The Wardstone Chronicles
Book No: 04 of 13
The SPooK’S BATtLe
In Pendle, the witches are rising and the three most powerful witch clans are rumoured to be uniting to conjure an unimaginable evil. Together they will be capable of raising the dark made flesh – the Devil himself.
So Tom and the Spook set off for Pendle to avert the unthinkable. Before they go, the Spook tells Tom to journey home to collect the trunks that Mam left behind for him. But what dark secrets are contained within them? And will they place Tom's family in even greater danger or provide the help that Tom and his master will so desperately need in Pendle?
“The Pendle District is riddled with witches," the Spook said. “The biggest problem we face is their sheer numbers. Often witches bicker and argue but when they do agree and meet together with a common purpose, their strength is greatly increased. Aye, we must beware that. You see that's right at the heart of the threat we face – that the witch clans might unite."
“Last Halloween the Malkins called a truce with the Deanes and both covens got together to make Tibb," Alice said. “Put a big boar's head in a cauldron and cooked it. Boiled off all the pig flesh and brains and made it into a brawn. Each member of the covens spat into it thirteen times. Then they fed it to a sow. Seven months or so later they slit open the sow's belly and out crawled Tibb. Ain't got much bigger since but he's stronger than a fully grown man. And he can see into the future…"
I found this the easiest book to write and probably the most enjoyable. I started by doing lots of research about the real Pendle witches (two families were accused of witchcraft and eventually eight women were hanged in Lancaster) but threw most of it away.
I invented my own witches and kept myself free from dates and historical detail. It is here that the series begins to shift up a gear. We meet Grimalkin the witch assassin (one day she might get a book of her own) and the Fiend enters the Spook's world.