Book Review: “Curse of the Bane”

Cover of "The Spook's Curse"

“Curse of the Bane (The Last Apprentice #2)” by Joseph Delaney

Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Free pre-order

Other Last Apprentice books

Summary from Goodreads:

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.


I really enjoyed the first book in the series so I’ve been excited to get my hands on the rest of the series for quite a while. This book picks up several months after the previous book left off.

If I didn’t have a million other books I want to read, I would have tried to read these closer together. The mythology in the books isn’t hard to understand exactly, it is a middle grade book after all. It’s just that there is a lot of information and you need to keep it all straight in your mind. Seriously, there is a lot. As much as I loved listening to the first book as an audiobook, reading and seeing the information would have helped me retain it better. Of course, then there is the “problem” of Delaney using creatures that readers are semi-familiar with. I’m not familiar with the traditional uses of boggarts, witches, and other creatures so I don’t know if he is using them “correctly” or is he is putting his spin on the creatures. [I kept getting boggarts confused in my mind because I’ve read several other books that have them and none of the books seem like they’re talking about the same creature!]

Story wise the book was enjoyable enough. It was kind of interesting to see how England in the 1600’s reacted to witches, real ones and the poor people who are accused of being witches. I can imagine that’s how the Salem witch trials went only we didn’t have real witches. I wasn’t thrilled with the use of the church in the story though. Overall, it was enjoyable but I didn’t love it.

I guess I was right with my prediction from the last book! There is something more to mam. The book only hinted at it so I’m still not sure exactly what it is. [Is she some sort of witch?] Hopefully they’ll get back to it in the next book. I still don’t trust Alice. Like Tom, I think she’s mostly okay but the way she was raised has me concerned. Tom has matured a bit. He was able to do quite a bit for only having 6 months of being an apprentice under his belt.

Rating 3/5

Fun enough. I didn’t love it though. I’m still continuing with the series!

What are your thoughts? (Comments are moderated. Yours will be up as soon as I read it!)

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