Rise of the Huntress (The Last Apprentice) by Joseph Delaney
The Spook’s house is gone thanks to the invading armies, and an attempt to hide at Bill Ackwright’s former location is dashed upon meeting refugees and armies. The Spook, Tom, and Alice flee across the sea only to encounter more trouble and an escaped Bony Lizzie. Unwelcome on the island, the three are forced to hide and sadly Tom and Alice are captured by a dark shaman, who rules the area. A game of cat and mouse ensues for Tom for most of the book and the Spook is getting older and weaker, which worries Tom and Alice realizes that Tom needs to start doing the physical work and the Spook needs to start writing down the knowledge lost when their home was destroyed. The shit in roles between Alice, Tom, and The Spook in this book foretell an interesting journey for future books. While other books have taken place outside of their home, this books marks a shift as there is no home to go back to and the dark forces that are being encountered are not only magical.
Character List/Book Summary:
Tom Ward = in his 3rd year of his apprentice as a Spook, he is the 7th son of a 7th son giving him a special protection and understanding of magic. An abhuman says there is a sliver of darkness in him when he is captured by the dark shaman.
“The Spook” Gregory = thinks it is odd that Alice and Tom will not separate from each other, sad when he learns of the reason why they cannot separate. Distraught over the destruction of his house and library. Realizes he is losing his strength after being bested by Bony Lizzie more than once. While he is not in favor of the blood jar, he realizes Alice is right and they need help to beat the Fiend.
Alice = trained for 2 years to be a witch, an abhuman recognizes her darkness, disappears after Tom and her face the Buggane, keeps reminding The Spook that it is his duty to write down his knowledge and train Tom. Recognizes that maybe good and dark magic are needed to beat the Fiend and tries to tell Tom and The Spook this, they start to think she might be right. Is not a fan of her mother, but struggles with the fact that she died. A quick thinker on her feet, she takes a book from the dark shaman to keep her mother from learning how to harness all of the dark magic on the island.
Bony Lizzie = Alice’s mother, a bone and blood witch, was in the Spook’s garden until the armies destroyed the house and she was set free by nearby witches. Lord Barrule forces her to fight Tom, which she uses to her advantage to free the three of them. Came into her true powers in her 40’s, trades Tom for her and Alice getting safe passage off the island. Takes over the keep when she destroys the dark shaman.
Commander Daniel Stanton = uses an abhuman to sniff out darkness in the refugees coming to the island. Did not always like Barrule, but will not work for a witch and tries unsuccessfully to play against Lizzie.
Adriana Lonan = a bird witch, born and bread on Mona, meets Alice and Tom in the Tynwald witch tower. 18 years old in love with Simon, Lord Barrule declared her a witch when she refused to marry him. Helps hide Alice, Tom, and The Spook several times. Wants revenge on Lizzie for what Lizzie did to her parents.
Horn = abhuman who is used by Stanton, child of the Fiend and recognized that Alice is a sibling
Lord Barrule = Lord of Greba Keep, head of ruling counsel on the island. Wants Adriana as his wife, and declared her a witch when she refused. A dark shaman who enjoys gambling and can control dogs. Lizzie kills him and eats his bones, taking some of his power.
Simon Sulby = a cooper, makes the barrels that the “witches” are tested in, wants to save Adriana. Helps Tom and The Spook try to take on Lizzie.
Agnes Sowerbutts = a healer witch that Alice trained with and how Alice know so much about healing.