Quick note: The review for this book was written after I finished it, which was May 1st. There are spoilers in this review and so if you haven’t read the series, but plan to, it’d best not to read some parts of the review as it will spoil things.
Thomas Ward has been the Spook’s apprentice for a while. He’s battled witches, boggarts, ghasts and many dangerous creatures of the dark. Including the Fiend, who Tom, John Gregory and others seek to destroy once and for all.
Now with the help of Grimalkin, a boggart and others, Tom sets forth to rid of the world of the Fiend.
I finished this about an hour ago, maybe a bit more. And I’ve just been thinking, how will I write my review for the final book in The Last Apprentice series? How shall I start it?
Well, I suppose I’ll start with how I found this amazing series. I am a huge fan of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. In 2009 I registered on a message board for fans of the trilogy and just of works by Philip Pullman in general.
In one of the topics, someone had recommended The Wardstone Chronicles by Joseph Delaney. I had never heard of the series before nor its author. I did some research on Google and found that the series was known as The Last Apprentice in America. And the series definitely sounded good. I love reading anything to do with the paranormal, fiction or nonfiction, and the series sounded like something I would like.
It was summer of 2009 and I was signed up for a summer reading program at a library not too far from me. They only had one book in the series, the first one, and I put a hold on it. I read it and loved it completely. It became an instant favorite.
Forward to January 2013 and I’ve been reading about the forthcoming Seventh Sonmovie. I decided I need to finish reading the series. At that time, books 1 to 11 were out, plus the bestiary and the two books with short stories. From January to April I devoured all of the books. I just couldn’t get enough of the series. I eagerly awaited I Am Alice, which I received as a gift from my boyfriend for our anniversary last year.
And after that, I waited for this book. Even pre-ordering my copy in December.
Like the others, I read this one fairly quickly. If you haven’t read this book yet, or the series, please do not read any further as there will be spoilers.
At the end of I Am Alice when Alice returned from the dark, it was revealed that there may be another way to destroy the Fiend without sacrificing her. And when I started this book, I found out that Tom decided he could not sacrifice her, even if it meant destroying the Fiend forever. I understand that. How could you sacrifice someone you love, even if it meant saving many people? And it also goes against everything John Gregory taught Tom. I know that if I were in Tom’s position, I couldn’t do it either.
There were definitely some twists in this book, especially with Alice. I just felt like crying. The change with Alice was so quick, so unlike her.
I know with Alice she was always sort of in the middle – she could go either way, light or dark. But reading the short story from her perspective and I Am Alice last year in September, I felt that I knew Alice even better than before. She didn’t want to belong to the dark. Heck, she didn’t even want to be a witch! It was something Bony Lizzie, her real mother, decided for her. The Alice I know and love was afraid to belong to the dark and would do anything for Tom.
The Alice in this book is so different, so quickly, but I could still see bits of the old Alice there. No matter what, she didn’t want to physically hurt Tom. I feel that at least she must still care for him somewhat. And is she really in love with this Mage? I don’t know. She may just be with him for another reason, and if it is for another reason, it was not revealed in this book.
But I know my heart broke for Tom.
One of the saddest things about the book for me was Alice’s sudden change. And the other was the death of John Gregory. After reading the whole book, I know it had to happen. While this book concludes The Last Apprentice series, it does not end Tom’s story and his story will continue in The Starblade Chronicles, which I am very excited for. Perhaps in those books, there will be more explanation to why Alice changed.
But I know why John Gregory had to die, it was to pave the way for Tom to become the County Spook and to pave the way for the next adventure. However, I was still very sad. John Gregory was an amazing character. Flawed, but yet wise and even still learning until his death. I can’t say that I agreed with John Gregory 100 percent of the time, but he knew was he was talking about, he was a great teacher to Tom and I loved his character.
“I never saw him alive again.”
It was so quick, so sudden and while not detailed, it was such a sad part of the book for me. That was when I began to cry a little. John Gregory, like with all the characters, I’ve grown so attached to them and his death was just devastating.
And now I see why the character Slither was introduced so late in the series. It was to set up the next books and I wonder if we’ll see Slither again in the new trilogy.
As a huge fan of this series, I have to say that I loved this book just as much as the others. There were sad parts, there were times I cried. This book was like a roller coaster of emotions, you weren’t quite sure what emotion you were going to have to deal with feeling next.
The story and the characters of this series are just amazing and well-written. The world Joseph Delaney created is unique and so easy for me to get into. I love the characters, who I have grown very attached to over the course of the series.
I know how a lot of people feel about Harry Potter and I have to say that this is about I feel about The Last Apprentice series.
It it a truly amazing series, one that I highly recommend. This book does a great job concluding the story of this series and tying up loose ends as well as leaving things open for future books set in the same world.
What else can I say about this book besides that I love it, that I love this book and I am very thankful to Joseph Delaney for creating these unique and wonderful books.
Now, bring on The Starblade Chronicles! 🙂