Not to be confused with John Flanagan's The Ranger's Apprentice series, The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney is a different genre set in a different time period. With thirteen books in the series, if you have a reader who likes series, they are set for a while.
I have only read the first book, but I will be looking for the others in my book buying travels. With plenty of white space, larger font, and illustrations, this is a good book for a struggling reader. This book reminds me of Tales of the Crypt combined with the Scary Story books that kids enjoy in middle grades. The story is ghosty, witchy, creepy, and suspenseful.
Blurb from the back of the book: "For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the country, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried - some floundered, some fled, some failed to say alive. Only Thomas Ward is left. He's the last hope, the last apprentice."
Thomas is the seventh son of a seventh son, and he becomes the last apprentice. His mother is an interesting character, and I think more will be shared about her background as the series continues. In this story, there is no clear cut right or wrong. Thomas must choose his direction for himself using what he learns. Sometimes he chooses what others may deem wrong, but he is certainly on his own path trying to make right choices.
Alice, the girl with pointed shoes, may or may not lead him astray, and hopefully we will learn more about her life as the series continues.
If you enjoy a good skin-crawling tale, this series is for you.
Read to a child today even if that child is you.
ETA: We just finished book two - The Curse of the Bain and enjoyed it just as much as the first one. These books are dark and not for the easily scared or squeamish. We are enjoying the character development. In this installment, The Spook and Thomas head to Priestown to attend a funeral. Unfortunately, danger lurks in Priestown in the form of the Bane that dwells under the city in the catacombs. It can read your thoughts, enter your dreams, and press you to death. Above ground, the Quisitor has come to town searching for those to accuse of witchcraft or dark work. He is an evil man who accuses, convicts, and sentences to death innocent people and then confiscates their land.
This is a dangerous quest that the Spook tried to solve years ago but failed.
We just started book three as another Breakfast Book, and Matt is still loving the series.