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Curse of the Bane (The Last Apprentice) Hardcover – August 29, 2006


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Frequently Bought Together

Curse of the Bane (The Last Apprentice) + The Last Apprentice: Night of the Soul Stealer (Book 3) + Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Last Apprentice (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; First Edition edition (August 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060766212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060766214
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7–In this second book in the series, Delaney chronicles the spine-tingling adventures of Thomas Ward, seventh son of a seventh son, and the last remaining apprentice of monster hunter Mr. Gregory, aka the Spook. The most dangerous monster of all, the Bane, has been imprisoned in the catacombs under Priestown. He kills by squashing his victims completely flat, and he appears to be succeeding at controlling the minds and actions of some of the town's inhabitants. He needs to be dealt with once and for all. Priestown holds its own dangers for Thomas and the Spook, however, as their work makes them subject to being declared witches and executed by the Quisitor. In the scary and dangerous events that follow, Thomas, accompanied by his friend Alice, faces the most difficult choices of his life so far, and learns to trust himself rather than simply follow his master's instructions. His first-person narration gives this truly spooky story an immediacy and a sense of reality that heightens the tension and impending danger. While part of a series, the story stands successfully on its own. Occasional eerily atmospheric woodcuts enhance the story's mood.–Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 6-9. When readers met Tom Ward in The Revenge of the Witch (2005), the first entry in the Last Apprentice series, he was a callow lad, apprehensively apprenticed to the Spook, who routs the Dark from the County. The malevolent forces that came into play last time seem almost mundane compared to the challenges Tom and the Spook face now: a violent, deadly bane growing in strength and power to become the embodiment of evil. Despite the blood and gore, this tale is more than a well-crafted horror story. Delaney infuses his characters with depth and emotion, but equally important, he grows his world by contributing significantly to the back story. Readers learn the reason the Spook has strong feelings about women in general and witches in particular, and Tom discovers something unexpected about his mother and her wisdom. Delaney also does an exceptional job of interweaving stories, with one plot point leading insistently to the next; at the book's conclusion, readers can go over all Tom has learned by leafing through his journal. Kids will breathlessly await Tom's next adventure. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Joseph Delaney formerly taught media and film studies at a high school in Blackpool, England. He lives with his family in Lancashire, in the middle of boggart territory.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book is dark, twisted, and creepy, but very fun.
T. Foster
My 10 year old nephew, who reads over 100 books a year, thinks that this series is better than Harry Potter and at least as good as Elder.
BLF
I can't even read another book when I finish with a Last Apprentice book.
Love4Siggy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mel Odom TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Young Tom Ward and his master, the Spook (Old Gregory)have had a turn of bad luck that's been years in the making. While the Spook is sick, Tom goes down to a small village where one of the Spook's brothers is a priest. The brother has tried to stop a Boggart, a malicious being capable of murder. After a breath-taking opening, Tom wins and loses. The Boggart is bound, but the Spook's brother eventually dies. While attending the funeral in Priestown, the Spook runs into the Quisitor, a man dedicated to burning witches and punishing those who get too close to the Dark. The Spook is high on the Quisitor's list. Furthermore, the Bane -- one of the strongest and most evil of the denizens of the Dark -- still lies buried in the catacoombs beneath the town. It's held prisoner by an ancient curse, but it's growing stronger. The Spook tried to rid the town of it once and failed, nearly losing his life. When the Spook is taken prisoner, only Tom is left to save the day. And to do that, he has to risk everything, learn more about his master and his mother than he'd ever wanted to, and find a strength inside himself that he didn't know he had.

This is Joseph Delany's second book, and the second book in this series. I'm anxiously awaiting more.

As in the first novel, Delaney manages to evoke the feelings of the macabre, fear, and dread on nearly every page. I found myself totally immersed in the story. Instead of a superficial return, though, Delaney deepens the characters even more from the first book. You'll learn things in this novel that you didn't know and might only have suspected from the first one. Alice is back as well, and still practicing witchcraft, which makes her interesting and a threat to Tom.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By V on June 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm not usually one for audio books but I had to do a 64 hour drive from California and back in a 4 days period. Having read the first Apprentice book I was very interested in this one.
Let me tell you, it scared the heebies out of me. :) It was exciting and terror-filled. Many times I had to turn it off because I was driving in middle of nowhere Texas.

All in all, 2 thumbs up for scaring a 22 year old college student.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mercedes on July 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the 2nd book in the Last Apprentice series. Tom is an apprentice to the Spook. Tom is sent in place of the Spook himself to deal with a nasty boggert that has his brother held as victim. Even though Tom defeats the boggert the Spook's brother dies. His funeral is held in Priestown where the evil Bane is bound. The Spook and Tom head there for the funeral and to take care of the Bane once and for all. However, along the way, the Spook becomes a prisoner and Tom discovers his friend Alice is set to burn. He may have to take on the Bane alone.

This book is a real page turner. I'm an adult and don't find the book scary but it's defiantly dark fantasy. So far this is a great series and a keeper. I recommend this book to all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Atherton on April 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book with kind of low (kids book) expectations...but holy smokes, it wasnt a kids book at all, I was actually a little scared!! I slept with a light on...I'm 25 years old!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful series, most especially because of the ongoing development of Tom's relationship with the Spook, and of Tom's connection to Alice. Be warned that in later volumes this development is much less pronounced and the books become more interchangeable episodic adventures. But for now, and the next two volumes, if you are interested in Tom's mother's history, and in Tom's development as an apprentice, this book will be very rewarding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ax20 on February 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure what it is about this book that makes it so appealing. It's fairly simple, not particularly surprising, not even especially unique. And yet, there is something oddly compelling about this series.

In book two, the Spook and Tom get called back to Priestown for the Spook's estranged brother's funeral. There are two particularly big problems with this: 1) there is a spirit called the Bane that is growing in strength and controls the town and nearly killed the spook in the past, and 2) there is a man called the Quisitor who likes to burn people who worship the devil and he considers the Spook to be one such person. To make matters worse, Alice shows up and you can never know how things will turn up when Alice is around.

At the opening of the book, I remember thinking, "well, this is an okay series but I don't know that I will buy the next book" but for some reason, as I got further in, I found myself more interested (and ultimately I did go out and buy the third book). Maybe Delaney is simply slow at opening his novels or maybe I was just looking for series to stop reading because I have so many other books to read at this point, but either way, the book wound up being compelling.

There is a lost of strange history; how Tom's parents met and the Spook's past both have odd stories. In some ways it forms a strange mythology and it's clear that there's more coming. I've always been a fan of a bigger mythology, so here's to hoping it pans out well.

The most compelling aspect of this book remains the dynamic between Alice and Tom.
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