Rise of the Huntress: Bony Lizzy escapes

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Rage of the Fallen by Joseph Delaney children's fantasy audiobook reviewsRise of the Huntress by Joseph Delaney

Rise of the Huntress is the seventh of Joseph Delaney’s LAST APPRENTICE / WARDSTONE CHRONICLES popular horror series for children. The series deservedly has legions of young fans and it’s likely that nothing I, a jaded adult, has to say about a seventh book will mean anything to anybody, so I’ll make this short.

Rise of the Huntress delivers exactly what we expect. The formula has become clear by now. Each book is a scary little adventure which gives Tom and his friends an evil foe to fight while advancing the overall plot slightly. This time Tom, the Spook, and Alice flee the Spook’s house because it has been overrun by soldiers involved in the war we keep hearing about. Bony Lizzy, the evil witch that the Spook had buried in his yard, has escaped and set herself up as queen of an island kingdom. She is terrorizing people and soon Tom and his friends get pulled into her machinations and must try to stop her. They have a few allies and some powers of their own, but that doesn’t mean that they can win, or at least that if they do win they’ll do so without major casualties.

As usual, Alice tries to talk Tom into using dark magic to fight the dark while the Spook maintains that they must not resort to such measures and feels skeptical about Alice’s true nature. Meanwhile Tom worries that the Spook’s powers may be fading and wonders if he’s up to the task of taking over his job. And don’t forget that the Fiend now owns his soul and he needs to kill the Fiend before he dies. No biggie.

Rise of the Huntress is dark and scary and sometimes grisly. Young thrill-seeking fans of the series are likely to be pleased. I am getting a little tired of the formulaic feel of these novels, though. The plots are starting to feel repetitive and the good/evil dark/light issues that the characters deal with are always the same. The audio version continues to be excellent.

Publisher: Who will be lost to the dark? Thomas Ward has served as the Spook’s apprentice for three years. He has battled boggarts, witches, demons, and even the devil himself. Tom has enemies: The Fiend stalks him, waiting for a moment of weakness. The terrifying Morrigan, goddess of witches, warned him never to set foot on her homeland, Ireland. But now war has consumed their own country, and Tom, his friend Alice, and the Spook must flee to Ireland. The dark rages strongly there. No one can be trusted. Can Tom defeat the creatures that hunt him most fiercely?

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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3 comments

  1. I take it from a couple of your sentences that the series is not complete yet.

    • Nope. If you click on the Joseph Delaney link below the review, you can see how many books are in the series. Not sure if I’ll finish it.

      • Wow, yes, that’s quite a commitment. He seems to have found a formula that pleases his audience, but I’m not sure there’s going to be much left to say about them.

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