Fyre by Angie SageSeptimus Heap Series Book #7
Published: April 16th 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books
Now that Septimus, Jenna, and Beetle are fourteen years old, they have assumed larger roles in their Magykal world. Beetle has become the Chief Hermetic Scribe of the Manuscriptorium and Jenna is waiting to be crowned Queen, but Septimus is still battling the remnants of the Dark Domaine, which will remain until the power of the evil Two-Faced Ring is destroyed forever. To accomplish that, the ancient Alchemie Fyre must be relit—a task that sends Septimus to the very origins of Magyk and Physik, testing both his skills, and his loyalties to ExtraOrdinary Wizard, Marcia Overstrand, and Alchemist Marcellus Pye.
In a journey that encapsulates the entire Septimus Heap series, Septimus will continue to discover the truth of who he is and expand upon his Magykal power and skills. Septimus Heap, Book Seven: Fyre weaves together every singular character from the entire series and incorporates many of the Magykal places from each book. Written with Angie Sage’s distinctive humor and heart, Fyre is the grand finale that celebrates the greatest Magyk of all: When the Fyre inside is kindled and when the Time is Right, anything is possible.
** An advanced copy was provided by Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.**
Fyre is the long-awaited 7th and final installment of the Septimus Heap Series. I got into this series randomly back in 2011 after being attracted to the cover of book 1 - Magyk at the book store. Of course it was labeled as one of those books to read 'after Harry Potter' and I may or may not have been fresh off of yet another HP re-read. The cover caught my eye but then the synopsis was what really reeled me in and after finishing the first book I quickly went out & picked up the rest of the series. Book 1 had been published in 2005 so I was able to read the first 6 books pretty much back to back and since then I've been both eager and anxious to see how author Angie Sage would wrap up Septimus Heap's tale. It's hard not to get nostalgic when you've been with a story & characters for so long and in that respect, Fyre delivers. It's a nice trip down memory lane, linking up with moments, characters & plot points from all the previous books. Unfortunately, for me the rest of it sort of fell flat.
**The format of this review is a bit weird since this is the 7th and last book in a series, I don't want to be spoiler-y so I won't go into the plot or fine details too too much.**
I've had my ups and downs with this series...obviously with more ups than downs (otherwise I'd have quit such a long running series ages ago). The 6th installment in the series- Darke was easily my favorite out of the entire series. In fact, I remember feeling that Darke more or less an ideal ending for the series. It felt like the series had been building up to what went down in Darke. That got me a bit worried, because: where was Fyre going to take us?? That uncertainty so far along in a series was new to me. I was open to having it blow me away completely and end the series with a bang. BUT, I was uneasy too you know because I felt like the big twists I'd felt the series was lining up to...had already come to pass.
So what's the verdict? Well,it's really a mixed bag. While I was impressed by Angie Sage's ability to tie in elements of all the previous books, giving it a nostalgic feel while refreshing the reader's memory for important details they may have forgotten. Memorable moments were revisited but always with a fresh twist. I enjoyed the presence of all the beloved secondary characters (Simon, Hotep-Ra, Marcellus, Julius Pike...) and seeing how they've all grown since the beginning. I though the inclusion of Alchemy and especially the 'Fyre' was compelling and inventive - definitely a highlight for me and I would have loved to get even more details. The magical system is still easy to understand and to get into but also vast and inventive. The writing style had it's usual funny, airy and endearing quality. The characters are very easy to care for, and despite their large numbers, they're quirky enough to be separate and memorable in their own right. They're all so offbeat; even a little weird but I think that's one of the best parts. Sage's sense of humor always shines through in her stories. And the numerous POV's (which I'd complained about in past books of this series) seemed to really work for me this time and I found the switches added to the tension & intrigue.
Yeah there's a but, or buts even. I was disappointed by how the MC Septimus Heap seemed to take a back seat in his own story. It seemed like it was all about Jenna, Marcellus & Marcia. In their defense, I loved getting to know both Marcellus and certainly Marcia more. Jenna, not so much. I used to really like Jenna but as the series went on, I found myself liking her less and less. In Fyre her presence was constant, more to than even Septimus - which was a bummer. The main danger or 'evil' was another aspect that didn't really work for me. While it did a good job of tying into the evil of the ring that we've know about all along, how it developed from there felt like out of the blue. And on a more personal note, some details in this series have always felt a bit too...familiar for me; names, details, items...and Fyre unfortunately had a few offenses as well. I won't get into it here because it's not something that would bother everyone the same way it does me. Like I said it's a personal thing, I'm totally anal like that. >.<
Fire also felt really long to me too, clocking in at 720 pages it's the longest one in the series so far. The previous installement was 640 pages and I hardly noticed but I was noticing a lot in this one. The fact that Fyre came out nearly 2 years after Darke might have something to do with that though because I wasn't in the flow of the series anymore. Nevertheless, the book would have benefited from being a bit shorter in my opinion.
Looking back at the series as a whole, I'd say overall it was a fun, memorable series with quirky and loveable characters. It's very much a 'questing' type of magical fantasy which I especially like. There are many adventures to be enjoyed and although a few of these fell flat for me, it was worth it overall. I'm even thinking I may re-read them eventually now that they're all out and I can plow straight through I might find I enjoy Fyre a bit better. I think fans of the series will be satisfied with how everything wrapped up. I'd recommend the entire series for younger readers and fans of MG/YA questing type fantasy.
My rating : 3 out of 5 stars ★★★☆☆