(Cover/synopsis from Goodreads.com)
~Thank you to Angie Sage and Harper Collins for sending me this ARC~
By: Angie Sage
Publication: October 14th, 2014
Genre(s): Middle Grade, mix of adventure, people, and fantasy
Synopsis: When Alice TodHunter Moon—who insists on being called Tod—was five years old, she saw a beautiful golden dragon boat fly over her PathFinder village. She knew at once that the boat was Magykal.
That was years ago, before her mother died, her father disappeared at sea, and the Garmin took her best friend, Ferdie.
Now it’s up to Tod and Ferdie’s brother Oskar to rescue Ferdie from the Garmins’ keeper, the malevolent Lady. Their journey takes them to the Castle, where they receive help from ExtraOrdinary Wizard Septimus Heap and Ex-ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand.
But the Lady’s brother, the Darke Sorcerer Oraton-Marr, has a plan that will put everyone Tod holds dear in danger. To save her people, Tod must embrace her identity as a PathFinder and navigate the Ancient Ways—mysterious Magykal paths leading to unfamiliar—and sometimes dangerous—lands.
Taking place seven years after the story arc of the original bestselling Septimus Heap series, and full of Angie Sage’s characteristic humor and heart, PathFinder celebrates the joy of discovering one’s own personal Magyk, and of choosing the path that lets that Magyk flourish and grow.
Pathfinder was my most anticipated book of the year, and it did not disappoint. I am a huge fan of the Septimus Heap series, and was over the moon to hear that the story would be continued with new and old characters, but seven years into the future. If you haven’t read the Septimus Heap series, I highly recommend each and every one of the seven books. Most new readers would still understand Pathfinder, but, by reading all of the other books, they would be better acquainted with the world and would pick up on Angie Sage’s little hints of the past adventures interwoven into Pathfinder.
Speaking of those hints, I smiled and laughed throughout the story whenever some of the old characters were around and telling parts of their stories. It was great to see how everyone–Jenna, Septimus, Marcia, Nicko–and all the rest of the Heaps were doing. They are like old friends to me, and I loved looking back on my favorite moments in the Septimus Heap series that involved them.
The book introduces the reader to three new main characters: Alice Todhunter Moon, Oscar Sarn, and Ferdie Sarn. They are the new trio, the three characters who lead the story as Jenna, Beetle, and Septimus once did. I thought Tod was a good main character, but I didn’t feel like I knew her as well as some of my favorite original characters. I wanted some more chapters in Jenna and Septimus’s points of view, and more time with the Heaps in general. That’s just me, though. I need to get to know the new characters better, and I’m sure I will during the rest of the Todhunter Moon trilogy.
Pathfinder explores new parts of the Septimus Heap universe: the Eastern Snow Planes and the Pathfinder villages. Both were well described, and I got a feel for the land area, the architecture, the people, and each area’s culture. The SH world is so large that it, and its people, have their own histories, and it’s fun to learn about them.
Along with the new geography, there are new and changing relationships among some of the characters. I found that Pathfinder had more romance than some of the other Septimus Heap books (which makes sense as the characters are now young adults).There is a love triangle that had me laughing out loud. It seems to me that royalty loves Septimus. That is all I will say. 😉
As for the writing in general, if I were to pick up Pathfinder without knowing what book I was reading, I’d be able to recognize that it was in the world of Septimus right away because of Angie Sage’s distinct and unique writing style that matches the world and characters perfectly. That same beautiful writing is present all the way through Pathfinder, and I was trying to savor every sentence.
Summing it up:
Pathfinder is full of new characters, creatures, and adventures.To say anymore would spoil it. The ending was exciting, the writing was its same usual amazing self, and I’m very excited for the second Todhunter Moon book.
My rating: 4.5 stars.