In a Nutshell: Fresh folkloric frights from a master of spine-tingling storytelling
This first timelessly terrifying tale in a new series from the creator of The Spook’s Apprentice confirms the author’s status as a veritable master of crafting elementally powerful worlds from fascinating pockets of English folklore.
Crafty is a Fey. As such he can hear the whisperings of his dead brothers, and he’s immune to the powers of the Shole, a horrifying mist that’s enveloping the Lancashire region. It was the Shole that claimed his non-Fey mother, while his brothers died working for the Chief Mancer, which is what Crafty does now too. After a miserable period shut-up in a cellar with only the occasional companionship of a deceased Bog Queen warrior to brighten his days, he’s passed the test to work as a gate grub, the lowliest of those employed by the Castle Corpus, and a highly dangerous role to boot. Alongside the creeping unfolding of an un-put-down-able story, I adored Crafty’s boundless candor and curiosity, and his friendship with fellow gate grubs Donna and Lucky suffuses his bleak situation with welcome warmth. But, ultimately, with his court courier father missing in action, Crafty is pretty much alone in an increasingly perilous situation…
This exquisitely compelling tale tingles with as much raw, pure storytelling prowess and intrigue as it does with the slither and menace of multiple monstrous beasts, and I cannot wait for the second instalment.
They heard shouting, and cries of fear. Crafty looked down the slope and realised what had happened to cause so much panic. Without warning, the dark wall of the Shole had advanced. Crafty can't remember a time before the Shole - the terrifying mist that has engulfed most of Britain, leaving those trapped in it to either die or be transformed into terrifying monsters: the aberrations. Crafty has been stuck in his family's cellar for nearly a year, his only companions his restless, whispering dead brothers, and an unusually friendly aberration he names the Bog Queen. But then Crafty's life abruptly changes. He is ordered to report to the Castle, where he will train as a gate grub - operators of magical portals that allow the mysterious guild of Gatemancers to explore within the Shole. It is a dangerous job, with a very short life expectancy... To survive, Crafty will have to use every inch of his cunning - whatever the cost.
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.
Praise for The Spook's Apprentice series: Be warned - these books are seriously scary The Times
|Publication date:||3rd May 2018|
|Publisher:||Puffin an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 13+ readers|
|Genres:||Adventure Stories, Fantasy / Magical, Horror / Ghost Stories|
Joseph Delaney is a retired English teacher living in Lancashire. He has three children and seven grandchildren and is a wonderful public speaker available for conference, library and bookshop events. His home is in the middle of Boggart territory and his village has a boggart called the Hall Knocker, which was laid to rest under the step of a house near the church. Most of the places in the Spook's books are based on real places in Lancashire. And the inspiration behind the stories often comes from local ghost stories and legends. The Spook's Apprentice, The Spook's Curse and The ...More About Joseph Delaney