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The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane (Book 2) Kindle Edition

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Length: 496 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—Young Tom Ward finds himself taking on more dangerous villains in the second book (Greenwillow, 2006) in Joseph Delaney's series. Six months into his apprenticeship to the monster hunter, aka the Spook, Tom is wrangling boggarts, ghosts, and witches. When he and the Spook are compelled to journey to Priestown for the Spook's brother's funeral, frightful situations develop. The sadistic Quisator is present, seeking to capture and kill the Spook. Alice, Tom's good witch friend, is among those already rounded up for a gruesome mass burning at the stake. How can Tom save Alice when his master recommends leaving her to her fate? Could the Spook's attitude reflect a regretful past love affair with a witch? Meanwhile, a more fearsome creature is bound to the catacombs under the Priestown cathedral. The Bane is a shape-shifting spirit who sucks blood and controls minds. It's up to Tom to outwit the Bane before it infiltrates his mind and inflicts its preferred method of execution, squashing victims flat. Christopher Evan Welch skillfully juggles voices, most notably conveying the Spook's irascibility and Tom's earnestness. Yet it is the Bane that takes center stage with its echoing hiss and eerie, Yoda-like syntax. The violence and villains here are not for the faint of heart. A YALSA 2007 Selected Audiobook for Young Adults.—Erin B. Allen, Rowan Public Library, Salisbury, NC
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

Product Details

  • File Size: 33000 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition (December 6, 2011)
  • Publication Date: December 13, 2011
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00570NO6A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,729 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#60 in Books > Teens
#60 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mel Odom VINE 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Tomasso III on January 20, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started reading Joseph Delaney's Last Apprentice books when I learned a new movie was to be released called, Seventh Son, and that the film was based on the first two books in the now thirteen book series. Click on the link to read my review of the first book, Revenge of the Witch. I have since finished the second book, Curse of the Bane. In short, I even more excited to see Seventh Son than I had been prior to reading the books.

The dust jacket flap gives a brief synopsis of the novel as such:

The Spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward, rid the county of witches, ghosts, boggarts, and other creatures of the dark. And there's some unfinished business to attend to in Priestown. Deep in the catacombs lurks a creature the Spook has never been able to defeat; a force so evil that the whole county is in danger. The Bane!

But the Bane is not their only enemy. The Quisitor arrives, intent on hunting down anyone who meddles with the dark. Thomas Ward and the Spook must prepare for the battle of their lives.

Just for some background, Thomas Ward is the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. While his father was able to call in favors for employment for the first six sons, Thomas was given to Old Gregory. Old Gregory is a Spook. A Spook is not always the most popular person in any county. They are, however, needed. They wrestle witches and boggarts and spirits and anything supernatural to protect their county. Six months into his apprenticeship, Thomas is beginning to appreciate his new position.

When the Spook's brother dies, the Spook and Thomas must journey to Priestown for the funeral. Priestown is a town filled with priests, and priests are especially not fond of Spooks. Once in town, they learn that the evil Quisitor is there.
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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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