Monday, 18 May 2015

The Vampire Prince by Darren Shan (Saga of Darren Shan, #6) - Book Review

5/5 Stars

Can I defy the odds and outwit a Vampire Prince,
or is this the end of vampires everywhere?


Edition: Paperback
Pages: 161
Chapters: 22 (Plus a prologue.)
Publisher: HarperCollins

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


After the exceptional ending in Trials of Death, I needed more. Things left off on a precarious - of course - note, and being heavily invested, as I still am, I was freaking out. The Vampire Prince hits the mark. It's sweet - well, the ending is sweet - action-packed and full of maturity for our characters. But the strongest component of this entry is its tension. The way Shan builds and manipulates suspense is fantastic. The Saga of Darren Shan thrives on the macabre, we're supposed to doubt, and that we do. There are so many instances within this book where your mind runs riot, and just for a few seconds - really, really long seconds - you can't help but think everything is going to crash and burn.

Although, there are six books left to the series; things might still crash and burn.


Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)

Darren Shan, half-vampire, is as good as dead.
The churning waters of Final Voyage, where dead vampires are cast off, are sure to kill him.
But against all odds, he survives.
And his mission is clear: Warn the vampires of the traitor Kurda and his vampaneze allies, or die trying.
Then again, the people who he's attempting to save will probably kill him themselves.
Then there's Kurda and his fellow traitors to contend with.
Battered, shunned and completely out of his depth, Darren will have to face the overwhelming odds alone...

Plot - 5/5 Stars

The Vampire Prince is satisfying. The resolution of the story that started back in Vampire Mountain is great. Another plus, is that the resolution and answers are double-bladed: They come with fatal foreshadowing and an abundance of fresh questions that set up the story to come. You can tell just by the book's blurb what's at stake; we've known since the end of this entry's predecessor. I almost chewed my nails off with worry. 

Would anyone believe Darren's tale?

I had a tear in my eye when they rallied to his side. But the weight of doubt stays with you; nothing is certain in a Darren Shan novel.

The conspiracy surrounding Kurda is also handled expertly. The whole situation is fascinating - especially with more in depth looks into the vampires' laws - exciting and a great force of ambiguous evil for our hero to fight. 

The story answers, asks, resolves, foreshadows; you'll love it.

Pace - 5/5 Stars

Another greatly structured addition to the series; it manages to balance action with exposition with character development as if they were nothing.

Characters - 5/5 Stars

The Vampire Prince tests our cast in a way Trials of Death couldn't. There's still physical abuse to overcome, but the focus is emotional, spiritual. It's the lowest Darren has ever come; the closest, surprisingly, he's ever come to death. The impact that has pushes forward Darren's maturity and resilience. I'm not sure he would have survived the beginning of this book without the Trials. But despite all the horrible things that latch themselves onto him, Darren is a true hero, with a moral compass to match. He could run, save his own skin, but instead he decides to save the vampires, a majority of which would gladly see him dead.

Arra dies in this instalment, and while that makes me incredibly sad, it's Mr Crepsley's reaction to his former love's death that hits the hardest. More facets of his being come to the fore, and despite his long life, the vampire isn't as stony as he exudes.

Does anyone else love the wolves as much as me? I'm so glad we got to see them again, and in such a prominent role; to me, they're just as much a part of the cast as anyone else.

Plus, with The Vampire Prince's ending, all characters are in for a strange future.

The expansive and individual cast of this series shows no signs of weakening.

Writing - 4.5/5 Stars

See reviews for The Vampire Prince's predecessors: Vampire Mountain and Trials of Death.

Much of what I say in those reviews apply here.

Overall - 5/5 Stars

A heart-pounding conclusion that's also a beginning of bigger, more terrifying things to come.

And, let's not forget, can we please freak out!

Darren's a Vampire Prince!!!!

Previous Instalment: Trials of Death
Next Instalment: Hunters of the Dusk

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