Darke is the sixth book in the Septimus Heap series by Sage. It's a fun young adult (or juvenile?) fantasy with witches and wizards and DRAGONS!!! A fun read. :)
There's an interesting bit that I didn't really puzzle over until after I'd finished the book and was discussing it with my brother. In the Dark Halls Septimus tells Tertius Fume that he is "The Apprentice of the Apprentice of the Apprentice of DomDaniel" (524). A few pages later, and after some thought "From a shortlist of seven, he had worked out who Septimus was" (527).
So here's the question: Who would be the other six "Apprentice[s] of the Apprentice of the Apprentice of DomDaniel"???
Trying to work it out, and because I'm a very visual person, I made the following chart/diagram/whatever:
|My awesome Apprentice Tree|
We know of three of DomDaniel's apprentices: Alther, Merrin, and Simon. Merrin and Simon haven't had any Apprentices, so we don't need to worry about them. Alther has had two apprentices that we know of: Silas and Marcia. We know that Septimus is the only apprentice Marcia has ever had, but we don't know anything about Silas. At a guess, might the other six "Apprentice[s] of the Apprentice of the Apprentice of DomDaniel" be his sons, who he has given an informal education in magyk to? I could be wrong, but I don't think that Silas had any formal Apprentices.
Other possibilities are that Alther had other Apprentices who we don't know of, and/or that DomDaniel also had other Apprentices who had their own Apprentices, and so on and so forth. There could be other branches to this "Apprentice tree" that we know nothing about, but which Tertius Fume does know.
Maybe we'll find out in the next book. Maybe not.