Independent Novel Study
Magyk is the first book of a seven-book series about a boy named Septimius Heap. When Septimus was born he was pronounced dead to his parents and ushered from the room by a mysterious midwife. That same night Silas Heap, his father, had been out in the woods and had stumbled across a baby girl abandoned in the snow by the new Extraordinary Wizard. This book is 563 pages long and is a fantasy fiction Novel.
Boy 412 impresses me when he decides to betray the wizards, even though they save his life and take him away from the abusive young army. He truly believes that, “The Young army was full of tests. Terrifying Surprise Tests always sprung on you in the middle of the night, just as you had fallen asleep […] This must be one of those Do-or-Die Tests” (79). This shows a great strength in faith and loyalty, however a weakness in making decisions for himself. He doesn’t necessarily want to betray them, but he truly believes that he has too. This shows Boy 412`s will to live above all else, since he doesn’t consider that they saved his life. In addition, it represents his fear of death. An internal conflict portrayed is his unease of the situation, and the fight of to trust the wizards or not. An example would be, “Boy 412 gritted his teeth; he wasn’t sure, but right now it felt horribly like this was the Die part of the test. Whatever it was, there wasn’t much he could Do” (79). I can connect to Boy 412 in this scene, since once my mom asked another parent to pick me and my siblings up from school. I was uneasy all the way home since I wasn’t sure what was going on. I feel that in Boy 412`s place I would do the same thing and not trust the Wizards, since it would be a very scary, and uneasy situation, and I would probably just do what I knew from prior experience. I wouldn’t say that Boy 412 is a role model since he is so hesitant to trust people, but I wouldn’t say that he is a bad person, he just hasn’t been raised in a way that it is easy for him to trust people.
Boy 412 impresses me when he saves Jenna and Nicko from the Hunter, since it shows how resourceful he is. “He wasn`t sure what to say. No one had ever given him a present before”. This quote is evidence of how he cares about people but does not know how to express himself. This representation shows strength in going outside his comfort zone, and being open to the people and customs surrounding him. Over only a few days he managed to switch his entire mindset towards wizards. This relates to Boy 412’s fear of wizards that he is constantly trying to overcome. An external conflict portrayed throughout this scene is the conflict between Boy 412 and the Hunter during the ambush. “In Boy 412’s mind they had now progressed from Watch and Wait to Ambush”. I can relate to this character in this section of the book through one of my previous experiences of when we installed a home phone. I remember going through different stages of fear, anxiety, and at last acceptance with the new gadget. I believe that in the same situation it would have taken me a lot longer to get used to all the new people, and objects now surrounding this character, since I am not a very outgoing person when it comes to breaking habit. In this scene, I feel that Boy 412 was a prime example of a generic role model as the hero of the scene. However, he is not very sure of himself and most of his decisions were made on pure luck. Such as, when he decided to come back to the cottage even though it was not the safe thing to do. Considering this although he was the hero, I don’t think that he is a role model.
An impressing attribute of Boy 412 demonstrated in this scene is his willingness to keep an open mind about everything and everyone. He demonstrates this when he chooses to become Marcia`s apprentice, even after all his suffering the wizarding world had put him through. Moreover, a strength outlined by this scene is his curiosity and openness to learning. Such as the fact that he was so curious about the dragon ring he found, he was willing to hand it over to Marcia to find out what it was. However, this is also the centre of his weakness of constantly doubting himself. An example of this from the book is, “Boy 412 sighed. He had loved the ring, and just being close to it had made him feel happy, but he wasn’t surprised to hear it belonged to someone else. It was to beautiful for him”. This passage also shows us his greatest want of becoming a wizard, as well as his fear of not being good enough. “[…] Boy 412, bemused. Why was she asking him”? In addition, this scene outlines Boy 412`s internal conflict, this conflict is his decision to become Marcia`s apprentice. He wants to be the apprentice but his fear of not being good enough holds him back. A connection to Boy 412 that I can make is being scared of not being good enough. In 2015 I was asked to join the BC national synchronized swimming team, I was so scared that my friends and family had to convince me to take the opportunity. In the same situation as Boy 412 I would probably not take the apprenticeship. This is because I always make the safe decision and becoming the apprentice is not necessarily a very safe position. However, I admire Boy 412 in this scene for taking a risk and utilising all the opportunities open to him. In this scene Boy 412 is a role model for taking risks and making the most out of what you are given.
Boy 412`s growth throughout the book both through his personality, and through learning was amazing. Boy 412 changed his entire attitude towards wizards and learned about how the young army manipulated and used him. Throughout the story his personality changed so that by the end of the book he was more open, and fought for his own values and beliefs. He no longer believed everything people told him. “Then he looked at the people around him and how different his life had become since he had met them. He felt so happy there was really nothing else he wanted.” This passage shows his epiphany, that he finally had a family and somewhere he belonged.
There are many very potent themes communicated throughout Magyk. One of the larges themes is the importance of family. The author is trying to communicate how the people around us are our greatest weaknesses, as well as our greatest assets. This is shown when he makes the villain use relationships against the heroes of the story. Such as when Jenna is held at knifepoint as a bargaining tool. However, the author also communicates how having people around you to help you through dark times is important. He does this by making all the good people in the story team up against the villain. The author is trying to communicate the way people around us impact our lives in both a positive and negative way.
I would recommend Magyk to anyone who enjoys fantasy fiction novels. However, one faulty section of the book is the way they don’t have enough detail surrounding most of the characters in the story. It would be easier to connect to if the characters were written in more depth. Nevertheless, I immensely enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it to all fantasy book lovers.
I would give my book a four out of five-star rating since it was well written and I enjoyed the storyline. However, I feel that the character detail could have been a lot deeper, so that the audience could more easily connect to the characters.