Queste Book Review, Angie Sage
Four! Cuatro! Quatre! So here we are, ready to embark on the queste of Septimus Heap numer four: Queste. Queste is, I think, the first book of the second half of the series, if that makes sense. It’s definitely a bit more sinister, the consequences are greater; so get ready.
At the beginning of Queste, Nicko Heap and Trader Snori Snorrelson are stuck in the time that Septimus has just managed to escape (you’ll have to read Physik to find out why). Septimus and Jenna soon discover that their only hope to ever find them again will be to journey to the House of Foryx, a Timeless house that Nicko and Snorri seem to have been making for. Someone has other ideas for Septimus though, who suddenly finds himself not only a quest to save his brother, but the wizarding Queste.
The plot of Queste is highly related to the ending of Physik, so make sure you’re hot on the facts. Angie Sage provides a similar storyline to Physik (minus the Alchemist), in that somebody is on the wrong side of Time – and they aren’t just running late. This time, however, Septimus is on the right side, and he counts it his job to get Nicko (and maybe Snorri) back. The plot of this book moves back to the fast, action packed feel that the first and second book had, that Physik was slightly lacking in. There’s lot’s going on, and it’ll turn its pages almost as quickly as Magyk did. It’s rich, dangerous and never does it have that ‘yeah, the heroes are gonna win out no matter what’ attitude. Angie brings the problems they face into such clarity that they feel real. Whilst in the company of Jenna and Beetle, Septimus is in deep water here, and he’s the one everybody is looking to.
We meet some beautiful new characters here, like the rat-man Ephaniah Grebe and the wicked old ghost Tertius Fume, not to mention his childhood friend. Queste really is a turning point for Septimus. He is all but on his own in the wilderness, with a five hundred year old map and naught but his wits. He’s forced to grow up – or lose his brother, and likely his own life to the Queste. Jenna really shows her colours here too, taking charge when others lose their nerve, and using her title to their advantage. Beetle too, shows his mettle, and the trio really evolve into a tight knit group. The conflict we see between Marcia and Marcellus really adds to the book, and we see some maturing even among these elders. The love Angie pours into her characters is immense, and their personalities are deep and resonating. I know I say it a lot, but it is so so so true!
Queste really is one of the stronger books among the series. It’s a bit different to Physik, which is good (as you remember, I didn’t much like the similarity Flyte bore to Magyk), and the characters really begin to demonstrate their caliber here. I really like it, in a way that I’m not so keen on a few of the other books in the series. I can’t really say ‘pick it up’, as you’re either reading the series or not.
Queste gets an 8/10 from me. It’s a real good one in the series, and it stands out well among the others.