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The Spook's Sacrifice (Wardstone Chronicles)
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"Fans of Joseph Delaney's fantastic Wardstone Chronicles will need no urging to buy the latest instalment . . . Gripping, moving and terrifying for anyone of 10+" (Amanda Craig The Times)
"Another breathless thriller from the genius of magic and mayhem!" (Pam Norfolk Lancashire Evening Post)
"Wonderfully dark" (The Bookseller)
"Expect to be in for a big surprise! The series is left beautifully poised as the tale concludes and the seventh instalment will be as eagerly awaited as ever" (Fantasy Book Review) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
WARNING: NOT TO BE READ AFTER DARK
The sixth chilling tale in The Wardstone Chronicles . . .--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Firstly, yes, like other reviewers I missed the extra 100 or so pages, it was too short, only because I enjoy these books and so want them to be at least as long as the last ones.
But my big dissapointment is...why, why, why, before the series is complete, change the cover format? It was the different and not mainstream cover of The Spooks Apprentice that caught my eye and made me pick it up and bye it, and as a collector of childrens hardback books (the ones I like anyway) I have looked forward to completing this good looking set. THEN THEY GO AND CHANGE THE COVERS! When I first saw it advertised on Amazon I thought it must be an American version, but no, it wasn't. Why didn't they wait until the end and then if they wanted to they could have re issued the books with the new covers. I was not happy!
I wonder also about why the author has either put himself under so much pressure or been put under pressure from his publisher (I suspect the later) to write two additional books in addition to carrying on with the series. Why now, and is that why the Spooks Sacrifice was shorter? Why not finish the series and then write the two add on books. Fortunatlely, it didn't affect the quality of the writing, there was just less of it. I hope that the next book is a thicker one...real shame though about the cover change, although I guess children will like the new pictures, I'm a 43 year old child and I prefer the old covers, so there...whoever made the change I hope a big scarey boggart comes along and sits on your head.
I have deliberately with-held information about this, it's one of my favourite parts in the book. Tom faces a lot of internal conflict: naturally he has ties to his mother, even though he doesn't see her much, and wants to discover who she really is. He has strong ties with his current master, for he's taught him so much. And he naturally wants to help make the world a safer place to be. Being pulled in two directions provides much to think about.
There are a couple of moments in the story which took me completely by surprise - real, strong plot twists which match the twists in the previous book. This installment was perhaps more enjoyable than The Spook's Mistake because it delved into Tom's family life. I like learning how characters interact with their family, especially if contact is limited. Additionally, the whole Alice/Tom story line really blossoms. Not romantically - everything is kept blush free. It is Tom's desire to develop their friendship which clashes against his master's wish for the two youngsters to keep apart. Dark magic has no place in the life of light magic - at least that's how his master views the world. Unfortunately, just like life in our world, black and white is divided with varying shades of grey.
Even if this is the first Wardstone Chronicle's book you read, I whole-heartedly recommend it.
But the first rule of writing is to make your characters "sins" forgivable...and I found it hard (and near impossible) to forgive Mam's sins. I know, it makes Alice and Tom perfectly suited but there are some sins of the "father" and in this case "mother" that can't help but leave a stain on the children. Now I'm not so sure how much I like either character.
I also found myself wanting to fast forward to the end of the book because unlike his other books where each page was an adventure and a scary kind of wonder to God-knows-where, in this book, we all knew about the big battle at the end and the only question was how it was going to unfold.
It appears there will be another book...let us hope that Delaney gives the reader a real reason to continue to root for Tom and Alice.