Rise of the Huntress followed the layout of earlier books in the Last Apprentice series of having one major foe as the focus.
Tom having sold his foe to the fiend in exchanged for a chance at stopping inevitable darkness in the The Spook's Sacrifice has really made Tom's life change. In order to keep the fiend from collecting Alice has to be near Tom all the time and it is clear The Spook does not like this at all. Despite numerous orders for them to cease being joined at the hip Tom ignores his master and keeps Alice close. While Tom wants to follow the orders of The Spook it is becoming clearer that Tom is venturing out on his own and wanting to do things his way. Having received over two years of training Tom is quickly becoming more confident and making decisions for himself. Clearly Tom is growing into a strong willed man.
Alice continues to use dark magic despite the pleas of Tom and the orders from the Spook to cease. Alice's one and only concern is keeping Tom safe. While a nice idea the way Alice goes about constantly saving Tom bothers Tom a lot since he has sworn to fight the dark not use it in his aid.
The Last Apprentice series continues to get darker, bloodier, and have more death. While this is most likely the cause of the fiend being lose in the world I do hope that some good luck heads Toms way since a lot of bad things happened to everyone in Rise of the Huntress. It seems like all the characters need something good to remind them of hope.
I am anxious to continue with the Last Apprentice series and learn the fate of Tomas Ward, Alice, and the Spook.