Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Starblade Chronicles
Source: eGalley from Edelweiss
Rating: 4/5 stars
“Newly risen from the dead, Thomas Ward has been tasked with leading an army into battle against the dark, alongside his apprentice, Jenny, and the witch assassin Grimalkin. But their battle goes terribly wrong, and Tom’s situation seems hopeless until Alice—a powerful witch turned to the dark—appears. The second book in the new trilogy about Tom Ward continues the struggle against encroaching enemies and sweeps longtime fans back into familiar settings, such as the Spook’s bleak winter home, and brings back old friends—and old enemies.”
This was a good continuation of the Starblade Chronicles. This is the second book in the Starblade Chronicles; which will be a trilogy. I enjoyed watching as all our old favorites continue to fight a new and threatening fiend from the Dark. This book is aimed at an older audience than The Last Apprentice series, more young adult than middle grade.
It always takes me a bit to get back into Delaney’s writing style. His style can come off as a bit stiff or stilted sometimes, but once I get a few chapters in I get used to this style again and enjoyed it .
This is a rough book for Thomas and he ends up allying with a variety of unlikely allies to protect the County from the evil that is approaching. Alice is in the story a lot more which I enjoyed; she has become a force to be reckoned with but there is also some lingering sadness here because of how deeply Alice has become involved with the Dark.
About half of the book is told from Tom’s apprentice’s POV; Jenny. It is interesting to see Tom from Jenny’s point of view and see what she thinks of his actions. At times between trying to deal with his apprentice Jenny, trying to not be overwhelmed by Grimalkin’s various plots, and dealing with Alice’s descent into the Dark Tom seems tired and a bit hopeless. This made my heart ache a bit given what Tom has had to deal with. However Tom is not alone in his sacrifices…both Alice and Grimalkin have walked tough roads as well.
Overall this was a good continuation of the series. I would strongly recommend reading The Last Apprentice series before reading the Starblade Chronicles. There are a lot of nuances between characters that will be missed or not understood if you did not read the Last Apprentice series. I am curious to see how things culminate in the final book of the Starblade Chronicles.