deLaney, Joseph. The last apprentice; revenge of the witch.

Author:Farmer, Lesley
Position:Brief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

DeLANEY, Joseph. The last apprentice; revenge of the witch. HarperCollins, Greenwillow. 336p. c2005. 0-06-076618-2. $14.99. J

In the same vein as other trendy, spooky British coming-of-age tales, The Last Apprentice tells the tale of 12-year-old Thomas Ward, the seventh son of a seventh son. His parents apprentice him to the local Spook, who wards off witches and other ghostly creatures from the community. It's a lonely and scary job, but someone has to do it, and Thomas's station in life and his associated sensitivity to the paranormal make him a natural for the tasks. Of course, being 12 and a novice, Thomas makes his fair share of blunders, which he has to pay for through some grizzly acts such as recapturing a bloodthirsty witch. Still, Thomas is a likeable and resourceful fellow, and learns much about himself as well as about the Spook and other unlikely creatures.

Harper is putting major marketing efforts into this first novel. The ending is such that it obviously calls for at least one sequel if not several as Thomas grows as an apprentice and...

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