The Wardstone Chronicles was published as The Last Apprentice series in the USA and is a dark fantasy series of books written by British author Joseph Delaney and published in the UK by The Bodley Head division of Random House Publishing.Main PlotThe Wardstone Chronicles follow Thomas "Tom" Ward, the seventh son of a seventh son who is apprenticed to John Gregory to become a Spook - a master fighter of supernatural evil. John Gregory is the Spook for "the County" and gives Tom practical instruction on tackling ghosts, ghasts, witches, boggarts, and all manner of other things that serve "The Dark". Tom soon discovers that most of John Gregory's apprentices have failed for various reasons, including being killed in the process of learning how to be a Spook. As the Chronicles progress the focus expands to other characters such as the assassin Grimalkin and the young witch Alice Deane; overall the series develops the plot line of Tom being destined to either save the world or destroy it."The County" referenced in the Chronicles is based on Lancashire in the North of England. Various County fictional towns are thinly-veiled modern day cities; for example, the town of Priestown is based on Preston (where author Delaney was born); Caster is Lancaster; Black Pool is Blackpool; Chipenden is Chipping.The Wardstone Chronicles concluded in 2014, and are followed by The Starblade Chronicles which are a planned trilogy following the continued adventures of Tom Ward, who has finished his apprenticeship and is now a Spook in his own right dedicated to fighting an unparalleled evil threatening the County, and the world.