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Night of the Soul Stealer (Last Apprentice Series #3)

Night of the Soul Stealer (Last Apprentice Series #3)

4.8 77
by Joseph Delaney, Christopher Evan Welch (Read by)

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It's going to be a long, hard, cruel winter And there couldn't be a worse place to spend it than up on Anglezarke.

Thomas Ward is the apprentice for the local Spook, who captures witches, binds boggarts, and drives away ghosts. As the weather gets colder and the nights draw in, the Spook receives an unexpected visitor. Tom doesn't


It's going to be a long, hard, cruel winter And there couldn't be a worse place to spend it than up on Anglezarke.

Thomas Ward is the apprentice for the local Spook, who captures witches, binds boggarts, and drives away ghosts. As the weather gets colder and the nights draw in, the Spook receives an unexpected visitor. Tom doesn't know who the stranger is or what he wants, but the Spook suddenly decides it's time to leave Chipenden and travel to Anglezarke, his winter house. Tom has heard it will be a bleak, forbidding place, and that there are menacing creatures starting to stir somewhere on the moors nearby.

Can anything prepare Tom for what he finds there? What if the rumors about the evil beast called the Golgoth are true? And how much danger will Tom be in if the secrets the Spook has been trying to hide from the world are fully revealed?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Readers will not be disappointed by this chilling continuation of “The Last Apprentice” series. More tightly written then the second, this third book returns to the thrill and action of the series’ opening. As winter approaches, Tom, Alice, and the Spook leave the comfort of Chipenden and head north to Anglezarke, where the battle with the Dark is more intense. It is in the cold of Angelzarke that they meet Meg Skelton, the lamia witch loved by the Spook, as well as the mysterious Morgan, a former apprentice of the Spook. Both cause Tom to wonder about his master’s past indiscretions and his current ability to think clearly and objectively. In spite of the maturity and confidence he has gained in his months as an apprentice, Tom is confused by the deception and mystery surrounding the Spook’s former life and blinded by the tragedy that strikes his own life. Delaney succeeds in creating nail-biting suspense, as Tom tries to figure out who to trust and where his loyalties belong. Fans of this series will not want to miss this latest adventure. Reviewer: Heather Christensen
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8- "I've seen some scary things, but living in a house with witch graves, bound boggarts, and live witches in the cellar didn't make me rest easy." With a move across the county to the damp, dark winter house in Anglezarke, 13-year-old Tom Ward returns for his third adventure, completing his first year as the Spook's apprentice. In this installment, Mr. Gregory (the Spook) and Tom, with the help of Alice, an untrustworthy young witch, try to gain power by raising the ancient god of winter, Golgoth. Along the way, they face a stone-chucker boggart, two lamia witches, and a failed former apprentice dabbling in necromancy. Readers new to the series will get filled in on some of the past adventures, making this volume stand alone, but the growth of the characters of the Spook and Tom's mam will be more appreciated by fans. The straightforward, simple language, reflecting the way that the Spook is teaching Tom to deal with fear and the Dark, along with wide margins and illustrations at the head of each chapter, makes this an excellent choice for reluctant readers. It's head and shoulders above formulaic horror series, and fans of Darren Shan's "Cirque du Freak" (Little, Brown) or kids looking for "scary stories" will not be disappointed.-Kelly Vikstrom, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The third and weakest episode in Delaney's Last Apprentice series takes narrator Tom Ward, his secretive master Old Gregory and canny young witch Alice to winter quarters on bleak Anglezarke Moor where, thanks to massive contrivances, they survive encounters with three blood-sucking witches, a boggart or two and a necromancer out to raise one of the old gods. Along with offering supernatural threats that are both fewer and less dangerous than in previous volumes, Delaney injects his plot with artificial peril by repeatedly having his protagonists inexplicably lie or refuse to impart important information to one another. He then sets up the climax with a cruel deception that is not only ludicrously complicated, but out of character for the gruff but fundamentally decent Gregory, and closes with Tom's newly widowed mother showing him chests of magic secrets that he's forbidden to open for several months. Arrasmith's dark chapter-head illustrations and appended "notebook" pages add atmosphere but not vitality to this limp, overlong outing. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Last Apprentice Series , #3
Edition description:
Unabridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs.
Product dimensions:
6.56(w) x 5.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Last Apprentice: Night of the Soul Stealer

By Joseph Delaney

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Joseph Delaney
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780060766252

Chapter One

An Unexpected Visitor

It was a cold, dark November night, and Alice and I were sitting by the kitchen fire with my master, the Spook. The weather had been getting steadily colder, and I knew that any day now the Spook would decide it was time to set off for his "winter house" on the bleak moor of Anglezarke.

I was in no rush to go. I'd only been the Spook's apprentice since the spring and had never seen the Anglezarke house, but my curiosity certainly wasn't getting the better of me. I was warm and comfortable here in Chipenden, and that's where I'd rather have spent the winter.

I glanced up from the book of Latin verbs I was trying to learn, and Alice caught my eye. She was sitting on a low stool close to the hearth, her face bathed in the warm glow of the fire. She smiled and I smiled back. Alice was the other reason I didn't want to leave Chipenden. She was the closest I'd ever had to a friend, and she'd saved my life on a number of occasions over the last few months. I'd really enjoyed having her living here with us. She made the loneliness of a spook's life more bearable. But my master had told me in confidence that she would be leaving us soon. He'd never really trusted herbecause she came from a family of witches. He also thought she would start to distract me from my lessons, so when the Spook and I went to Anglezarke, she wouldn't be coming with us. Poor Alice didn't know this, and I hadn't the heart to tell her, so for now I was just enjoying another of our last precious evenings together in Chipenden.

But as it turned out, that was to be our last one of the year: as Alice and I sat reading by the glow of the fire and the Spook nodded off in his chair, the tolling of the summoning bell shattered our peace. At that unwelcome sound, my heart sank right down into my boots. It meant only one thing: spooks' business.

You see, nobody ever came up to the Spook's house. For one thing, they'd have been ripped to pieces by the pet boggart that guarded the perimeter of the gardens. So, despite the failing light and the cold wind, it was my job to go down to the bell in the circle of willow trees to see who needed help.

I was feeling warm and comfortable after my early supper, and the Spook must have sensed my reluctance to leave. He shook his head as if disappointed in me, his green eyes glittering fiercely.

"Get yourself down there, lad," he growled. "It's a bad night and whoever it is won't want to be kept waiting!"

As I stood up and reached for my cloak, Alice gave me a small, sympathetic smile. She felt sorry for me, but I could also see that she was happy to sit there warming her hands while I had to go out into the bitter wind.

I closed the back door firmly behind me and, carrying a lantern in my left hand, strode through the western garden and down the hill, the wind trying its very best to tear the cloak from my back. At last I came to the withy trees, where two lanes crossed. It was dark, and my lantern cast disturbing shadows, the trunks and branches twisting into limbs, claws and goblin faces. Above my head the bare branches were dancing and shaking, the wind whining and wailing like a banshee, a female spirit that warned of a death to come.

But these things didn't worry me much. I'd been to this spot before in the dark, and on my travels with the Spook I'd faced such things that would make your hair stand on end. So I wasn't going to be bothered by a few shadows; I expected to be met by someone far more nervous than I was. Probably some farmer's lad sent by his ghost-plagued dad and desperate for help; a lad who'd be scared just to come within half a mile of the Spook's house.

But it wasn't a lad waiting in the withy trees, and I halted in amazement. There, beneath the bell rope, stood a tall figure dressed in a dark cloak and hood, a staff in his left hand. It was another spook!

The man didn't move so I walked toward him, halting just a couple of paces away. He was broad-shouldered and slightly taller than my master, but of his face I could see little as the hood kept his features in shadow. He spoke before I could introduce myself.

"No doubt he's warming himself by the fire while you're out in the cold," the stranger said, the sarcasm heavy in his voice. "Nothing changes!"

"Are you Mr. Arkwright?" I asked. "I'm Tom Ward, Mr. Gregory's apprentice. . . ." It was a reasonable enough guess. My master, John Gregory, was the only spook I'd ever met but I knew there were others, the nearest being Bill Arkwright, who plied his trade beyond Caster, covering the northern border regions of the County. So it was very likely that this man was him—although I couldn't guess why he'd come calling.

The stranger pulled the hood back from his face to reveal a black beard dappled with flecks of gray and an unruly thatch of black hair silvered at the temples. He smiled with his mouth, but his eyes were cold and hard.

"Who I am is none of your business, boy. But your master knows me well enough!"

With those words he reached inside his cloak, pulled out an envelope, and handed it to me. I turned it over, examining it quickly. It had been sealed with wax and was addressed To John Gregory.

"Well, get on your way, boy. Give him the letter and warn him that we'll be meeting again soon. I'll be waiting for him up on Anglezarke!"


Excerpted from The Last Apprentice: Night of the Soul Stealer by Joseph Delaney Copyright © 2007 by Joseph Delaney. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Joseph DELANEY is the author of the internationally best-selling The Last Apprentice series, which is now a major motion picture, Seventh Son. He is a former English teacher who lives in the heart of boggart territory in Lancashire, England. His village has a boggart called the Hall Knocker, which was laid to rest under the step of a house near the church.

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Night of the Soul Stealer (Last Apprentice Series #3) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would say that you of the first two. This one has got be the best. Joseph Denaly is good at writing suspense. Everytime i read about the feral lamia i thought it was truely going to eat him. When she found him in that hole,i really really thought then that that was it. I just started the fourth book hopefully Joseph can pull it off again. Good job.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this third installment of the tragically little known Apprentice Series (it really should be on Best Sellers list), Tom, Alice, and the Spook travel to the north. We learn a lot more about the Spook's past and that not all of his apprentices died or turned into Spooks themselves. We finally meet Meg, the lamia witch, and Tom's life begins to turn bleaker than it had before as he begins to learn that he has no choice but to grow up fast to avoid being trampled on by life. This is a great book to all the cool people of the world that have enjoyed Old Gregory and Tom Ward from the very beginning!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an incredible book everyone should read.The story is interesting, frighning, and adictive.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really like this series. They are scary but really well written and throughly addictive. He writes like he has seen the spooks buisness firtshand and seen all the monsters. I really got to know more about meg and spook and cant wait for the next one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the last apprentice seires soo much I ordered this book and the fourth on line from england, this book is called the spook's secret over in the uk and It answered alot of question about meg skelton and such I was disapponted though there wasn't much witchcraft and Alice in this book it would wicked good all the same but if you like this series wait till the 4th They go to pendle!!! and it has witchcraft on every page
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the first and second. AMAZING! This one better be good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You're raeding this. Chances are you that read wrong. You read that wrong too, probably. You're checking. 1. You are smiling 3. Or you are thinking this is a waste of time 4. I skipped 2
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty spook-y. Tom Ward-er. : )-
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the best book ever. I think everyone should read it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blahh blahh blahh! Other peoples reviews dont deserve to exist. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! PRETTY GREAT BOOK.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just got done with the third book amd it was the most interresting book i have ever read i didnt think meg would remember that she was a laima witch all in all it was a REALLY GOOD BOOK.! I would recomend it to anyone it is a really awesome book.!
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Jamebone More than 1 year ago
The Last Apprentice series of books continues to draw you. The author creates deep rich characters that you grow to love as you watch them mature. Each book is a complete story with little threads that keep making you want to find out what happens next. It is a fun and well written work that both adults and young adults would like
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darkdemon More than 1 year ago
found very interesting for those who have read previous books this shows us a little insight into the master's past and may answer a few questions while creating many more mysteries. Not as scary as the other books far less suspense. Those who like things about actual demons and witches and not just the whole possesion thing read this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago