The Spook’s Destiny by Joseph Delaney

Rating 8.0/10
A fun and satisfying read.

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 Spook and his apprentice, and to increase their own dark powers. His dangerous mission against the mages leads Tom to the Destiny Blade - a sword with a dark side, and a thirst for blood… Will this new weapon give him a fighting chance against the Fiend? If he's to survive, he'll need training, and only one person can help - Grimalkin, the witch assassin. The dark against the dark…

The release of a new Spooks book is an annual event that I always look forward to, and since 2004 saw the release of The Spook’s Apprentice I have always read and reviewed the latest instalment within weeks of its publication. But somehow I missed this one, and it was not until a review copy of I Am Grimalkin arrived, which I immediately begun reading, that it became obvious that there was a large gap in my Spook's knowledge. A little online research revealed that I had completely missed the release of book eight, The Spook's Destiny, in June 2011 and so, thanks to the wonderful Amazon Kindle, I was able to download and begin reading it in less than 30 seconds.

There are no bad books in the Wardstone Chronicles, they are all either good, very good or excellent. The Spook's Destiny is one of the good ones, as well-written and as engaging as ever but arguably without that extra sparkle provided by a great plot and great new characters, that lifted The Spook's Apprentice and The Spook's Mistake to amongst the very best fantasy books available for children. It was, to put it simply, a fun and satisfying read.

The series has always been dark and that has not changed, in fact I think things are even darker now due to our heroes' itinerant lifestyle and the Fiend's ever present menace. Now that the series is coming to an end (more on that in the I Am Grimalkin review) the build-up to the final battle has begun and much groundwork is being laid for this epic encounter. The Spook's Destiny is as addictive, and as easy a read, as we have come to expect from a storyteller as gifted as Delaney and I can't think of many other books that I finish quite so quickly. It is of course a must for fan's of the series so far and the assassin witch Grimalkin plays a major role, which is always a bonus as she is a real stand-out character in the series.

Recommended, as always.

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Note: I have now finished I Am Grimalkin and it was excellent, one of the best in the series.

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