I started reading Joseph Delaney’s Last Apprentice books when I learned a new movie was to be released called, Seventh Son, and that the film was based on the first two books in the now thirteen book series. Click on the link to read my review of the first book, Revenge of the Witch. I have since finished the second book, Curse of the Bane. In short, I even more excited to see Seventh Son than I had been prior to reading the books.
The dust jacket flap gives a brief synopsis of the novel as such:
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.
Just for some background, Thomas Ward is the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. While his father was able to call in favors for employment for the first six sons, Thomas was given to Old Gregory. Old Gregory is a Spook. A Spook is not always the most popular person in any county. They are, however, needed. They wrestle witches and boggarts and spirits and anything supernatural to protect their county. Six months into his apprenticeship, Thomas is beginning to appreciate his new position.
When the Spook’s brother dies, the Spook and Thomas must journey to Priestown for the funeral. Priestown is a town filled with priests, and priests are especially not fond of Spooks. Once in town, they learn that the evil Quisitor is there. The Quisitor accuses people of witchcraft, and burns them, but only after hours and sometimes days of endless torture. Additionally, below the town in the maze of catacombs, is a bound malevolent creature known as the Bane. It is a powerful being that, if released from captivity, will reek havoc on counties far and wide!
When the Quisitor captures both the Spook and Thomas’ friend, (and witch), Alice, the nightmare begins. With limited training, Thomas must call on all of his knowledge to find a way to free his friends before they are burned to death. Disobeying all commands he must figure out how to outsmart the Quisitor and deal with an angry and vengeful Bane.
Family, friendship, and unexpected sacrifices fill the chapters of this page turning adventure. Yes. Delaney’s series is a young adult fantasy / horror. Let me tell you, I am thoroughly enjoying the tales! They are horrific and suspenseful. The characters are very well drawn. The background stories and prophecies and sinister plots are compelling. I have purchased all thirteen books in the series, and am not sure I will be able to stop reading until I have finished the very last one!
Curse of the Bane was action packed. I will be curious to see how the 1st and 2nd books are incorporated into one film.
Author of Damn the Dead and Blood River