Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

by
3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  19,414 ratings  ·  1,600 reviews
For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried—some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive.

Only Thomas Ward is left. He's the last hope, the last apprentice.
Paperback, 358 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by HarperTrophy (first published July 1st 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Revenge of the Witch, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Revenge of the Witch

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingTwilight by Stephenie MeyerThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Giver by Lois Lowry
Best Young Adult Books
417th out of 8,965 books — 56,876 voters
The Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsEragon by Christopher PaoliniThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. TolkienArtemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
What To Read After Harry Potter
103rd out of 1,084 books — 4,095 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
Marian
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.
 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
Jonathan

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...more
Cooper
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...more
Traci
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...more
CHris.T.o.S
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Paul 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...more
Kathryn
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...more
Jessica
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
Susan
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
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...more
Larissa
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...more
[Name Redacted By Goodreads Because Irrelevant to Review]
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...more
Phleghm
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
Megan
Jan 17, 2009 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Trudi
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
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
Melanie
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...more
Lucinda
The Spooks series comprising of nine volumes has to be one of the most gripping young adult/ children’s books that I have had the pleasure of reading, being truly fantastic in their design and execution by a genius of a writer who certainly has spent a lot of time on his work and done the research into the specific genre. This series begins with book one; the apprentice which ‘hits the nail right on the head’ in terms of reaching out to its target audience, incorporating everything that this you...more
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son. Therefore, his mother has always planned to apprentice him to the Spook — the traveling exorcist who services the surrounding villages, ridding them of ghosts, witches, ghasts, boggarts, and other troublesome creatures. The Spook performs a nasty, dangerous, and necessary job for the community, and he’s well respected, but his line of work makes him an outsider — people just aren’t comfortable around him. Th...more
Kate
Apr 20, 2011 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kate by: Teen Book Club selection
Thomas is the seventh son of a seventh son, and with little else to find for Thomas to do, his father has set up an apprenticeship with a Spook. The Spook is a protector of the local people from all things that go bump in the night. Thomas has always been afraid of the dark, but his Mam tells him that the seventh son of a seventh son is special and that he will be good at being a Spook. So Thomas goes off to learn the trade.

After passing the Spook's first test (spending the night in a haunted ho...more
Shehreyar Khan
3.5/5

The premise was interesting, if not entirely original, but it wasn't executed very well. The plot could have been paced better. The actual climax was somewhere close to the middle, and after that it was a mellow downward slope toward the ending. I honestly would have preferred the story to end four chapters before it actually did.

Tom--the protagonist--is supposed to be a boy, but from the way he spoke you wouldn't think he was. He was far too serious, and not in the way that makes a person...more
Anne
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...more
Stephanie
Feb 29, 2008 Stephanie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of shivers and that creepy-crawly feeling
This book made my skin crawl! It's a gripping read, but beware, it's pretty gruesome in some parts.

P.O., anyone?:
The seventh son of a seventh son, Thomas Ward is told by Mr. Gregory, the man to whom his is apprenticed, that it takes more than birth order to make someone fit for the role of Spook. Thomas soon learns that it will take all his intelligence and bravery to make the right decisions, and to make correct his wrong ones. Along the way he also realizes that loneliness often accompanies re...more
Madalyn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lena
This was spooky!!If I've read it as a child probably I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. The witches were terryfing, maybe coolest witches ever. The litlle girl has potential and I wonder what's up with Mam. The scene in the haunted house was awesome too. Although we didn't take a satisfying look at Spook's abilities I liked the fact that the hero had to face the difficulties alone. Definitely will continue the series.
Erik
Velmi silne 4*! Velmi silne!
Prva stvrtina bola sice silne rozjazdova, ale potom to nabralo poriadne creepy obratky, a som neuveritelne nazhaveny pokracovat v tejto sialenej serii. A ked tak nad tym premyslam, ani neviem kam a ako tuto seriu zaradit... Boze, ja sa musim hned pustit do pokracovania! ;)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Crowfield Curse (Crowfield Abbey, #1)
  • Stormchaser (The Edge Chronicles, #2)
  • The Invaders (Brotherband Chronicles, #2)
  • Assassin's Apprentice (Oathbreaker, #1)
  • The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray
  • Stoneheart (Stoneheart Trilogy, #1)
  • Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris (Theodosia Throckmorton, #2)
  • Found (Magic Thief, #3)
  • The Faceless Ones (Skulduggery Pleasant, #3)
  • Happenstance Found (The Books of Umber, #1)
  • The Black Book of Secrets (Tales From The Sinister City, #1)
  • Den Forkerte Død (Den Store Djævlekrig, 3)
146374
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...
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)

Share This Book

“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!”
65 likes
“He who never makes a mistake never makes anything. It's part of learning the job.” 37 likes
More quotes…