The Apprentices is the sequel to The Apothecary.
It continues the story of Janie, Benjamin and Pip two years after their adventures in Nova Zembla.
Everything about this book is a little more sophisticated than The Apothecary. Multiple story-lines and perspectives with each chapter. Historical immersion in the Korean and Vietnam wars and a romantic triangle.
The fantasy elements are more prominent (& convenient at times) so that this book is more of a fun romp through history with magical sideshows. (Whereas the first book was more grounded in reality with the magical elements added gradually so that you barely noticed them.)
The romance is gentle and still appropriate for good 11+ readers, although it is more obviously aimed at the younger teen market.
The hundreds of ink & acrylic illustrations by Ian Schoenherr added to the enjoyment of the story with their attention to detail. In fact, some of the full page drawings were simply beautiful.