The Spook's Secret

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Joseph Delaney, ills. David Wyatt
The Bodley Head
Jul 2006
"It's going to be a long, hard, cruel winter, son. All the signs are there... It's going to be harsh and I don't think any of us will come through it unchanged."

Located firmly amidst the legend and lore of Lancashire, Joseph Delaney�s �The Wardstone Chronicles� are curios amidst the trend for series fiction. Whilst each of the stories is inter-connected, sharing at heart a base of the same characters, a �local-to-Lancashire� setting and the premise that the dark is growing in power, each story also very much stands on its own.

�The Spook�s Secret�, the third book in the series sees Tom Ward learn more about his tutor, John Gregory and the types of personal experience with regards to love, life and trust that have served to influence his world-view. This is encapsulated in an epic struggle between the twin forces of good and evil as attempts are made to raise Golgoth, a pagan god of destruction.

It is the over-arching themes of the series that really cohere these books. The depiction of women and the types of cruelty that befall witches, the parallel constructs of child-development that explore issues of nurture versus nature focused on Tom Ward the seventh son of a seventh son who is apprenticed to be good and to banish malign influences from the county and upon Alice, a witch-child who forms an alliance with Tom and the types of person they will grow up to be as well as the flawed nature of the Spook himself and his prejudice gradually unfold throughout the series. It is interesting to track these through the books and to wonder how they will develop in future�

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on July 11, 2006 12:32 PM.

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