Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Last Apprentice: Rise of the Huntress

The Last Apprentice: Rise of the Huntress

Joseph Delaney
Illustrator:  Patrick Arrasmith 
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
HarperCollins, 2010   ISBN: 978-0061715105

Tom, the Spook, and Alice are on their way home to the county. They have been away in Greece for many weeks, and they are appalled to discover that many terrible things have happened in their absence. Enemy soldiers have raided many of the towns and villages, and the county will soon be in the hands of the enemy. The Spooks house, with his precious library, has been burned to the ground, and to make matters worse, Bony Lizzie, one of the witches the Spook had imprisoned in his garden, is free and on the prowl.

Reluctantly the Spook decides that they should go to the island of Mona and wait there until the war is over. The Spook fully expects to be able to ply his trade in Mona, but when they arrive there, the three refugees are given a very hostile welcome. Alice and Tom are arrested and imprisoned for being witches, and they fully expect to be fed to a buggane, a terrible creature that sucks the life force out of its victims.

Tom and Alice manage to escape, but they do not get to enjoy their freedom for long. After they try to destroy the buggane, Alice and Tom are captured once again. Tom is taken to Greeba Keep and he is thrown into a dungeon. The head of the ruling council of Mona, Barrule, is a dangerous shaman who has a close connection with the buggane. He is cruel and likes to bet on blood sports. At Greeba Keep, Barulle pits Tom against a witch he has caught, and Tom finds out that the witch is none other than Bony Lizzie. Though he has the opportunity to kill the witch, Tom spares her, and later Bony Lizzie destroys Barrule and takes his place in Greeba Keep. Though Barrule was a terrible and powerful man, Bony Lizzie proves to be just as bad, if not worse. Somehow, the Spook, Tom, and Alice have to find a way to destroy both the buggane and Bony Lizzie.

This is a thrilling and often very dark book that fans of this series will find fascinating and, at times, downright terrifying. Now, more than ever, Alice and Tom have to stand together against the forces of the dark. Bound by the secret they share, they have to battle many enemies all at once, and they realize that they, and not the Spook, are going to have to do most of the work.

At the end of this book, the seventh title in the series, Joseph Delaney leaves his readers with the knowledge that Alice, Tom, and the Spook will soon have to take on their most dangerous enemy.


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