- Hardcover: 560 pages
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; First Edition edition (March 27 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060577371
- ISBN-13: 978-0060577377
- Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 4.2 x 18.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 621 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #792,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Septimus Heap, Book Three: Physik Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Mar 27 2007
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4–10—In the third volume in the series, the young Apprentice to the Extraordinary Wizard yearns to go beyond his training in Magyk to Physik, an ancient form of healing championed by the great Physician Marcellus Pye. He gets his chance when the decrepit, 500-year-old Marcellus kidnaps Septimus back in time to help him turn his ill-fated tincture for everlasting life into one for everlasting youth. Princess Jenna, joined by Nicko and his love interest, a new character named Snorri, goes searching for a way to reach Septimus and bring him back to his rightful time. She must also elude the ghost of Marcellus's mother, Queen Etheldredda, who is bent on murdering the princess so she can assume the throne. Explanations of time travel are wisely avoided: "at that point, Septimus' brain refused to think anymore," and many other plot elements are juggled successfully. There are too many characters to keep track of, however, including lesser figures who are not presented with enough background information. Readers will quickly warm up to the stars of the book, sketched with liberal doses of humor, and all back in top form. Chapters alternate points of view, keeping suspense high, while lots of vivid details portray a palace life humming with Magyk. Fans of the series will enjoy the secrets that are revealed as Physik delves deeper into the labyrinthine palace walls and will eagerly await the next installment.—Emily Rodriguez, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Few fans of the best-selling Septimus Heap series will be disappointed by this excellent third adventure, which counters the fraying novelty of the DomDaniel plotline with a brand new villain--a former queen whose malevolent spirit is accidentally released from an enchanted portrait. Along with a deadly epidemic, the spirit brings turmoil to the kingdom and to Septimus, who is forcibly apprenticed to an alchemist living many centuries earlier. Rescue efforts wind up trapping more members of the Heap family, as well as a visitor from the far North, in the same situation. The time-travel elements are head spinning, but moments of faltering logic will go unnoticed as readers savor the quirky storytelling, marked by a sprawling, omniscient purview and plenty of entertaining tangents. With entries as strong as this one, Sage's efforts will continue to stand strong within the crowded young-wizard niche. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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The story opens with Silas Heap, father of the Heap clan, unknowingly unleashing the ghost of Queen Etheldredda, a Castle Queen who ruled long ago. Along with her spirit is also released that of her pet Aie-Aie, a rat-dog-snake hybrid that is hideous to look upon. Although Silas and his companion, Gringe, aren't first aware of what has happened, they'll soon learn that the room they unlocked would have been better left alone.
Nearly at the same time, Snorri Snorrelssen, a young North Trader, arrives at Sally Mullen's Tea and Ale House -- and can immediately sense that she's not welcome there, even if she can't understand the language that's being spoken. After weeks at sea, however, Snorri is not about to turn her back on her mission, that of following in the footsteps of her father.
Back at the Palace, Septimus Heap is putting off his studies with ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand, instead indulging in his new obsession of learning all there is to know about Alchemy. He wishes to learn under the famous Alchemyst Marcellus Pye, who just so happens to be the son of the dreaded Queen Etheldredda.
All of the usual characters are back in this installment: Jenna, Nicko, Aunt Zelda, Spit Fyre, and Alther Mella, along with new ones like the above-mentioned Snorri and Marcellus Pye. Some of them act as they've always acted; some of them act in surprising ways. All of it leads up to a showdown of wits and talents and, of course, the next book in the series.
As I said, I'm glad I finally finished reading PHYSIK, as I definitely plan to read QUESTE, the fourth book. Although some readers may have trouble in the beginning, as I did, once you get into the story of Septimus and family, you'll be quite enthralled until the very end.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"
Although the book deals with some very DARKE subject matter, Sage manages to keep it light with just the right touch of humor, juggling her characters with consummate skill, while adding her exciting new characters into the mix. In Physik, we see Septimus becoming extremely interested in the study of Alchemie, and more specifically, ancient medicines and cures as discovered by Marcellus Pye five hundred years before. This is terribly upsetting to Marcia Overstrand, the ExtraOrdinary Wizard to whom he is still apprenticed, as she'd much rather that he concentrate on studying for his Prediction exams than meddle with such "drivel".
Unfortunately for the majority of the characters, old and new, major or minor, there's a new villainess in town, and when the quite substantial ghost of the dreaded Queen Etheldredda is accidentally let loose, along with her venomous pet Aie Aie, you can make a safe bet that there's going to be lots of trouble. Coincidentally, or maybe not, a deadly "sickenesse" befalls the populace, and just at the wrong time, a young trader named Snorri (who sees dead people) arrives with not much else but her boatload of merchandise and her pet cat for protection. She soon finds herself in the middle of a time warping adventure with Septimus, Jenna and Nicko, as they muck around with not only boats, but looking glasses, fume cupboards, ancient potions, sheep bones and a flatulent dragon that needs to be in diapers. With a little help from their friends, they must get Septimus back to Marcia's for safe keeping, cure the deadly "sickenesse", and foil the evil Queen's plan for living forever.
You should be warned that the author has no misgivings about killing off a character here and there, and of course, some characters have actually been dead for centuries, but the story is so well told that the only part sure to send a shiver up your spine is the thought of the Queen's duckling a l'orange dinner. Highly recommended if you've read Magyk and Flyte, but not until then.