“The Last Apprentice” – Even if a series is popular it doesn’t mean it’s good

Book Review : The Last Apprentice, Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and appears to have no livelihood, but the Spook, Old Gregory, has agreed to take him on as his last apprentice. There have already been 29 failed apprentices. Of course, nobody really likes a Spook because of his job so Tom faces the prospect of a lonely life balanced against having enough money to live comfortably. Tom soon finds himself confronted with ghosts and witches and he appears to be out of his league.

Adult Point of View

The writing was quite simplistic and seemed to be written for a younger audience. The themes were dark and unsettling. These two elements of the writing style and the content seemed to stand in opposition to one another and I didn’t enjoy reading The Last Apprentice.

Delaney was creative in his details of trapping witches and boggarts and other supernatural beings. I did like the statement, “Never trust a girl wearing pointy shoes.” I also thought it was trite to use the plot characterization of “the seventh son of a seventh son.” I spoke to a boy who is 15 and he had enjoyed the series immensely.

In my local library it is in the YA section rather than the children’s section. Upon further research the reading level is for 9 – 12 year olds.  This does explain the simplistic writing. I would feel more comfortable with kids in Jr. High reading the series because of the content. For example, I think it is too dark for young children when small children and babies have been kidnapped and probably eaten by witches. I also thought it was disturbing how the older witches would cut the young witch, Alice, for her blood. I know the series is popular and there is a possible film coming out based on it, but I didn’t think it was very good.

– the Mother

Teen Point of View

I thought it was dark, and also slightly ridiculous. Not a good combination. I didn’t even read the whole thing because of my lack of interest. I thought this book was average, an average on the darker side.

– the Daughter

About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow-cooked in a tagine. I write stories and illustrate in ink.
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