Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Last Apprentice #9: Grimalkin the Witch Assassin by Joseph Delaney

This book is the ninth in the series, and I gave it a rating of five out of five. Grimalkin holds the head of the Fiend in her possession and must do everything she can to keep it from being returned to his body. If that happens, all living beings will feel the wrath of his revenge, and Grimalkin will suffer the greatest pain, even after her death. The Fiend's followers have collected a force of mages to retrieve his head, but they've also created a merciless creature to destroy Grimalkin. The creature has a collection of magical powers, is able to quickly heal itself, learns from its mistakes, and comes back more powerful than before after each battle. Grimalkin enlists the help of Thorne, her apprentice assassin, but they still might not be able to defeat the creature. Grimalkin's energy weakens as the creature's powers strengthen, so all may be lost.

The story is told first person, from Grimalkin's point of view, and Tom, the Spook, and Alice aren't part of the events in the plot. It's a little strange to think of a witch assassin as the hero of a story, but the Fiend and his followers are even worse. Plus, Grimalkin teamed up with Tom in previous books to defeat the Fiend, so she is a good, bad protagonist. Weird, huh? I enjoyed her character as she battled with her feelings for Thorne, her own mortality, and her duty to save all living things. Mix that with her talent for killing, and you have a very complicated character. I also liked the suspense as I tried to figure out how she might be able to defeat a seemingly unbeatable monster.

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