Study Guide

Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice) Courage

By Joseph Delaney


I quite liked the idea of being a spook; it was much more interesting than milking cows and spreading manure. (1.10)

Tom is easily bored, so despite how scary being a Spook might be, he's pretty sure it beats farming. Or worse—a desk job in a dinky little cubicle.

My dad was a brave man just to stand within six feet of [the Spook]. (1.25)

Most people won't come near the Spook. So we're guessing that most people in the world, therefore, are not brave. Or they just have personal space issues.

Mam was a lot braver than I was. (1.95)

We think that bravery must run in this family, because Tom's just as good as his Mam at staring down scary ghasts. Is this why Tom's Mam wanted to have seven sons after all—to pass on her bravery?

"The main tools of our trade are common sense, courage, and the keeping of accurate records, so we can learn from the past." (4.25)

Basically, a Spook is like a really smart accountant. Except, instead of balancing books, a Spook has to balance on that delicate tightrope between life and death.

"Be brave and there's nothing much a ghast can do." (4.30)

The ghasts in Revenge of the Witch aren't scary like the ghosts and demons of popular horror films. The only real danger with these spirits lies inside your own head. Sometimes, you just have to be brave enough to stand up to yourself.

"You showed courage, real courage, and you saved a child's life." (10.60)

Even though Tom didn't follow the Spook's rules to the T (and you've seen how important those are), the Spook still rewards Tom's courageous acts. Yes, he rewards them with praise instead of a cheeseburger, but his words are worth a lot.

"We need courage and patience, but above all, we never rush." (10.100)

As we see here, courage doesn't necessarily mean rushing into a situation without thinking. That's foolishness, not courage.

I seized the candlestick and swung its heavy base into the mirror. (12.145)

Candlesticks are usually more associated with the game Clue than with courage. But in this case, Tom is smashing the mirror to get rid of Mother Malkin. And that takes great courage. Why? We can only imagine what his dad will say when he finds out.

I just had to get outside and away from the witch. Nothing else mattered. All my courage had gone. (12.202)

Courage isn't a permanent trait. It comes and goes, like a thunderstorm, or good James Bond movies.

[Alice] kicked toward Snout will all her might. (13.58)

We've kind of focused on Tom here, but Alice has lots of courage too. And, unlike with Tom, courage seems to come effortlessly to her. Maybe it's easier to be courageous when you're wearing pointy shoes. Or, when you're born into a family of witches.