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Angie Sage

Septimus Heap, Book 5

Bloomsbury (2009)

ISBN: 978-0-7475-9415-4

Reviewed by Lorraine Cormack, June 2010

This is a novel which is perfectly suited to that awkward part of the young adult audience that’s far too old for some young adult books, but not yet ready to cope with explicit depictions of sex and violence.  Syren handles mature themes openly and without patronising, but also without dwelling too much on certain scenes.  It’s also a good story, and well written.

Syren is book five in the Septimus Heap series.  It’s the first I’ve read, so I can confirm that it’s readable and enjoyable by itself – however, there are some obvious gaping holes, particularly in background and character development, that lead me to suspect you’d get a lot more out of this novel if you read the preceding four in the series first.  This is particularly obvious in the first two or three chapters.  After that, although it still tends to emerge from time to time, you’re likely to be so caught up in the fast moving plot that it will be easier to gloss over a bit of missing background.

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