Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Last Apprentice: Rage of the Fallen

The Last Apprentice: Rage of the Fallen

Joseph Delaney
Illustrator:  Patrick Arrasmith 
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
HarperCollins, 2011   ISBN: 978-0062027566

When invaders attacked the County, Tom Ward, his master John Gregory, and his friend Alice fled to the island of Mona. They were not welcomed by the locals, and now they in Ireland, hoping that here at least they can live quietly until it is safe to go home. Tom knows that he is putting himself in even more danger than usual by coming to Ireland. Early in his career as a spook’s apprentice, Tom was present when a Celtic witch was killed by another spook. Morrigan, the goddess of witches told Tom then never to set foot in Ireland, and if he did she would make it her business to track him down and kill him.

   When the travelers arrive in Dublin, they find an inn where they can spend the night. They are immediately hired to take care of a rather nasty problem. The inn is haunted by a jibber, the spirit of person who committed suicide. The Spook, Tom, and Alice figure out that the spirit of the dead person is forced to stay at the inn because a spell has been placed upon it. The Spook and Tom try to get rid of the jibber, without success, but when Alice helps them by breaking the spell, Tom is able to send the spirit on its way. The Spook is not happy to see Alice once again using dark magic. He is convinced that the more they use dark magic, the more they are drawn to the dark. Unfortunately, it would appear that the only way to get rid of jibbers is to break the spell that binds them by using a witch’s spell.

   Together Tom and Alice get rid of several jibbers and word gets around about what they are doing. They are approached by a man who is a member of a league of landowners who are trying to curtail the power of the goat mages. Twice a year these mages gather and perform a ritual that summons the god Pan. If the ritual is successful, the mages become more powerful and are able to commit all kinds of atrocities against their enemies. The landowner is hopeful that with the Spook’s help the league will be able to sabotage the ritual and then hopefully they will be able to seriously curtail the mages power for the foreseeable future.

   The Spook is willing to help the league, and soon the three refugees from the County are on their way south, to the town where the ritual is going to take place. The Spook, Tom, and Alice are not altogether comfortable with what they are doing. They have no experience dealing with mages of this kind and are in a foreign land. In addition, Tom now has to fear what the Morrigan might do to him. As if this is not enough to worry a person, Tom and Alice know that the Fiend is stalking them, waiting for the right moment when he can snatch them up and carry them to the dark where they will spend eternity in torment.

   Surrounded by enemies and with only a few unusual allies to help them, the Spook, Tom, and Alice have no way of knowing if they are going to be able to survive this terrible adventure.

   In this eighth book about the Spook and his apprentice, we encounter a new cast of characters, most of which are quite terrifying. Every time Tom manages to escape one potentially deadly situation, he stumbles into another. For several books now the threat from the Fiend has been hanging over Tom and Alice, and in this title the last shred of protection that Tom and Alice have is destroyed.

   Full of magical, dangerous (often horrifying) beings, this is a book that will keep readers sitting on the edge of their seats until the final chapter is read.

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