In the sixth book of the Magykal series, Alther Mella has been banished, a Darke Domaine engulfs the Castle, and a Darke dragon is on the loose. Septimus Heap must use all of his skills to save the Castle and the Wizard Tower from destruction: He must enter the Darke. But he cannot do this alone.
With the help of Jenna, Alther Mella, Marcellus Pye, and Septimus's estranged brother, Simon Heap, Septimus and Marcia Overstrand battle the spreading Darkenesse. Will Septimus succeed in protecting his Magykal world?
Written with Angie Sage's characteristic humor, Darke is a compelling fantasy adventure filled with surprises, thrills, and laugh-out-loud moments. Listeners will revel in the action-packed story as they realize the wisdom of Magyk - that all things are meant to be part of a living whole.
Enchanted? Listen to more in the Septimus Heap series.
©2011 Angie Sage (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
Everything! The story, narration, characters. I've listened to all the Septimus Heap books so far, and this is by far my favourite.
I'm a huge fan of Marcia Overstrand. I liked that Beetle got so much attention too.
Gerard Doyle has done a great job since the 2nd Septimus Heap book.
When *spoilers* Septimus meets Alther Mella again. I was walking down the street wanting to yell "Yes!"
This book is the first in an ongoing series of book, currently seven. It is an excellent read for young or old, and the imagination of the author makes it a fun story which you just don't want to put down.
Septimus Heap is a great listen, once you start with Book 1 you can't wait to listen to the following books. I loved each and every book in the series. Septimus Heap is the main character, he has a different adventure to protect his Magycal world in each book. He and his friends complete the quests, which are action packed - despite the suspense there are also lots of funny moments. In this last book the story is concluded, it has a great ending but I have to say I will miss Beetle, Septimus and little princess Jenna.
After having been a bit disappointed in Syren, I'm glad to say that I thought Darke was one of the best yet. It took me less than 24 hours to finish the whole book. I started in the afternoon, forewent television in the evening to listen and finished it the next day. The story was intriguing and well written, with lots of twists and turns that came together nicely in the end without being too convenient or contrived. Many of the old characters returned and new ones were introduced. A couple of the story lines took unexpectedly realistic paths without being disappointing as they were handled well. Sage moves on in Darke to reflect the ages of her characters instead of arresting their development as some might be tempted to do, but keeps enough of the surroundings intact to lend the books a sort of homey feel to them. She also obviously loves language and uses it to the fullest advantage and in keeping with "time" and feel of her books. Superb vocabulary, wonderful characters and a great story. Loved this one and can't wait for more!
"Will leave you wanting more..."
This latest installment of Septimus Heap has some unexpected twists and will not disappoint devoted readers of the series. It is interesting to see the characters grow and mature with each book and in "Darke" they are really coming into their own. What I find intriguing is how much responsability the characters are given at a young age and how the author has woven this into the time and setting of her story. I did miss seeing Aunt Zelda and Wolf Boy, though I did not miss Milo at all (we get a little glimpse of them in the end). Gerard Doyle once again gives a great performance. He is truly enjoyable to listen to. Unfortunately it will be another year before we are able to visit the Castle once again. We can only guess what Angie Sage has in store for us next!
"Can't Wait For More!"
I look forward to every single Septimus Heap book. I love listening to them. I think that Angie Sage is a master wordsmith and I get giggles over her use of language. I highly recommend these books. Every time I listen to them, I find myself driving very slow on the way home wanting to get more of the book listened to before I have to turn it off. In addition, Gerard Doyle is an excellent narrator. (Of course, I'm sure it helps with my narration that I am seeing Gerard Butler in my head when I listen to these books).
I'm just really glad that Angie Sage hasn't decided to stop these books at seven - I know that I'll have Septimus around for a while.
"You have to love Gerard Doyle"
It was very exciting and kept you engaged the whole way though the book. Angie does a amazing job with this series I have yet to be disappointed with any of the books.
Gerard brings life to every fantasy book he does. He does an amazing job.
it was very entertainning book probably my favorite is still the first one in the series but they have all been great.
Eragon Series, Sword of Truth Series, etc. Fantasy / SciFi, has magic and fantasy creatures in it.
I have to admit this book was a bit more interesting than the first 5.. in this book the dark takes over the kids in the blood start to develop their skills more which is cool to hear. the heap family actually comes back together in this book and help to save the town which I did like and find interesting. at times i find myself rooting for Simon Heap, even though he was turned into a bad character in the last 2 books in this one he turns around and you see he is trying and sorry for what he had done, I'm hoping that he gets a chance at being apprentice or something in the tower. I do like that they reunite Marin with his real mother the nurse and that Beetle becomes the chief scribe. I did find it interesting when he was reading to see who all the boys where in the original army that were numbered 408 - 412. I know there is another book left which I have mixed feelings about reading because the ending of this book could be the ending of the story, I don't know what other obstacles they could get in.
I listened to these as an adult and greatly enjoyed them all. Looking forward to the next and final book.
"really great series!"
took me a while to wrap this book up but I'm glad I took the time to finish I like how at the end they explain a lot. now into the very last book! I'm excited.....God bless!
"The Darke Dangers of Fourteenth Birthdays"
The opening line of Darke (2011), "It is a Darke and stormy night," recalls Bulwer-Lytton's infamous line while using a capital D, an extra e, and bold font to evoke a different Darke. Readers who have made it to this sixth book in Angie Sage's engaging young adult magical fantasy series about Septimus Heap know that the Darke is a selfish, evil use of magic opposed to the selfless, good kind called Magyk. This novel is both a journey into the Darke and an invasion of the Darke into the light.
As usual in Sage's books, adult blunders make plot complications for her young heroes. This one begins with ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand accidentally banishing the avuncular ghost of her predecessor Arthel Mella to the Darke Halls when she intentionally banishes the malevolent ghost of Tertius Fume. Still worse, Merrin Meredith, pimple-faced wearer of the Darke Two-Faced Ring, has been enabled by the obtuseness of Sarah and Silas Heap (biological parents of ExtraOrdinary Apprentice Septimus and foster parents of Princess Jenna) and by the oversight of Marcia (who has never bothered to deal with Merrin) to covertly reside for eighteen months in the Palace attic, where he has made a Darke Domaine. And tomorrow will be Septimus and Jenna's fourteenth birthdays, crucial landmarks in their lives: he will go on his Darke Week, officially to test his relationship with the Darke and unofficially to rescue Alther, while she will gain some new rules, responsibilities, and privileges. In addition to Jenna and Septimus, Sage gives key roles to Simon Heap (still trying to prove that he has left the Darke), Beetle (still trying to find a satisfying job), Stanley the Rat (still trying to run his Message Rat business while taking care of his four teenage ratlets), Marcia (still trying to protect the Castle), and Marcellus Pye (still trying to convince Marcia that Alchemie has a vital role to play with Magyk). Perhaps to make her plot manageable, she removes from it Jenna's biological father Milo, Septimus' jinnee Jim Knee, Snorri and her NightCat Ullr, and Wolf Boy and Aunt Zelda.
Sage writes plenty of great scenes in the novel: Beetle and Jenna visiting Gothyk Grotto, Septimus visiting the Room of DisEnchantment, Marcia setting up the Quarantine and Safety Shield around the Palace, Jenna telling Septimus that she'll keep her real Darke witch's cloak, Spit Fyre dueling a six-eyed and six-winged giant Darke Dragon, Septimus finding a clean little skeleton in the Darke Halls, and Beetle finding out about Wolf Boy's family. I am glad that FINALLY Sage is writing some real teenage feelings of resentment and jealousy between Beetle and Septimus.
And as usual she writes plenty of spicy lines, like "One princess is as bad as a dozen wizards" and "There goes your Coven, Jen." And plenty of vivid, magical descriptions, like: "As if on cue, a spurt of Darkenesse puffed in through the keyhole with such force that it looked as though it had been blown in with a pair of bellows," and "The air begin to buzz with Magyk once more. It was exhilarating, like walking through the aftermath of a storm with the air fresh and tingling and dusted with faint sparkles of light rain drifting in the breeze."
Audiobook reader Gerard Doyle continues to grow on me and does a fine job.
Notwithstanding all that, I found this book to be the least enjoyable of the series so far. It should, perhaps, be less charming and funny than the previous books, being about the Darke and all, but. . . To try to evoke suspense Sage often forces her characters into contrived and irritating arguments. Jenna and Septimus, Septimus and Simon, Sarah and Marcia, Marcia and Marcellus, Marcellus and Sarah, Marissa and Jenna, and so on argue noisily or lengthily when silence or time is vital. And to try to generate suspense Sage makes characters like Jenna, Marcia, Marcellus, Septimus, and Stanley briefly despair which, because we know they should know better, actually decreases suspense. And Sage too often makes her plot work by unpleasant or inconsistent character actions, as when Septimus is so preoccupied with his impending Darke Week that he doesn't take Jenna's bad feelings about the strange Palace attic seriously (after five books of strange feelings being confirmed and dangerous things happening, you'd expect him to take her concern seriously). And a personal kvetch: as an ailurophile, I dislike what happens to the Castle cats.
Finally, despite all the Darke stuff going on in the novel, I left it feeling not much wiser about the nature of the Darke and its relation to Magyk. There is said to be a delicate balance between the Darke and Magyk, but what practically does that mean? Is it that there is a neutral magic that becomes Darke or Magyk depending on how you use it? Or are they different types of magic deriving from different sources in the world? And is the goal to balance them evenly or to do Magyk mainly and Darke Art occasionally? And shouldn't things like using Darke Suspension Under Water spells or traveling the Darke Halls for hours and miles or being slashed with the talon of a Darke Dragon leave some lasting mark on you (as when the Nazgul's stabs Frodo)? Sage's main characters seem strangely unchanged after their walks on the Darke side.
Despite my complaints, the story is compelling and there are many great moments in Darke. I think that readers who have made it this far in the Septimus Heap series should read this one, too, though readers who haven't started the series should (of course) begin with the first, Magyk.
"Septimus fans rejoice!"
Gerard Doyle's excellent narration makes this sixth book in the Septimus Heap series come alive. Angie Sage has penned another wonderful addition to this series that will have readers enjoying themselves so much they can't help but want more.
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