Attack of the Fiend (Last Apprentice Series #4)

Attack of the Fiend (Last Apprentice Series #4)


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"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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060891299
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/24/2009
Series: Last Apprentice Series , #4
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 71,590
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.50(d)
Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About 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.

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.

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Attack of the Fiend 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 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.
HimynameisSercan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a spook apprentice named Tom. He trys to stop opening a gate that unlease the fiend (the devil) from witches.
Ameliaiif on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is definitely the axis book around which the series will start to evolve¿ and it¿s about time, too ¿ holy cow, this is book #4!I felt like The Spook¿s Battle in particular was a long time coming. Why? Well, we finally start to piece together Alice¿s background, and we also get hands-on dealings with the most malevolent witches in the County! After hearing about them for the better part of 3 books, I was excited to actually see them. We also get more insight into Tom¿s family dynamics, including his mysterious mother and her quickly-unraveling past¿ interesting! - The pacing of the overall series is starting to get on my nerves ¿ the last 4 books have taken place roughly over a year¿s time¿that is waaaaaay to slow (in my opinion, at least). I said this in the review for The Spook¿s Secret: I¿m ready for Tom to start growing up! He¿s matured so much emotionally, yes, but he still functions like a young kid... Alice is starting to slightly surpass Tom as my favorite character! She¿s quite the underdog, though: nobody trusts her and everybody is just waiting for her to screw up. Now granted, she is a witch with a shady past, but come on, give her a break! It¿s like your Typical Girl scenario: you¿ve got a problem, but for some reason the menfolk can¿t seem to get their act together and solve the problem, so you do it, then they jump on you because they don¿t like your methods! Poor Alice! I can certainly relate, haha. - One thing Delaney does really, really well is ¿connect-the-dots¿. I love it when a series author finds ways to reiterate certain points from previous books into the current book. There were quite a lot of things from Apprentice and Curse, for example, that I managed to forget, so it was good of Delaney to remind me how everything relates to each other. The only thing I¿m unsure about is his order-of-events. For example, he had a really good ¿recap¿ conversation between two characters where you as the reader are given an explanation for something that happened earlier on in the series ¿ however, this conversation occurs at the very end of the story, so you go through 300 pages of ¿WHAT THE?!?!?!¿ before you get your answer. To me, that¿s not really suspense, that¿s distracting. If I¿m paying so much attention to a particular unexplained plot point, and I¿m given no ¿hold-your-horses, I¿ll-get-to-the-explanation-later¿ from the author (and authors do give you clues that they¿re not going to leave you hanging ¿ JK Rowling, for example) it becomes hard for me to concentrate on the rest of the story. Maybe that¿s just me, though¿ So bottom line: Delaney does tie up loose ends and tie in his previous stories with the present one, he just does it at weird times¿- Another thing I really like about Delaney and this series: his creativity at times gets off-the-charts. No, he didn¿t ¿create¿ boggarts, wights, and witches, but he puts his own personal touches on creatures and legends you thought you knew already, and the result is near-constant surprise on part of the reader. I was certainly impressed. On the other hand: the last 3 books in a row have pretty much used the same idea when it comes to your ¿creature of the dark¿ ¿ a malevolent, spirit thing that has been/could be mistaken for some kind of godlike being. The Bane. Golgoth. The Fiend. I want something more original, please. Just having the three covens of evil witches would have sufficed, at least in my opinion. And that brings me to my next point: - This series is starting to move in the ¿philosophical direction¿ and I¿m not sure how I feel about that. For one thing, I don¿t find ¿those questions¿ necessary for good fantasy fiction: take a hint from JK Rowling, whose whole story revolves around witches and wizards, yet she never says anything negative about religion. Seriously, Mr. Delaney: If you don¿t have anything nice to say, don¿t say anything at all! Now granted, I like stories that are about that cosmic, seemingly-metaph
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the 4th book in the Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney. Wow was this an excellent book!After hearing over and over about how bad things are in Pindle; Tom and the Spook are finally going to go there to deal with the witch problem for good. Alice is along to help them, using all her witchy knowledge for good. Nothing goes as planned though when the witches strike first at the place Tom is most vulnerable. Will they be able to root out all the witches? Will the witches raise the devil himself? What is in the trunks Mam left Tom? Exactly who is Mam? All of these questions are answered to some extent.This was a wonderfully written book; as usual. It may be one of the best books in this series yet. It is very suspenseful and spooky, there is lots of action (more than usual). Alice's character is being developed nicely and Tom really comes into his own in this book. We get to meet more of Tom's brothers; and the future looks bleaker than ever. This is the first book where the greater outside world really starts to have an influence on what is happening to Tom. Usually the books are pretty isolated to a small area, but not this one, things are more dire than ever.It was just a great book. I was disappointed when I was finished. These are so fun to read and so well written. I love them and cannot wait to get my hands on the next one!
vernefan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had the lay down date marked on my calendar, and couldnt wait to run down to the store as soon as the day came to get my copy. I had read the previous three installments and did a 5 star review on book two, The Curse of the Bane. Delaney just keeps these books remarkably riveting, scary and intense. This was the longest book yet but by far the best of the four. Our young Apprentice is getting stronger in his abilities and getting more independant to work on his own now without the constant guidance of the mighty Spook. I like that his character is growing and not staying stagnant even though the time period between book one and this book four is only a year and a half's time. This installment, Attack of the Fiend, offers more wonderful suspenseful, edge of the seat action. The scare level is right up there from page one to the end. Last Apprentice fans can not be disappointed in this new book in any way and are sure to just say "more please". Delaney does leave this installment a little open ended so that we for sure know that book five is on it's way so that we readers get resolvement on the episodes we get in this book. This is a fabulolus horror series for kids and adults and truly topnotch. I'd like to add praise too to the sensational illustrator. Not only are the cover designs remarkable but each chapter head page evokes true dark and eerie scenes that seem to scream off the page. High praise here, very very high praise for a series that is not sliding in interest, it is escalating into greatness. I eagerly await book five. I just cant wait!
mayaspector on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth book in the fantastic Last Apprentice series. I do recommend starting with the first book and reading them in order, so if you haven't seen the series,please go and check out Revenge of the Witch. If you like spooky, scary books, this series is definitely for you! In this book, Tom, the Spook's apprentice, faces his biggest challenge yet - stopping three whole clans of witches from raising the Fiend himself. What's worse is that the witches have wrecked his family's farm, kidnapped his relatives, and stolen the precious but mysterious trunks that Tom's mother left for him. The illustrations by Patrick Arrasmith are amazing, and certainly add to the dark, spooky mood.
Eurekas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Spook, Alice and Tom go to Pendle to sort out the Pendle witch clans who are planning to raise the Devil on Lammas Day. More is learned about Tom's Mam and the contents of the room she left to Tom in the old family home, as well as the room itself. Like the first book in this series the Spook does not play a large roll in this book. Tom and Alice are the larger players. It was a hard book to put down.
runreadrepeat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great new addition to the "Last Apprentice" series. I love the direction Delaney has taken the series. The battle between good and evil is building into what is sure to be an impressive and, dare I assume, heart wrenching conclusion. The prophesies are intriguing and just enough to wet the readers whistle for what is to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After i read this book it wants me craving for more
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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"
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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!