In the fourth installment of The Last Apprentice Series (also known as The Wardstone Chronicles), comes another adventure of our boy Tom Ward, the Spook’s apprentice. The Spook has decided to resolve all the problems for good in Pendle where the three infamous witch clans are in the verge of uniting to do something evil. However, things have to be settled out faster than they meant when more lives are at stake—those which are closest to him.
GENRE: Fiction, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy
AUTHOR: Joseph Delaney
As much as possible, I don’t want to give spoilers on this book review, however, doing so would mean I can’t express my full thoughts about the book. These are all opinions as a reader. Spoilers ahead, so beware!
Different readers have perspective on what they want to read. Probably, because I am fascinated by the imagination authors of these kind of books have, I was lured into another world where witches, ghosts, boggarts and creatures of the dark exists. That is why I made it this far on the fourth book.
The first book of this series (citation) started with witches. And now we are being dragged deeper into their secrets and more information about their trade. However, I was quite disappointed because although I know that this book is about witches, the title itself is far from being one.
The Fiend was introduced indeed. However, considering that the title says “Attack of the Fiend” I was expecting more things from the Fiend. However, the story just revolved about how Tom could save his family and get his trunks from the tower of the witches.
Maybe the reason why I am frustrated about this is that I’m almost done with almost three-fourths of the book and yet no news about the Fiend yet. Seriously, out of the twenty five chapters only three chapters focused on the Fiend. Or I might be giving the sympathy on the few mentions of the Fiend on those three chapters? I think only one chapter “really” focused on the attack of the Fiend.
Something related with the word “witches” would be more appropriate, like “The Rise of the Witches”, although I think “rise” would be overrated by now somehow. Nonetheless I think that would be more appropriate.
Considering they are witches and we have clans of them living on Pendle, I thought they would be stronger. The instance which amused my thoughts about it was when the Malkins run from the Malkin’s Tower when the soldiers broke the wall of their dwelling place. It was mentioned a lot of times that witches are stronger than your average man although they are not that much of a fighter. But then, they have a few tricks behind their back and yet they did nothing when the soldiers broke on their place.
They could have tried to put something on their foods during breakfast, or lunch, or best at dinner like what Mab did. They could have poisoned them considering they are quite ruthless in a sense and since their place was being disrespected by those soldiers. Their lives are at stake so they should have resorted to what they do best.
In the end, they all run into the dungeon without a fight at all. No one mentioned that they are beginning to become the “good” folks around.
I thought Wurmalde would be something to look out for the next book; however, she just died like that. I know. That is a bad spoiler.
Considering she knows the dark secrets of Tom’s Mam, she could be the perfect antagonist to ruin his life. We are all curious about Tom’s Mam and we know she’s more than a healer. Wurmalde could have spoiled Tom more things about her knowledge of his Mam.
There are fiction books which bend your imagination of what ghosts and witches are supposed to be in your eyes but this is indeed a work which is almost similar to what I imagined. Witches are witch. Ghosts are ghost. How are they supposed to look like? How are they supposed to act like? I’m not trying to set a standard since our imagination is free. However, I still think that when something is within your bounds, you can grasp the idea more easily.
Another good thing about this book aside from learning about the witches is learning about truths of the characters and the story. Here they revealed things about Tom’s Mam and the truth about her past. She’s not a human for all we know but it’s better to hear it from the book itself. And here it was revealed some of the trinkets hidden inside the mysterious trunks which were passed down to Tom.
Things were also clarified about Alice’s feelings for Tom. Or if that’s how you interpret it.
The adventure of Tom is really worth reading for the fourth time around. The story is never less interesting although I pointed out already some things which could have made it better in a sense. I’m really into fantasy after all.