Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and has been apprenticed to the local Spook. The job is hard, the Spook is distant and many apprentices have failed before Thomas. Somehow Thomas must learn how to exorcise ghosts, contain witches and bind boggarts. But when he is tricked into freeing Mother Malkin, the most evil witch in the County, the horror begins.. -Goodreads
My Rating: 5/5
I picked this book up as a kid when I’d run out of Harry Potter! I was immediately sucked in and fell in love with the characters and the world.
Thomas Ward is the young hero. He’s the seventh son of a seventh son which gives him special gifts that can be used to fight the Dark. He can see and sense things that others can’t, so he is apprenticed to the local spook whose job it is to protect The County from witches, boggarts, ghosts and other things that go bump in the night.
I love the master/apprentice plot when it’s done right, and this book does it so well. Thomas is soon learning about witches from his master, John Gregory, as well as learning Latin. Before long, he meets Alice, and trouble soon follows.
The pacing in this book is fantastic. We move from plot point to plot point smoothly, never jolting around like a lot of children’s fantasy can. Certain things are foreshadowed well, so that when they do happen, we were almost expecting them.
This is a fantastic first book for this fantasy series. It introduces some of our main characters as well as a few mysteries we want to discover more about. This introduction to the world offers us a glimpse at just how epic in scope the story can be further down the line.
This may be a children’s book, but I recently reread it and found myself lost in The County once again. It’s a fantastic story which I think more people should get into. Ignore the film though: that was terrible!