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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Harper Collins Childrens H/B
  • ISBN-10: 1845791142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845791148
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,228,968 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 Lord Loss

“Utterly unputdownable” The Times

“The master of children’s horror at his blood-curdling best.” Publishing News

Praise for Darren Shan

Lord of the Shadows
'Stephen King for kids … Darren Shan has brought his own brand of vampire mythology into the heads and hearts of thousands of children with his vivid and compelling series The Saga of Darren Shan, about one boy's journey from ordinary lad to vampire prince. Once they're hooked, kids tend to rip into the flesh of these books, quickly draining them of their life blood. The covers, with images of ghouls, creeping hands and dripping fangs are terrifying alone. ' Metro Life, Evening Standard

Cirque Du Freak
“…fast-paced and compelling book which leaves the reader hungry for more.”
JK Rowling

"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

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

It’s in the blood

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Jun. 2005
Format: Hardcover
I am a fifteen year old girl who loves horror and everything in the genre.I've in fact read ALL of the vampire series by the same author so was expecting the same sort of style of writing and was quite surprised when reading this how GORY it was. If you've read the other books of Darren Shan you won't be surprised to know this book is still based around a boy and the creepy events in his life but this story is so different it can't really be compared! Another thing I founf was how some characters are very creepy even from small descriptions.Some scenes,well actually ONE in particular is NOT suitable for those who get scared easily,so this book is not recommended for children's bedtime reading unless nightmares are your thing! I really can't talk about the storyline itself as everything that could be said could spoil the story though it is a VERY good book and I'm very annoyed I finished it so soon as now I have to wait for the others in this set to be published!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By liam on 12 Nov. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Like I said, best book he's ever written, if you've read The Darren Shan Saga, you'll know how good he is. He puts a lot of suspense into his books, really scary and at the start you have no idea what it's about and you think, "What the heck are the chess pieces on the front for!" A bit violent at the start, but that's Darren Shan for you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barmy_Bex on 24 July 2013
Format: Paperback
As you will have noticed on my blog I have just read the Darren Shan Saga and loved it, I got obsessed with it and couldn't put it down. So naturally I requested this series to read when I had finished.
I'd actually intended to take a break before starting this series, I have a book I have to read for a group at work for this Friday (2 days away) so I was going to read that today, but I was drawn to this instead. Let's just hope I can catch up tomorrow.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this series really, I'd heard it was a lot darker than the Shan series and I'm quite wimpy when it comes to horror so I really didn't know if I would like it.
This book is quite gory and is very dark, it isn't like anything I would normally pick up but I did find myself hooked and it flows well and is so easy to read that I had finished it within 2 hours. It passed in a blur, and left me wanting more.
For a 'seriously scary book' I didn't actually find the demons themselves that scary, description/appearance wise it didn't bother me that much, they just seemed to be a type of deformed monster, the bits I didn't like the most were the gory bits. That's what disturbed me the most, the death of Grubb's family was really disgusting and conjured some horrible images. That was what makes it 'horror', the demons themselves didn't seem that bad.
I didn't like Grubbs as a character at first, it took a lot of time for me to get to like him and feel really interested in him, but the plot was so well constructed I had to read on anyway.
A good start to a series, and one I will definitely keep reading, just be warned it's not for the squeamish!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Sept. 2005
Format: Hardcover
I started reading Lord Loss after finishing the saga of Darren Shan and I can tell you that they are totally different stories. This new adventure hits you in the very first chapter, when you get to encouter Grubs, the main character and his family, who are chess fanatics. The action begins with a demonic massacre. Luckily Grubs survives and moves in with his uncle to start a new life. A life of magic and demons. In my opinion this is a fantastic book about the supernatural. If you liked Darren Shan's Saga you will love Lord Loss but I warn you, this book will scare the hell out of you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Calum Fairweather on 31 July 2005
Format: Hardcover
After reading the first 12 books by Darren Shan, I knew there'd be more, and so there was, Lord Loss, Book 1 of The Demonata, it's really scary, and Darren Shan is showing his best.
Lord Loss is a Demon Master, and Grubbs Grady encounters him whilst his parents and sister are dead, also one more thing, the Gradys are chess fanatics, Grubbs isn't better at chess than his relatives though but when he plays Lord Loss, it becomes a different matter.
In this book there are loads of scary and nail-biting bits and is the best book that Darren Shan has ever written in my personal opinion, can't wait for the sequel, Demon Thief, coming out soon.
If you were a fan of the first 12 books, you'll will definetly enjoy this, and ofcoure it will leave gasping for breath, and emotionally spent under this total inimitable brand of horror and chaos.
~ Calum Fairweather (Darren Shan fan)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "cooperrulez" on 9 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
Fantastic. There i am, annoyed at the end of the saga of darren shan( top set of books!!!) and what does Mr. Shan hit me with? A gory, fast paced, scary, unusual but fantastic story. If you haven't read i strongly suggest tha you do!!!!
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By Kim Dyer on 14 April 2014
Format: Paperback
I actually really enjoyed reading this novel - far more than I was expecting.

Although gratuitously violent in places, the plot was compelling and contained some twists that actually did take me by surprise. The first person narrative and clipped sentences helped to make the novel fast-paced and exciting, nicely reflecting its dark subject matter.

Without spoiling anything, I felt that the mechanics of the climax were utterly enthralling. Even though I was in no read doubt about how the novel would end, I was still curious to see exactly how the events would pan out.

If I had to pick out a fault, I did think that the relationship between Grubbs and his family could have been fleshed out a little better. In the few chapters that they appeared, I did not learn enough about them to make me really feel sad to see them go. However, I did not feel that this especially detract from the novel. The book was highly enjoyable and a must read for any horror fans.
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