Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Attack of the Fiend (Last Apprentice Series #4)
  • Alternative view 1 of Attack of the Fiend (Last Apprentice Series #4)
  • Alternative view 2 of Attack of the Fiend (Last Apprentice Series #4)

Attack of the Fiend (Last Apprentice Series #4)

4.8 70
by Joseph Delaney, Patrick Arrasmith (Illustrator)

See All Formats & Editions

"I see your future clearly. Your master will be dead, and you will be alone. It would be better if you had never been born."

Thomas Ward is the apprentice for the local Spook, who banishes boggarts and drives away ghosts. But now a new danger is threatening Tom's world: the witches are rising and the three most powerful clans are uniting in order to conjure an


"I see your future clearly. Your master will be dead, and you will be alone. It would be better if you had never been born."

Thomas Ward is the apprentice for the local Spook, who banishes boggarts and drives away ghosts. But now a new danger is threatening Tom's world: the witches are rising and the three most powerful clans are uniting in order to conjure an unimaginable evil.

Tom and the Spook set out to stop the witches before they unleash the demon. But when Tom finds himself on his own, he wonders if he has the courage and cunning to defeat the most powerful enemy he has ever encountered.

Editorial Reviews

AGERANGE: Ages 12 to 15.

The newest volume of The Last Apprentice finds Tom Ward up to his rowan branch in witches who are attracted to him--or to the trunks given to him by his mother. On his part, Tom wants to rescue his family, who are trapped in a mansion that is soon to be captured by evil forces. Further complicating matters, Tom works in consort with a local cleric who is stabbed to death by a witch in disguise; a local official who is bewitched by the killer blames Tom for the murder instead. All of these calamities happen while Tom’s master, The Spook, is away. Will he come back in time to help Tom? Can any witches be trusted? Do the trunks portend good or evil? Can Tom himself be trusted? Tom begins to realize the truth in his mother’s saying that everyone contains both good and evil; the issue is what one decides to do. The writing continues to be fast paced and suspenseful; plenty of plot twists and character nuances engage the reader throughout this volume. Tom is just naïve enough to get himself into trouble yet maintain the reader’s empathy. This volume should be as successful as its predecessors, and the ending leaves plenty of room for continued development. Reviewer: Dr. Lesley Farmer
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)

AGERANGE: Ages 11 to 15.

In this fourth novel about Tom Ward, the apprentice Spook, young Tom faces his greatest challenge yet. The County's three rival witch clans are working toward a truce, planning to unite in order to raise the Fiend-the devil himself-to do their bidding. What they want is Tom dead, and he must use all his wits to save himself, his family, and the County from a threat of darkness as great as any the world has ever seen. Delaney structures the series so that the completed books are Tom's journal of the events he has recently experienced. Because of this device, there continues to be a tendency to state rather than show how frightening these events are. It results in an unfortunate distancing between the reader and the story, so one is never quite as spooked as one could be. For example, when Tom comes face-to-face with the infamous witch assassin, Grimalkin, she does not come close to being the remorseless torturer the Spook warned she would be early in the book. The most intriguing character in the series continues to be Tom's Mam, now returned to her homeland of Greece, but revealed in absentia to be something more powerful and disturbing than Tom could have imagined. Fans of the series will not be disappointed, but given how thrilling the most recent of Tom's adventures could have been, perhaps readers should be. Reviewer: Vikki Terrile
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

Children's Literature - Heather Christensen
In the fourth book of "The Last Apprentice" series, thirteen-year-old Tom Ward faces his most difficult adversary yet. Now that he has served as an apprentice for over a year, Tom's master turns his instruction to the topic of witches. The three of them—Tom, Mr. Gregory, and the young girl Alice—head off to Pendle to prevent the union of the three most powerful witch clans. They arrive to discover an even more dangerous foe—one strangely tied to Tom's mother and, more specifically, to the trunks she left him. Tom's family is in grave danger, and the question of who to trust becomes ever more complicated. Like its predecessors, this addition to the series is filled with terrifying characters, from witches to evil demons. Tom's mother, while not physically present in the story, continues to be an enigma. What kind of creature is she exactly? Like Alice, and even the Spook, she causes Tom to think deeply about what it means to be good or evil and who can or will fight against the Dark. Once again, Delaney has created a fast-paced story with an abundance of action and spine-tingling horror. Fans of the series will find satisfaction in this thrilling installment. Reviewer: Heather Christensen
Kirkus Reviews
Once again packaged as a doorstopper but reading as if it's half the length, the fourth episode in the harrowing training of teenaged Tom Ward as a bulwark against all that is evil and supernatural brings some disturbing revelations about his absent mother's identity. Plus there are battles with undead creatures, a trained assassin who likes to use scissors, three entire clans of witches-and not just a fiend, not just some fiend, but Old Nick himself, newly re-invited back to the world and far more powerful than all other threats combined. Fortunately (if that's the word), with help from a small but doughty crew of allies that swells with the addition of two winged, bestial vampires who turn out to be relatives, Tom pulls through; the stage is set, though, for further bloody struggles with the Devil and his minions. Dark chapter-head illustrations add a properly ominous air to the narrative, as do closing notes on each ghost, ghast, wight and worse he has met. Not recommended for beneath-the-sheets reading. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Last Apprentice Series , #4
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.50(d)
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Last Apprentice: Attack of the Fiend

Chapter One

A Visitor from Pendle

The witch was chasing me through the dark wood, getting nearer and nearer by the second.

I ran fast, frantic to escape, weaving desperately, with branches whipping into my face and brambles clutching at my weary legs. The breath rasped harshly in my throat as I drove myself harder and harder toward the edge of the wood. Beyond that lay the slope leading up to the Spook's western garden. If only I could reach that refuge, I'd be safe!

I wasn't defenseless. In my right hand I gripped my rowan staff, which was particularly effective against witches; in my left was my silver chain, coiled about my wrist, ready for throwing. But would I get even half a chance to use either? For the chain I needed a gap between us, but already the witch was close at my heels.

Suddenly the footsteps behind me ceased. Had she given up? I ran on, the waning moon now visible through the leaf canopy above, silver-dappling the ground at my feet. The trees were thinning. I'd almost reached the edge of the wood.

Then, just as I passed the last tree, she appeared from nowhere and ran at me from the left, her teeth gleaming in the moonlight, her arms outstretched as if ready to claw out my eyes. Still running, veering away, I flicked my left wrist and cracked the chain to send it hurtling toward her. For a moment I thought I had her, but she swerved suddenly and the chain fell harmlessly onto the grass. The next moment she thudded into me, knocking the staff from my hand.

I hit the ground so hard that all the breath was driven from my body, and in an instantshe was on me, her weight bearing down on me. I struggled for a moment, but I was winded and exhausted and she was very strong. She sat on my chest and pinned my arms down on either side of my head. Then she leaned forward so that our faces were almost touching, and her hair was like a black shroud touching my cheeks and blotting out the stars. Her breath was on my face, but it wasn't rank like that of a blood or bone witch. It was sweet like spring flowers.

"Got you now, Tom, I have!" Alice exclaimed triumphantly. "Ain't good enough, that. You'll need to do better in Pendle!"

With that, she gave a laugh and rolled off me, and I sat up, still fighting for breath. After a few momentsI found the strength to walk across and collect my staff and silver chain. Although she was the niece of a witch, Alice was my friend and had saved me more than once during the past year. Tonight I'd been practicing my survival skills, Alice playing the part of a witch seeking my life. I should have been grateful, but I felt annoyed. It was the third night in a row that she'd gotten the better of me.

As I started to walk up the slope toward the Spook's western garden, Alice ran to my side and matched me step for step.

"No need to sulk, Tom!" she said softly. "It's a nice mild summer's night. Let's make the best of it while we can. Be on our travels soon, we will, and we'll both be wishing we were back here."

Alice was right. I'd be fourteen at the beginning of August, and I'd been the Spook's apprentice for more than a year now. Although we'd faced many serious dangers together, something even worse was looming. For some time the Spook had been hearing reports that the threat from the Pendle witches was growing; he'd told me that we'd soon be traveling there to try and deal with it. But there were dozens of witches and maybe hundreds of their supporters, and I couldn't see how we could triumph against such odds. After all, there were only three of us: the Spook, Alice, and me.

"I'm not sulking," I said.

"Yes, you are. Your chin's almost touching the grass."

We walked on in silence until we entered the garden and saw the Spook's house through the trees.

"Ain't said anything yet about when we're off to Pendle, has he?" Alice asked.

"Not a thing."

"Haven't you asked? Don't find nothing out without asking!"

"'Course I've asked him," I told Alice. "He just taps the side of his nose and tells me that I'll find out in good time. My guess is that he's waiting for something, but I don't know what."

"Well, I just wish he'd get on with it. The waiting's making me nervous."

"Really?" I said. "I'm in no rush to leave, and I didn't think you'd want to go back there."

"I don't. It's a bad place, Pendle, and it's a big place, too—a whole district with villages and hamlets and big, ugly Pendle Hill right at its center. I've got a lot of evil family there I'd sooner forget about. But if we've got to go, I'd like to get it over and done with. I can hardly sleep at night now worrying about it."

When we entered the kitchen, the Spook was sitting at the table writing in his notebook, a candle flickering at his side. He glanced up but didn't say anything because he was too busy concentrating. We sat ourselves down on two stools, which we drew close to the hearth. As it was summer, the fire was small, but it still sent a comforting warm glow up into our faces.

At last my master snapped his notebook shut and looked up. "Who won tonight?" he asked.

"Alice," I said, hanging my head.

"That's three nights in a row the girl's gotten the better of you, lad. You're going to have to do better than that. A lot better. First thing in the morning, before breakfast, I'll see you in the western garden. It's extra practice for you."

The Last Apprentice: Attack of the Fiend. Copyright © by Joseph Delaney. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Attack of the Fiend 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books in the series, it's an amazing book and I love the competition with Mab and Alice over Tom. Also, I love the fact they travel to Pendle to stop the witch clans from coming together, it keeps you on edge throughout the book, and you never really know whats going to happen. Any book that Joseph Delaney writes is going to be amazing,especially this one. I recommend it to everyone!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so awesome and great. I think its the best one yet!!!! The ending is soooo sweet!!! I loved every word in it. As sweet as the ending is the book was filled to the brim with sadness along the way. I almost cryed. But I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
OMG was the best i have all 4 and wanna be one of the first to get the 5th. The plot is amazing Tom is getting closer to Alice and the Spook and is trying to deal with his family now that his mom and dad are gone. These books make you feel like you are Tom and you actually get into the character. If you like scary and some humor this is for yoy
Jij More than 1 year ago
Another great addition in Joseph Deleney's hit series. There's great action and suspense, not to mention the shocking surprises you'd never expect. The new enemies such as Tibb and Mab have unique personalities and the cliffhanger makes it so that you can't wait until the next book!
digbooks More than 1 year ago
all I'm going to say is im not a reader...and this book got me into reading. I love the main character. he brings you in and he puts you in his shoes. it is writen very well..I totally enjoyed this book. I also like the erie scaryness of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A cave like the app den, including pile of nest material. Warriors sleep here. No kits. PLZ POST!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I expand my credits to Joseph Delany because he has hit the mark again with this amazing book. I have read the series 8 times over and the intruging excitement hits the spot beautifully. And I also love that Tom and Alices relationship is growing stronger. So read all the books people. Cant wait for the last book The Fury of an Apprentice. Written by "another guy from VA"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GDDavis More than 1 year ago
This Series gets better and better with each book. Joseph Delaney has a way of maintaining the continuity from book to book yet each installment can stand on it's own as an individual story. A must read for all ages who love a great horror story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is ausome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!4000000000000 more
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kwallo More than 1 year ago
I Love this Series! Each book, from start to finish, has a fast paced, edge of your seat, can't wait to see what happens next experience. I've just started the next book in the series, and I intend to completely enjoy each and every book. I highly recommend The Last Apprentice series to any reader with a craving for adventure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cant sleep at night because of these books. Living near a dark creepy forest doesnt help either. But nevertheless i love these books. They keep getting better and better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best in the series so far!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cant get enough
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago