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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Character-Rich And Spooky!
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,...
Published on November 16, 2006 by Mel Odom

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane Review
The life of a spook is dangerous, thrilling, and enriching, although there's always a price to pay in order to get rid of the dark. Tom Ward, a boy of 13 years old was placed into this exciting life, a few months ago in book 1. His father had given him apprenticeship to John Gregory, the County Spook. With their tools of the trade and knowledge they get rid of any dark...
Published on June 21, 2012 by Nic from Bookmark Reviews


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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Character-Rich And Spooky!, November 16, 2006
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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.

The books are written on a level that kids can enjoy them, but adults who love fantasy, history, and a good scare on a quiet night of reading will enjoy these books as well. Delaney's world is as deeply evolved as Harry Potter's, and seems to be growing by leaps and bounds in geography as well as legends. These books should be on every library shelf, and in the homes of everyone who loves a good story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Audio, June 11, 2008
This review is from: The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane (Book 2) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps getting better, July 6, 2009
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Mercedes (Colorado, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane (Book 2) (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars I was actually a little scared!!, April 9, 2008
This review is from: The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane (Book 2) (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Well developed back story, October 22, 2011
By 
Pop Bop "Pause and Reflect" (Denver, Colorado, United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane (Book 2) (Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Just as Good as the First, February 26, 2011
This review is from: The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane (Book 2) (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. It is hard to tell whether the Spook thinks Alice is dangerous because she's a girl or because she's a witch, but you would think that considering how he spends a life being misunderstood, he would learn not to make assumptions and judge people so quickly without getting to know them. Whatever his issues, Alice remains the most complex character, calling into question what it means to be good and evil and if doing the "wrong thing" for the "right reason" makes you good or evil. And is it even wrong if it is a temporary solution?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary!, June 29, 2009
This review is from: The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane (Book 2) (Paperback)
I did not follow the warning on the back and read the book well into the night, so engrossed was I in the story. I didn't know who was scarier, the Bane or the Quisitor. Its a brilliant series, so different from the regular fiction for the young adults.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First rate, March 3, 2007
The Spook has returned to Priestown for the funeral of his brother, who was killed by a boggart. There is danger in Priestown. One of the most malevolent spirits the Spook ever dealt with is locked in the catacombs beneath the cathedral. Unable to kill it at the time, the Spook confined the Bane behind a silver gate but its influence and poison are spreading and all it needs is a willing soul to free it from its prison.

Because the town and the country side are under threat from the Quisitor, a priest conducting Inquisition style retribution on anyone or anything suspected of supernatural dealings, Tom and his master hope to just attend the funeral and then leave town quickly. They disguise their occupation while in town and stay at separate inns to avoid detection.

The Quisitor returns unexpectedly with prisoners though. Tom sees that his friend Alice, has been swept into the Quisitor's trap. She will be burned for witchcraft along with other innocents. The Spook is also captured, betrayed by a member of his own family. Tom is desparate to save his friends but faces the ultimate sacrifice to do it.

This is a first rate read. These books are wonderfully creepy, full of atmosphere. The book design will make them accessible for readers of all strengths (as are the Charlie Bone series). There is just enough burning at the stake, blood sacrifice and live burials to keep things interesting but not overtly graphic.

Fans of scary stories and fantasy need to know about this series NOW!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Curse of the Bane, September 22, 2006
Certainly not for the age group specified. I preview books for my grandchildren but this scared me! Very intense and gruesome in places. Make sure you have plenty of time to read when you start this one - it's hard to put down. Very entertaining but if you're prone to nightmares you might want to reconsider.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cornwall NY sixth grader, March 8, 2007
A Kid's Review
I am a sixth grader.

This book The Last Apprentice: Curse Of The Bane by Joseph Delaney is my favorite book that I have read so far. This book is the second one in its series. This book is about the young Thomas Ward a seventh son of a seventh son. If you are a seventh son of a seventh son your destiny is to become a Spook. The Spook is a person who protects humans from evil. They see and sense things that other people cannot - the likeness of dead people, evil spirits and boggarts. Tom Ward's family lives next to hangman's hill; during the war if you were a prisoner you would be hung on this hill. Tom would hear strange noises of people screaming; people who had died long ago.

Now Tom Ward is older and stronger than ever and has more challenges to face. When Old Gregory, the current Spook, retires, Tom will become the new Spook. In the beginning of the book, Old Gregory comes down with a cold and Tom has to do his work for him; Tom cannot be any mistakes. Tom's first job is to stop a boggart. This boggart is sucking the blood out of the Spooks brother, a priest, and Tom has to save him. Tom has to save many lives from The Bane. The Bane is a creature who changes shapes. He also will get inside your head when you dream and will try to convince you to give your blood to him.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes action and adventure. This whole book is full of action. Also, I think that you should not read this book after dark. The reason to not read this book after dark is because it is scary. I would rate this book a six on a scale of 1 to 5. It rates a six because it is so good.

JMM
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The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane (Book 2)
The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane (Book 2) by Joseph Delaney (Paperback - July 24, 2007)
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