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Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane
First edition
Author Suzanne Collins
Cover artist Daniel Craig
Country United States
Language English
Series The Underland Chronicles
Genre Fantasy
Publisher Scholastic
Publication date
September 1, 2004
Pages 320
ISBN 0-439-65075-5
OCLC 54500311
LC Class PZ7.C6837 Gre 2004
Preceded by Gregor the Overlander 
Followed by Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods 

Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane is the second book in Suzanne Collins's children's novel series The Underland Chronicles. Published in 2004, the novel contains elements of high fantasy. The novel focuses on a prophecy mentioned at the end of Gregor the Overlander which the Underlanders believe requires the protagonist Gregor to hunt down and kill an evil white rat known as the "Bane". It is told in third person.

Several editions have been published, including standalone paperbacks and hardcovers and a paperback boxed set including all five books of the series. Listening Library published an audiobook version read by Paul Boehmer on April 11, 2006. The novel has also been released as an ebook, and is available from various online stores. Scholastic has rated its grade level equivalent as 5.3 and its lexile score as 680L, making it appropriate for the average 11–13 year-old. It has been praised as a sequel to the preceding novel and for showing the maturation of Gregor in the face of continually dark events.

Plot summary

Several months have passed since the events of the first novel, when Gregor and his baby sister Boots first fell into the subterranean city of Regalia (a part of the "Underland") and undertook a quest to save their father, who was being held prisoner by a group of Underland rats. The Underland humans supported the siblings' mission because they believed it was prophesied by their founder, Bartholomew of Sandwich. At the beginning of the second novel, the Underland humans kidnap Boots to force her and Gregor (whom they call the "Warrior") to participate in another of their prophecies. They interpret "The Prophecy of Bane" to mean that Gregor must kill a white rat (the "Bane") in order to prevent the humans' main enemies, the rats, from taking over. A set of lines about a dying baby "turn[ing] the Warrior weak" convince the humans that Boots is in danger, so Gregor sails off on an underground lake with only a few soldiers and their giant bats to hunt the Bane in the Labyrinth.

During their journey, the questers are caught in a whirlpool, encounter an island of carnivorous insects, which results in Howard's bat, Pandora, being eaten alive, and are betrayed by the two shiners (fireflies) who were hired to provide them with light. Gregor himself begins to struggle with a new "power" that manifests when he is in battle. He is what the Underland creatures call a "rager", a person who is overcome by a kind of "battle-fury" when they fight, making them completely deadly even without training. Gregor and his bond Ares' worst trouble, however, is when they and the remaining questers become separated from the human queen Luxa, the cockroach Temp, and Boots during a fight with some serpents. The three missing are assumed dead, and Gregor finds himself emotionally frozen at the thought of having lost his baby sister.

When he finally finds the Bane, he learns that it is not an adult monster, as was assumed, but instead a baby whose parents have just died. He can not bring himself to kill it, and so he and Ares take it to be raised by the only friendly rat they know: Ripred. After this, the two return to Regalia, where Nerissa has just been crowned queen. The surviving quest members - the bat Andromeda, human Howard, Ares, and Gregor - are tried for treason because they failed to kill the Bane. They are saved, though, by Nerissa, who controversially decrees it is good that Gregor was not heartless enough to kill a baby. Shortly thereafter, Gregor is trying to finally face the reality of going home without Boots when she is suddenly returned to the palace, having been saved in turn by Luxa, Temp, and an unnamed moth. The two then return to the surface world.


Quest Members

  • Gregor: An eleven-year-old Overlander, said to be the warrior mentioned in "The Prophecy of Bane".
  • Boots (Margaret): Boots is Gregor's two-year-old sister. She is known as "the princess" by the crawlers (cockroaches).
  • Howard: Luxa's cousin, brought along for his skills in water aid. He is bonded to Pandora.
  • Mareth: A soldier and friend of Gregor, severely injured during the fight with the serpents. He is bonded to Andromeda.
  • Twitchtip: A gnawer (rat) Ripred sends along because of her incredible sense of smell; she is an outcast and "scent-seer".
  • Temp: A crawler and friend of Boots. He is lost during the battle with the serpents, then later loses a few legs while escaping some rats with Boots. He remains behind to regrow them while she is sent ahead.
  • Photos Glow-Glow and Zap: Two hired fireflies who desert the quest and inform the rats of the quest's approach when their pay (large quantities of food) runs out.
  • Ares: A large black flier (bat) bonded to Gregor. He is extremely strong, and similar to Gregor in many ways; the two become friends.
  • Pandora: Howard's bond, eaten alive by carnivorous mites.
  • Andromeda: Mareth's bond.
  • Aurora: Not technically part of the quest, Aurora is bonded to Luxa and accompanies her to join the quest after the boats carrying the members are too far from land for them to be sent home. She is lost and presumed dead after the battle with the serpents.
  • Luxa: The rebellious future queen of Regalia. She is not officially a quest member as she joins after they have already set out, and is lost with Aurora after the battle with the serpents.


Scholastic has licensed rights to publish in 20 different languages. As of 2018, editions have been published in Italian, Turkish, German, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Finnish, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, French, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, Persian, and Chinese. Many foreign-language editions have titles different from the typical English translation, such as the Dutch Het Labyrint ("The Labyrinth") and Portuguese Gregor e a Segunda Profecia ("Gregor and the Second Prophecy"). The second United States English edition (ISBN: 9780545515016), released in 2013 as part of a boxed set, has cover art by Vivienne To. New United Kingdom editions, published in 2013 (ISBN: 9781407137049) and 2016 (ISBN: 9781407172590), respectively, have different cover art.

The novel has also been released in ebook and audiobook form. Multiple editions have been published in most languages; for example, audiobooks, paperbacks, and hardcovers have been published in English, German, and Spanish. The English audiobook published April 11, 2006 is read by actor Paul Boehmer.

The book's lexile score is 680L, making it appropriate for child readers in the 4th-6th grades. Scholastic, the book's publisher, recommends the novel for children in grades 3-8.

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