Author: Joseph Delaney
Illustrated by: Patrick Arrasmith
“I was going to learn how to protect farms and villages from things that go bump in the night. Dealing with ghouls, boggarts, and all manner of wicked beasties would be all in a day’s work. That’s what the Spook did, and I was going to be his apprentice.’ (Page 4)
This is the story of Tom Ward, a thirteen year old boy and the last apprentice of Old Gregory; a Spook. But not everyone can be a Spook; you needed to be the seventh son of a seventh son, and Tom was three times that. He could also sense things that normal people couldn’t. There’s also the fact that practically all the trades were taken by his brothers; so along the story we learn that he was always meant to be a Spook.
After passing the test, the Spook leads him to his summer house in Chipenden, a wonderful place full of strange and mysterious books and gardens- the place in which Tom will learn about boggarts, ghosts and witches; how to make a pit, how to fight a witch and latin. On the first day, Tom learns about the different gardens that the Spook’s house has. He also learns that the witches are bound there; dead and alive, and also about the terrifying boggarts. After eating, the Spook gives him a small, leather notebook to write down everything he will learn. In the first lesson the Spook explains the different types of boggarts and witches:
- Boggarts: (B symbol)
- Hairy Boggarts: They take on different animal shapes such as: dogs, cats, goats and horses. Can be friendly, hostile or both.
- Hall Knockers: They rap on walls or doors, can throw pots, cups and pull bedclothes. Very unpredictable. Can also change from Hall to Stone Boggart which can kill, making showers of stones rain or throwing pebbles and or boulders.
- Cattle Rippers: This boggart drinks blood from cattle; but if they change to full rippers they drink blood form humans; they always kill.
- Witches: (O symbol)
- Malevolent: Evil witches. Found in Pendle Hill. They can use bone magic.
- Benign: Good witches; they help the community, experts on herbs.
- Falsely accused: They are not witches but are accused in order to get their properties.
- Unaware: This are witches that doesn’t know what they are; they can be good or bad.
Everyone should know this author. He’s fantasticand his writing style is not complicated nor too simple at the same time. The story will make you crave more. Tom Ward is surely to get one hell of a ride. The drawings are simply stunningly beautiful. Give it a try!