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The Spook's Stories: Witches Hardcover – 1 Oct 2009

30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bodley Head; 1st Edition edition (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0370329961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0370329963
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.3 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joseph Delaney is a retired English teacher living in Lancashire. He has three children and seven grandchildren and is a wonderful public speaker available for conference, library and bookshop events. His home is in the middle of Boggart territory and his village has a boggart called the Hall Knocker, which was laid to rest under the step of a house near the church. Most of the places in the Spook's books are based on real places in Lancashire. And the inspiration behind the stories often comes from local ghost stories and legends. The Spook's Apprentice, The Spook's Curse and The Spook's Secret have all been shortlisted for the Lancashire children's Book for the Year Award. The Spook's Apprentice is the winner of both the Sefton Book Award and the Hampshire Book Award.

Product Description

Review

"Instantly evocative and highly filmic" (Amanda Craig The Times)

"This gathering of five short stories is an invaluable addition to The Wardstone Chronicles; much is explained in detail and Delaney gives Spook's devotees a greater insight into some of his most beloved and intriguing characters" (Fantasy Book Review)

"What really sets it a notch above some of its peers is some terrific writing, dense atmosphere, and the intriguing glimpse of English folklore it affords its readers" (Stefan Bachmann The Bookbag)

"Each dark tale stands alone and don't worry if you haven't yet discovered the Wardstone Chronicles because you don't have to be a Spook aficionado to enjoy these haunting histories. Just make sure you're not alone when you read them!" (Pam Norfolk Lancashire Evening Post)

"This spooky collection of gruesome, brutal tales about witches, spooks, and boggarts is a great way to spend an afternoon, losing yourself in the world of the weird" (First News) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A collection of 5 blood-chilling witch stories from the world of the Spook's Apprentice

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Deedar on 15 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must have for all the fans of the Joseph Delaney's Wardstone books.
It gives you a good background, and more depth to many of his characters. It also slots a few pieces of the jigsaw together. A nice read, and certainly NOT TO BE READ AFTER DARK!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Last Apprentice series is full of witches -- good ones, bad ones, and horrifying ones. So unsurprisingly "The Last Apprentice: A Coven of Witches" is all about various witches in this series, ranging from a vampirelike dead witch to Grimalkin herself. Joseph Delaney's stories are solid, but be forewarned: one of these stories has been released in another book.

"Meg Skelton" takes us back to when Gregory was a young man: he fell in love with a beautiful young woman that he rescued from a monster -- only to find that she was a lamia witch. Though he tried to live peacefully with Meg, her feral sister Marcia and the suspicious townspeople ultimately made it impossible. "Dirty Dora" tells us of a grotesque undead witch who returns after death to visit revenge on the men who killed her.

"Grimalkin's Tale" tells how the fiery young assassin became the Witch Assassin, and why she wants to kill the Fiend. "Alice and the Brain-Guzzler" tells of the first week of Alice Dean's apprenticeship, and how she became the target of a deadly familiar who's eyeing her as his next victim. Finally, Tom encounters the "The Banshee Witch," a mysterious woman with a terrible cry who is far more than what she appears...

I'm 99% sure that "Grimalkin's Tale" was already released in another one of Joseph Delaney's short story collections, and that the big drawback to this collection. Well, that and the fact that there's no real ending to Gregory's doomed love story -- Delaney doesn't really explain what happened to Meg and Marcia after Gregory returned.

But the rest of it is pretty good stuff -- Delaney explores some of the backstories of the supporting cast, and includes a story about Tom's apprenticeship with Arkwright.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
*Review contains spoilers*

Joseph Delaney delivers here five very original and entertaining tales that all relate to the dark he faces everyday and the theme of these stories is witches. Each of the stories are eerie, spooky and scary and, in the case of the story Alice and the brain guzzler, gruesome. Each of the different tales has a different person narrating them, the first is the Spook himself when he was younger, telling the tale of how he met Meg the lamia witch and fell in love, the second is narrated by a dead witch who tells us in gory detail about her life as a dead witch and how she came to be one, the third story is narrated by Grimalkin and is the story of how she came to be so angry with the fiend, the fourth is narrated by Alice as she tells us of her life with her Aunt Bony lizzie (or if you've read Spooks Nightmare you'll know she isn't really her aunt), the fifth story is narrated by Tom Ward as he describes his time training with Bill Arkwright.
Overall this is a very well written addition to the Wardstone Chronicles and provides fans with extra details and insights into the spooks world, it is also a perfect introductory book for anyobdy who has not yet started the wardstone chronicles.
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Format: Hardcover
These are smaller stories that are alluded to but not fully written in the 'spooks' saga.
They are brilliant.
Taken as short stories or the context of one who has read others in the series it works either way.
Like the Skulduggary Pleasant stories, it doesn't treat its readers as if they can't handle the facts of life, unlike Harry Potter where in if some one dies, the just stop living, in these tales they are likely to be torn apart and have the narrator retching at the thought.
Having said that... not for the squeamish youth.

Despite what it warns on the cover... go on, read it just before bed and give yourself a bit of a scare.;)
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Format: Hardcover
Whilst not technically part of the series this short title is one that adds a lot of background and flavour to the events in the current series. Firm favourites, both new and old, have the chance to tell elements of their own adventures so that the reader can get to know them better.

Its beautifully constructed, has great elements and could be used as a way to introduce the whole inventive world of Joseph Delaney to new readers as well as allowing established fans the chance to get more information on people of interest. Seriously good fun and a book that will just add more magical strokes to the world as a whole.
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By maria on 22 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like this book as it reveals the past of the current spook and his relationship with Meg, which now proves that he does not always believe his previous masters rules and beliefs.(As Tom did himself until he read a part of his old diaries in a previous book).
Also I was shocked to find out that one of the five stories was based on grimalkalkin and her victory over Kernolde.This is as we all got enough of that story and many other related ones in I am Grimalkin.
NOTE:To enjoy the book you should read all the ones which came before to fully understand.
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