Sage's enchanting series. Mark Zug's black and white illustrations put faces on many of the characters and fill in context for readers.

In Magyk, Septimus Heap was believed to have died at birth. His parents (Silas and Sarah) adopted Queenling Jenna. Silas fled with Jenna to the Marram Marshes, along with a captured Young Army sentry, the lost Septimus. He was later apprenticed to ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand. in Flyte, Simon Heap kidnapped Jenna, who was rescued by Septimus and another brother Nicko. Septimus acquired his dragon Spit Fyre. In Physik, Septimus time traveled five hundred years in the past as part of a fiendish plan of the awful spirit of long-dead Queen Etheldredda, who wanted eternal life. In Queste, evil ghost Tertius Fume sent Septimus on a perilous Queste (which no other Apprentice had completed), and he and his friends journeyed to the House where all Time meets.

As Syren opens, Septimus and Spit Fyre have left Jenna, Nicko, Snorri, Ullr and Beetle at the Trading Post, where they encounter Jenna's father Milo. He takes them to his ship, the Cerys, which carries a dire treasure. On Septimus's return, Marcia informs him of his promotion to Senior Apprentice before he goes back for his friends. As he, Jenna, and Beetle fly Spit Fyre back once more, the dragon is hit by lightning and the friends stranded on one of seven islands. Aunt Zelda sends Wolf Boy (her Apprentice) on a tricky Task and tries (but fails) to get a live SafeCharm to Septimus. Wolf Boy rescues Simon Heap's friend Lucy from Witches and they end up aboard the Marauder skippered by evil Theodophilus Fortitude Fry and his wrecker crew. The Cerys and the Marauder both end up at Septimus', island, where he has encountered an Apprentice from the past (Syrah) and the Syren who regularly possesses her.

It all comes together in a terrible plot against the Castle and the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, which Septimus, Jenna and their friends and followers foil, of course. As in the previous episodes, Angie Sage gives readers, pre-teen and up, non-stop action, a rich plot, and delightful details, as in Young Army sayings like 'Use Your Head or You Are Dead' and the amusingly uncooperative jinn Jim Knee. Septimus Heap fans will have great fun with this latest exciting adventure, Syren.

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