The Spook's Blood by Joseph Delaney
The Spook’s Blood is the tenth book in Joseph Delaney’s long-running Wardstone Chronicles (I think the series will run to thirteen, which seems an appropriate number) and it continues the return to form first seen in book nine, I Am Grimalkin. I am a Spooks fan and if ever I am asked to recommend great fantasy books for older children then I will immediately mention Joseph Delaney's work, but this recommendation has recently begun to feature this caveat - the first five books are amazing, the very best you'll find for the 9-12 age group, but books six through to eight fail to reach the same heights and appear to be unnecessarily stretching out the series. I must stress that this is only a personal opinion but reviews elsewhere seem to back-up these feelings. It's not that the books aren't any good - far from it in fact and I'm yet to read a poor Spooks book - it is just that they are decent books that pale when placed alongside the superb books found at the beginning of the series. However, I am now delighted to be able to say that the series is once again back on track and as much fun to read as ever!
Time is running out for Thomas Ward. His final battle against the Fiend is drawing near, and the Spook's apprentice has never felt more alone in his task. Isolated and afraid, the Fiend is set to send the greatest of his servants against him - Siscoi, a Vampire God more ferocious than anything he has yet faced. Tom must risk his life to prevent the evil beast from entering this world, even as he learns that the final destruction of the Fiend may involve a sacrifice more terrible than he can imagine...
A stand-out feature of the book is the aging of John Gregory and the maturing of Thomas Ward. Gregory's days of fighting the dark are almost over and Tom now must grow into the role of the Spook, even becoming the master of the house in Chippenden (and in a delightful sub-plot attempt to convince the breakfast-making/boundary-protecting boggart that its future lies with him). The fight against the dark is his, and the fate of the world lies with him also (thanks Mam - no pressure then!). When Delaney writes like this then it really does make for a read-in-one-sitting type of book, filled with fascinating character development, showcasing the constant changing of the intricate feelings found within relationships. There are genuinely chilling moments and a real sense that the fight, if lost, will have a massive impact upon the world as it is known.
It was a joy to once again experience the same reading enjoyment found in the first five books. The book was full of twists and turns, both addictive and thrilling and with as many questions answered as raised it left me greatly looking forward to reading the next instalments and reaching the end of this excellent series.
Highly recommended - Delaney back to his best.
If you are wondering where the film adaptation of The Spook's Apprentice is up to, why don't you check out the Seventh Son trailer that has recently been made available.
This The Spook's Blood book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: The Wardstone Chronicles
The Spook's Tale
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The Spook keeps the County safe from creatures of the dark; things that suck your blood and snatch your bones and squeeze the breath from your body. When young John Gregory...
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For years, the local Spook has been keeping the County safe from ghosts and boggarts, but more especially from witches. The Spook’s Stories: Witches features stories ...
I Am Grimalkin
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'I am Grimalkin, and I have already chosen those I will kill…'Grimalkin has made it her lifetime ambition to destroy the Fiend, avenging the brutal mu...
The Spook's Apprentice
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 1
Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and has been apprenticed to the local Spook. The job is hard, the spook is distant and many apprentices have failed before h...
The Spook's Blood
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 10
Having bound the Fiend's spirit temporarily, Tom now has to come up with a permanent solution - and quickly. But the forces of the dark are now throwing everything they...
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 11
Slither is a haizda mage who preys upon humans, drinking their blood to feed his dark urges. So when a local farmer dies, it's only natural that Slither should want to ...
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 12
A lot of dark stuff happened when I was young that I’ve never even told to my dearest friend, Tom Ward. Dark and scary things I hoped I had left behind forever......
The Spook's Curse
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The Spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward, have travelled to Priestown to defeat the Bane, a powerful, evil creature that lurks in the catacombs of the cathedral and is cor...
The Spook's Secret
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 3
As the weather gets colder, the Spook announces that it’s time to move to his winter house on Anglezarke – a bleak, forbidding place, close to the dark with a d...
The Spook's Battle
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 4
In Pendle the witches are rising and the three most powerful witch clans are rumoured to be uniting in order to conjure an unimaginable evil. Together they will be capable ...
The Spook's Mistake
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 5
As danger increases in the Country, Tom is sent north by his master to be trained by Bill Arkwright, another spook. Arkwright lives in a haunted mill on the edge if a treac...
The Spook's Sacrifice
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 6
As the Spook’s apprentice, Tom’s first duty is to protect the County from the dark. But now Mam needs his help in her homeland of Greece. One of the most danger...
The Spook's Nightmare
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The Spook, Tom and Alice return from Greece to find the County under siege - and the Spook's home is burnt to the ground. With his precious library of knowledge destroy...
The Spook’s Destiny
The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 8
The Spook, Tom and Alice travel to Ireland, fleeing from the war in the County. There, Tom must tackle a group of evil mages who are desperate to rid their land of the Spoo...
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