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Frequently Bought Together

Palace of the Damned (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, Book 3) + Brothers to the Death (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, Book 4) + Ocean of Blood (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, Book 2)
Price For All Three: £17.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007315937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007315932
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 185,216 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

Review

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 twelve book series THE SAGA OF DARREN SHAN, the ten book DEMONATA and more recently 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

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dan Waters on 29 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Book arrived today, two days earlier than expected. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and although I am getting a bit too old for Darren Shan, I still think his books are awesome and will continue to read all of the books he publishes. I won't reveal any spoilers about the book, but I recommend it to anyone who likes Darren Shan and has read the previous two.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Morris on 10 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Darren Shan is an incredible write who succeeds very well in making you want more and more with every turn of a page. This book is no exception.

This is book 3 in a series of PREquals to his Saga a.k.a. Cirque Du Freak series Cirque Du Freak (The Saga of Darren Shan Book 1)
Despite this being a prequel you should definitely read the Cirque Du Freak series first as a lot of the revelations (another stunning skill of Darren's, constantly revealing the unexpected) will not be as exciting if you do not know their significance which permeates from the previous 12 book series.

As a book it continues wonderfully from the previous 2 in this saga and I just cannot wait to read the 4th and final one, despite it being a VERY sad time for me as it will be the last line probably ever written in the Mr Crepsley universe.

TL;DR - I've been reading Darren's series since I was 11. I am now 20 and I enjoy them just the same.
Jim
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stacie @ Beautiful Bookish Butterflies on 13 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
At the end of Ocean of Blood Larten, half mad with the flu and with grief over the death of his young assistant Malora, slaughters just about everyone on board the ship, including the parents of a baby boy. This book starts with Larten wandering the icy wilderness of Greenland with the baby, seeking death. He comes across Perta Vin-Grah's finally resting place that once was the talk of myths and decided it a very fitting place to die. Once his sets aside the baby he returns to the task at hand, his death. As he's just about to jump to his death the familiar face of Desmond Tiny saves him telling him its not his time. Larten realises he doesn't actually want to die and takes the young baby with him, searching for a way of the ice.

The book skips forward a few years to Larten in Paris with his fiancée Alicia raising the now child , Gavner Purl. There is only one problem, Larten hasn't told Alicia he's a vampire and is going under the name of Vur Horston. He's living as a human and sometimes believes he is. Everything is going well for him and for once he seems truly happy, until one night he bumps into his old Tanish Eul. After a little convincing Larten goes into business with him only to discover that Tanish is still the coward he always was, letting others die at the hands of a vampaneze to save his own skin. Still feeling horrible for the slaughter of all those people on the boat he makes it his mission to save the girls and kill the vampaneze, doing what Tanish never would. Tanish turns on him and knowing its the only way he can get the better of him, blames the death of the girls on him annoucing to the whole world what/who he is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr H - Book Zone (For Boys) Blog on 8 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Has Darren Shan sold his soul to the devil? That's a question I have asked myself after finishing all three of the books I have read so far in The Saga of Larten Crepsley. Why? Because the man has not failed to deliver even once, so surely there must be more than natural talent at play here?

I will try to make this review as spoiler-free as possible as far as Palace of the Damned is concerned, but if you have not yet read Ocean of Blood yet then you may want to navigate away from this page now. OK... for those of you still reading, Palace of the Damned picks up pretty much straight after the dramatic and bloody conclusion to the second book in the series. Larten is full of self-loathing following his actions on the Pearly Tornado, and he is now heading into the frozen Arctic wasteland where he intends to put himself out of his misery for good. Things are slightly complicated by the fact that he is still carrying the baby he 'rescued' from the ship, and with no sign of any form of civilization it looks as if this young child may die with him. However, after what seems like days he finds himself led to the legendary Palace of the book's title where something happens that changes everything. And there is no way that I am going to tell you what that is, although we do witness the naming of the baby.

Following the release of Ocean of Blood, and Larten's taking of the baby, there was some excitement among many fans as they speculated as to who the baby was, with most of them getting it spot on, and as this happens in the first few chapters of the book I don't think it is too much of a spoiler to say that it is Gavner Purl.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer O'G on 11 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read every Darren Shan novel, usually within a month of them being released. I enjoy reading them, even though they are very clearly written for a young audience and aspects of the stories have a tendency to repeat themselves in different books.

The 3rd book in the Larten Crepsley saga is different. Yes, the setting includes the familiar Vampire Mountain and the characters have shown up time and again in previous books - but this is a sequel, set in a pre-created world; we expect to see familiar faces and in fact it would be odd if we didn't. However, Palace of the Damned is one of the few books where the plot is new territory. There is a darker struggle with morality and an understanding of the depth of character - it is not enough in this book that someone acts in an evil way; instead, we find out what has pushed them in that direction. Most importantly, there is real progression - Shan is not just going through the motions this time around.

Don't get me wrong, this is still a fairly easy read, aimed at the same youthful market and is peppered with short sentences and Shan's familiar style of writing. But this series has finally opened up into something (to pardon the pun) readers can really get their teeth into.
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