***THIS IS A SERIES BOOK***
PLEASE DO NOT READ UNTIL AFTER SYREN!
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 Darknesse. Will Septimus succeed in protecting his Magykal world?
For those of you who insist on reading the review on this one without reading the review for the previous books, my age suggestion is going to be around 9+, but I do recommend, as I did for the last book, that the parent read over the book to help know what your child does and doesn't understand or might be fearful of. It contains "Old English" and thus might confuse some adults, let alone children. To read the previous book reviews: Please Select the image for Magyk for book 1, Queste for book 4, and Queste for book 4. In this book there are points where Septimus encounters a Dark(e) Dragon who is quite ferocious, evil spirits, and even a skeleton. This is not what I would say works for ALL 7 year olds as the last books have...so I might suggest that it would do better in the hands of a 9+ child rather than the 7+ but it is again, up to the parent to decide what your child can or can't handle.
Now, onto the review! Darke, is just about as hard to handle as Queste was, because of the amount of "Darke" things in store during the whole book actually.
Merrin Meredith, or as he likes to remember himself still as the "Real Septimus Heap" due to his upbringing by DomDaniel, is at it again. Trying to thwart the life that Septimus has feeling like it should be his glory and happiness and that the "rotten boy" has stolen it all from him. His hatred for Septimus, and all Heaps, is furthered by Simon's anger issues being placed on him. With the help of a dark(e) book stolen from Simon/DomDaniel and the two-faced ring, he decides to find yet another way to attack Septimus and rid himself of all Heap family members. At the start of the book, you find Marcia trying to permanently rid the castle of Tertius Fume once and for all, but in the process, she also sends Alther Mella.
As Septimus' training continues, he reaches his Dark(e) week, where he decides that it is time for him to save Alther from the banishing he was accidentally pulled into. This is a task not taken lightly, and is something that only Extraordinary Wizards (and their apprentices) go through, it is what separates them from the Ordinary Wizards. As if that isn't enough, its birthday time for Jenna and Septimus! Though the question is put out there that maybe Septimus is actually past his birthday due to the 6 months spent in the past before Jenna arrived. Marcia and Marcellus are still at odds with each other because of the whole "kidnapping" bit, as well as their unrelenting need to stand taller than the other as they compete for who TRULY has Septimus as an apprentice.
This book receives a full 5 heart embrace, it has a beautiful presentation and the plot-line is, as always, a wonderful set of morals to abide by. Learning to deal with those who have wronged you, mending bonds with family members, as well as learning to take a break and breathe after a long and busy time of work are all great things that Sage brings up in her stories. She continues to amaze by the different styles of her writing and the character development and growth as they age from book to book. You see budding romances but are also able to see romantic flops along the way. It is an overall great book to read, and without cursing and/or sexual content, it really is great for younger children.
Thanks for listening to my opinion!