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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; (Reissue) edition (5 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007137796
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007137794
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,139 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


Hunters of the Dusk
The attention to detail is as great as ever and it will leave fans with the promise of bigger revelations and developments to come. Funday Times

Cirque Du Freak
A compelling book…a plot full of twists which leaves the reader hungry for more. J.K. Rowling
One of the 50 Best Children’s books of 1999 – The Independent
A top notch supernatural thriller told with pace and tension… Leave the lights on… – Books Etc Magazine
‘Brilliant, macabre tale.’ – Guardian

"I read Cirque Du Freak last week. I loved it. I love the way you manage to juggle the funny with the unpleasant, the affection with the hurt. It's
great story-telling."
Roddy Doyle

The Vampire’s Assistant
The Vampire’s Assistant blazes a thrilling, gruesome trail through a fascinating plot – The Good Book Guide

Vampire Mountain
“Get your teeth into it!” – Funday Times

About the Author

Darren Shan is the number-one best-selling author of the series THE SAGA OF DARREN SHAN, the DEMONATA and more recently the SAGA OF LARTEN CREPSLEY and ZOM-B. 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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "the_rachie" on 24 Aug 2002
Format: Paperback
"only one of you will be alive to witness the fall of the vampire clan, the other two will be dead."
After nearly two decades of being a half vampire and only six of those being a vampire prince, Darren Shan is torn appart emotionaly by the war of the scars (the war between the vampanez and the vampires). Darren, Mr Crepsly his tutor in the vampire world, and Vancha March set out on a mission to kill the vampanez lord before he rises to power and wipes the vampires from the face of their twlight world. But all is not lost, though vicously protected, the vampanez lord will cross the path of the three vampires, only four times, and only four goes they have at killing him. They were told to follow their hearts, but in fear, a heart stands still.
This is a brilliant book, it is just oozing with emotions, figthing and death, this book, i recomend to anyone who has a taste for adventure. This was definatly the best book of the whole saga, and i am getting ready for the next action packed adventure!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Jun 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the best so far in the Darren Shan series. The suspense in this book is terrific!, and right from the first page the book grabs you and makes you want to read more. This series is to be continued in books 8 and 9 and I can't wait! The cliffhanger at the end makes this book great and well worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on 1 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback
As Darren holds the spot of vampire price since he was supposed to be sentenced to hall of death for running away from his trials but was voted by the vampires to become prince wich was the only solution other than death. Comes a well expected vsit by all vampires, Desmond Tiny who is hated by the vampires made a prophecy talking about the Vampaneze Lord and a great war. The Vampaneze Lord is alive and traveling the world. Now, it's up to Darren Shan, Mr. Crepsley and a the Vampire Prince Vancha March to find the Vampaneze Lord and kill him before he brings the end to all vampires.

Mr. Tiny tells them that they have five chances to kill the Vampaneze Lord. One passed when the vampires killed one of their chances to survival Kurdha Smahlt, for being a traitor. Mr. Tiny cannot tell Darren and Mr. Crepsley what the four remaining chances are.Though he says to follow what their hearts say.Their hearts take them to the Cirque du Freak with the witch Lady Evanna, who makes a very disturbing prophecy about Darren himself!

So far the best have read on until you finish all twelve to reveal nthe truth and ending of this great soon-to-be disaster
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Format: Paperback
Newly made Vampire Prince Darren Shan and Mr Crepsley head on a journey to meet a witch and continue to fight the war against the vampeneze.

After a weird ending to Vampire Prince, there was an exciting situation to be unfolded in this seventh instalment, which is that Darren Shan is now a Vampire Prince. By the information given to the readers, a Prince is a man of responsibility, a man recognized as being clever, decisive and noble, but sadly we see little of Darren as a prince as years on from Vampire prince, readers are following Darren and Crepsley on a dangerous path to seek help from witch Evanna.

Though we don't see Darren as a Prince in the professional role, author Darren Shan gives his character more sophistication, a more adult way of life, which is very noticeable. This was a brilliant move, as the young obnoxious teen was becoming slightly irritating and so this is a more professional look at a vampire's life, and still maintains the innocence and humour of previous novels.

The most laughs come from Larten Crepsley, who has also changed a lot during the saga. His quick wit and pairing with Evanna is very silly, but highly likeable. Change is a big issue in this book, as Darren, Crepsley and Harket all change in one way or another.

The journey is similar to Vampire Mountain, slow and without much action to get your blood pumping. Hang on in there for the meeting which is highly enjoyable, and again we get to know more about the War of the Scars, and a hugely important moment for Darren.

As the book is generally very slow, it is obviously leading somewhere, and we aren't to be disappointed with a tense and exciting finale, as a couple of old faces emerge.

The settings are again well established and the likeability of all the characters will be enough to satisfy any reader, who will no doubt pick up Allies of the Night after another dramatic fantastic ending

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Elder on 7 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is awesome. In it Darren, Mr. Crepsley and Vancha who is a prince set out to kill the vampaneze lord after Mr. Tiny says they are the only ones who can defeat the Vampaneze lord. Along the way they meet a witch who won't take sides. Buy this book today or tomorrow or the next day or the next day etc.
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By marky77 VINE VOICE on 25 May 2007
Format: Paperback
In this book, Darren, Harkat and Mr Crepsly leave Vampire Mountain, by advice from Mr Tiny, in search of the Vampeneze Lord who they learn has been blooded.

I thought that this book was really good - I read it in one sitting - and more lighthearted than the previous book - The Vampire Prince - which I had thought was a bit too depressing. Recomended for fans of the series.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By tomevans-avidreaderandmusic-listener on 19 Sep 2004
Format: Paperback
"Even in death, may you be triumphant".
Darren Shan, Vampire Prince and half-vampire for eighteen years, sets off on a deadly journey to discover and kill the Vampaneze Lord, the lord of a clan who, when they drink blood from humans, kill them, who is set to bring the Vampaneze to war with the Vampires, and succeed. According to the mysterious Mr. Tiny, the only people who can stop him before the Lord is fully-blooded, are Vancha March - a Vampire Prince who fights using just his hands, tries to battle the sun, and used to be a Vampaneze - Larten Crepsley, a Vampire who used to be a Vampire General at Vampire Mountain, and his half-vampire assistant - Darren Shan! Leaving Vampire Mountain, the place that had been their home for six years, they must follow their hearts to find the Vampaneze Lord, along with Harkat Mulds, a Little Person who talks. They have the chance to kill the Vampaneze Lord four times. But things get tangled up when they reach a mysterious with named Lady Evanna, who can foresee the future, and tells them that if they fail to kill the Vampaneze Lord, two out of the three will die, whilst the other will live to see the War of the Scars. The first chance comes when they visit Cirque Du Freak, where Darren had first been blooded by Mr. Crepsley. Because in the woods they find a group of Vampaneze, and one of them is the Vampaneze Lord...
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