Syren is written by Angie Sage. It is the fifth book in the Septimus Heap series. It was published in 2009 by Katherine Tegen Books. Sage’s website can be found here and the Septimus Heap fansite can be found here.
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade
“In this fifth book in the Magykal series, Septimus ends up on a captivatingly beautiful island, one of seven set in a sparkling sea. He’s stranded there with his badly injured dragon, Spit Fyre, along with Jenna and Beetle. There are some strange things about the island, including a Magykal girl named Syrah, a cat-shaped lighthouse that has lost its Light, and an eerie presence that sings to Septimus—can he escape the persistent call?
Trouble is also brewing for Lucy and Wolf Boy, who have become entangled with some nefarious sailors at sea, and for Milo Banda, Jenna’s father, who is harboring a mysterious treasure chest in his ship’s hold.”
“I am a jinnee,” it replied.
Oh merciful spirits, this was a truly stupid one. “A jinnee,” said the yellow blob, very, very slowly. “Jin…nee.”
Merrin’s nose was blocked, his eyes were still watering from the jinnee incursion, and his ears were still buzzing from the whistling sight. He could hardly hear.
“You’re Jim Knee?” he asked.
“I am Syrah Syara. I am nineteen years old. I come from the Castle. I was the ExtraOrdinary Apprentice of Julius Pike. I am Syrah Syara. I am Syrah Syara.
I am Syrah Syara. I am nineteen years old. I come from the Castle the island. I was am the Extra Ordinary Apprentice of Julius Pike. Island. I am Syrah Syara. I am Syrah Syara Syren.
I am Syren. I am ageless. I come from the Island. I am the Island. I am Syren. I am Syren. When I call, you will come to me.”
Recommended Age Range: 12+
What I Liked:
Lucy Gringe, you are so great! I’m glad that you got a big role in this book. Also, Wolf Boy, you’re amazing too. I think these two characters are my favorite, besides Spit Fyre (yes, the dragon). I hope Sage brings them back as major/viewpoint characters again.
Sage is getting better with these plots. This one was great. There’s an especially nice, nail biting scene near the end that I thought was brilliant and absolutely loved. Syrah’s journal is also especially chilling and effective. It gave me shivers of dread, that’s how good it was. I think this is my favorite Septimus book so far.
Jenna wasn’t nearly as annoying this time! Yay! She actually listened to Septimus for once. I was terrified that she would try and join them anyway, all sneakily, and I would get annoyed at her again, but she didn’t. Way to go, Princess.
Jim Knee. Jim Knee the jinnee is fabulous. I’m liking the secondary characters more than the primary ones at this point.
What I Didn’t Like:
Merrin is the most ridiculous, ineffective character ever. Seriously, why is he still hanging around? I hope he improves a lot in the villain department before Sage makes him the central antagonist.
Jenna had a few annoying moments near the beginning, but she gets better by the end (hooray!).
This series is improving with each book; Sage is getting better and better with plot and character development. Syren is my favorite in the series so far because of the great atmosphere in some of the scenes. I also really love the magic system; Sage has done some great worldbuilding in the Septimus Heap series and I look forward to reading more about it.
Coming Up Next: Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce