Sunday, November 26, 2006

Cirque Du Freak: Lord of the Shadows - Darren Shan

Lord of the Shadows
Cirque Du Freak, Book 11
Darren Shan
Little, Brown

Young Adult/Horror

WARNING: This review gives away plot points from previous books in the series. You should probably read those books before reading this review.

This book picks up roughly two years after Vampire Prince Darren Shan and Little Person Harkat were sent to the wasteland to discover Harkat’s previous identity. The two friends have been spending time traveling with the Cirque Du Freak. Everything is fairly quiet until the Cirque’s manager, Mr. Tall, tells Darren that their next stop is Darren’s hometown. Darren hasn’t been home in almost two decades. His family believes that he is dead. While he appreciates Mr. Tall’s warning, he decides to stay with the Cirque. Everyone feels that this is one of those turning points in history.

Darren manages to stay inside the Cirque’s camp for most of their stay in his hometown, but, eventually, the desire to see old places and maybe catch a glimpse of people from his past proves too great. His trip has consequences that even he could not foresee. It doesn’t take long before the vampires’ enemies, the vampaneze, show up, taunting Darren and committing a foul act of murder. The victim was someone known to both Darren, and the leader of the vampaneze, the evil and power-hungry Steve Leonard. With all the players in the same place, Darren is unable to forget the prophecy stating that either he, or Steve, will become the Lord of the Shadows, who will lay waste to the world.

If you haven’t read the previous books in the series, you’re probably not going to understand any of that. If you have, you must realize that we’re getting very close now to the final battle. In fact, the next book is the finale. This one brings Steve and Darren face to face. This time, Steve has a secret weapon that’s pretty shocking. It should be pretty clear that there’s violence, blood, and gore, here, so this is not a good choice for younger kids or young adults who are easily frightened. Anyone who likes a good, scary story, though, will love this series.

Rating: 8
May 2006
ISBN# 0-316-15626-0 (hardcover)


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