On a dark and cold night ten years ago, the seventh son of a seventh son is born and named Septimus Heap. He is promptly baby-snatched by a midwife who swears to his mother he died during birth. Meanwhile, father and wizard Silas Heap is walking home in the snow when he finds a small bundle that contains a newborn baby girl with bright violet eyes. He brings her home, names her Jenna, and he and his wife raise her as their own, never telling her otherwise and not knowing (though sometimes guessing) who her real parents are. Fast forward ten years to Jenna’s tenth birthday, when she learns the truth about her past. ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand shows up at the Heap’s humble home and tells Jenna she is a princess–and not just any princess, she is THE Princess, only daughter to her mother the Queen who was assassinated on the night of Jenna’s birth. and heir to the throne currently being sat upon by the Supreme Custodian, a man in the service to Darke Wizard DomDaniel. Jenna and the rest of the Heaps flee for their lives, all the while planning how they can remove the Supreme Custodian and Darke Wizard from Jenna’s rightful throne and return their queendom to it’s former glory.
This is a fun and fast-paced book filled with just the right balance of action and dialogue. All the characters and are interesting and relatable, especially Jenna. They are well-written, and for the most part black and white, so you can tell whether you the reader are supposed to like them or utterly despise them. The lines between good and evil are less clearly drawn for the characters in the story, so they have to learn about themselves and each other and make mistakes along the way. I was especially intrigued by Boy 412, a private in the Supreme Commander’s army. Marcia and Jenna save him from freezing to death, and he is unwillingly caught up in their escape from the castle and subsequent hide-out in the marshes. He is a very interesting character, who does a lot of changing and rediscovering of himself throughout the novel, and it’s fun to watch him grow.
I enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to the next one in the series, Flyte. They are children’s books, and are written as such so sometimes they are predictable, but I don’t mind, I love the story line and the world building, and I want to learn more about Septimus and Jenna. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy books, particularly those about magic where the good guys win and the bad guys lose. This would also be a good book for someone younger who is venturing into the world of fantasy for the first time.