Friday, October 05, 2007

The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney

In the mood for some truly frightening Halloween reading?...

Old Gregory has been the county Spook for years. His job is to rid the local villages of witches, ghouls, boggarts and other things that go bump in the night. Young Thom Ward, born the seventh son of a seventh son, is offered up to the Spook as an apprentice by his father. Thom leaves his home and family behind to go with the Spook and learn the skills necessary to protect himself and the people of the county from the dark.

The Spook instructs Thom in such things as:
• How to distinguish a ghost from a ghast;
• How to tell a benign witch from a malevolent witch (along with a warning about girls who wear pointy shoes); and
• How to properly deal with boggarts (One of the Spook’s former apprentices died when a boggart bit off his fingers!).
Thom also quickly learns that the life of a Spook is a lonely one, as people tend to fear the presence of a person who deals so closely with evil.

And so begins a series of creepy, nail-biting adventures that carry the reader through three books, Revenge of the Witch (Book 1), Curse of the Bane (Book 2), and the newly released Night of the Soul Stealer (Book 3). I just finished the third book and was ecstatic to discover that a fourth book, Attack of the Fiend, is scheduled to be released in March of 2008. The fourth book is already available in the U.K. and reviews are calling it the best of the series.

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