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Queste is the fourth book in the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage. The cover of the book is modelled after the in-story Restored notes written by Nicko, which were bound by Ephaniah Grebe into a book. The red seal as well as the gold stamp mentioned in the book are both present, with the Questing Stone lying on top of it. One the back cover is Jenna's compass, given to her by Milo. The book was released in May, 2008.


Queste takes Septimus, Jenna and Beetle in search of Nicko and Snorri, to bring them back from the past. They go to Marcellus Pye, who has remembered some information from his 500 year old memory and provides them with some notes from Nicko and Snorri. The notes say that they planned to travel to the House of Foryx where All Times Do Meet, and there they expected to come back to their time. Jenna takes the notes back with her to the Palace.

In the meantime, Merrin Meredith travels to the Castle in hope of destroying Septimus. He bumps into Jenna who drops all the notes of Nicko and Snorri, which get wet. Jenna goes to the The Manuscriptorium and asks Beetle to help her RePlace the notes. Beetle then takes her to the restoration specialist Ephaniah Grebe. Ephaniah is a half man half rat being. He Restores the pages and binds them in to a book. But they still missed one piece, the centre of the map to the House of Foryx.

Merrin has in the meantime, takes the job of a scribe in the Manuscriptorium. There he meets the ghost of Tertius Fume, the first Chief Hermetic Scribe. Tertius makes him transfer the loyalty of the Thing to him and assures that he will send Septimus on a perilous Queste. Tertius Fume arrives at the Wizard Tower along with the ghosts of all the previous ExtraOrdinary Wizards and announces that they are about to draw the Questing stone. Septimus feels a Darkenesse inside the urn where the stone is kept and tells that a Thing is there to sabotage the draw. They escape the Wizard tower as Tertius Fume puts it under Siege. But accidentally Septimus takes the Questing stone, thinking it to be a KeepSafe.

Septimus, Jenna and Beetle start their journey to the House of Foryx. Sam Heap shows them the way. They eventually reach the House and find Ephaniah near it. He had found the last missing piece of the map but was possessed by the Thing. Septimus, Jenna and Beetle enter the House of Foryx, but accidentally all three of them go inside. There Septimus is taken inside a door by a girl and Septimus finds himself face to face with Hotep-Ra, first ExtraOrdinary wizard. In the meantime Jenna and Beetle find Nicko and Snorri and all of them try to escape the House of Foryx. Just as they were about to leave, Marcia and Sarah arrive outside the house on Spit Fyre, so all of them are able to return to their own time.


The Heaps

  • Septimus Heap: The protagonist to the story, supposedly died in birth, but was recognized at the end of Book 1: Magyk. He goes on a quest to bring back his brother Nicko.
  • Jenna Heap: Septimus' adopted sister, daughter to the Last Queen, she assists Septimus on his quest.
  • Silas Heap: Septimus' Father, who has a dream of his son Nicko in a snow clad forest and goes to his father (who is a tree) for helping him find his son.
  • Sarah Heap: Septimus' Mother, who is not ready to believe that Nicko is lost in time, but nevertheless signs his release from Jannit Marten, the boatbuilder's apprenticeship.
  • Simon Heap: Septimus' oldest brother who is reforming from his evil ways and makes a trip to the Castle to get his pet Sleuth (tracker ball) stolen by his apprentice Merrin.
  • Sam Heap:The second Heap brother who helps Septimus, Jenna and Beetle on their quest, by showing them the old Forest Way.
  • Jo-Jo Heap: The third Heap brother who has a crush on Marissa, a Wendron Witch.
  • Edd Heap: The fourth Heap brother, twin of Erik, lives in the Forest with Jo-Jo and Sam
  • Erik Heap: The fifth Heap brother, twin of Edd, lives in the Forest with Jo-Jo and Sam
  • Nicko Heap: Septimus' brother was previously apprenticed to the Boatyard, before he and Snorri got trapped in an earlier time in Book 3, Physik. They have traveled to the House of Foryx to get back to their own time.

Other Characters

  • Beetle: Septimus' best friend, who accompanies Jenna and Septimus on their journey after getting fired from the Manuscriptorium by the chief scribe, Jillie Djinn.
  • Merrin Meredith: Former apprentice to Simon Heap, enemy of Septimus, and formerly DomDaniel's apprentice who wants to darken Septimus' destiny and takes up the scribe's post at the Manuscriptorium.
  • Marcia Overstrand: Current Extra-Ordinary Wizard who wants Septimus to stay away from Marcellus Pye but goes out on his search when she comes to know that they have travelled to the House of Foryx.
  • Snorri Snorrelssen: Daughter of Northern Trader Olaf Snorrelssen, she was trapped in the past with Nicko during the events from Physik. She is a "Spirit-Seer"; she can see all ghosts even if they don't Reveal.
  • Alther Mella: The Ghost of the Extraordinary Wizard before Marcia, he aids Jenna and Septimus on their quest.
  • Tertius Fume: The Ghost of the first Chief Hermetic Scribe who calls the Gathering for the Queste and lays a siege on the Wizard Tower.
  • Ephaniah Grebe: Conservation Scribe at the Manuscriptorium who stays in the basement due to a very odd hex that two books placed on him. He was saved by the Witch Mother Morwenna, though the hex made him half-man half-rat. He helps Jenna by restoring Nicko's maps and documents.
  • Morwenna Mould: Witch mother who at first seems very fond of all the Heaps, but later turns on the Castle, revoking her previous agreement to leave the people of the Castle alone, when she does not get Jenna as her own.
  • Spit Fyre: Septimus' extremely voracious dragon who takes Marcia and Sarah to the House of Foryx.
  • Ullr: Snorri's pet cat who is in the present time with Jenna. Ullr is a Transformer, and he changes into a black panther at night. He is also a Spirit-Seer cat.

Critical Reception

The book has received mixed reviews from critics.

ALA Booklist says "The Septimus Heap series remains one of the best outcomes of the young-wizard furor catalyzed by Harry Potter." also gave a positive review for Queste saying "A very entertaining read that is sure to please fans of the previous three books in the Septimus Heap series. Although there is some dark subject matter, Sage manages to add just the right amount of humor to keep the story light. At over 600 pages, the story will keep readers enthralled for days, It is an amazing story and sucks fans into it. Fans of the series will finally be able to read the exciting conclusion to how Nicko and Snorri finally make their way home." however gave a mixed review saying "This book took entirely too long to get going. Halfway through, I was almost ready to put it down and return to my growing pile of homework. It’s about a third of the way through before we even catch up with Septimus. Before that, Sage shows us that Nicko is caught in the House of Foryx, a place where all Time meets. She spends entirely too much time with wayward brother Simon Heap and his regrets about turning to Darke Magyk. When the main plot finally emerged, I was lost in the myriad subplots that eventually came to nothing... fine, I’m exaggerating. But they really came to almost nothing."


The Gathering seems to not be complete because the first Extraordinary Wizard, Hotep-Ra, was never there. But according to on Ask Angie 3, Angie Sage says that the Gathering actually is complete, since the Gathering consists of Extraordinary Wizard ghosts, and Hotep-Ra is not a ghost (he is in the House of Foryx).