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Brothers to the Death (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, Book 4) Hardcover – 26 Apr 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007315945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007315949
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.4 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Darren Shan's real name is Darren O'Shaughnessy (pronounced O-Shock-Nessy, though it can also be pronounced O-Shawn-Essy). Although he is Irish, he was born on July 2, 1972, in St. Thomas' Hospital, London -- directly across the river from the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, which may explain his fascination with evil bloodsuckers! He lived in South East London, near the Elephant & Castle. He started school at the early age of three (he was such a wild child, no pre-school facility would have him!), in English Martyrs. At the age of six, he moved to Limerick in Ireland, with his parents and younger brother, and has lived there ever since.

Shan went to primary school in Askeaton, where his mother was a teacher, then to secondary school in Copsewood College in Pallaskenry. Later, he went back to London to study Sociology and English at Roehampton University. He then worked for a cable television company in Limerick for a couple of years, before setting up as a full-time writer at the age of 23.

Although Shan always wanted to be a writer, it was only in his teenage years that he began writing in his spare time for fun (before that, he only wrote stories if they were for homework). He bought his first typewriter when he was 14, and never looked back, knocking out loads of short stories and comic scripts, and making false starts on several books, which he never completed. He enjoyed his first taste of literary success at age 15, as a runner-up in a television script-writing competition for RTE in Ireland, with a dark comedy script titled A Day in the Morgue (he was morbid even then!).

Shan was 17 when he finished his first novel. Although it was never published, he relished the writing experience, and found himself focusing more on novels in the coming years, leaving behind the short-story format. For the next several years, sandwiched between university and work, he wrote an average of one book a year, experimenting with different ideas, genres, lengths and styles. When he started writing full-time, his output shot up to 5 to 6 books per year! But that has dropped back to 2 to 3 recently, due to all the travelling around he's been doing to promote sales of his books.

All of these early books were adult-oriented. Although Shan quite liked the idea of writing a children's book one day, he considered himself an adult writer first and foremost. In fact, Shan's initial breakthrough was with an adult book, in 1999, titled Ayuamarca (since re-released in the UK as Procession Of The Dead, and coming to the USA in 2010).

In January 2000, his first children's book, Cirque du Freak, which he'd written as a fun side-project, was published. The first book in a series titled The Saga of Darren Shan (or Cirque du Freak, as it's known in America), it attracted rave reviews and an ever-growing army of fans hungry to learn more about vampires which were quite unlike any that anyone had ever seen before!

Shan loved writing for children so much, that for the next several years he focused exclusively on his books for younger readers. First, he wrote a total of 12 books about vampires. He quickly followed up his vampiric saga with The Demonata, a series about demons. Running to ten books in total, The Demonata cemented Shan's place in the UK as the Master Of Children's Horror, and saw him score his first UK #1 bestseller. He also wrote a one-off short book, called Koyasan, for Wold Book Day in the UK.

There was a very successful manga adaptation of Shan's vampire series, drawn by the Japanese artist, Takahiro Arai. It was originally serialized in Japan, but collected volumes are now on sale in the USA, UK and other countries.

In addition to writing for children, Shan has now returned to his first love and is once again writing for adults as well. He has had two adult books published in the UK, Procession Of The Dead and Hell's Horizon. They have been released in a number of other countries too, and are due to hit the USA in 2010. A third, City of the Snakes, goes on sale in the UK in March 2010. His first adult books were released under the name of D B Shan, but they are being reprinted under the name of Darren Shan in March 2010, and City of the Snakes will be released under the Darren Shan name.

By the start of 2010, Shan's books were on sale in every continent, in 39 countries, in 31 languages, and have been children's bestsellers in America, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and other countries. The books have topped adult bestseller charts in Hungary, Japan and Taiwan. In total, Shan's books have sold close to 15 million copies worldwide!!!!

The movie rights to Cirque Du Freak were bought by Universal, and the first movie (which combines elements from the first three books in the series) was released on October 23rd, 2009, starring newcomer Chris Massoglia as Darren Shan, along with a wide array of established stars such as Josh Hutcherson, John C Reilly, Salma Hayek, Willem Defoe and Ken Watanabe. The movie was called Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. It was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in February 2010.

A big film buff, with a collection of more than four thousand movies at home, Shan also reads lots of comics and books, and likes to study and collect original artwork, especially comic art and impressionist and post-impressionist art. He has recently started adding sculptures to his collection, making use of the large, empty field outside his back door. Other interests include long walks, watching football (he's a Tottenham Hotspur and Ireland fan), listening to pop and rock music, theatre, worldwide travel, sampling the delights of both gourmet cuisine and finger-licking junk food, and dreaming up new ways to terrify his readers!!!

Shan spends most of his time in Limerick, Ireland, with his girlfriend Bas. He has no pets, but a neighbourhood dog called Goldie joins him on his walks most days. He also feeds a variety of wild birds, and spots the occasional hare and pheasant strolling through his back yard. In addition to his main home in Ireland, Shan has an apartment in London, to which he escapes for a burst of high-speed living every so often, when he feels the need to get his juices flowing!! Shan rarely writes when in London or on the road, preferring to tie himself to his computer when at home in Limerick, where he can work away solidly without any distractions in the peace and quiet of the Irish countryside.

Product Description


Praise for the Larten Crepsley Series:

“His writing is slick, his dialogue sharp and clever, his plotting immaculate. His books ooze with the kind of creepy, dark atmosphere and powerful characters that young teenage readers lap up. Shan is honing his craft with every book, and I look forward to the next gore-fest with relish.”
Irish Independent

“Forget Stephen King, this author's the master of scaring children.”
The Big Issue in Scotland

“A tantalising start to the series and a must-read for Darren Shan fans.”
Books Quarterly

About the Author

Darren Shan is the number-one best-selling author of the THE SAGA OF DARREN SHAN, the DEMONATA series and THE SAGA OF LARTEN CREPSLEY. His books have been read by millions of people around the world and translated into more than 25 languages. Darren lives in seclusion in the depths of Ireland. He is a big film buff, and also loves theatre, comics and books, and collecting art. He loves dreaming up new ways to terrify his readers, but never drinks blood. Or so he claims.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. J. Woodhead on 3 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
Don't get me wrong; I have thoroughly enjoyed the "Saga of Larten Crepsley"! I think it delivers great, and much-needed insight into the character of Larten from the "Saga of Darren Shan". However, the past three books have each felt a little awkward to me. Maybe it was because they all felt like a collection of short stories from Larten's life, rather than a complete book. While they were all particularly well written, with interesting characters popping in and out from the "Saga of Darren Shan", they never really managed to grip me, and I walked away from each feeling a little unsatisfied.

That is, until this book: "Brothers to the Death", the conclusion to Larten Crepsley's life before he met Darren Shan.

Unlike the previous three books, this book has a very strong continuing theme. I won't spoil what that theme is, because it is one of the turning points in the story and in Larten's life, but it gives the story a stronger and more appealing motive. Larten's motive-driven intentions lead him through this final part of the series, meaning that this story has less of the "wandering" that was prevalent in the previous.

Even for Darren Shan, the quality of writing style is excellent. I have always enjoyed the way that Mr. Shan writes, and I can't deny that this is certainly some of his best work. Even though the book is written in third person, you get fantastic insight into each characters thoughts, and each character's way of thinking is unique. Rather than letting the third person narrative restrict his ability to explain emotion, Darren uses it as an opportunity to lock-on to each character and "zoom in" on their thoughts. It's a fantastic way of writing that gives the story a great level of depth.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Louise on 27 April 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The best books I have ever read. Larten Crepsley is an amazing character. I never thought that this would be the life story of Mr.Crepsley and the way Darren wrote the books, you felt everything Larten felt. And now the books have finished it makes me sad. I've never been moved like this by a book before. Absolutley brilliant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BJE on 21 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read the Darren Shan Saga a few years back and I finished it just after I came out of surgery ( it really help keep me sane otherwise I would have gone crazy from boredom)and I absolutely loved that so when this new Saga that focuses on the mysterious and iconic character of the Darren Shan Saga: Larten Crepsly I had to get it because I knew I would find it incredibly interesting to find out Larten's path. Well I finished it yesterday and I was really sad to finish it as I know it's the last book of the series, but it went out on an all-time high!. As the previous books the story span a number of years and Larten is still judging himself extremely harshly because of the end of the second book. And in this one he does his best to be the best vampire he can be, all the while he regrows his relationship with Alicia and her daughter and all is well for a while.........and then tragedy strikes and it tears Larten's life apart (again). This causes Larten to hate the vampaneze for the first time in his life and he vows to kill the vampaneze that has ruined his life. He searches the globe questioning vampaneze and then killing them. But his search is fruitless and he settles down in the Cirque Du Freak and begins to forget his mission to kill when he is informed of heartbroken betrayal and must do something he never, ever would have considered if not for the extreme circumstances. The end of Larten Creplsy's adventures.

This in my opinion is the best book out of the four but also the saddest as it's the last. Let's hope Darren Shan's future series ZOM-B will be almost as good as this Saga and the Darren Shan Saga.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David on 12 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Have just read all four books in this series. They are terrific. O.K. so I am a mature reader, over 65y.o.a.but like to keep up with the Grandkids.
Certainly a series not to be missed.All 4 are unputdownable.
I did wondered what happened to Larten at the end of Brothers to Death, but then I remembered he rejoined Cirque du Freak yet again, with his giant
spider Madame Orca and made Darren Shan his assistant.
So far have enjoyed all Darrens books, and believe or not, have just started the Demonata series.
Will give my review on them when I have read all ten. So far Lord Los has gained all my attention.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By hc92 on 16 May 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As someone who grew up reading the original series the books have always had a place on my bookshelf. The saga of Larten Crepsley series has tied up all the loose ends well and gives readers much greater insight into the character. The only problem I've had is that these books have been far more predictable than the originals, the plot twist in the final book was obvious from the beginning. Still an enjoyable read, just don't expect it to blow you away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nigel Gates on 17 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you haven't experanced the magic that is Darren Shan then what have you spent your life readding I am a 39 year old disylexic and darran shan has turned me into a book worm and why he insist these are books for kids I do not know because any one can enjoy his engrosing story plots.
This Is a long way in to the saga of laten crepsly books so if you havent read any upto now pick up birth of a killer and work your way through you wont be disapointed.
I'm not going to spoil any of the plots so i will shut up now, but like all he wrights this is a winner. Ps sorry about the spelling The Saga of Larten Crepsley (1) - Birth of a Killer
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