The Spook's Curse
|The Spook's Curse|
Book cover for The Spook's Curse
|Series||The Wardstone Chronicles - UK The Last Apprentice - America|
|Publisher||The Bodley Head, an imprint of Random House Children's Books|
|30 June 2005|
|Preceded by||The Spook's Apprentice|
|Followed by||The Spook's Secret|
The Spook's Curse is the second book in the Wardstone Chronicles series. In America, it was released as the second book in The Last Apprentice series, with the title Curse of the Bane.
The book begins with Tom binding a Ripper (murderous boggart) in Horshaw. Although he is successful, the Ripper's victim, priest Father Gregory (the Spook's brother) dies from shock. He's sent to be buried in Priestown and the Spook goes there with Tom, to pay his respects and to finally deal with an ancient demon locked in the catacombs under the city. This demon, known as the Bane, has already bested the Spook once and has since grown in power. The Spook makes preparations to enter the catacombs but is betrayed by his cousin, Father Cairns, and both he and Alice are arrested by the Quisitor, a witch hunter who despises Spooks.
Tom enters the catacombs in order to slip inside the prisons undetected, but only manages to free Alice. Another brother of the Spook’s, locksmith Andrew Gregory, hides them in a haunted house in town and they fall asleep. The Bane comes to tempt them both in their dreams but Tom resists. He wakes up to find Alice at the Silver Gate, where she confesses she made a deal with the Bane so that she could help him. She helps save the Spook and the other prisoners from being burned to death.
Tom takes the Spook to his mother who heals the older man, and then they set out to find the cemetery of the Segantii, the first people to have bound the Bane. Their leader, Naze, tells them that he too had made a pact with the Bane, so that if the Bane was to be freed and then enter his prison once again, he was to be bound there for the rest of the Bane's existence.
The Spook takes Alice back to the catacombs. Tom secretly follows them after opening a letter from his mother where she wrote that if he does not go as well, both the Spook and Alice will die pointlessly.
After Alice summons the Bane, the demon whisks her away and turns into his material form to feed for the last time from her blood. The Spook is knocked out, so Tom follows the Bane on his own and binds him with the silver chain that his mother gave him on his last visit. The Bane tries once again to sway him but fails and Tom kills it but is killed himself. Alice will not let Tom go and uses magic to bring him back to life.
The Spook, Alice and Tom return to Chipenden where the Spook tries to put Alice into the pit he had Tom dig for her. Tom uses what he knows about Meg Skelton – a Lamia witch whom the Spook had once fallen in love – to demand Alice's freedom and the Spook is swayed. He allows Alice to stay at Chipenden in exchange for her knowledge about witches and her skill in Latin.
List of chapters
Chapter One: The Horshaw Ripper
Chapter Two: The Spook's Tale
Chapter Three: The Bane
Chapter Four: Priestown
Chapter Five: The Funeral
Chapter Six: A Pact with Hell
Chapter Seven: Escape and Capture
Chapter Eight: Brother Peter's Tale
Chapter Nine: The Catacombs
Chapter Ten: Girl Spit
Chapter Eleven: The Spook's Trial
Chapter Twelve: The Silver Gate
Chapter Thirteen: The Burning
Chapter Fourteen: Dad's Tale
Chapter Fifteen: The Silver Chain
Chapter Sixteen: A Pit for Alice
Chapter Seventeen: The Quisitor Arrives
Chapter Eighteen: Nightmare on the Hill
Chapter Nineteen: The Stone Graves
Chapter Twenty: Mam's Letter
Chapter Twenty-One: A Sacrifice
Chapter Twenty-Two: A Bargain's a Bargain
- Thomas Ward Thomas Ward (the Spook's apprentice)
- John Gregory (The Spook)
- Alice (Tom's friend and a suspected familiar witch)
- Jack (Tom's brother, Ellie's husband, Mary's father)
- Ellie (Jack's wife, Mary's mother)
- Mary (Jack and Ellie's baby girl)
- Mam (mother of Jack and Tom. suspected Lamia witch)
- The Bane (The single enemy that the spook has never been able to defeat, lives in the dark catacombs of a cathedral)
- Andrew Gregory (John's brother, a locksmith)
- Father Gregory (John and Andrew's brother)
- Father Cairns (John, Andrew and Father Gregory's cousin)
- The Quisitor (Evil dictator who captures what he thinks to be "witches and warlocks"and makes money from selling property condemned)
- Brother Peter (Gardener of Priestown Cathedral and helpful friend to Tom)
Generally well received by fans of the series. Where the through plot of the series is not yet clear, Delaney exposes the first signs of overall arc. This second book only fueled the already growing interest.
- Paperback = 6 July 2006 Published: Red Fox ISBN: 009945646X
- Hardback = 30 June 2005 Published: Bodley Head ISBN: 0370328272
- http://www.rjspindle.com/content/curse-bane-last-apprentice-book-2-joseph-delaney Full Length Commentary of Curse of the Bane