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VINE VOICEon August 25, 2008
Taking up immediately after the ending of book four, book five in the Last Apprentice series still delivers the goods. Not a stand alone story, one must have at least read book four, if not all the others, in order to understand what happens in this book and which characters are on which side of the battling forces of good and evil.

This series has not petered out, the action, the frightening events and scenes, the ongoing developments of Tom's apprentice training, and additional insight into the main characters, remains steady and intriguing. I did not feel AS frightened in this book as in the others, but the reader will not be disappointed. The fear and chills are still there to keep the eerie intensity and high suspense alive. There are a good deal of high action scenes to keep you riveted to the book and to keep the pages turning. I found the author put in a lot more character development to the key players, showing us that all of us have darkness as well as light within us. As Tom learns this more in this book it helps him grow and aids him in his ongoing training as he inches toward his eventual graduation to an official Spook himself some day. I also felt that this book had more of an intricate plot that leads the reader down many paths and shows us many twists and turns that are unexpected and surprising. As Tom grows, his experience broadens and the story backs this up with more of a challenging read than the earlier, simpler installments. I enjoyed this book as much as the others, I found no disappointing aspects and in fact, I thought the wonderful surprise elements at the end were quite brilliant and teasing which will have us all eagerly awaiting the next book. It appears that the author is showing us his increasing talent, as well as our young hero's. Delaney has created a fabulous horror series for young adults that just does not stop delivering terrific reads.

One other thing I feel I must add and praise; the illustrations. I truly feel that these marvelous black and white illustrations and almost holographic cover designs add even more appeal to the success of these books. Each illustration evokes such a frightening feeling that the reader just cant help but feel scared to death. The art work here is truly talented and wonderful to behold. How can you not have a winning series with sensational illustrations to accompany very talented and creative stories? Bravo to both the author and the artist!
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on November 10, 2012
This is the 5th installment in The Last Apprentice series. Tom Ward has been sent to study under another Spook named Bill Arkwright. John Gregory, Toms master, always send his apprentice point to train for 6 months under another Spook. That way the apprentice can learn from another point of view. It also was a way for Tom to avoid being drafted in the war. Tom definetly doesnt want to go because he likes his master and he will miss Alice.

Bill Arkwright is an abrasive Spook that likes the red wine...alot. He doesnt have the same morals for the dark as John Gregory. This is a little upsetting to Tom. The Fiend is back and will surely be coming for him so he needs to be trained in physical combat.

What will happen when the Fiend sends his children after Tom? Read this book and find out!

Ill say it again folks! I absolutely love this series! I cannot wait to finish it! But then I think Ill be a little sad because the fun will be over :( .
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on March 5, 2015
Wrath of the Bloodeye --- just might be my favorite in The Last Apprentice series to date. It is the fifth book, and intriguing and compelling. After a band of military deserters over power and attempt to sell Thomas Ward into the army as a soldier,the Spook, Old Gregory, wants to toughen up his young apprentice. Also, he is concerned about the Fiend (from book 4) being loose, and possibly still after Ward.

The decision is made that for six months, Bill Arkwright (a former apprentice and current Spook in a neighboring County), will teach Ward. They will focus on fighting and defending ones self. Arkwright has additional demons that are out of control, and though Gregory is aware of them, he still believes sending Ward is the best move. Not wanting to be away from Alice, Ward reluctantly agrees to the temporary assignment.

The newest threat is Morwena, a water witch. Where many witches cannot cross running water, a water witch thrives in it. They are very dangerous. Arkwright and Ward must battle the creature. It looks like the Fiend is closing in on Ward as well.

With dangerous bogs, and rising tides, with people kidnapped, and witches everywhere, Ward finds himself in a desperate place where he must choose between doing what is right, and doing what will save more lives. Choices are all around him. Many will only serve to anger Gregory. Most will save his life.

Great secrets of family lineage are revealed. The book ends on a terrible cliff hanger. I want to say more about how upsetting the last few chapters are, but will not spoil it for readers.

All I can tell you is I am thrilled I have Book 6 sitting right beside me!

Phillip Tomasso
Amazon Best Selling Author
The Vaccination Trilogy
Damn the Dead
Young Blood: The Nightbreed Saga
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on March 30, 2016
My son loves this series. He's in 6th grade, and I find that it's a good reading level between easy grade school stuff and Tolkien. He read the Ranger's Apprentice in 5th grade and this is a few steps up from that level.
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on April 3, 2015
I liked the introduction of a new spook. It helps to broaden the story with more characters. It also gave the book depth when his personality clashed with Tom and they have 6 months together. I like the cliffhanger ending about Alice being sent away and Tom's mam needing help. It makes me eager for the next book. Good read.
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on September 12, 2009
What prompted me to write this review is the astounding number of reviews (good or bad) from people who apparently picked up this book without realizing that it is part of a series! It gives me great cause to question their reading comprehension and the validity of their reviews! What amazed me more is that a lot of these people go on to recommend it as a standalone book!

At any rate, I will say that the book is fairly easy to read. I started reading this series w/ my son. The first book in the series where you should start is "Revenge of the Witch." He's in 2nd grade and stopped after the 3rd and 4th books became a little too intense for him. Unfortunately I was hooked and am barreling through these books. Much of this book reverberates with previous stories and actions. The significance of family, of a few words, and memories described are more powerful than their written text because of these ties. Hence I strongly rec. reading from the start.

The stories are told in 1st person (Tom Ward) who is the Last Apprentice as he continues to learn to battle and combat the dark. To warn other parents, besides the intensity of the story, there are other ethical or moral questions that are raised in the book. There is a pure evil, literally the Devil, but the question of whether God exists is not clearly demonstrated. Indeed, at one point, the protagonist is put forth the question of how God if he exists could allow so much suffering and darkness to thrive?

There are also many dark/grey characters. One of the favorites is the love interest of the story, but is it okay to use any means necessary to protect someone you love? Other characters include another Spook who has his own inner demons and deals with witches and the dark more harshly than the Old spook! And how close can you deal w/ the dark (even to fight a worse enemy) before you become tainted thus yourself?

In talking about this book/series, a lot of comparisons are made to Harry Potter. Perhaps b/c both books appeal to a broad range of adult audiences. The writing/sentence construction in this book is much simpler, but the character development, intensity, and overall respect for the genre are much greater in Mr. Delaney's work. There's not quite a lot of flash but more internal conflict which usually does not make for a successful transition to film or TV.

I hope this review helps and please start at the beginning of the series.
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VINE VOICEon July 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
For maximum enjoyment, the Last Apprentice series should be read in the order. That said, Wrath of the Bloodeye (volume 5) can still be enjoyed as a standalone novel without having read the previous volumes. I read volume one and then skipped over the next three to read this one. While there is a clear subplot and many references to events that happened in the intervening volumes, the main plot is independent of the others and I still enjoyed it greatly.

In Bloodeye, apprentice Tom Ward is sent to the Lake District for additional training from that area's spook. This new setting is rich in all things wet and soggy; bogs and fogs, swamps and mires, canals, moats and deadly tidal plains. It is equally rich in all the evil beasties that make water their home. There are selkies, skelts, spirits of drowning victims and, deadliest of all, the water witches.

Tom's new master, Bill Arkwright, is a fascinating character, tormented by demons both inside and out. He is a hard and angry man but Tom manages to see the value of his training and accompanies Arkwright on a mission to capture Morwena, the worst of the district's water witches. When tragedy leaves Tom on his own it is up to him to call upon all that he has learned to defeat Morwena alone.

Delaney is great in setting an atmosphere of impending danger and Bloodeye does not disappoint. The reader is always convinced that something wicked is waiting just a few feet away in the fog and Delany seldom disappoints us. Bloodeye was hard to put down.
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on April 1, 2015
This book brings Tom along in his journey and goes well with the other narratives. The only problem is the number of books in the series. At least 13, maybe more. Plus the books get more expensive as you go on with the tail. It Ian a good book, but the price is too much for such a long drawn out series.
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on January 11, 2015
I really like the series and am enjoying the books. Only complaint is that the main character of the book reminds me of the scary movie where someone hears a noise in the basement, basement light doesn't work but still they head down to the basement. Good fun but sometimes you would just like him to say "Hey may be that isn't a good idea..."
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on October 24, 2014
I am loving this series! Definantly the best series I have read since adventurers wanted. I highly recommend this series to all who is willing to read it. A good read for all ages 12 and up. Go read it!
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