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

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  31,119 Ratings  ·  2,494 Reviews
Capturing witchesBinding boggartsDriving away ghostsFor 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.

Can Thom
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published September 6th 2005 by Greenwillow Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Llewellyn I'm the same way. This book is clean in terms of sex, nudity, sexual innuendo, and language. It is, however, a pretty creepy book with some scary…moreI'm the same way. This book is clean in terms of sex, nudity, sexual innuendo, and language. It is, however, a pretty creepy book with some scary situations, violence, and gore. (less)
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)

Community Reviews

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Apr 28, 2008 Cooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
 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
Mar 24, 2009 Marian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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
Jan 10, 2011 CHris.T.o.S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike (the Paladin)
Jan 13, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya-fantasy
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
JP Capili
Dec 28, 2013 JP Capili rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror
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

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
[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
Neat world building. I like how Delaney draws from Medieval ideas about witches, while still having a lot of elements that strike me as being rather original. The witches are really quite dangerous, and the options for dealing with them are very limited. Adds a nice bit of tension. Unfortunately, the story depends on the main character doing something very foolish for no apparent reason. For somebody training to be what is essentially an exorcist, he's horribly lacking in genre savvy. I mean, if ...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
Dec 29, 2012 Traci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
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
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
Apr 18, 2013 Phleghm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short
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
Aug 12, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, kidlit
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
Mar 28, 2015 Tatjana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-books, fantasy, ya
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!
Jan 27, 2015 Evgeny rated it really liked it  ·  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
Simona Stoica
Aug 11, 2015 Simona Stoica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O serie perfecta.

„Să vezi viitorul este periculos şi să dezvălui ce vezi este de două ori mai periculos. Magistrul tău trebuie să-şi urmeze calea lui. Trebuie să-şi găsească propria lui cale. Fiecare dintre noi are o voinţă liberă. Dar există o întunecare înaintea noastră şi trebuie să fac tot ce îmi stă în puteri să preîntâmpin lucrurile cele mai rele care s-ar putea întâmpla.”
Amanda G. (Nellie and Co.
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
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,
Lisa Burgess
Mar 26, 2015 Lisa Burgess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 27, 2015 Mario rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, own, own-read
'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
Jan 04, 2016 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vraiment très sympa ! C'est jeunesse, mais certains moments font frissonner, et l'univers en général est très intéressant, avec diverses créatures maléfiques, et une ambiance qui s'assombrit... Je lirai avec plaisir la suite à l'occasion !
Mention spéciale pour les petits bonus de mon édition: une carte, une présentation des personnages, des pages du carnet de Tom...
Jan 25, 2016 Stuart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spook’s is such a quaint English tale that it almost disarms you when the real horror begins.

Spook’s Apprentice is was a YA debut novel by Joseph Delaney, so I’ll be find *crosses heart*. Spook’s is one of those a-typical British fantasy novels, where it takes a lot of influences through the English countryside and English mannerisms (J R R Tolken, C S Lewis etc). It reminded me of sitting in front of the TV when I was 10, watching The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe being scared half to deat
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Jan 19, 2016 ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans) marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans) by: Evgeny
Because Evgeny described this as "Harry Potter set in medieval times written as horror with the main character having zero magic power."

So let's get crazy! Let's read YA! I am strong! can do this!

I liked this book overall, certainly far better than the movie based on it!

A little slow-paced initally, but very moody and evocative, and certainly seems to set the stage for some plot threads to be followed up in further books.

3.5 stars(Rounded up to 4.)
Feb 13, 2016 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Πρώτο βιβλίο της εφηβικής σειράς φαντασίας "Τα Χρονικά του Ευλογημένου Λιθαριού", το οποίο αποτελεί φυσικά και την πρώτη μου επαφή με τον συγγραφέα. Το βιβλίο αυτό (και γενικά όλη η σειρά) απευθύνεται σε νεαρότερης ηλικίας αναγνώστες, αλλά νομίζω ότι διαβάζεται αρκετά ευχάριστα και από μεγαλύτερους. Βέβαια δεν ξέρω κατά πόσο μπορεί να προσφέρει κάτι το καινούργιο στους αναγνώστες που έχουν φάει με το κουτάλι τα βιβλία φαντασίας, πάντως χωρίς αμφιβολία πρόκειται για ένα ψυχαγωγικό ανάγνωσμα, ό,τι ...more
I'm usually very irritated when the main characters repeat dumb mistakes over and over again... and Thomas the Ward is exactly like that. Yes, he is a young boy, but that is no excuse - he made some really are-you-serious choices. He is the reason why I have to lower my rating because even though I prefer realistic characters, I cannot enjoy a story that is based on one's dumb reasoning. However, I enjoyed the horror elements (they are not really that scary) and the ending so I'll be checking ou ...more
Rating: 2/5
***Minor spoilers***

Tom is the seventh son of a seventh son, and in this universe, that means he's special. He can sense things that nobody else can, which means he has the ability to become the Spook - the man who ensures that the supernatural bad guys stay away from the innocents. Tom is off to do an apprenticeship with Old Gregory, the current Spook, so that after all of his training he can take over to protect the villagers. However, Tom's training may have hit a bit of a speed bu
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All About Fantasy!: revenge of the witch 2 9 Aug 17, 2016 06:52PM  
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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 15 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)
  • The Ghost Prison
  • 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)

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!”
“How can you be lonely? You've got yourself, haven't you? If you ever lose yourself, then you'll really be lonely...” 61 likes
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