The Spooks Apprentice (called Revenge of the Witch in the USA) is an young adult fantasy novel written by Joseph Delaney and is the first volume in the Wardstone Chronicles (called The Last Apprentice in the USA).
Thomas is a 13 year old farm boy with a difference, he is the seventh son of a seventh son which gives him unsual abilities, he can see things others cannot such as boggarts, ghasts and ghosts etc.
Due to this gift, Thomas is apprenticed to the Spook, an old man who travels the County fighting evil creatures like Witches, Ghosts and other creatures of the night.
Thomas is eventually sent on a task to pick up food for The Spooks house, and on his way back is accosted by a group of boys. They are chased off by the arrival of the girl Alice who is more than she appears. She is a relative of Mother Malkin and Bony Lizzie, both very powerful witches.
Mother Malkin used blood magic which involved the draining of someones blood. She was named Mother Malkin after luring young runaway women into a care home and sucking the blood of any she liked, to appear more youthful herself. This also led her over time to develop a taste for children.
She was eventually captured by a spook and bound to a pit with 13 iron bars on top so she could never terrorize anyone again.
Mother Malkin escapes and it's up to Tom to recapture her...
The Spooks Apprentice is set mainly in Chipenden which is based upon the real lancashire village of Chipping.
Joseph Delaney manages to mix folklore, fantasy and mythology and come up with a novel that is easy to read and creates an incredibly rich, fast paced story.
Written on 14 January 2009 by Antony Jones.
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