Reading Level: Middle Grade/YA
Size: 400 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 9th book in the Last Apprentice series
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
This is the ninth book in The Last Apprentice series by Delaney. The tenth book of this series will be titled, Lure of the Dead, and is scheduled for release in August 2012. This was a great addition to the series and is told completely from Grimalkin’s point of view; although it is also directly tied into Tom and Alice’s story as well.
Grimalkin has made it her goal to destroy the Fiend as revenge for him murdering her son. In the last book she joined forces with Tom and the Spook to take down the Fiend. Now she is on the run with the Fiend’s head. If she is going to give Tom and the Spook time to destroy the Fiend permanently she needs to keep the head away from the Fiend’s many dangerous followers.
This was an excellent addition to the series, although not my favorite. I was very, very excited to read more about Grimalkin and all in all it was fun to hear things from her point of view. Although I have to say I had kind of been hoping for a more complex character; what drives Grimalkin is very straight forward…it’s revenge.
We learn more about Grimalkin’s past and life in this book. One of the best additions to the story was Grimalkin’s apprentice. This gave us a glimpse at Grimalkin’s life outside of her quest to kill the Fiend and did add a little more depth to her character.
Grimalkin is unique in that she is one of the most driven characters I have read about; sometime it feels like she makes it through events on determination alone. She is Grimalkin and that is enough for her to fight through everything to get to her goal.
The only other thing I thought was weaker with this book was the style of language. At times the language is pretty dry; there isn’t as much banter as in the book featuring Tom Ward. Grimalkin sometimes speaks in a rather archaic way and I thought it made her sound a bit stiff.
Also I should mention that this book was much more violent than the previous books in the series. That didn’t bother me much, but I noticed it. Of course this is a book about a witch assassin, and the world the witches live in isn’t a pretty one…so that is to be expected.
Also this is part of the main story but more like an offshoot. While Grimalkin is guarding the Fiend’s head Tom and the Spook are supposed to be off figuring out how to destroy the Fiend’s spirit and body for good (which I am going to assume is the topic of the next Last Apprentice book). The story is progressed some, but not a lot.
Overall this was a great book in the series. I loved learning more about Grimalkin, I was a bit disappointed because my expectations were so high…Grimalkin wasn’t as complex as I thought she would be. That being said it was still a very very well done book and added a lot to the story. While the storyline isn’t progressed a ton, this book does fill out and add to the story. This whole series is highly recommended to Middle Grade and older readers who like their fantasy dark with monsters and some creepy in it.