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The Spook's Sacrifice
Sacrifice
The first edition cover of The Spook's Sacrifice published by Bodley Head

Author

Joseph Delaney

Illustrators

Genre

Horror, Chiller, Children's Book, Mild Fantasy, Weird Fiction

Publishers

  • Bodley Head (UK Hardback)
  • Red Fox (UK Paperback)
  • Greenwillow Books (US Edition)

Release Date

June 5th 2008

Place in the series

Book Six

Pages

  • 384 (UK)
  • 432 (US)

Approximate Word Count

77,070

Preceded by

The Spook's Mistake

Followed by

The Spook's Nightmare

The Spook's Sacrifice is the sixth novel in the The Wardstone Chronicles.

General Information

It is written by English author Joseph Delaney. The novel was originally published on June 4th 2009 by Bodley Head in hardback but since then it has been released in paperback (published by Red Fox). Beginning with this installment of the series, the cover design was changed to a new-style design. A special edition of The Spook's Sacrifice was released in the design of the old-style covers as a collecters item for fans of the original design. The book was also released in the US as The Last Apprentice: Clash of the Demons due to 'spook' may be viewed as a racist term to some of the American population.

Book Description

As danger increases in the County, Tom is sent far north by his master to be trained by Bill Arkwright, another Spook. Arkwright lives in a haunted mill on the edge of a treacherous marsh and his training methods prove to be harsh and sometimes cruel. But he has toughened up many previous apprentices and now he must do the same for Tom and prepare him for the gravest dangers of his life. But when the Fiend sends his own daughter, the ancient powerful water witch Morwena, to destroy Tom, Arkwright makes an error of judgement and Tom finds himself facing his enemies alone. The Spook and Alice realising his danger, hasten to his aid but will even their combined strengths suffice in the face of such terrible dark power? And what is the Spook’s mistake, the consequences of which might give final victory to the dark?


Book Chapters

  1. The Maenad Assassin
  2. The Spook's Bestiary
  3. A Changeling?
  4. Decisions
  5. Alice Deane
  6. A Dreadful Prophecy
  7. The Journey Begins
  8. The Young Ladies
  9. What I Am
  10. A Delegation of Thirteen
  11. Night Attack
  12. Lamias
  13. My Blood
  14. Portents
  15. The Approach to the Ord
  16. Fill the Cup!
  17. Fire Elementals
  18. A Bargain
  19. Your Fate
  20. The Truth of Things
  21. A Sharp Tooth
  22. Last Words
  23. His Fearsome Majesty
  24. It Can't Be True


Chapter One: The Maenad Assassin

The Spook's Sacrifice opens with Tom being awoken in the middle of a night during a storm, it is not due to the storm that has awoken him, but his powers as a seventh son of a seventh son. It is his spook's instinct that has awoken him, evil is near. He rises to see Alice's face in the mirror of his room in Mr Gregory's house. Through the mirror she writes Tom a message: Danger! Maenad Assassin in garden!. Tom is alone in the house as the Spook is dealing with a troublesome ghost elsewhere. The house boggart would be able to deal with anything that entered the grounds but Tom decides to double-check. As soon as he goes outside the maenad assassin strikes, and with no sign of the boggart, Tom binds her. Hours later, the boggart appears and kills the maenad. Tom, confused why the boggart has only just appeared, simply waits for the Spook to arrive. When the Spook arrives he tells Tom maenad assassins worship a goddess called the Ordeen. They buried the dead witch in a pit and speculate why it came to kill Tom, and Tom theorises the Fiend may have something to do with it. Tom receives a letter from Mam that she will be arriving soon at Jack's farm and she wants Tom to meet her there and assist her in the struggle against the dark in her homeland, Greece.


Chapter Two: The Spook's Bestiary

The Spook teaches Tom about the Ordeen that she is a god in Greece and can appear through her portal into the world at will, she chooses to appear every seven years, and she has many denizens of the dark at her command. Tom also reads an extract about Lamia witches from the Spook's bestiary, a book lisitng all of the creatures he has encountered during his life as a Spook. The section on Lamia's says Lamia, an old god bore Zeus children but Hera, Zeus's wife, driven with jealousy slayed the children and in revenge Lamia murdered every child in the kingdom and as punishment the gods turned Lamia's body serpent-like. Lamia bore her new lover, Chaemog, a spider-like creature children and with that were the first three lamia witches.


Chapter Three: A Changeling?

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Chapter Four: Decisions

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Chapter Five: Alice Deane

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Chapter Six: A Dreadful Prophecy

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Chapter Seven: The Journey Begins

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Chapter Eight: The Young Ladies

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Chapter Nine: What I Am

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Chapter Ten: A Delegation of Thirteen

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Chapter Eleven: Night Attack

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Chapter Twelve: Lamias

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Chapter Thirteen: Portents

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Chapter Fourteen: The Approach to the Ord

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Chapter Fifteen: Fill the Cup!

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Chapter Sixteen: Fire Elementals

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Chapter Seventeen: A Bargain

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Chapter Eighteen: Your Fate

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Chapter Nineteen: The Truth of Things

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Chapter Twenty: A Sharp Tooth

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Chapter Twenty-One: Last Words

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Chapter Twenty-Two: His Fearsome Majesty

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Chapter Twenty-Three: It Can't Be True

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Deaths

Character Killed By Cause Of Death Circumstances
Bill Arkwright Fire Elementals Killed by fire elementals whilst inside the detereorating Ord. Destruction of the Ordeen and the Ord.
The Ordeen Lamia Destruction of the Ord. Lamia vs Ordeen
Lamia The Ordeen Destruction of the Ord. Lamia vs Ordeen

Controversy over new cover design

Sacrifice

The new style cover which begun with the release of The Spook's Sacrifice

Old

The old style cover editon of The Spook's Sacrifice released in limited edition for fans of the old-style covers

Upon the release of The Spook's Sacrifice, a new design was formed for the books in the rest of the series. Before this installment, the other books in the series had been released in style resembling tattered, leather-bound diaries which tied-in neatly to setting of the series and set The Wardstone Chronicles apart from the design of other children's books. When The Spook's Sacrifice was released in this format some fans gace positive feedback to them, whereas others whom enjoyed the previous designs disagreed because they were unable to complete their collection in the old-style covers. However, after discussing it with his publishers, Joseph Delaney managed to get them to release a limited run of The Spook's Sacrifice in the old-style. On Joseph Delaney's author blog on August 14 2009 stated the following:

"Some readers love them, but there’s certainly been a mixed reaction. I do feel sorry for those readers who feel let down because they can’t complete their set in the old style.
The truth is, I like both types of cover. And these decisions are not mine but are made by my publisher. Their job is to package the books in such a way that sales will increase and they tell me it’s working…
But I have spoken to them and they’re looking into publishing a Limited Collectors’ Edition of The Spook’s Sacrifice in the late autumn which will feature an ‘old look’ cover, so fingers crossed for that. So let’s wait and see."

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