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Curse of the Bane

(The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles #2)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  26,313 ratings  ·  1,123 reviews

Now it's the dark's turn to be afraid

The Spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward, deal with the dark. Together they rid the county of witches, ghosts, and boggarts. But now there's some unfinished business to attend to in Priestown. Deep in the catacombs of the cathedral lurks a creature the Spook has never been able to defeat; a force so evil that the whole county is

Hardcover, 480 pages
Published August 29th 2006 by Greenwillow Books (first published June 30th 2005)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  26,313 ratings  ·  1,123 reviews

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Start your review of Curse of the Bane (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #2)
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Tom Ward is a Spook's apprentice. The Spooks are the people who deal with malevolent supernatural forces using mundane means: their physical strength, their wits, and their knowledge. This profession is somewhat similar to this:


The book starts with Tom's first independent assignment of containing a highly dangerous boggart. He succeeded, but not before the local priest was killed. The priest happens to be a brother of Tom's mentor who wants to give the last respect to his late brother.

The proble
Ahmad Sharabiani
Curse of the Bane (The Last Apprentice, #2), 2005, Joseph Delaney
Abstract: The Spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward, deal with the dark. Together they rid the county of witches, ghosts, and boggarts. But now there's some unfinished business to attend to in Priestown. Deep in the catacombs of the cathedral lurks a creature the Spook has never been able to defeat; a force so evil that the whole county is in danger of being corrupted by its powers. The Bane! As Thomas and the Spook prepare for the
Mike (the Paladin)
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Let me open this with a caveat or two.

First always be sure that your children/youths are mature enough to read any YA novel, this one included. Be sure that when reading a fantasy novel especially one with a horror context that they have a good reality concept.

Second and for this novel be aware of the attitude in these books (The Wardstone Chronicles in the UK or The Spook's Apprentice books in the US) toward "the church". I'm not Roman Catholic, but am a Christian. Were my kids small, I'd have
[Name Redacted]
A disappointing follow-up to Delaney's excellent first novel. The heavy-handed anti-clericalism and anti-ecclesiasticism certainly didn't help, but the overall narrative also felt remarkably flat (despite a gripping opening), the characters seemed unengaging and unengaged in one another, and the "big bad" felt like an inappropriate villain for the second story in a long-running series. The Bane would have been a better fit for a later -- perhaps even final -- volume, or as a recurring villain. I ...more
Faye, la Patata
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
This one was so irritating to read. I hated Tom Ward in this one. He was such a wussy who kept refusing to see the bigger picture, who kept disobeying his master, who kept whining about Poor Alice even if she was responsible for so many bad things due to what she did. It pissed me off how he kept justifying her actions, and how he was so willing to risk so many innocent lives due to POOR FUCKING ALICE. arghhhhhhhhh
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I started this series years ago, and I was impressed that this is genuinely scary horror fiction for younger readers. Finally, I was able to pick this series up with the second book. I actually own this in Kindle and Paperback, but I wanted a scary book to listen to on audio for Halloween. Needless to say, I didn't finish it until November.

So I guess I should talk about my thoughts on the book. Frankly, I didn't like this as much as Book One. I guess I liked the evil witch villain more than I l
Tommye Turner

Much like the first book in this series, The Spook’s Curse continues to introduce us to The County and the threats from the Dark that continue to plague it. Things get a little more out of hand, however, as we are introduced to boggarts and there is an old, angry God plaguing Priestown.
Thomas is such a good character. He’s constantly afraid, of course, but he’s braver than he is scared. And he’s smart. A surprising amount happens in this book, considering the size, and it’s all bril
Duffy Pratt
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, horror, fantasy
Perhaps the silliest title I've seen. If you don't know what I mean, I suggest you look "bane" up in the dictionary. It comes straight from the Department of Redundancy Department.

Nonetheless, I liked the book and thought it was a very good sequel to Revenge of the Witch. In most series I've encountered, the second book will expand the world and the cast of characters. Here, while we do get to see a bit more of the County, the characters remain largely the same -- Tom, the Spook, and Alice are a
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book wastes no time with the boring introduction and plunges us straight into the bidding of Tom's first boggart. Just like the first book, Joseph Delaney manages to evoke feelings of fear and dread on almost every page. I was really crept out by the Bane and his whispers and description. I can still picture it in my mind...

Anyway, in this book, we learn more about the characters including the Spook's involvement with two women, one being a witch! No wonder, he warns Tom to be careful of gi
Third time through with this audiobook. I can't believe I originally gave it 5 stars. Hmm. I had recently given birth when I first rated it, so maybe I was on some kind of high? I don't know. The second time through was because my audiobook options were really limited. This time around it was to listen to it with my boys. My 10 year old gave it 5 stars, my 16 year old gave it 4. I'd say 3.5, rounded down because the narrator was not easy to listen to. Most of his voices were purposefully shaky, ...more
Amir  Arman
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
not perfect also not bad
around average
Michael Sorbello
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror
Synopsis: The Spook and his apprentice, Thomas Ward, deal with the dark. Together they rid the county of witches, ghosts, and boggarts. But now there's some unfinished business to attend to in Priestown. Deep in the catacombs of the cathedral lurks a creature the Spook has never been able to defeat; a force so evil that the whole county is in danger of being corrupted by its powers. The Bane. As Thomas and the Spook prepare for the battle of their lives, it becomes clear that the Bane isn't thei ...more
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Curse of the Bane" is another installment in the Last Apprentice chronicles that relates the adventures of Tom Ward and his mentor the Spook who travels around and rids people of supernatural monsters.
I have been enjoying this series even though some of the scenes depictted are rather dark in atmosphere for a young adult book. As a middle schooler I would have really enjoyed this series had it been available then. Heck, as an adult I really enjoy this series!
The writing is smart and the stor
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well, It is starting to get interesting, this feels like Harry Potter only the horror version, unlike Mr. Potter, who had so many many friends, Thomas doesn't have that much, only his mother and the Spook, but what a mother!!!!
Good things about the book, expansion of the Delaney world, earlier ghosts, witches and boggarts, now we have the Bane, a tougher, more malevolent entity, more glimpses of Mr. Gregory's bygone days and yesteryears, origin of Mister and Missus Ward and of course, we see ho
Miranda Reads
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Really enjoying Alice and the grumpy Spook

Review to come!

Audiobook Comments
Narrated by Christopher Evan Welch. He seems like a pretty darn good narrator. I'm pretty happy with how consistent he is between this and the first novel.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat @miranda.reads

Happy Reading!
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, audio-book
Review to come.
Amanda G. (Nellie and Co.
It had been a while since I was Joseph Delaney's Spooks world - a good couple of months in fact, and during that time, I read a lot of books, so it's unclear to me as to whether my reaction to Spooks Curse is an honest reaction to the novel itself, or whether it's also been touched by the length of time it's taken me to continue to series. Spooks Curse was not a bad sequel, in fact, it provided and gave me everything I was wanting and expecting in the sequel, but there were areas it seemed to we ...more
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paranormal, ya, historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian  9 ¾ ⚡
“One day this house will belong to us, Tom. Don’t you feel it?” she asked

Tom and the Spook have been working together to defeat the darkness. But, when the Spook gets the news about his brother, they set a journey to Priestown to attend the spook brother's funeral alongside with some unfinished business that they need to deal with. Deep down under the Cathedral catacombs, lurks a creature that Spook himself can’t defeat; a force that so evil that put the County is in danger being

Review #3 - December 2019
Listened to the audio this time. These books are so easy for me to get lost in. They are a bit slower paced, but I enjoy that at certain times. Sometimes I want something chilly without the continual thrill and terror. This series is "gently spooky."

Tom and the Spook head to Priestown for the funeral of the Spook's brother. Tom is horrified to see Alice taken prisoner by the Inquisitor. She will be executed as a witch! To make matters worse, the Inquisitor is after the
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
"None of us is either all good or all bad ~ we're all somewhere in between ~ but there comes a moment in each life when we take an important step, either toward the light or toward the dark. "

This series is so surprising so far. I didn't expect to like this as much as I do. But it's highly entertaining and full of monsters and magic. The story is still full of the Spook and him not giving much information but we finally have a little more back story.

It also, of course, has Tom. Tom is learning m
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't normally find myself reading books about ghosts and boggarts but I just can't put these down. They are spooky, mysterious and entertaining. Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son which gives him special abilities to deal with the things that go bump in the night. He is back with Gregory and Alice to deal with The Bane, a creature that the Spook fought and lost back during his apprenticeship. After the untimely death of his brother, Tom and the Spook are forced to return to Pries ...more
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Four very solid stars! I'm loving this series because I think its so well written for the age group it targets. Pretty scary, but not super evil or disturbing; characters who make mistakes and admit it, who grow and evolve; and a plot that moves along in an interesting and engaging way, building on the past and for the future of this series.

A quote from Tomas Ward's mom;
"You've been Mr. Gregory's apprentice for nearly six months, so you've had long enough to see things for yourself," she said.
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i think it is one of the best childrens books that i ever read in my life...a bit splatterish but it was nice....well i would recomend it only in 13 yolds and above....Anyway TSC is a great takes six months after the events of the first book and continues the story giving us new villains(the inquistor is a very scary persona),new loveable character and hollowing settings and a few counter-issues happening to the characters.Delaney is a great story teller that hates stalling in his st ...more
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it
What I really liked in this volume was the personal relationships.Between the spook and Thomas, between Thomas and his father, mother and Alice and so on.I also liked very much the things we learned about the Spook and his past and also about Thomas'mom. On the other hand, I found the story a little weak even though the Bane had great potential.The ending was a little rushed in my opinion, because in a large portion of the book we deal with the quisitor and the witch hunting. A story I did not p ...more
Not as good as the first book but still scary and exciting. I like how Tom and the Spooks relationship is developing into mutual respect and maybe slight admiration.
Alice is getting a little dull to be honest but hopefully she may fade away in future stories. So far I am enjoying the series and will continue with it as long as it "spooks" me the hell out in places!

Robert Dylan
Sep 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
0.5 stars
Is it weird that my favourite character is Tom's mother? Did this happen to anyone else?
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: treavor-g, dan-s
Review Originally Posted At: FictionForesight

Dan S’ Review:
Curse of the Bane was an interesting sequel to Joseph Delaney’s Revenge of the Witch. Set a bit after the events of the first book, Tom is beginning to show signs of growth and is starting to become a much better Spook (as shown even from the very first chapter of the book). However, even with his increasing skill and wit, is it enough to beat the next creature of the dark?…Well for that you will have to read it yourself. Overall this re
Michelle ⚔ Fantasy Fanatic ⚔
Listening to this on audio as a reread did increase my enjoyment from the 3* I originally gave it, but I'm not sure I want to give it a whole extra star for that; it's like 3.5*/3.75* but I just feel too stingy to round up. It's because I know how good this series can be and this just happens to be a weaker early entry that keeps me from giving 4*. I'm hoping to do a complete reread this year, including the sequel series (it could extend into 2021, because I still have 14 more books ahead of me) ...more
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Joseph Delaney is a full time writer living in Lancashire, in the heart of Boggart territory.
He is the author of Wardstone Chronicles, Starblade Chronicles, Arena 13 and Aberrations. He has a new book out in April 2020: Brother Wulf is a new spooks story featuring Tom and Alice, but introducing a new character, a young monk called Brother Wulf.

He first got the idea for the Spooks series when he m

Other books in the series

The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #1)
  • Night of the Soul Stealer (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #3)
  • Attack of the Fiend (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #4)
  • The Spook's Mistake (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #5)
  • The Spook's Sacrifice (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #6)
  • Rise of the Huntress (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #7)
  • Rage of the Fallen (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #8)
  • I Am Grimalkin (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #9)
  • The Spook's Blood (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #10)
  • Slither (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #11)

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