The Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan is a saga ideal for kids who love dark tales. The imaginative stories are part of the Vampire Blood Trilogy that has developed into a collection of 12 books.
The Saga of Darren Shan
Darren Shan is Darren O'Shaughnessy's pen name. Shan's first book in the Saga of Darren Shan series is titled Cirque du Freak, which was released in 2000. In the United Kingdom, the series is known as the Saga of Darren Shan. In the United States, it is known as Cirque du Freak: The Saga of Darren Shan. Both titles refer to the same series.
The saga is about a human boy named Darren Shan who becomes entangled in the world of vampires when he makes an agreement to become a vampire's apprentice to save his best friend's life. Cirque du Freak introduces the reader to a fascinating world of vampires that is quite different from traditional stories.
Books in the Cirque Du Freak Series
Darren Shan presents the Cirque du Freak series in four sets of trilogies, totaling 12 books in all. The scary books are not for kids of all ages.
The first trilogy in the series introduces the reader to Darren Shan and to his incredible circumstances.
- In Cirque du Freak, Darren becomes half vampire, and Mr. Crepsley's assistant, in an attempt to save his friend's life. Steve "Leopard" Leonard is bitten by a giant, poisonous spider and Mr. Crepsley is the only one who can save him. Previously, Crepsley refused to turn Steve into a vampire because his blood tasted "evil."
- The Vampire's Assistant is the second novel in the series, which involves Darren's dealing with becoming a half vampire. He faces challenges in his new life, and he has left his friends and family behind after faking his own death. He has to deal with isolation until becoming part of the Cirque du Freak show.
- The third novel, Tunnels of Blood, takes the reader back to Darren's hometown where an enemy of the vampires (Vampanese) is killing residents. The Vampanese are vampires who believe it is best to kill their blood sources by draining them fully.
The second trilogy brings the reader to a vampire clan that is very appealing to Darren. The trilogy offers insight into the details about vampires, their beliefs, and their way of life.
- Vampire Mountain takes the reader on a perilous journey to a place where the vampire clan meets. Darren must pass a treacherous test to earn the clan's acceptance.
- Trials of Death involves initiation trials and other customs of the vampires. The trials are typically reserved for vampires who want to prove their worthiness to become generals, or to prove their strength. Darren completes the trials under Mr. Crepsley's orders.
- In The Vampire Prince, Darren learns about a plot to destroy the vampires. Darren becomes a Vampire Prince (a leader) after a trying experience.
Vampire War is the third trilogy in the series, and it takes the reader through wars and confrontations between the Vampanese and the vampires.
- Hunters of the Dusk involves a hunt for the Vampanese Lord, who disguises himself as the brother of one of the vampires, which is a plot that leads to his subsequent escape.
- In Allies of the Night, Darren becomes reacquainted with people from his past, including Steve, to create a new alliance. Steve reveals himself as being half Vampanese, and he betrays his friends.
- Killers of the Dawn quickly follows Allies of the Night, taking Darren on a harrowing journey that leads to a significant loss.
Vampire Destiny is the fourth trilogy in the series, and its finale.
- The Lake of Souls takes Darren to a strange place where he learns that his best friend, Harkat Mulds was formerly a Little Person who had died. His memories were erased, and he was placed into his new body after his death. The book introduces a new character named Spits Abrams.
- Darren learns about the Lord of the Shadows in the novel named after this figure. Darren returns to his hometown where he finds out that Steve has tricked him again in a challenge involving Darren's nephew.
- The final book of the series is Sons of Destiny, in which Darren faces his archenemy in a final conflict. Darren makes a surprising decision that changes his past and his future.
Where to find Darren Shan's Series
You can find the entire collection of 12 books at Amazon, where you can find each book individually, or opt for trilogies in single books.
- Vampire's Assistant and Other Tales from the Cirque du Freak
- Vampire Rites Trilogy
- Vampire War Trilogy
- Vampire Destiny Trilogy
Though not for everyone, the Cirque du Freak series is a thrilling collection that keeps many kids enthralled. The tale is one that involves adventure, challenges and fantasy.