Kirkus Reviews QR Code
CURSE OF THE BANE by Joseph Delaney


From the Last Apprentice series, volume 2

by Joseph Delaney & illustrated by Patrick Arrasmith

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-076621-2
Publisher: Greenwillow

Opening with a victim’s agonized scream, Delaney returns to the boggart-ridden County for a second gruesome, lickety-split episode featuring young Tom Ward, seventh son of a seventh son and for some months now apprenticed to the Spook, a hunter of malign spirits. Here the duo is propelled into and out of captivity at the hands of corrupt priests in the course of a desperate effort to slay the Bane, a mind-reading, blood-hungry entity long imprisoned beneath the local cathedral. Just as in Revenge of the Witch (2005), it’s thanks to quick-thinking young Alice—a witch-in-training who teeters on the dark side’s brink but hasn’t quite made the leap—that Tom and his master emerge from the climactic battle alive (if considerably scathed). Dark, woodcut style art at the chapter heads, and an appended section of reproduced pages from Tom’s notes on various bogles met here and previously, reinforce the gloomy atmosphere of his narrative. Readers will be hooked from the first line. (Fantasy. 11-13)