Flyte is written by Angie Sage. It was published in 2006 by Katherine Tegen books. It is the second book in the Septimus Heap series. Sage’s website can be found here and the Septimus Heap fansite can be found here.
This review will contain slight spoilers for Magyk.
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
“It’s been a year since Septimus Heap discovered his real family and true calling to be a wizard. As Apprentice to ExtaOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand, he is learning the fine arts of Conjurations, Charms, and other Magyk, while Jenna is adapting to life as the Princess and enjoying the freedom of the Castle.
But there is something sinister at work. Marcia is constantly trailed by a menacing Darke Shadow, and Septimus’s brother Simon seems bent on a revenge no one understands. Why is the Darke Magyk still lingering?”
“As they came out from the shadows of the Arch, Jenna and Septimus Heap saw Wizard Way spread out before them, bright and empty in the early morning sun. The huge white limestone slabs formed a broad avenue all the way to the Palace Gate, which glinted gold in the distance. Tall silver torch posts lined Wizard Way, holding the torches that were used to light the Way at night. That morning each one carried a blackened torch, which had burned out the previous night, and would be replaced and lit that evening by Maizie Smalls, the TorchLighter. Septimus loved the sight of the torches being lit; from his room at the top of the Wizard Tower he could see right down Wizard Way, and Marcia often found him gazing dreamily out of his window at lighting-up time when he should have been doing his incantation preparation.”
“Jenna did not really believe that Septimus’s Charm could turn a thick iron door into chocolate. But, as she pushed the Charm against the door, to her amazement she felt the hard pitted metal change into a smooth surface that was cool, rather than icy cold, to the touch. Something else had changed too. Jenna sniffed the air—the cell was filled with the faint smell of cocoa. Hesitantly, Jenna took the Charm off the cell door. The Charm was cool now; she slipped it back into her pocket and gazed at the door. At first Jenna thought it seemed much the same as it had before, except now, as she looked more closely, she could see that the trusty hinges and even the flap over the keyhole were beautifully molded in chocolate. Never in her life had Jenna seen so much chocolate and, unfortunately, never had she felt less like eating it.”
Recommended Age Range: 12+
What I Liked:
Yet another inventive, funny, and cute book from Sage. I loved the introduction of Spit Fyre and the return of the Dragon Boat. The magic is, of course, Magykal and lovely and oftentimes funny. I like the ghosts and the way they work and the way people react to them.
I often found myself frustrated when a character did not believe or went against another character, but I consider that a good thing; it means that I’m getting involved in the characters and am connected with the story.
I’m curious as to whether each story is going to bring back DomDaniel in some way, shape, or form. It was a good follow-up to the first book, but it can get old very quickly. I guess I’ll find out…
What I Didn’t Like:
Simon. Middle grade villains have a tendency to be very one-sided. DomDaniel was funny and villainous, but Simon was just ridiculous and villainous. Why was he even a villain in the first place? How did he change so much? It didn’t make much sense to me.
It’s never explained how Jenna gets back into the Palace and the Custodian Guards were ousted. It made me go, “Huh?” when I first started reading.
Flyte, while being a very formulaic fantasy, is still a charming one. This series is one of the better middle grade fantasies and Flyte definitely continues in the same tradition as Magyk, with the same wit and charm and even more Magyk.
Coming Up Next: The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley