Parents' Guide to

Septimus Heap Series

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Charming series for kids not ready for big, dark fantasies.

Book Angie Sage Fantasy 2005
Septimus Heap Series Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 8+

Great Family Fun!

Seven books is quite a commitment;yet, it was loved by my 8 year old daughter. An introduction into multiple characters who were family, or friends, wizarding world, ghost, or mythical creature. Very appealing and interesting characters. A good series to talk about loyalty and friendship, trust and instinct.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 7+

A Rich World and Fun Adventures

This series is marvelous! Other than Book 5, which was a bit slower than the rest (although my son loved it), my husband and I enjoyed them all. Familiar themes: boy with a destiny, magical powers and training, scary and slightly comedic bad guy(s), great characters. We all (my spouse and son) agree that the world, which feels older and more faraway, was richer, and the story more compelling and enjoyable than the Harry Potter series. The kids in this series learn from their mistakes and sometimes work together well with the adults to solve problems. (Though the adults are not always any better equipped.) Delightful page-turners!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4):
Kids say (35):

This author may have slept through the classes in Story Construction and Character Development, but she was the star pupil in Blithe Spirit. With a light touch and gentle humor, she carries readers through this overlong first novel, with some explosions of imagination along the way. A wealth of fascinating magical creatures and an intriguing new design for magic make this a delightful, at times exciting, read.

Septimus, now apprentice to the ExtraOrdinary Wizard, seems to be the only one alarmed with his brother Simon, doing the bidding of Necromancer DomDaniel, rides off with Princess Jenna. He knows she's been kidnapped and goes after her. This installment is just as fun as the first with the same light touch and unique approach to magic. It's nice to see Septimus fleshing out as a character, learning magic, and facing his fears.

Septimus is kidnapped through a magic glass and taken back 500 years to be the apprentice of alchemist Marcellus Pye. Meanwhile Pye's mother, Queen Etheldredda, haunts the present and attempts to reclaim the crown from Jenna. There are plenty of what-ifs with the time travel theme, but the story bogs down in its length and some of the heart is missing in this installment. Queen Ehteldredda is a fun villain, however.

Thanks to a cruel ghost, Septimus is set up for a quest that no other apprentice has returned from -- but not if he escapes the Questing Guards first. He, Jenn, and his friend Beetle would rather rescue Nikko and Snorri, stranded in the distant past in book 3. It takes almost 300 pages for the trio to hit the road and this book is poorer for it. The focus should have been on their journey, not a slew of minor characters.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate