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*Cirque Du Freak #11: Lord of the Shadows* by Darren Shan - tweens & teens book review

Also by Darren Shan:

Cirque Du Freak #8: Allies of the Night

Cirque Du Freak #9: Killers of the Dawn


Cirque Du Freak #11: Lord of the Shadows
by Darren Shan
Grades 6-8 240 pages Little, Brown May 2006 Hardcover    

What do you get when you mix Cirque De Soleil with Todd Browning’s 1932 cult classic film Freaks? You get Darren Shan’s Cirque Du Freak. Coming off the highly successful tenth entry of the Cirque series, Lake Of Souls, the eleventh entry (titled Lord Of The Shadows) continues in the same vampire/fantasy tradition set in the previous books. This one opens up with Darren having the most wicked of nightmares:
“In the distance a wave of blood was building. Red, towering, topped with spitting heads of fire. On a vast plain, a mass of vampires waited. All three thousand or so faced the onrushing wave. AT the rear, separated from the crowd, I stood alone. I was trying to push forward -- I wanted to be with the rest of the clan when the wave hit – but an invisible force held me back. As I struggled, roaring silently – my voice didn’t work here – the wave swept ever nearer. The vampires pulled closer together, terrified but proud, facing their deaths with dignity.”
Without giving too much away, Darren’s dream in the prologue ends with some ironic twists and foreshadowing. All of the chapters are mini-cliffhangers, making for a very exciting and fun-filled read.

Darren wakes from his dream screaming and is greeted by the tiny stitched-up, gray-skinned Harkat. They make their way back to Cirque Du Freak and find out from Mr. Tall that the troupe is going to Darren’s hometown. Darren would love to see his family and friends, but he knows the dangers of doing that during this point in the war with the Vampaneze.

After an incident with his old friend Tommy, Darren has an altercation with R.V. and Morgan James, bringing him face-to-face with the prime protector of the Lord of the Vampaneze, Steve Leopard. Darren eventually faces off with Leopard in a battle that will determine the fate of vampires everywhere.

Lord Of The Shadows is a gory, fast-paced, thrill-a-minute vampire fantasy filled with great characters that will please longtime fans and make a whole bunch of new ones.

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  Bobby Blades/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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