Reviews for Darke

Booklist Reviews 2011 May #2
Jenna and Septimus' fourteenth birthday celebration is pushed aside when a creepy former Manuscriptorium clerk unites the legendary power of the Two-Faced Ring and the Darke Index book to create a Darke Domaine that even the ExtraOrdinary Wizard and all her allies may be unable to overcome. More twists, turns, humor, and wizardry fill this sixth installment of the popular Septimus Heap series. The focus splits between Jenna, Beetle, and Septimus, although plenty of other familiar characters make welcome appearances. Sage proves again that she has an inventive feel for fantasy adventure. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
Just as Septimus is learning about the dark side of magic during his wizarding apprenticeship, a figure from his past returns to destroy his world. Though fans of the series may enjoy seeing so many of the characters together, their sheer number occasionally slows the pacing and hinders character development. Nevertheless, the story is well plotted. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 May #1

The penultimate episode in this well-crafted series pits apprentice wizard Septimus and allies against a relentless tide of Things bent on overwhelming the Magyk that protects the town of Castle and establishing a penumbral Darke Domaine.

Their 14th birthdays become more battles for survival than celebrations for Sep and Princess Jenna when she is captured by the powerful Port Witch Coven. His planned visit to the deadly subterranean Darke Halls takes on special urgency after the Darke finds an opening in the palace and begins pouring out in a deadly tide through the streets. As usual, not only is the cast, particularly the large and tumultuous Heap family, sharply drawn both in the tale and in Zug's finely detailed character studies at the chapter heads, but the danger and the spellcasting alike seem vividly real and credible. Lightening the load with humorous byplay and tucking in plenty of ghosts, strong-willed characters, deft literary references—a character named Bertie Bott, a house on There And Back Again Row—and a particularly exciting dragon battle, Sage expertly weaves multiple new and continuing plotlines together. An appendix ties up what loose ends it can while leaving the door open for the conclusion.

A memorable, edge-of-the-seat escapade that will enthrall confirmed fans and newbies alike. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

VOYA Reviews 2011 June
Book 6 in the Septimus Heap series continues the Magykal ride of adventures with Sep, Jenna, Beetle, the irrepressible Marcia Overstrand, and a host of other endearing characters. The deluded and dangerous Merrin Merideth, wearing the two-faced ring, summons Darke Things, along with an unwilling Simon Heap, to the Castle. As celebrations for Septimus's and Jenna's momentous birthdays gear up, the Darke creeps in, creating a Darke Domaine that slowly takes over the Castle and its people. Marcia rallies the Wizards to create a safe zone and desperately looks for a way to undo the Darke, while Sep is trying to ready himself for Darke Week and a rescue of the banished ghost of Alther. But the Darke Domaine grows, and all of the Heap family, as well as the others in the Castle, are in mounting danger. Unlikely help comes from Simon, as Spit Fyre and Septimus take on a gigantic Darke Dragon and the crazed Merrin before order is finally restored Sage has skillfully spun the most suspenseful installment yet in her series: again she manages to combine loveable, creepy, and comic characters in a story that will leave her audience gasping in worry, then laughing at characters' antics. Junior high libraries that have already started purchasing this series will have students eagerly lined up and waiting for this next installment of the story of the seventh son of the seventh son. Sep's fans most certainly will not be disappointed with this heftiest volume yet. One more to go…--Mary Ann Darby 4Q 5P M J Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.