The Spook's Apprentice: Book One (The Wardstone Chronicles) . DOWNLOAD PDF That's what the Spook did and I was going to be his apprentice. 'How old. The Spook's Apprentice: Book 1 (The Wardstone Chronicles series) by Joseph Delaney. Read online, or download in secure EPUB format. The Spook's Apprentice - Book 1 ebook by Joseph Delaney. View Synopsis Ranger's Apprentice: The Royal Ranger ebook by Mr John Flanagan. Ranger's.
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Title details for The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney - Available. The Spook's Apprentice. Wardstone Chronicles / Last Apprentice Series, Book 1. The Spook's Apprentice is the first book in Joseph Delaney's terrifying Wardstone And you're the only one who can'For years, the local Spook has been keeping. Book 1 · Wardstone Chronicles / Last Apprentice. by Joseph Delaney. ebook. eBook . The Spook's Apprentice is the first book in Joseph Delaney's terrifying The first book, The Spook's Apprentice, is now a major motion picture .
There was quite a bit of black hair sprouting out of his nostrils too, and his eyes were green, the same colour as my own. Then I noticed something else about him. He was carrying a long staff. Did that mean that he was left-handed like me? It was something that had caused me no end of trouble at the village school. None of my brothers were left-handed and neither was my dad. My mam was cack-handed though, and it never seemed to bother her much, so when the teacher threatened to beat it out of me and tied the pen to my right hand, she took me away from the school and from that day on taught me at home.
Now we were getting down to the real business. Nobody wanted to touch a spook. My dad was a brave man just to stand within six feet of one. I like Ellie a lot. Mam says that marrying Ellie was good for Jack because she helped to make him less agitated. Jack is the eldest and biggest of us all and, as Dad sometimes jokes, the best looking of an ugly bunch.
Ellie has hair the colour of best-quality straw three days after a good harvest, and skin that really glows in candlelight. I sometimes saw things in the dark and a candle was the best way to keep them away so that I could get some sleep.
Jack came towards me, and with a roar got me in a head-lock and began dragging me round the kitchen table. It was his idea of a joke.
I put up just enough resistance to humour him, and after a few seconds he let go of me and patted me on the back. Know why? A spook worked and lived alone.
But Ellie was looking at me rather than Jack and I saw her face suddenly drop. Ellie tried to smile, and Jack came up and rested his arm across my shoulders. She just stared down at her food as usual, waiting politely until it was over. As the prayer ended, Mam gave me a little smile. It made me feel better. The fire was still burning in the grate, filling the kitchen with warmth.
At the centre of our large wooden table was a brass candlestick, which had been polished until you could see your face in it. Dad made most of the decisions on the farm, but in some things she always got her own way. As we tucked into our big plates of steaming hotpot, it struck me how old Dad looked tonight - old and tired - and there was an expression that flickered across his face from time to time, a hint of sadness.
But he brightened up a bit when he and Jack started discussing the price of pork and whether or not it was the right time to send for the pig butcher.
It was a friendly argument, the kind families often have, and I could tell that Dad was enjoying it. All that was over for me. As Dad had told me, I was finished with farming. Mam and Ellie were chuckling together softly.
I tried to catch what they were saying, but by now Jack was in full flow, his voice getting louder and louder. Jack reached across for the salt cellar and accidentally knocked it over, spilling a small cone of salt on the table top.
Straight away he took a pinch and threw it back over his left shoulder. It is an old County superstition. I stared into the embers of the fire, tapping my feet on the flags, while Mam drew up her rocking chair and positioned it so that she was facing directly towards me. Her black hair was streaked with a few strands of grey, but apart from that she looked much the same as she had when I was just a toddler, hardly up to her knees.
Her eyes were still bright, and but for her pale skin, she looked a picture of health. Hearing her say all that had started tears pricking behind my eyes. The silence went on for quite a while. All that could be heard was my feet tap-tapping on the flags. Finally Mam gave a little sigh.
Busy learning new things. I just wanted to go to bed then, but she had a lot to say. I married your dad because he was a seventh son. And I bore him six sons so that I could have you. Seven times seven you are and you have the gift.
Doing what has to be done. I just fought to hold back the tears. Now off to bed with you. My main is well respected in the neighbourhood. She knows more about plants and medicines than the local doctor, and when there is a problem with delivering a baby, the midwife always sends for her. Mam is an expert on what she calls breech births. Sometimes a baby tries to get born feet first but my mam is good at turning them while they are still in the womb.
Dozens of women in the County owe their lives to her. Anyway, that was what my dad always said but Mam was modest and she never mentioned things like that.
So I wanted to make her proud. After thinking things through, I went across to the window and sat in the old wicker chair for a few minutes, staring through the window, which faced north. The moon was shining, bathing everything in its silver light. I liked the view. I liked the way it was the furthest thing you could see. For years this had been my routine before climbing into bed each night. I used to stare at that hill and imagine what was on the other side.
I knew that it was really just more fields and then, two miles further on, what passed for the local village - half a dozen houses, a small church and an even smaller school but my imagination conjured up other things. Sometimes I imagined high cliffs with an ocean beyond, or maybe a forest or a great city with tall towers and twinkling lights.
But now, as I gazed at the hill, I remembered my fear as well. Three generations earlier, a war had raged over the whole land and the men of the County had played their part. It had been the worst of all wars, a bitter civil war where families had been divided and where sometimes brother had even fought brother. When it was finally over, the winning army had brought their prisoners to this hill and hanged them from the trees on its northern slope.
It was said that some of these men had refused to fight people they considered to be neighbours. You see, from there I could hear them. I could hear the ropes creaking and the branches groaning under their weight.
I could hear the dead, strangling and choking on the other side of the hill. Mam had said that we were like each other.
Well, she was certainly like me in one way: One winter, when I was very young and all my brothers lived at home, the noises from the hill got so bad at night that I could even hear them from my bedroom.
Mam came to my room every time I called, even though she had to be up at the crack of dawn to do her chores. When she came back, everything was quiet and it stayed like that for months afterwards. Mam was a lot braver than I was. Chapter Two On The Road I was up an hour before dawn but Mam was already in the kitchen, cooking my favourite breakfast, bacon and eggs.
Dad came downstairs while I was mopping the plate with my last slice of bread. As we said goodbye, he pulled something from his pocket and placed it in my hands. It was the small tinderbox that had belonged to his own dad and to his grandad before that. One of his favourite possessions. And come back and see us soon. The Spook was on the other side of the gate, a dark silhouette against the grey dawn light.
His hood was up and he was standing straight and tall, his staff in his left hand. I walked towards him, carrying my small bundle of possessions, feeling very nervous. To my surprise, the Spook opened the gate and came into the yard.
We might as well start the way we mean to go on. When we reached the boundary fence, the Spook climbed over with the ease of a man half his age, but I froze. As I rested my hands against the top edge of the fence, I could already hear the sounds of the trees creaking, their branches bent and bowed under the weight of the hanging men.
We trudged upwards, the dawn light darkening as we moved up into the gloom of the trees. The higher we climbed the colder it seemed to get and soon I was shivering. It was the kind of cold that gives you goose pimples and makes the hair on the back of your neck start to rise. Their hands were tied behind their backs and all of them behaved differently.
Some struggled desperately so that the branch above them bounced and jerked, while others were just spinning slowly on the end of the rope, pointing first one way, then the other. The trees bowed low, and their leaves shrivelled and began to fall. Within moments, all the branches were bare. When the wind had eased, the Spook put his hand on my shoulder and guided me nearer to the hanging men.
We stopped just feet away from the nearest. Well done, lad. Now, tell me, do you still feel scared? Nothing that can hurt you. Think about what it must have been like for him. Concentrate on him rather than yourself. How must he have felt? What would be the worst thing?
The pain and the struggle for breath would have been terrible. But there might have been something even worse With those words a wave of sadness washed over me.
Then, even as that happened, the hanging men slowly began to disappear, until we were alone on the hillside and the leaves were back on the trees. Still afraid? But that gift can sometimes be a curse. Fear makes it worse for us. The trick is to concentrate on what you can see and stop thinking about yourself.
It works every time. To contradict him would have got us off to a bad start. Then again, others are here with a definite purpose and they might have things to tell you. Just ghasts. You saw the trees change? So you were just looking at something from the past. Just a reminder of the evil things that sometimes happen on this earth. A ghast is just like a reflection in a pond that stays behind when its owner has moved on.
I followed him over its crest, then down through the trees towards the road, which was a distant grey scar meandering its way south through the green and brown patchwork of fields. It was a pit village and had the largest coal yards in the County, holding the output of dozens of surrounding mines. He walked at a furious pace, taking big, effortless strides.
Soon I was struggling to keep up; as well as carrying my own small bundle of clothes and other belongings, I now had his bag, which seemed to be getting heavier by the minute. Then, just to make things worse, it started to rain. About an hour before noon the Spook came to a sudden halt. He turned round and stared hard at me.
By then I was about ten paces behind. The road was little more than a track that was quickly turning to mud.
Just as I caught him up, I stubbed my toe, slipped and almost lost my balance. He tutted. I shook my head. They were made of strong, good-quality leather and they had extra-thick soles. They must have cost a fortune, but I suppose that for someone who did a lot of walking, they were worth every penny. The Spook took a piece of cloth out of his pocket and unwrapped it, revealing a large lump of yellow cheese.
He broke a bit off and handed it to me. The Spook only ate a small piece himself before wrapping the rest up again and stuffing it back into his pocket. The mouth, when closed, was almost hidden by that moustache and beard. There were shades of red, black, brown and, obviously, lots of grey, but as I came to realize later, it all depended on the light. Looking at the Spook though, you could see despite the beard that his jaw was long, and when he opened his mouth he revealed yellow teeth that were very sharp and more suited to gnawing on red meat than nibbling at cheese.
With a shiver, I suddenly realized that he reminded me of a wolf. He was a kind of predator because he hunted the dark; living merely on nibbles of cheese would make him always hungry and mean. I was soaked to the skin and my feet were hurting, but most of all I was hungry.
So I nodded, thinking he might offer me some more, but he just shook his head and muttered something to himself. Then, once again, he looked at me sharply. It makes us stronger. Horshaw was a black smear against the green fields, a grim, ugly little place with about two dozen rows of mean back-to-back houses huddling together mainly on the southern slope of a damp, bleak hillside.
The whole area was riddled with mines, and Horshaw was at its centre. High above the village was a large slag heap which marked the entrance to a mine.
Behind the slag heap were the coal yards, which stored enough fuel to keep the biggest towns in the County warm through even the longest of winters.
Soon we were walking down through the narrow, cobbled streets, keeping pressed close to the grimy walls to make way for carts heaped with black cobs of coal, wet and gleaming with rain.
The huge shire horses that pulled them were straining against their loads, hooves slipping on the shiny cobbles. There were few people about but lace curtains twitched as we passed, and once we met a group of dour-faced miners, who were trudging up the hill to begin their night shift.
One of them actually made the sign of the cross. Nobody lived there - you could tell that right away. For one thing some of the windows were broken and others were boarded up, and although it was almost dark, no lights were showing.
The Spook halted outside the very last house. It was the one on the corner closest to the warehouse, the only house in the street to have a number.
That number was crafted out of metal and nailed to the door. It was thirteen, the worst and unluckiest of all numbers, and directly above was a street sign high on the wall, hanging from a single rusty rivet and pointing almost vertically towards the cobbles. This house did have windowpanes but the lace curtains were yellow and hung with cobwebs.
This must be the haunted house my master had warned me about. The Spook pulled a key from his pocket, unlocked the door and led the way into the darkness within. The room was damp too, the air very dank and cold, and by the light of the flickering candle I could see my breath steaming.
What I saw was bad enough, but what he said was even worse. Know what you have to do? You need to be alert, not dreaming. Any questions? So I just shook my head and tried to keep my top lip from trembling. I shrugged. In some places time seems to move more slowly and I had a feeling that this old house would be one of them. Suddenly I remembered the church clock. Until then, sleep if you can manage it. Now listen carefully - there are three important things to remember.
Cautiously I picked up the candle, walked to the kitchen door and peered inside. It was empty of everything but a stone sink. The back door was closed but the wind still wailed beneath it. There were two other doors on the right. One was open and I could see the bare wooden stairs that led to the bedrooms above.
The other one, that closest to me, was closed. Something about that closed door made me uneasy but I decided to take a quick look. Nervously I gripped the handle and tugged at the door. It was hard to shift and for a moment I had a creepy feeling that somebody was holding it closed on the other side.
When I tugged even harder, it opened with a jerk, making me lose my balance. I staggered back a couple of steps and almost dropped the candle. Stone steps led down into the darkness; they were black with coal dust.
I closed the door quickly and went back into the front room, closing the kitchen door too. I put the candle down carefully in the corner furthest away from the door and window. The flags were hard and cold but I closed my eyes. Usually I get to sleep easily but this was different. I kept shivering with cold and the wind was beginning to rattle the windowpanes.
There were also rustlings and patterings coming from the walls. Just mice, I kept telling myself. We were certainly used to them on the farm. But then, suddenly, there came a disturbing new sound from down below in the depths of the dark cellar. At first it was faint, making me strain my ears, but gradually it grew until I was in no doubt about what I could hear.
Someone was digging rhythmically, turning heavy earth with a sharp metal spade. First came the grind of the metal edge striking a stony surface, followed by a soft, squelching, sucking sound as the spade pushed deep into heavy clay and tore it free from the earth.
This went on for several minutes until the noise stopped as suddenly as it had begun. All was quiet. Even the mice stopped their pattering. It was as if the house and everything in it were holding their breath. I know I was. The silence ended with a resounding thump. Then a whole series of thumps, definite in rhythm.
Thumps that were getting louder. And louder. And closer Someone was climbing the stairs from the cellar. I snatched up the candle and shrank into the furthest corner. Thump, thump, nearer and nearer, came the sound of heavy boots. Who could have been digging down there in the darkness?
Who could be climbing the stairs now? Maybe it was a question of what I heard the cellar door open and the thump of boots in the kitchen. I pressed myself back into the corner, trying to make myself small, waiting for the kitchen door to open.
And open it did, very slowly, with a loud creak. Something stepped into the room. I felt coldness then. Real coldness. I lifted the candle, its flame flickering eerie shadows which danced up the walls and onto the ceiling. There was no answer. Even the wind outside had fallen silent. Again no reply, but invisible boots grated on the flags as they stepped towards me.
Nearer and nearer they came, and now I could hear breathing. Something big was breathing heavily. It sounded like a huge carthorse that had just pulled a heavy load up a steep hill. At the very last moment the footsteps veered away from me and halted close to the window. I was holding my breath and the thing by the window seemed to be breathing for both of us, drawing great gulps of air into its lungs as if it could never get enough.
Just when I could stand it no longer, it gave a huge sigh that sounded weary and sad at the same time, and the invisible boots grated on the flags once more, heavy steps that moved away from the window, back towards the door. When they began to thump their way down the cellar steps, I was finally able to breathe again. My heart began to slow, my hands stopped shaking and gradually I calmed down.
I had to pull myself together. It went with the job.
After about five minutes or so I began to feel better. It was faint and distant at first - someone knocking on a door.
There was a pause, and then it happened again. Three distinct raps, but a little nearer this time. Another pause and three more raps. Somebody was rapping hard on each door in the street, moving nearer and nearer to number thirteen.
When they finally came to the haunted house, the three raps on the front door were loud enough to wake the dead. Would the thing in the cellar climb the steps to answer that summons?
I felt trapped between the two: And then, suddenly, it was all right. A voice called to me from the other side of the front door, a voice I recognized. Open the door! Let me in! I was so glad to hear her that I rushed to the front door without thinking. Remembering what the Spook had said, I took a deep breath and tried to think.
Why would she have followed me all this way? How would she have known where we were going? My dad or Jack would have come with her. No, it was a something else waiting outside. Something without hands that could still rap on the door. Something without feet that could still stand on the pavement.
The knocking started to get louder. Mam was strong. Mam never cried no matter how bad things got. After a few moments the sounds faded and stopped altogether.
I lay down on the floor and tried to sleep again. The wind began to rattle the windowpanes even louder, and on every hour and half hour the church clock chimed, moving me closer to midnight. The nearer the time came for me to go down the cellar steps, the more nervous I became. And then, just after the clock had given a single chime - half past eleven - the digging began again Once more I heard the slow thump, thump of heavy boots coming up the steps from the cellar; once more the door opened and the invisible boots stepped into the front room.
By now the only bit of me that was moving was my heart, which pounded so hard it seemed about to break my ribs. They kept coming. Coming straight towards me. I felt myself being lifted roughly by the hair and skin at the nape of my neck, just like a mother cat carries her kittens. Then an invisible arm wrapped itself around my body, pinning my arms to my sides. I tried to suck in a breath but it was impossible.
My chest was being crushed. I was being carried towards the cellar door. I was going to be carried down the cellar steps into the darkness and I knew that a grave was waiting for me down there.
I was going to be buried alive. I was terrified and tried to cry out, but it was worse than just being held in a tight grip. Suddenly I was falling I found myself on all fours, staring at the open door to the cellar, just inches from the top step.
In a panic, my heart thumping too fast to count the beats, I lurched to my feet and slammed the cellar door shut. The candle had gone out As I walked towards the window, a sudden flash of light illuminated the room, followed by a loud crash of thunder almost directly overhead. Rain squalled against the house, rattling the windows and making the front door creak and groan as if something were trying to get in.
I stared out miserably for a few minutes, watching the flashes of lightning. It was a bad night, but even though lightning scared me, I would have given anything to be out there walking the streets; anything to have avoided going down into that cellar. In the distance the church clock began to chime. I counted the chimes and there were exactly twelve. Now I had to face what was in the cellar. It was then, as lightning lit the room again, that I noticed the large footprints on the floor.
Back to the cellar. Down into the dark where I had to go! Forcing myself forward, I searched the floor with my hand for the stub of the candle. Then I scrabbled around for my small bundle of clothes. Wrapped in the centre of it was the tinderbox that Dad had given me. Fumbling in the dark, I shook the small pile of tinder out onto the floor and used the stone and metal to strike up sparks.
I kindled that little pile of wood until it burst into flame, just long enough to light the candle. Little had Dad known that his gift would prove so useful so soon.
As I opened the cellar door there was another flash of lightning and a sudden crash of thunder that shook the whole house and rumbled down the steps ahead of me. I descended into the cellar, my hand trembling and the candle stub dancing till strange shadows flickered against the wall. I imagined my shame at having to tell Mam what had happened. Eight steps and I was turning the corner so that the cellar was in view. Small pieces of coal and large wooden crates were scattered across the earthen floor and there was an old wooden table next to a big beer barrel.
I stepped around the beer barrel and noticed something in the far corner. Something just behind some crates that scared me so much I almost dropped the candle. It was a dark shape, almost like a bundle of rags, and it was making a noise. A faint, rhythmical sound, like breathing. I took a step towards the rags; then another, using all my willpower to make my legs move. It was then, as I got so close that I could have touched it, that the thing suddenly grew.
From a shadow on the floor it reared up before me until it was three or four times bigger. I almost ran. It was tall, dark, hooded and terrifying, with green, glittering eyes. Only then did I notice the staff that it was holding in its left hand. Something used to climb up out of the cellar.
It would have been the same for you. Am I right? The Spook shook his head sadly. He spent his days and nights coughing and struggling for breath and his poor wife kept them both. She worked in a bakery, but sadly for both of them, she was a very pretty woman. One evening she was very late home from work and he kept going to the window, pacing backwards and forwards, getting more and more angry because he thought she was with another man.
Then he left her there, dying on the flags, and went down into the cellar to dig a grave. She knew what he was going to do. I even felt sorry for the Spook. Imagine having to spend your childhood in a house like this. It looked as if it was gradually changing, as if he was growing a snout or something. I woke everybody up, and in a rage my father lifted me up by the scruff of my neck and carried me down the steps into this cellar.
Then he got a hammer and nailed the door shut behind me. Probably seven at the most. I climbed back up the steps and, screaming fit to burst, scratched and banged at the door.
Also helped fight the Pendle witch clans. Tibb, the mysterious creature of The Dark who can see into the future. Morgan, the necromancer who tried to summon Golgoth. Meg Skelton, the mysterious witch that lives in John Gregory's winter house in Anglezarke. The Fiend, the Devil. Horn, an abhuman who can see darkness in oneself. Island of Dragons.
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Joseph Delaney. The Dark Army. Dark Assassin. Arena The Prey. Alice and the Brain Guzzler Storycuts. The Warrior. The Ghost Prison. Susan Cooper. The Beast Awakens. How to write a great review. The review must be at least 50 characters long. The title should be at least 4 characters long. Your display name should be at least 2 characters long. At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information.
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Continue shopping Checkout Continue shopping. Chi ama i libri sceglie Kobo e inMondadori. View Synopsis. download the eBook Price: You are in the Australia store Not in Australia? Choose Store. But does he stand a chance against Mother Malkin, the most dangerous witch in the County? In this series View all Book 2. Book 3. Book 4. Book 5.