Tom Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son. This gives him an inherent understanding of the things that lurk in darkness. Like many of his ilk, he begins his apprenticeship to the local Spook – the lone figure in the area who traps witches, binds bogarts, and removes ghosts from the County in which Tom lives.
The series would be easy to compare to Harry Potter, but it isn’t really an apples to apples comparison. Its more an apples to bricks situation – they may look the same color from the outside, but inside they are very different. Pardon my poor metaphor, but what I am saying is this: The Last Apprentice is very different from Harry Potter.
The setting is fairly different; Tom Ward lives in a world that is pretty much analogous to England at the end of the Feudal era. Additionally, there’s an intense feeling of loneliness to the stories – while Harry Potter goes from isolation to a group of peers, Tom goes from a large, loving family to a situation in which he has only one friend and one teacher. The world is also more dangerous; the monsters of the Last Apprentice are far more dangerous and the actual witches make Voldemort look downright cuddly.
Its not a bad series – I quite enjoyed it. It has a compelling plot, it is a simple read, and the characters hold your attention. Like many series of books, the author gets more comfortable with the storytelling as the series moves forward, but you have to start at the beginning anyway to understand things. I just feel obligated to warn potential readers that this is a darker series that will require a certain level of maturity to handle, despite the series being for young adults.
The first book is known either as The Spook’s Apprentice (British title) or The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch (American title) and can be found on our shelves.
Find the first book or audiobook in this series.