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Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, Book 1)
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Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles #1)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  22,973 ratings  ·  1,900 reviews
For use in schools and libraries only. Despite knowing the doomed outcome of the apprentices before him, twelve-year-old Thomas Ward is determined to learn everything he will need to know to stay alive when his time comes to ward off boggarts, witches, ghosts, and other evil-spirited creatures from the land that he was born to protect.
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Turtleback Books (first published 2004)
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Grace Oh, you can.
In fact, I reccomend you do.
I'm just saying that by itself, it's great.
Go ahead and read them all, I've read books #1-9 and I enjoyed…more
Oh, you can.
In fact, I reccomend you do.
I'm just saying that by itself, it's great.
Go ahead and read them all, I've read books #1-9 and I enjoyed most of them throughly! :)(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 27, 2015 Evgeny rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Evgeny by: Rabindranauth
Shelves: fantasy
Warning: my long and boring rants follow. There are some things that bug me and this review happened to be a good place for them. Sorry.

If you own a farm you never split it between your children, otherwise several generations later there will be nothing left to split. You give the farm to the oldest child which leaves you a very tough problem to find a place in life for the rest of your kids. Now imagine you have seven sons - and you yourself were the seventh son, but managed to come up with som
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!
I have a very, very good feeling about the rest of the books in the Wardstone Chronicles after completing this book (it's called Revenge of the Witch in the US)...
- First of all, a very, very engaging and rather original plot! It's similar to HARRY POTTER in this: both take place in England, and both have a lot to do with folkoric creatures and legends: witches, boggarts, and the like. But there's where the similarities end. You can read the synopsis up at the to
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
I'd really rather give this one 4.5 stars, because it was an excellent book. Although a young adult book, it is definitely sophisticated enough for an adult to enjoy it (I don't consider myself sophisticated, but I still think a person who is would like it). I liked that the suspense builds. There are no cheap thrills or shock value scares. Instead, the author takes his time and builds up the menace so that you spend your time trying to prepare yourself for the scare. Even still, you won't hear ...more
Intensely scary. There was a time or two I raced up the stairs to jump into the safety of my bed after listening to this book. Thank goodness I'm left-handed which, according to the book, gives me a slight advantage over anything creepy that goes bump in the night.

One star had to go for things like coffin maggots and carnivorous hogs--gross!

Of the books I have recently listened to on CD this one has the best narration by far. It is excellent.

As Goodreads has grown it seems there are more and more people looking for recommendations for YA series in a similar vein to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. As you can guess from the tangent I'm making: this is one of those books.

If you're not into Dark Young Adult Fantasy then it may take you a minute to adjust to this book. And I must warn you that the series gets darker and darker - highlighting the 'adult' part of young adult. But all that said, there is a film adaptation on the way, alon
Although clearly written as a children's book (over explanation and reminders of what has previously occurred) - it is quite dark, with bone witches and strip the flesh from fresh corpses and blood witches that drain blood from living children, eat babies and make blood cakes to increase their strength. It does a good job of watering these parts down, but they are still there, I would not recommend it for it's target audience, and it definitely would not be night time reading for that age unless ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay...first let give a sort of introduction. I liked this book, and that's a relief as the last several YA books I've read have been, disappointing. Since I read the Harry Potter books (each as it came out) "with" my own children (though they were grown by the time the series completed) I've continued occasionally reading a YA book as some of them are excellent and not to be missed...even if "we" are old, grown-up, and decrepit. LOL

Now as to this book. I considered giving it a lower rating, and
This “young adult” book actually offers more chills and thrills than adult horror books I have read. Surprisingly well written. There were moments that actually made me have that feeling we all know of when we are watching a horror movie and we want to cover our eyes. The language and words the author chose made for a very eerie atmosphere.

In my limited experience in reading horror (Stephen King, John Saul) I have rarely gotten frightened by anything I have read. Though when it comes to movies
JP Capili
Plot: A young boy apprentices to the Spook and learns to defend the County and combat the growing threat from the witches.
Good: interesting plot, good illustrations
Bad: no character depth

I have decided to give this book a shot because it is being adapted into a major film. This was definitely a children's book, but the horror element may be too gory for very young kids. The writing was simple. It had an interesting plot, but the characters were under-developed. The book felt more like a summary
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
How did I not know about this series sooner? I mean, I vaguely remember seeing them in bookstores . . . but NO ONE has told me to read them! I picked this up when I saw the trailer for the (rather silly-looking) movie version that is coming with Jeff Bridges and Ben Barnes. And what did I find? An excellent fantasy adventure, set in a place that feels very much like witch-hunt era England (or even America), about a young man who is apprenticing as a witch hunter. It was fast-paced, it was pretty ...more
Let me start by saying that last October when I read Anna Dressed in Blood, I was a horror virgin. If you'd locked me in a dark room and told me it was haunted, I would have died, I seriously could not take horror that well at all, but I fell in love with the atmosphere and alluring feel that Anna had, and later read Unbreakable which also touched upon the horror feature in a very atmospheric way, and while I had expected Spooks Apprentice to touch upon it a little, after all, this is a man of p ...more
Duffy Pratt
There is a lot to like about this book. It's paced well. The writing is clean and simple. The characters are well drawn, and have more depth than I would expect from a book targeted at kids. I liked this well enough that I will continue with the series. I especially liked that Tom was not an orphan, and that the characters were not either totally good or bad (including some of the very bad characters).

The book is surprisingly dark for a kid's book. There are bone witches and blood witches. The f
I give this 5 stars because of the shallow writing. True story! I suppose that calls for an explanation. See, I often get annoyed while reading some book, with incredibly intricate and in depth writing. Nothing wrong with that sort of a book. But in my opinion it is, when trying to paint a picture with words from a perspective of a young character - a child. At 10 years of age, we see world differently. In a simpler form (at least consciously). And this is often overlooked by authors. BUT not he ...more
I did enjoy this book immensely.
It was eerie, creepy, and dark in a very good way.
And I don't think I've liked a main character this much when he is only expected to be a boy of 13 years old.
He was thoughtful and brave in a way you might think an actual 13 year old boy would've wrote the book.

I liked how the author kepet leaving hints for the books to come, guessing what it might become of this person and their secret just made me wanna keep on reading.

And of course the illustration!
I love
I liked this book much more than I thought I would. It is supposed to be a YA series but I think it is just good fantasy. Tom, our main character, is the seventh son of the seventh son and when he becomes 13 his parents send him off with "The Spook". He is to train as his apprentice to learn to fight and protect his county from the bad paranormal entities that are a constant threat. I really liked all the characters in this book, even the bad characters were interesting and original. Tom is a yo ...more
3.5 Stars!
I had no clue this was one of those books I could start and finish in a matter of hours! This was a great start to another series, with some very interesting characters and stories to tell. My only complaints were the world building, which felt lacking, and the story feeling a tad disjointed overall.
Maybe I'll do a full review.
I haven't enjoyed this much in a children's book since i read Harry Potter for the first time. I really liked it and i can't wait to continue this adventure.
Thomas J Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son, as such he is a natural enemy of the dark and all that dwell with it. It is because of this that Tom as been accepted as apprentice to the Spook, but there have been other apprentices before him, all of then seventh sons of seventh sons and not all of them had made it through their apprenticeships alive.

Not yet thirteen, Tom has been sent far from home and thrown into a world danger. He has been given a month to prove that he might have what it
[Name Redacted]
A quick-read, and well-paced, set in what appears to be late-medieval England (knowledge of Greek & Latin is used to indicate an educated individual, churches are attended and prayers are said, etc.) but localized entirely in a region called "The County". The protagonist/narrator is a seventh son of a seventh son, apprenticed to a "Spook" -- a sort of itinerant witch-hunter and exorcist -- who finds himself woefully unprepared for the rigors of the job.

It's the little things that really mak
2.5 stars

I read this in the hopes it would be something my son might want to read. I'm thinking this wouldn't really be his thing, though. The setting is 'old-timey' and the writing is a bit dry compared to what he normally seems to prefer. I had a pretty easy time putting it down, and considering it took me three days to read 160 pages? Yeah...I'm probably not going to be passing this one on to him.

Anyhoo, this would probably work for a kid who is looking for a spooky series, and doesn't mind t
Jan 17, 2009 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beth, Carrie, Jo, Dark is Rising fans
Recommended to Megan by: My school librarian!
Fantastic! I couldn't put it down...started it Friday night and finished it Saturday morning. I am a wimp about horror books and movies, so there was one scene that scared the bejeezus out of me. The rest of it was pretty tame, but at the same time quite graphic and gruesome--babies' blood, torturing witches, etc. I can't wait to read the next ones...I wish I'd just checked the whole series out of the library. Ah, well.

In the reviews I've read, nobody mentioned the similarities to the Dark is
Do not overlook this series!! It is not just for kids; in fact, I've had one parent say to me she would think twice about letting her kids read these books because of the nightmares and sleepless nights that would surely result. I've been reading horror (the good, the bad, and the ugly) for over 20 years and I can honestly say that Joseph Delaney has created something spectacular and sinister with his Last Apprentice books. The imagery is startling and unforgettable; you will hear the thumps in ...more
Cait Grace
While it was good it was decidedly ungreat, which disappoints me. I'm a HUGE fan of Rangers Apprentice:The Ruins of Gorlan and The False Prince...which seemed to have a similar vibe to The Spook's Apprentice. So I fully expected to adore this! I honestly felt much to old. Which is sad, because I agree with CS Lewis on his quote "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” <-- Very wise. So that's why I'm confused that I didn't atta ...more
Isabeau (Just Keep Reading)
I started this book because one of my best friends told me that this was his favourite book series of all time. He doesn't read all that much, and I was a little cautious going into it, I haven't read any new children's literature for a while. The first third or so of the book was pretty damn underwhelming, and I'd almost resolved to put it on my 'never finished' pile, when all of a sudden I found myself starting to really enjoy it as the pace of the story picked up. The characters were written ...more
Nikki ~The Critic~
Jan 18, 2015 Nikki ~The Critic~ rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teen fans of Fantasy
The Last Apprentice (Revenge of the Witch) *The audiobook didn't really do this book justice*Tom Ward, the seventh son of a seventh son, destined to fight evil and protect the innocent has to learn how this new world works that he has been thrown into. Tom was getting his butt kicked, when he's saved by the mysterious Alice.She plays a role in the chaos that ensues and straddles the line between good and bad.Will Tom be able to fight off witches and other powerful beings or will he die like the ...more
Cristina (a book away from an episode of hoarders)
The style of writing was juvenile, not meant in a negative way at all. On the contrary, personally I would've devoured these books when I was in elementary school. Of course, I never did scare easily (I'd gone through the horror section of both the public library and video store before I hit double digits in age). The witches were scary, or would be with the correct audience. Witches who are bound to their bones so they are still a threat after death. Witches who aren't bound and are still a thr ...more
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
Tom is the seventh son of a seventh son, and while this supposedly brings special talents, it means there aren't a lot of jobs available for him. He becomes the apprentice to The Spook, a man who keeps the county safe from magical beings. He meets Alice, a local girl who belongs to a family of witches. When she tricks him into releasing a captive witch, things go horribly wrong. Now Tom must stop Mother Malkin before she gets her revenge on him, but can he do it with The Spook away on a solo job ...more
The story is about a boy named Thomas J. Ward who is the seventh son of a seventh son and he is destined to be the apprentice of a Spook. A Spook, is someone the townspeople not only fear but someone who acts to get rid of evil that lurks; witches, boggarts and ghasts.

Thomas is a character the reader will enjoy he's; courageous, willing and understanding. Yet he is only a young kid. His parents are hard-working, and want the best for their children. Both parents teach and help Thomas on being t
Definitely a scary-spooky-horror book, at least in my definition. Not my usual cup of tea. I did have a hard time putting it down and walking away when a particular section or illustration made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Many people love that sensation. Me? Not so much. I don't read horror or scary books. But this one was great! And I'm going to have to read the rest of the series. I'll just sleep with the light on for awhile...

Tom Ward is the 13-year-old seventh son of a seventh
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YA Buddy Readers'...: Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles #1) by Joseph Delaney--- Starting April 10th 14 11 Feb 23, 2015 09:09PM  
Seventh son movie 6 29 Feb 22, 2015 10:35AM  
has anyone else read this book or series? 83 126 Dec 28, 2014 04:54AM  
Alice being evil 7 45 Dec 28, 2014 04:48AM  
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Joseph Delaney is a full time writer living in Lancashire, in the heart of Boggart territory. He first got the idea for the Wardstone Chronicles series when he moved to the village where he lives now and discovered there was a local boggart - ‘a man like me needs boggarts around’. He made a note in his notebook ‘a story about a man who hunts boggarts’ and years later when he had to come up with an ...more
More about Joseph Delaney...

Other Books in the Series

The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Curse of the Bane (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #2)
  • Night of the Soul Stealer (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #3)
  • Attack of the Fiend (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #4)
  • The Spook's Mistake (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #5)
  • The Spook's Sacrifice (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #6)
  • Rise of the Huntress (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #7)
  • Rage of the Fallen (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #8)
  • I Am Grimalkin (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #9)
  • The Spook's Blood (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #10)
  • Slither (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #11)
Curse of the Bane (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #2) Night of the Soul Stealer (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #3) Attack of the Fiend (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #4) The Spook's Mistake (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #5) Rise of the Huntress (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #7)

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“And an unaware witch means a witch who doesn't know she's a witch, and because she's a women that makes her double trouble. Never trust a women."
My mothers a women," I said, suddenly feeling a little angry, "and I trust her."
Mothers are usually women," said the Spook. "And mothers are usually quite trustworthy, as long as your their son. Otherwise look out!”
“He who never makes a mistake never makes anything. It's part of learning the job.” 44 likes
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