The Spook's Sacrifice by Joseph Delaney (The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 6)

9/10 Spook devotees will thoroughly enjoy this latest addition.

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 dangerous of the Old Gods, the Ordeen, is about to return there, bringing slaughter and devastation.
Man has summoned a powerful group to her side, but among them are Tom’s old enemies, the Pendle witches. Can Tom go against all the Spook has taught him and ally himself with the witches? What is the secret that Mam is keeping from him? And what sacrifices must be made in the battle against the dark?
The Spook’s Sacrifice is the sixth tale in the Wardstone Chronicles and as it opens we find ourselves at the Spook’s house in Chipenden. But then Tom and his companions begin the long and dangerous voyage to Greece…
In the children’s fantasy world June belongs to Joseph Delaney and his Spooks’ series. Each title is more eagerly awaited than its predecessor and so it was with great excitement that I began reading the delightfully illustrated (David Frankland) hardback.
The Wardstone Chronicles deal with the battle between the Light and the Dark. The Spook and Tom represent the Light while the Dark’s minions include witches, boggarts, lamias and even the devil himself. The series has a well-established cast but for those new to the series here is a little about each major character. Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son; this means that he can see and hear the dead - perfect skills for a Spook’s Apprentice. The Spook himself is tall and fierce looking. Like Tom, he is left-handed and the seventh son of a seventh son, and for over sixty years he has protected the County from the Dark. Alice is related to two of the most evil witch clans and has been known to use dark magic. She seems to be a loyal friend of Tom’s, but can she be trusted? Tom’s mam has always known he would become the Spook’s apprentice. Mam has always been a little different; her origins in Greece remain a mystery. In fact, there are quite a few mysterious things about Mam, as this tale reveals…
So, has Joseph Delaney managed to maintain the high standards already set and sustain the momentum?
On the whole, yes. The book’s beginning in Chipenden, and the journey to Greece are as excellent as ever; it was just like meeting very old, and very dear friends. There does however appear to be a slight shift in the book’s style. What made the preceding five books so enjoyable was the incredible use of suspense and supernatural elements to captivate the reader. In The Spook’s Sacrifice these moments are not as frequent as I would have liked, replaced in the main by an adventurous, action-packed narrative that fairly strained at the leash. Once the party lands in Greece the narrative seems to lose some of its power; the centrepiece of the story is The Ord (a citadel that travels through dimensions) and The Ordeen (an Old God who desires death and dominion) and it is sad to say that these just did not have the same impact and nerve-jangling qualities of the earlier villains and dark locations. It was all OK, just not that special something that we have become accustomed to expect from Joseph Delaney.
“Mam bowed her head for a moment as though reluctant to speak, but then she looked me in the eye and seemed to find her resolve. ‘The Ordeen has a terrible thirst for blood, son. And when she visits our world, those who accompany her through the portal in her great citadel, the Ord – daemons, fire elementals and vaengir – are similarly thirsty. Thousands of innocent people are slaughtered – men, women and even children. She’s growing in power and each visit she makes to our world is more devastating.”
Chapter 4: Decisions

Many questions are answered in The Spook’s Sacrifice, and some of them are BIG revelations. Expect to be in for a big surprise!  Despite the slight criticism earlier in this review, I still found this book to be very good and way above the average. The series is left beautifully poised as the tale concludes and the seventh instalment will be as eagerly awaited as ever.
Although The Spook’s Sacrifice is not the strongest book in the series, it is essential in regards to plot progression. Spook devotees will thoroughly enjoy this latest addition and I look forward to June 2010 and the publication of the next book.
Joseph Delaney lives in Lancashire. His home is in the middle of boggart territory and his village has a boggart called the Hall Knocker.

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4 positive reader review(s) for The Spook's Sacrifice

Our interview with Joseph Delaney

The Wardstone Chronicles began in 2004 with the publication of The Spook's Apprentice. In 2008 the fifth book in the series, The Spook's Mistake, was released to further complement a series that is without doubt the b [...]

Read interview


Joseph Delaney's The Wardstone Chronicles series

The Spook's Apprentice

The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 1

The Spook's Curse

The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 2

The Spook's Secret

The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 3

The Spook's Battle

The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 4

The Spook's Mistake

The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 5

The Spook's Tale

The Wardstone Chronicles

The Spook's Sacrifice

The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 6

The Spook's Stories: Witches

The Wardstone Chronicles

The Spook's Nightmare

The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 7

The Spook's Destiny

The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 8

I Am Grimalkin

The Wardstone Chronicles

The Spook's Blood

The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 10

Slither's Tale

The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 11

Spooks: Alice

The Wardstone Chronicles: Book 12

The Spook's Sacrifice reader reviews

from England

this book is amazing couldn't put it down i would love to purchase one as i got it from the library and the rest of the books are soooooooooooo good i love the darkness in the books. very inspirational

from London

This book is a fantastic story. It's one of my favourites out of all the Spook's books!!! PS I really like Grimalkin (the witch assasin)

from Kent

I think that the Spooks' books have been great up until The Spooks Mistake. The books have been very dark (a bit too dark for children). However they are still great, I 'm on The Spook's Sacrifice now and I can't wait to know Mam's secret, although I already know that she is a lamia!!! :)

from Chile

Then don't read them again and go away from forums, they are excellent!

from Whysdale

Brilliant! Could not put the book down... amazing!

9.4/10 from 6 reviews

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