Starblade Chronicles Bk 1: A new Darkness by Joseph Delaney.
A spinoff from the Wardstone Chronicles the last of which is reviewed elsewhere on this blog. The Spook of Chipenden was killed in the last of the Wardstone books and now his young apprentice, Thomas Ward is the Spook.
The first half of this book introduces a new, predicted, enemy from the North, the Kobalos. Tom’s first task is to deal with a mage Kobalos who has come south and has killed and drunk the blood of three young girls.
Tom is the 7th son of a 7th son and is immune from much magic but the Kobalos mage is powerful and Tom needs the sword given to him by the witch Grimalkin to deal to it.
In the conflict he is helped by a girl called Jenny the 7th daughter of a 7th daughter who has insightful gifts of her own. She helps him trap the mage but is almost killed herself. Jenny wants to become the apprentice to the Spook Tom, a situation unheard of before. Will it work?
Tom puts her through some tests and agrees to take her on. But the task against the Kobalos is going to be tough and brutal.
Fantasy horror at it’s best. Well written, continuous tension and action with worthy lead characters who face evil with tenacity.
Junior high and Intermediate students will love this first in a new series.