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by Mark Zug
Author Angie Sage
Cover artist Mark Zug (illustrator)
Country England
Language English
Series Septimus Heap (Book 1)
Genre Fantasy novel
Publisher HarperCollins and Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date
March 2005
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 564 (+32 of EXTRAS) (paperback edition)
ISBN 0-7475-7820-6 (UK paperback edition)
OCLC 60383978
Followed by Flyte

Magyk (an archaic spelling of "Magic") is a fantasy novel written by English author Angie Sage. It is the first book in the seven-book Septimus Heap series. The sequel, Flyte was released in March 2006, Physik in March 2007, Queste in 2008, Syren in September 2009, Darke in July 2011, and Fyre in 2013. The book cover of Magyk alludes to the diary that the ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia makes for her apprentice, Septimus Heap. The cover also depicts Septimus's Dragon Ring, rendered as if it were sitting atop the diary.


The story's setting is mainly centred on the Marram Marshes, which is where Aunt Zelda lives. It also takes place in a castle simply known as "The Castle", which started as a small village inside the curve of a river. A moat was built to prevent witches and wolverines from a nearby forest from attacking the inhabitants.


The book begins with Silas Heap, father of the eponymous protagonist to the series, returning home through the winter snow. As he is walking, he feels a heartbeat in the snow, through magical means, and finds that a baby girl with violet eyes has seemingly been abandoned in the snow. Since Silas already has seven children, he finds that another will do no harm and that his wife, Sarah Heap, will not disagree. He hides the baby in his cloak and continues his trek home. However, he is confronted by the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, Marcia Overstrand, who warns him that he should not tell anyone about the baby he found, and that the child should say she was born to him. Silas agrees, to her as the new ExtraOrdinary Wizard. Silas continues his walk home, to bring his wife the herbs she needs and a new child.

Upon reaching his home, Silas sees the midwife run out with a bundle of cloth, wailing that his newborn Septimus, the seventh son of a seventh son, is dead. Silas and his wife, Sarah, decide to raise the baby girl in place of Septimus, as if she was their own daughter. They name their child Jenna.

Months later, Sarah learns from a friend that the queen has been assassinated, and the castle is under the control of the Supreme Custodian. As well, the queen's newborn daughter had gone missing. Her friend also says that the assassination had occurred months before, but had been kept a secret. She mentions that it happened around the time Alther Mella, Marcia's mentor, had been killed. Sarah realises that Jenna was the missing princess, but decides to keep this a secret from everyone, other than Silas.

Ten years later, Jenna Heap is celebrating her tenth birthday with her parents and six other brothers. But Marcia interrupts the party, telling the family that another woman living next doors works as a spy for the Supreme Custodian, and has confirmed with him that Jenna is the queen's daughter. Marcia states that she must take Jenna into safekeeping right away, for the assassin is on his way. Sarah agrees, and explains to a reluctant Jenna that she is a princess, and that she must go with Marcia.

Marcia whisks Jenna to her apartment in the Wizard Tower, where she can temporarily be kept safe. Marcia also finds a boy, part of the Young Army, had been buried in the snow, and had almost died. The boy, called Boy 412, is rescued by Marcia, and is taken into her apartment to warm up. But the assassin, being a skilled huntsman, manages to locate Jenna's whereabouts, and goes after her. Silas, Nicko (the youngest of the six brothers) and their dog Maxie decide to pay Jenna a visit. Shortly after they arrive, the ghost of Alther Mella warns Marcia that the assassin is outside the tower. Marcia panics and tries to get everyone, including Boy 412, out of the tower through the rubbish chute. The group ends up in the dump, with the hunter hot on their heels. Marcia clogs the chute to make it look as though they had gotten stuck. But in the night, Sally Mullin, who owns a café near the dump, noticed them. Silas tells her about their predicament, and Sally allows them to use her sailboat to escape. Marcia gives Sally a KeepSafe Charm in return for her thanks. Silas, Marcia and the children then flee to the Marram Marches, with Nicko sailing the boat.

The hunter reaches the dump, and spends quite a while in unclogging the chute. After sending one of his men to make sure they are still not stuck somewhere inside, he looks for anyone who may have seen the escapees. He notices Sally and confronts her. She denies knowing anything, but her actions prove otherwise. He threatens to burn down her café, unless she confesses. She still refuses, but one of her customers rats out Marcia's group, and the huntsman allows the customer and his friends to leave before he burns the café down. He locks Sally inside and sets the building on fire. However, Sally survives because of Marcia's KeepSafe Charm.

The assassin follows the group, heading for the Marram Marshes. His skilled men manage to catch up with the small sailboat, but are unable to see them through the thick fog. Boy 412 causes a scuffle, for he thinks that the wizards are holding him captive, which is another crazy way for the Young Army to assess him. Jenna, just a bit stronger than 412 (much to his dismay) manages to keep him quiet, before he kicks the boat, and alerts the hunter where the boat is. Marcia uses a Reverse Spell to Project the Muriel, the boat that they're sailing on, and distract the Hunter, upon which he loses the group's trail, and has to return to the castle.

The group reaches the Marshes, and must navigate through perilous bogs, but reach a safe cottage, belonging to Aunt Zelda, a white witch. Zelda is Silas's aunt, which would make her Jenna's great-aunt. The witch keeps everyone safe and well-fed throughout the winter. The groups learns that the Supreme Custodian is doing the bidding of DomDaniel, the ex-ExtraOrdinary Wizard. However, he needs to have Jenna killed before he can return to the castle to rule. On the island, Boy 412 wanders around the marshes, falls into a pit with a large cavern in it, and finds a ring that glows when he places it on his finger. He keeps the ring a secret for sometime. Marcia then walks with Boy 412, (who is beginning to like the Heap family) and shows him a charm that Alther, gave to her when she was his Apprentice. Marcia sees that Boy 412 has potential, and asks him to become her Apprentice, but he refuses.

Aunt Zelda also helps Jenna, Nicko, and Boy 412 make shield bugs to protect themselves. Marcia then tries to use her Midnight Minutes to protect herself when she goes back to the Wizard Tower because of a letter that said that she should go back. But then she gets captured by the Custodian Guards because she got her Midnight Minutes wrong. A few more weeks pass until the hunter discovers the groups location with Aunt Zelda, in the marshes, and returns to assassinate Jenna. Jenna and Boy 412 defend themselves by using shield bugs, and Aunt Zelda uses a Freezing Spell on the Hunter. Soon after the Hunter was frozen, they try to figure out the identity of DomDaniel's Apprentice, who claims to be Septimus when they capture him. Nicko firmly denies it after seeing what treachery the apprentice could do. Then, the Apprentice escapes and tells DomDaniel of their location.

A bit after that, Aunt Zelda tells Boy 412 that the ring is the legendary Hotep-Ra's dragon ring, which gives him control over the Dragon Boat. Aunt Zelda gives Boy 412 a book with the legend of Hotep-Ra. The legend says that Hotep-ra, the first ExtraOrdinary Wizard, was being pursued by people planning to kill him. Therefore, the dragon became a boat to save her master and before Hotep-Ra died he put the boat in his hidden temple. Afterward, Boy 412 soon begins to become interested in the art of Magyk, and the mysteries surrounding the ring. Aunt Zelda later tells Boy 412 that the cave in which he found the ring is connected to a secret cavern containing Hotep-ra's temple, and within it, the Dragon Boat.

The boat is then used by Boy 412, Nicko and Jenna to save Marcia and stop DomDaniel from being the ExtraOrdinary Wizard again. The boat somehow talks to Jenna inside her head because she the Princess and only Boy 412 can make it fly and steer it. They rescue Marcia, who managed to stay alive thanks to Hotep-Ra's ring, and Boy 412 agrees to become Marcia's Apprentice. They throw DomDaniel overboard, and he dies in the bog, after creatures attack him. Later, the Heap family discover during the apprentice banquet that Boy 412 is really Septimus Heap, the seventh son of the seventh son.

This is because the midwife secretly worked for DomDaniel. DomDaniel needed a powerful apprentice and Septimus, who was a seventh son of a seventh son, would be born with such abilities. The midwife pretended Septimus was dead, and smuggled him to the Young Army, where another one of DomDaniel's workers is supposed to take the baby. But the midwife's own child was enlisted in the army, and she places Septimus in a cradle next to her own child. DomDaniel's worker accidentally takes the midwife's child, leaving Septimus to be raised in the Young Army as Boy 412 instead.

Characters in Magyk[edit]

  • Septimus Heap : Believed to have died as a new born, he is the seventh son of a seventh son and the protagonist of the series.
  • Marcia Overstrand : The current ExtraOrdinary Wizard, she has a pair of special Purple Python-Skinned Shoes and is known for her short temper and immense Magykal power.
  • Zelda Zanuba Heap: The Keeper in the Marram Marshes, also known as Aunt Zelda.
  • Silas Heap: The Patriarch Heap and seventh son of Benjamin Heap.
  • Sarah Heap: The Matriarch Heap.
  • Simon Heap: 1st son of Sarah and Silas Heap – runs away from his family to get married to Lucy Gringe, but doesn't due to her father interrupting the ceremony.
  • Sam Heap: 2nd son of Sarah and Silas Heap. Expert fisher. Lives in the forest with Erik, Edd, Jo-Jo, and the Witches.
  • Erik Heap: 3rd son of Sarah and Silas Heap, twin of Edd. Lives in the forest with Sam, Edd, Jo-Jo, and the Witches.
  • Edd Heap: 4th son of Sarah and Silas Heap, twin of Erik. Lives in the forest with Sam, Erik, Jo-Jo, and the Witches.
  • Jo-Jo Heap: 5th son of Sarah and Silas Heap. Lives in the forest with Sam, Erik, Edd, and the Witches.
  • Nicko Heap: 6th son of Sarah and Silas Heap. Good at sailing.
  • Jenna Heap: She is the Princess, but was raised by the Heaps who were for several years unaware.
  • Merrin Meredith: He became DomDaniel's apprentice who claims to have rescued him from a poor disgraceful family.
  • Stanley (or Rat 101): The Long-Distance Confidential Message Rat who was fired and later became a Secret Rat with will soon get fired from that job and start the long-distance confidential message rats place again.
  • DomDaniel: The Necromancer and ex-Extraordinary Wizard.
  • Alther Mella: The ghost of the old Extraordinary Wizard, who aids Jenna and Septimus and who Silas Heap and Marcia Overstand were apprenticed to.
  • Galen: Sarah Heap's friend in the woods who is a garden witch. She taught Sarah about herbs and plants. When Sarah was younger she met Silas Heap in Galen's garden.
  • Maxie: Rightly named Maximillan, this faithful Abyssinian wolfhound that belongs to the Heaps has no real part in the book, but he makes Marcia go crazy mostly at Aunt Zelda's cottage and believes that Silas is top dog.
  • Sally Mullin: Sally Mullin runs a Tea and Ale House by the river near The Castle. She helps the others escape from the Hunter by her small boat led under his chin.
  • Boy 412: An expendable army boy

Critical reception[edit]

Critical reception for Magyk has been positive,[1][2][3] with the New York Post recommending it for fans of the Harry Potter series.[4] The Times gave a positive review, calling the book a "real discovery".[5] Magyk also received positive reviews from the School Library Journal, Horn Book Guide, and Booklist.[6][7]

Film adaptation[edit]

Warner Bros. bought the rights to produce a film adaptation of the book about five years ago. They renewed it after 18 months and then another 18 after that before asking for extra time. Karen Rosenfelt will produce the film, with Sage also serving as an executive producer.[8] It was announced on 17 July 2009, that the film Septimus Heap: Magyk will not be animated but live action with computer effects, with David Frankel to direct.[9]


  1. ^ "Children's Review: Septimus Heap, Book One: Magyk". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Review: Septimus Heap". Commonsense Media. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Mystery of a seventh son". LA Times. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "AFTER POTTER – GREAT READS FOR HARRY FANS HUNGRY FOR ADVENTURE". New York Post. 20 August 2005. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Septimus Heap: Book One: Magyk by Angie Sage". The Times. 1 May 2005. 
  6. ^ "Review: Magyk". Booklist. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "Reviews: Magyk". Horn Book Guide, School Library Journal (BookVerdict). Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Septimus Heap:Magyk
  9. ^ Elisabeth Rappe (17 July 2009). "David Frankel to Direct 'Septimus Heap'". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 

External links[edit]