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The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch (Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Joseph Delaney , Patrick Arrasmith
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $8.99
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

Capturing witches
Binding boggarts
Driving away ghosts

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.

Can Thomas succeed? Will he learn the difference between a benign witch and a malevolent one? Does the Spook's warning against girls with pointy shoes include Alice? And what will happen if Thomas accidentally frees Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the county ... ?

Editorial Reviews Review

"I was going to learn how to protect farms and villages from things that go bump in the night. Dealing with ghouls, boggarts, and all manner of wicked beasties would be all in a day's work. That's what the Spook did, and I was going to be his apprentice." Twelve-year-old Thomas Ward, as the seventh son of a seventh son, has no inheritance and is bored with farm work, and even though his new job will mean the superstitious villagers will forever shun him, he is eager to go off to adventure with the tall, hooded man he calls the Spook. His mother, a magical person herself, approves, and the Spook's teaching is strict but kind. But when Tom has only learned enough to be able to control their house-boggart, he is tricked by Alice, the young daughter of a witch family, into inadvertently releasing and then killing Mother Malkin, a witch the Spook has imprisoned in a pit. This is no polite wicca-type witch, but a snuffling, slime-trailing, cannibalistic creature reminiscent of Tolkien's nasgils. The story of Tom's escape from the reincarnated witch's hideous revenge is full of horrible details, as Alice helps, and then once again betrays him. This well-crafted novel marks an auspicious start for an exciting and fast series for young teens. (Ages 10-14) --Patty Campbell

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–When 12-year-old Thomas, seventh son of a seventh son, is apprenticed to the local Spook, whose job is to fight evil spirits and witches, he expects a life of danger. However, the boy doesn't realize just how soon he'll face a powerful enemy alone, as Mother Malkin escapes her confinement while the Spook is away. Thomas is forced to use his wits, and the help of his enigmatic new friend, Alice, to fight the evil witch. And defeating her is only the start of the boy's problems. Delaney's characters are clearly presented and have realistic depth, and Thomas's mother and Alice stand out for their strong words and actions. The protagonist's voice is clear, and his conflicts over his actions ring true. This first entry in a proposed series is an excellent choice for readers who are looking for a more sophisticated alternative to R. L. Stine's Goosebumps books (Scholastic), and the pacing and edgy illustrations at the start of each chapter will appeal to reluctant readers. Delaney's rural, quasi-medieval world is populated by a variety of magic creatures, and readers will look forward to discovering more of them, along with Thomas, as the series continues. A solid choice, particularly for middle school boys.–Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 18236 KB
  • Print Length: 376 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0060766182
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition (December 13, 2011)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00570S19U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,083 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who you gonna call? February 20, 2006
When a kid comes up to me in the library (I'm a children's librarian) and asks for something scary I usually hem and haw and eventually hand them "Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark", as a starter. If they ask for scarier fare (which, honestly, shouldn't be hard) I'm usually hard pressed to come up with something truly frightening. I suppose there's good old "Wait Till Helen Comes" but all too often children's books rely far more on atmosphere rather than out-and-out teeth chattering terror. Enter Joseph Delaney. Delaney has been writing fantasy and sorcery tales for adults since 1985 and with "Revenge of the Witch" he makes his first foray into the world of children's literature. A significant step it is too. Chilling, nail-biting, and downright enjoyable, the book is bound to be loved by reluctant readers, die-hard fantasy fans, and those good souls that appreciate a tincture of good children's literature.

Being the seventh son in a family means that when it comes to a lifetime occupation, there isn't much to chose from. Fortunately for Thomas Ward, he isn't just a seventh son. He's the seventh son of a seventh son and that means something special. Unlike normal people, Thomas can hear the ghasts of hanged men up on a hill near his home. He can sense and see things that would frighten even the stoutest of hearts. It seems logical then that he should be apprenticed to a spook. Spooks roam the county keeping people safe from everything from boggarts to witches. Thomas is doing well enough and goes to live in the spook's home. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse when a local girl persuades Thomas to feed some sticky cakes to a witch trapped underground by the spook.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A PROPERLY PULSE POUNDING READING October 4, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Hard to believe but it's almost here - the spookiest night of the year, Halloween. It's a night for ghost stories and all manner of frightening tales. Put "The Last Apprentice" at the top of your list.

Young listeners in grades 5 through 8 will easily relate to Thomas and shiver as he tells his chilling story. He lived in England many, many years ago when Old Gregory was in charge of ridding the villages of devil's disciples and other forms of evil. Well, that is a taxing job and poor Gregory is weary, on his last legs, so to speak.

Someone has to take over for him but who? Several aspiring apprentices have come forward but none withstood the test of battling the trials and tribulations that beset the populace. Some of these lads were so afraid that they ran away; others, sorry to say, did not live.

Now, there is Thomas Ward. He's the only one left, the only hope for the plagued villagers. It's difficult to differentiate between a kind witch and a deadly one, the most venomous of all being Mother Malkin. But, this is something Thomas must learn - or die trying.

Stage, screen and television actor Christopher Evan Welch gives a properly pulse pounding reading of this horror filled tale as bodies emerge from the earth and a witch meets a particularly gruesome demise.

- Gail Cooke
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thrilling fantasy September 24, 2005
A Kid's Review
Excellent book, highly recommended but read the back warning. This book is a bit scary. Haunted houses, ghosts witches, boggarts. A++ Must get
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Each chapter a gem. April 26, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I can't get over how much I loved this book. I'm 35. I'm a teacher. I'm busy. I made time to read this book like you make time to eat. Two obsessive days. I carried the story with me when I was away from it.

There's an anti-establishment edge to it that I love. It's earthy and pagan and scary. Every single chapter takes your breath away. I guarantee you won't be able to put your bookmark in the middle of a chapter. Man! This is well-crafted stuff.

I read a lot. Of everything. This is the best thing I've read in a long time. Hands down.

I confess: I borrowed the copy I just finished reading from the library. I'm writing this review five minutes after I purchased it today (we need to encourage Delaney's publisher to keep paying him). It's a book I'm going to share with my kids and friends (as long as they promise to give it back...)

More, please, Mr. Delaney. (Write faster!)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine, Creepy, and Original March 18, 2007
Many young fantasy novels wrap themselves in the dressing of Harry Potter and end up with tired stories featuring knock-off characters. Delaney really delivers the goods in Revenge of the Witch. This is a no holds barred horror tale with enough gore and other-worldly creepiness to keep you up at night. Delaney doesn't pull punches. He gives us murderous bad guys who are truly evil (not monologuing carbon copies of Voldemort), and good guys who are truly human. I internalized Thomas' fears to the extent that I dreaded turning the page to see what new terror awaited him. The haunted house scene near the beginning is worth the price alone. The nail-biting conclusion is easily the most memorable since the Hobbit or The High King. Epic in a very understated and humble fashion.!

Can't wait to read the other books in the series. I've probably read near 100 children's books this year and Revenge of the Witch is the most engaging and immersive by a mile. This book will suck you in and not let go till the last page. Brilliant!

Read it now!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
I read this in two whole days. I must have liked it a lot On to number two! I can't wait.
Published 5 days ago by chris
2.0 out of 5 stars was expecting the book to be better than the movie
I bought these books after having seen the previews for the movie, and as is normally the case, was expecting the book to be better than the movie. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read!
This book is a combination of superstitions, adventure, and the unending battle of good and evil. I would read this book again.
Published 10 days ago by James Obert
5.0 out of 5 stars And I can easily see it becoming a sensation
I recently saw a movie trailer for Seventh Son, an action / fantasy film. It caught my interest. Knowing that many, many movies are based on books, I did a little digging. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Phillip Tomasso III
4.0 out of 5 stars I didn't consider this really scary but I think it would give my 8 &...
Great story full of haunted houses, witches, boggarts, ghouls, creepy things that go bump in the night. Both my 12 year old son and I enjoyed this book. Read more
Published 11 days ago by toobusyreading
5.0 out of 5 stars very happy with the transaction
Gift purchase for Grandchild. Positive experience... very happy with the transaction.
Published 25 days ago by Sidney Jay Reger
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Fun read, interesting series.
Published 27 days ago by Gary R Merrifield
5.0 out of 5 stars I have the paperback and it was a good read. Delaney uses selective...
I have the paperback and it was a good read. Delaney uses selective words throughout the novel to make the story flow seamlessly. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alexis Rojas
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great middle grade / young YA adventure
This is a great middle grade / young YA adventure. If you're looking for a book that a boy would enjoy, this is it. But girls will love it, too. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lorijo Metz
5.0 out of 5 stars Good seller
Great book
Published 2 months ago by strong puppy owner
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More About the Author

Joseph Delaney formerly taught media and film studies at a high school in Blackpool, England. He lives with his family in Lancashire, in the middle of boggart territory.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#19 in Books > Teens
#19 in Books > Teens

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