Author: Angie Sage
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
When Silas unknowingly unleashes the ghost of dreaded queen, Etheldredda, from her prison, she immediately begins plotting to take her kingdom back from Princess Jenna. Trying to escape her clutches, Jenna unwittingly leads her brother, Septimus, to a magic mirror that drags him five hundred years into the past. In this ancient world, Septimus becomes apprentice to Marcellus Pye, the ancient (and infamous) Alchemist and Physician. Jenna and her brother Nicko, along with his girlfriend Snorri, pursue Septimus through the glass, but become trapped in the past as well.
Sage continues to surprise readers with unexpected tales, and Physik certainly takes some unanticipated twists. Slightly darker than its predecessors, the book has some scary spots, but nothing that should deter young readers. Fans will enjoy encountering their favorite characters again, and meeting some new ones. Parts of the book dragged slightly, particularly with respect to Queen Etheldredda and her aggravating pet Aie-Aie; further, Silas Heap’s continuing ineptness may annoy older readers. However, the book was overall, perhaps the best of the series to date, and readers can count on Sage’s trademark humor, pace, and off-the-cuff characterization to keep them glued to the last page.