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The Spook's Apprentice (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles #1)
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The Spook's Apprentice (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles #1)

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  24,785 ratings  ·  2,075 reviews
A wonderful and terrifying series by a new writer about a young boy training to be an exorcist. Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and has been apprenticed to the local Spook. The job is hard, the Spook is distant and many apprentices have falled before Thomas. Somehow Thomas must learn how to exorcise ghosts, contain witches and bind boggarts. But when he is ...more
Paperback, 325 pages
Published June 30th 2005 by Red Fox
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Popular Answered Questions

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)
Gabe Robinson best book I have every read and is the first one to truly get me in to readying

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Evgeny
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
...more
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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
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
Mario
'Warning: Not to be Read after Dark'
This is written on the back of the book. And I really wish I took that advice. Cause for a children's/ya book, this one is freaking scary.

From the beginning this book grabbed my attention, and it held it all the way to the end. I liked the characters, especially Tom and Alice. I loved how Tom grew throughout this book, and I enjoyed reading about his journey.

I liked the world, this was set in. I also really liked where the story went, and there were even som
...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.
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
Tatjana
Simpatična priča predominantno YA žanra, no lako je mentalno se vratiti u te godine obzirom na izuzetno lagan, pitak stil pisanja. Kome treba psihičko opuštanje - topla preporuka!
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
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
...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
Clarice
Although this is categorized as a Young Adult book and has a little blood and gore, to me it really seems tame enough to read with your 7+ year-olds, probably ok for 11+ year-olds to read on their own and might appeal to some adults as well.

The story is told in first person from the 12-year-old protagonist’s perspective. He is the 7th son of a 7th son, and, although he does have a “gift”, he is not a super-hero. He is a very likable and believable character. He is not supremely self-confident,
...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
CHris.T.o.S
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Mona Temchin
Cliched but Well Told Tale



"The Revenge of the Witch" uses those tired old Medieval (and misogynistic) tropes about women and men.

Women have three possible roles. They can be the mother/wife/wise woman (good), the whore (bad), or the witch (bad). (Although Delaney does admit that some witches are benign or neutral, rather than evil).

Women are the source of all evil. Beware of the cute village girl, especially if she wears pointy shoes.

Men do the heavy work and fight evil and monsters.

Even the ba
...more
Amanda
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
[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
...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
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
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
Lisa Lockhart
Carry on my wayWARD seventh son.
(Nein, Tom Ward ist nicht wie die Winchesters, obwohl er auch mit Eisen und Salz umgehen kann.)

Es ist halb 4 Uhr morgens und ich konnte nicht aufhören zu lesen, ehe ich es beendet habe! Über die Warnung zu Beginn des Buches (Not to be read after dark) musste ich einst noch schmunzeln, aber, ernsthaft, wenn man es wie ich nur bei Kerzenschein auf dem Kindle liest, zieht man sich dann doch ein paar Mal die Decke fester um Schulter und über den Kopf. Es liest sich u
...more
Mason
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.
Katie
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.
Heather
Buddy read with Ojo! This book is a perfect example of how to write for the grade-school crowd. There are simple life lessons and teaching of bigger words in a great storyline. I think this book would be a perfect way to introduce this group to typical fantasy style. It's an enjoyable read once you adjust to the younger audience style. It was funny and fast-paced and had the right amount of scary. Personally, I prefer it to A Wizard of Earthsea, which had flowery prose but was far too slow and n ...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
Megan
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
...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
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
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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!”
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“He who never makes a mistake never makes anything. It's part of learning the job.” 50 likes
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