I Am Grimalkin by Joseph Delaney
Review by Floresiensis
‘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 murder of her son.
Having grudgingly joined forces with the Spook and his apprentice, Tom, and assisted them in the binding of the Fiend, she is now on the run. And her mission is deadly.
She has to help them bind the Fiend’s spirit for ever no matter who – or what – comes after it…
The Wardstone Chronicles now consists of eight main series books and four companion pieces and the challenge for any author writing a series of this length is to keep the quality of the individual book’s high, maintain the interest of the reader and continually develop the characters. And all this Joseph Delaney has done very, very well. In my last review, for The Spook’s Destiny, I mentioned that Spook’s books are either good, very good or excellent. I found the first five books in the Wardstone Chronicles to be excellent while the three that followed, although still good, didn’t quite reach the same heights. I must admit that I had begun to wonder if the series was running out of steam and so it came as a wonderful surprise to find that I Am Grimalkin finds Joseph Delaney back on top form once again.
In my opinion, the main reason for this reinvigoration was that in I Am Grimalkin the narration moved away from Thomas Ward to the enigmatic witch-assassin Grimalkin. Grimalkin is an oddly likeable character (despite cutting of people’s thumb bones while they still lived… allegedly), due in no small part to the code of ethics which she steadfastly adheres to. We learn much about her life and we also discover that she once had an apprentice assassin, and this made for fascinating reading.
I Am Grimalkin is a brilliant, and very strong, addition to the series. And it is not the simple spin-off that I, and I’m sure many others, may have expected, but a vital continuation to the ongoing story of the light’s fight against the dark. As exciting and compelling as ever, the story of Grimalkin will thrill and chill in equal measure. Highly recommended.
But there was a shock in store for me at the end of the book. In a Q&A with the author Delaney delivered this bombshell:
You’ve announced that the Wardstone Chronicles will soon be drawing to a conclusion. Are you sad to be leaving them behind?
Yes. I will be sad when the series comes to an end because it has been so much a part of my life for the last ten years. However, I always look towards the future and it would be great to have a completely different new series (perhaps in another genre, such as science fantasy).
I do find it hard to accept that there will never be another book set in the world of the Wardstone Chronicles because much still remains to be explored.
It is sad to her that the Chronicles is drawing to an end as I had hoped to read about Tom once he became the spook himself, after John Gregory has hung up his cloak and staff. I would also have liked to see a new Spook’s house.
Well, nobody told me! So things are really coming to a head now and we must prepare ourselves for the final battle. It is sad to hear that the Chronicles are drawing to an end as I had hoped to read about Tom once he became the spook himself, after John Gregory has hung up his cloak and staff. I would also have liked to see a new Spook’s house… but maybe it will be best to finish the series on a high.
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