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Friday, September 21, 2007

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch (R.I.P. #6)

Delaney, Joseph. The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch. A YA book for ages 10 and up, according to the jacket. This YA novel doesn't patronize young readers, and I like that. Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son, and since his eldest brother will be inheriting the family farm, young Tom must be apprenticed elsewhere. His mother has made plans for this: Tom will be apprenticed to Old Gregory, the county Spook. The Spook is responsible for binding boggarts, capturing witches, and taking care of any evil that appears in the county.

Twelve-year-old Tom must learn the trade in order to take over the position from Old Gregory because a Spook is necessary for the safety of the county's residents; but... there have been 29 previous apprentices who were not successful. Will Tom, with the inchoate magic of the 7th son of a 7th son, be able to succeed where the others failed?

The trials and tribulations of Tom as a new apprentice are many. He has notes to take, spells to learn, and chores to perform, and then-- he meets Alice of the pointy shoes and becomes entangled in a dangerous mission that could end very badly, indeed.

I think young people would love the book for all the deliciously frightening events and for the magical education Tom is receiving.

The next in the series is The Last Apprentice: The Curse of the Bane.

Fiction. YA/supernatural. 2005. 343 pages.


  1. Gee, this sounds like a fun book.

  2. I LOVE YA books! Especially if they aren't patronizing, like you described this one! I'll have to look for this one. It sounds like one my son will like too!

  3. Booklogged -- It isn't Harry Potter style, but I do think it will appeal to (and satisfy the need to be frightened) certain young people looking for a scary story. Tom and Alice should both appeal in very different ways.

    Stephanie -- If your son reads it, I like to know what he thinks. In fact, I think he should have his own blog to review his books!

  4. I've seen this book advertised somewhere and thought it looked interesting. Your review makes me want to read it even more.

    Wow, this is your 6th for the challenge?? I just barely finished my third. Way to go.

  5. framed -- I think you'd like it. Since several have been YA, they have read very quickly. Although some of the YA are 400-500 pages, the print is usually larger--which is nice for these old eyes!

  6. Sounds great! I've been more willing to branch out or back into YA fiction since reading the Twilight series and Eragon and Eldest.

  7. Heather -- I think kids will really like it; I enjoyed it and will look for the next one!

  8. Book Three is out in the USA this past month but I have not read it yet. Were you impressed with the look of the book, the design? I thought it was quite striking.

  9. Camille - Yes, I was impressed with the book's cover and its design. I must have been in a hurry when I wrote the review not to have mentioned it! Thanks for pointing that out.