Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 416 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 11th book in the Last Apprentice series
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
This is the eleventh book in The Last Apprentice series. The twelfth book will be titled, I am Alice, and is scheduled for a September 2013 release. This book was a good read and engaging, but did not feature the normal characters in the series.
This book diverts from our normal group of characters, to a different part of the world far from Tom Ward’s country. The story is told from Sliter’s point of view. Slither is a dark mage that makes a deal with a farmer in his region. When the farmer dies he promises Slither his eldest daughter, Nessa, as a slave if only Slither will see Nessa’s two younger sisters to their aunt and uncle. When Slither gets on the bad side of another dark mage all of their lives are in danger. Although things take turn for the better when the strange witch named Grimalkin pops into the story.
This book is written in the same dank and dark tone as all of the previous books. Slither is not really a good character at all, but he is an honorable one. Sure he eats human blood to survive, but when he makes a promise to Nessa’s dad he is bound to keep it. He is not kind, he is not caring, but he honors his bargains.
Parts of the book are also told from Nessa’s point of view. Nessa is a surprisingly resilient character; I loved her bravery in the face of things more horrible than she has ever before faced. I loved how she did her best to shelter her younger sisters as well. She is one tough cookie and an excellent heroine to add to the series.
Slither’s world is a dangerous and interesting one. It’s bound by rules that are followed strictly but it is a vicious world. I enjoyed reading and learning about the world outside of the one we normally read about.
Grimalkin does enter the book for the last third or so of the story. As normal Grimalkin is my absolute favorite character in this series. Like normal she is neither good nor bad. Here we see some of what she has gone through and continues to go through in an effort to destroy the Fiend’s head. She was awesome and the collaborations between her and Nessa were interesting and made me wonder what the future holds for Nessa.
While I wasn’t totally thrilled to have the resolution to this series delayed by this diversion, I have to admit this book was well done and very entertaining. It is formated like previous books with creepy pictures opening each chapter. The book is creepy and dark and a bit scary, but never terrifying.
Overall I really enjoyed this addition to the Last Apprentice series. It was fun to get a look at a different part of the world this series takes place in. Slither was an interesting evil but honorable type of character. Nessa was a surprisingly engaging heroine as well. The parts with Grimlakin were wonderful and it was interesting to see what else she has done on her travels. The book was well paced and incredibly engaging. I really love this series. I can’t wait to read I Am Alice and then see how things wrap up in the 13th book of this series! This series is highly recommended to fans of middle grade/young adult horror/fantasy.