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Revenge of the Witch

(The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  43,602 ratings  ·  3,284 reviews
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 failed before Thomas. Somehow Thomas must learn how to exorcise ghosts, contain witches and bind boggarts. But when he is tricked into freeing Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the County, the horror begins..
Paperback, 344 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by Harper Trophy (first published 2004)
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Pengaween 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 situ…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)

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  43,602 ratings  ·  3,284 reviews

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Start your review of Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #1)
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
I read YA and survived. Imagine that.

Now now, no need to be slightly horrified, my Little Barnacles, or fear for the future of the planet. The fact that I did not convulse while reading the book doesn't mean I loved it. Which means doom and destruction will have to wait for a bit [insert sighs of utter, total and complete relief here]. Okay, to be honestly honest, I didn't, you know, NOT love the book and stuff. I might even have enjoyed it a little.I never wrote this and you didn't read it.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice, #1), 2005, Joseph Delaney
Characters: Mr. Gregory, Thomas J. Ward, Alice Deane
Abstract: 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.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیستم ماه دسامبر سال 2013 میلا
Amelia, free market Puritan
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 (Wants to Read More)
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
Nov 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Miranda Reads
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stuck at home? Got some time on your hands? Want to start a long series? But you don't want a dud?

Then I have some suggestions for you!

Check out this booktube video all about which series are worth your time (and which ones aren't)!

Thanks for watching and happy reading!

Check Out the Written Review!

Such a good series! There's always something special about the first novel.

Review to come.

Audiobook Comments
Read by Christopher Evan Welch and he was a splendid narrator. Loved it!

YouTube |
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, read-in-2016
This was pretty good! I enjoyed it. It wasn't much and it wasn't complicated but I liked this as a simple middle grade fantasy series.
I don't have a lot to say about it, but I will likely continue with the series!
Michael Sorbello
Effectively combines gothic horror archetypes with modern fantasy. Vampires, witches, werewolves, ghosts, zombies and many other classic horror monsters are imaginatively recreated within the pages of this surprisingly morbid coming of age tale, I would describe it as a PG-13 version of The Witcher. The main character Thomas and his mentor known as the Spook even remind me of Geralt and Vesemir in their early days, Thomas's relationship with a peculiar witch named Alice is also reminiscent of Ge ...more
Jonathan Terrington

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
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.)
Apr 28, 2008 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
[3.5 Stars] This is a fun start to long middle grade series. I've been wanting to give it a go for a long time, but I recently saw Anita (Anita Reads) read it, giving me the final push I needed. I enjoyed this about as much as I expected to, which is good news for me. I have a new series I'll be slowly making my way through.

I remember seeing the movie whenever that came out, and I'm glad the book is pretty different. I'm definitely interested to see how Tom will interact with witches throughout
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
Mike (the Paladin)
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy, 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
Tommye (The Fantasy Review)
View the full review at The Fantasy Review

I picked up The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney as a kid when I’d run out of Harry Potter! I was immediately sucked in and fell in love with the characters and the fantasy world.

Thomas Ward is the young hero of The Spook’s Apprentice. He’s the seventh son of a seventh son which gives him special gifts that can be used to fight the Dark.

He can see and sense things that others can’t, so he is apprenticed to the local spook whose job it is to protect T
Angela Blount
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
A mature middle-grade fantasy—sporting a medieval feel and steeped in an eerie English folklore ambiance which, at times, drifts over the line into horror.

The story is told exclusively in the first-person past tense perspective of Tom Ward, the latest (and allegedly last) apprentice to the local “Spook.” Tom’s heritage and precise birth order (7th son of a 7th son) have qualified him as a banisher of things that go bump in the night. But Tom is a kind-natured, naive boy. And he has an awful lot
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, own, middle-grade
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
Jan 18, 2016 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 de
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So the other day I was bored (common occurrence with me) and plucked the movie "Seventh Son" off the library shelf even though most of the reviews said it was rubbish, and two hours later I thought, "Eh, that wasn't too bad, bet the book is better."

Imagine my surprise when the movie is almost nothing like the book... and the book, had it been turned into a movie, is about a hundred times creepier than anything the movie came up with. I liked the book a lot. The boggart who fixes breakfast and ta
JP Capili
Jun 12, 2011 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
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
Mason Strong
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love these books, hold them fondly as a part of my childhood. I'm rereading them now after around 10 years. It's unfortunate the movie didn't do the series any justice, even so it's a crime these books don't have a larger following. ...more
Kat  Hooper
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
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,
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fantasy, meh
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
Duffy Pratt
Nov 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, childrens, horror
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
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it
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
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Joseph Delaney is a full time writer living in Lancashire, in the heart of Boggart territory.
He is the author of Wardstone Chronicles, Starblade Chronicles, Arena 13, Aberrations and a new book came out in April 2020, Brother Wulf. This is a new spooks story featuring Tom and Alice, but introducing a new character, a young monk called Brother Wulf.

He first got the idea for the Spooks series when

Other books in the series

The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles (1 - 10 of 13 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)

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