Warning: This review contains spoilers for the previous books.
In the previous book, Trials of Death, author Darren Shan left us on a cliffhanger and I’m pretty sure that most readers will be running out to pick up this book, The Vampire Prince, no matter what anybody says. Still, it’s my job to say something about it, so I’ll do that.
OK, it’s no big surprise, I guess, that Darren survived the events of Trials of Death. When he recovers, he has a big decision to make. He managed to escape from Vampire Mountain, but now he has learned that the vampaneze are hiding in the caves in the mountain and that Kurda, who’s about to become a vampire prince, is a traitor. Kurda plans to let their enemies in as soon as he’s crowned. If Darren doesn’t tell the other princes in time, all the vampires in the mountain will be wiped out. But he’s still under a death sentence, so he risks his life to return with a warning.
Several of the events in this story are predictable (such as how Darren would be saved at the beginning), some of the events are really hard to believe in, and the centuries-old vampire princes are surprisingly immature and impulsive, but that didn’t make the story any less exciting. In fact, this is one of the most intense and emotional installments so far and it should be a hit with its target audience.
It’s nice to see Darren starting to think about the implications of war. He’s also realizing that the side he’s on doesn’t always do the right thing. It’s clear that there are even greater challenges ahead for Darren and his friends. I’m planning to be there.
Cirque Du Freak (The Darren Shan Saga) — (1999-2004) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Darren Shan is just an ordinary schoolboy who enjoys hanging out with his three best friends. Then one day they stumble across as invitation to visit the Cirque du Freak, a mysterious freak show. Only two tickets are available, so they draw straws to see who will go. As if by destiny, Darren wins one, and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires. This is Darren’s story.
The Saga of Larten Crepsley — (2010-2012) Young adult. Publisher: The highly anticipated prequel to the New York Times bestselling Cirque Du Freak series! Before Cirque Du Freak… Before the war with the vampaneze… Before he was a vampire. Larten Crepsley was a boy. As a child laborer many centuries ago, Larten Crepsley did his job well and without complaint, until the day the foreman killed his brother as an example to the other children. In that moment, young Larten flies into a rage that the foreman wouldn’t survive. Forced on the run, he sleeps in crypts and eats cobwebs to get by. And when a vampire named Seba offers him protection and training as a vampire’s assistant, Larten takes it. This is his story.