Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Last Apprentice #2: Curse of the Bane by Joseph Delaney

This book is the second in The Last Apprentice series, and I gave it a score of 5 out of 5. Thomas Ward is forced to take on the main duties of The Spook since his mentor is ill. He first dispatches a very dangerous boggart but later must face The Bane. The Bane is a very evil creature that has been trapped below Priestown for the past twenty years. However, it is gaining strength and is using the minds of people on the surface to plot its escape. In addition, The Quisitor, ruler of the land, is conducting witch hunts to kill off anyone suspected of consorting with the devil or using magical powers; this includes The Spook and Thomas. Alice, a witch from book one, returns, and the reader is still uncertain as to whether she is good or evil. The Spook wants to imprison her in a pit, but Thomas continues to defend her.

I enjoyed this book a little more than the first book. It still has the main battle of good versus evil, but the addition of The Quisitor adds a twist to the conflict. I also appreciate how the author keeps Alice's character mysterious. She continues to help Thomas and The Spook, but her methods are questionable. Her use of magic saves them from disaster, but it makes the reader suspect she is becoming a more powerful witch. The Spook wants to imprison her before she becomes too powerful. The reader also learns a little more about Thomas' mother. It appears as though she may be a witch too, but Thomas isn't certain. Readers who are more sensitive to religious beliefs may not like this book, because The Spook has an ongoing conflict with the priests. The afterlife, the souls of people, and the devil are discussed openly in parts of the book.

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