There are a lot of books out there angling to be the next Harry Potter, aren't there? That's certainly how the Septimus Heap series was being advertised when I picked up the first volume, Magyk (last year, when the sixth novel was published). There are a few parallels - there's a magical boy and his friends - but not a lot.
The series is about a boy who is the seventh son of the seventh son and therefore has extra special magic powers. His best friend is secretly the heir to the castle, which is ruled by the bad guy. Book 1, Magyk sets up the series and not much else. I felt that, as a stand alone book, it was pretty thin. Maybe this is one of those cases where I'm not the target audience and a middle grade reader would love it. Then again, why should we assume kids need to be talked down to? If I can see the "twist" ending telegraphed from page one, I think my 8-year-old nephew could too. It's not a terrible book - the characters are interesting, the premise is fine - but it certainly doesn't make me want to read the rest of the series.