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Trials of Death (Cirque Du Freak Series #5)

Trials of Death (Cirque Du Freak Series #5)

4.7 221
by Darren Shan

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The trials: seventeen ways to die unless the luck of the vampire is with you. Darren Shan must pass five fearsome trials to prove himself to the vampire clan, or else face the stakes of the Hall of Death. But Vampire Mountain holds hidden threats. Sinister, potent forces are gathering in the darkness. In this nightmarish world of bloodshed and betrayal, death may be a


The trials: seventeen ways to die unless the luck of the vampire is with you. Darren Shan must pass five fearsome trials to prove himself to the vampire clan, or else face the stakes of the Hall of Death. But Vampire Mountain holds hidden threats. Sinister, potent forces are gathering in the darkness. In this nightmarish world of bloodshed and betrayal, death may be a blessing...

Darren Shan grew up watching old Dracula movies and reading spooky comics, which were the inspirations for this series.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
The Hall of Flames and Blooded Boars await Darren Shan -- and Cirque du Freak fans -- in this fifth installment of the author's popular vampire series.

Now that Darren is at Vampire Mountain, he's out to prove himself a worthy vampire by undergoing the five Trials of Death. After the boy escapes his first run-in with death in the Aquatic Maze, he faces a bloody journey through the Path of Needles and almost scorches himself in the Hall of Flames. But when the Blooded Boars -- his fourth trial -- are ready to take his life for good, a surprising rescue by a friend means almost certain execution at the hands of the Vampire Princes. That is, until he comes face to face with a traitor he thought was his friend.

With loads of bone-chilling action and near-death battles, Shan takes Cirque du Freak to an even scarier level in this fifth book. Scenes of Darren being gashed with stalactites and savagely burned are gruesome and cool, while the story provides surprises that will make your jaw drop. Trials of Death will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat -- and maybe even holding your stomach. Matt Warner

Publishers Weekly
The Cirque Du Freak saga continues in a fifth installment, Trials of Death by Darren Shan. Once again the protagonist takes readers into the heart of the vampire world, where he must face the Trials of Initiation to prove himself worthy of being a half-vampire-or die trying. The gory tale ends with a "to be continued" teaser and an excerpt from book six. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Darren Shan is back for his fifth adventure. Still inside Vampire Mountain for the conclave of vampires, Darren has agreed to face the vampire trials. He must successfully accomplish five trials or forfeit his life. With assistance from his friends and fellow vampires, Darren navigates the Aquatic Maze and endures the Path of Needles and Hall of Flames. When he is fighting the Blooded Boars, however, Darren receives some unsolicited help, thus failing Darren at his trials and forcing him to face a certain death. Will Darren make his escape? Is this the end of the saga of Darren Shan? Fans of the series will again line up to devour this latest installment of Darren's story. Loads of action and gruesome adventures cram the story of a young man coming to terms with his vampiric nature. Darren begins to grow a bit as a person, a rarity in most serialized characters, making this book as interesting to read as the first installment in the story. Of course, there is plenty of gore to satisfy the bloodthirsty, with the promise of much more to come. There are far too few horror stories to offer middle school and junior high students. This series, although grisly in detail, is still appropriate for the younger fans of the vampire genre. Any chapter would make a riveting read-aloud as they end leaving the reader wondering what will happen next. VOYA Codes: 4Q 5P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2003, Little Brown, 207p,
— Teri Lesesne
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-This is the fifth novel in the continuing saga of the youthful half-vampire assistant to Larten Crepsley, a full vampire. Crepsley has brought Darren to Vampire Mountain to undergo the Trials of Death, an elective ritual periodically undergone by vampires in order to bond with the clan and prove their worth. As a half-vampire, Darren is in more danger of failing the trials than the others who usually participate, but he is determined to go ahead. The penalty for failing without dying is execution. In the background a new conflict looms, involving the vampaneze, purple-skinned killers who resemble vampires but who are nothing like the beings whom Darren has come to respect and admire. When it appears that he will not survive the trials, his vampire friends urge him to escape. Escorting him out through the mountain's underground tunnels, they run smack into an incoming vampaneze invasion. In the final pages, the plot and action finally pick up to fever pace as Darren is caught between invaders, defenders, and possibly a traitor in the ranks of the faithful. Characters are mostly one-dimensional, and the plot plods along until the final conflict heats up the action. Although the story stands on its own, there isn't much reason to read this one aside from following the series.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date:
Cirque Du Freak Series , #5
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Cirque Du Freak

Trials of Death
By Darren Shan

LB Childrens

Copyright © 2001 Darren Shan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0316603678

Chapter One

I was in the bathroom at school, sitting down on the toilet, humming a song. I had my pants on. I'd come in near the end of English class, feeling sick. My teacher, Mr. Dalton, is great about things like that. He's smart and knows when you're faking and when you're being serious. He took one look at me when I raised my hand and said I was ill, then nodded his head and told me to go to the bathroom.

"Throw up whatever's making you sick, Darren," he said, "then get your behind back in here."

I wish every teacher was as understanding as Mr. Dalton.

In the end, I didn't get sick, but still felt queasy, so I stayed on the toilet. I heard the bell ring for the end of class and everybody came rushing out on their lunch break. I wanted to join them but knew Mr. Dalton would be angry if he saw me in the yard so soon. He doesn't get mad if you trick him but he goes quiet and won't speak to you for a while, and that's almost worse than being shouted at.

So, there I was, humming, watching my watch, waiting. Then I heard someone calling my name.

"Darren! Hey, Darren! Have you fallen in or what?"

I grinned. It was Steve Leopard, my best friend. Steve's real last name was Leonard, but everyone called him Steve Leopard. And not just because the names sound alike. Steve used to be what my mom calls "a wild child." He raised hell wherever he went, got into fights, stole from stores. One day - he was still in a stroller - he found a sharp stick and prodded passing women with it (no prizes for guessing where he stuck it!).

He was feared and despised everywhere he went. But not by me. I've been his best friend since kindergarten, when we first met. My mom says I was drawn to his wildness, but I just thought he was a great guy to be with. He had a fierce temper and threw scary tantrums when he lost it, but I simply ran away when that happened and came back again once he'd calmed down.

Steve's reputation had softened over the years - his mom took him to see a lot of good counselors who taught him how to control himself - but he was still a minor legend in the schoolyard and not someone you messed with, even if you were bigger and older than him.

"Hey, Steve," I called back. "I'm in here." I hit the door so he'd know which one I was behind.

He hurried over and I opened the door. He smiled when he saw me sitting down with my pants on. "Did you puke?" he asked.

"No," I said.

"Do you think you're gonna?"

"Maybe," I said. Then I leaned forward all of a sudden and made a sick noise. Bluurgh! But Steve Leopard knew me too well to be fooled.

"Give my boots a polish while you're down there," he said, and laughed when I pretended to spit on his shoes and rub them with a sheet of toilet paper.

"Did I miss anything in class?" I asked, sitting up.

"Nah," he said. "The usual crap."

"Did you do your history homework?" I asked.

"It doesn't have to be done until tomorrow, does it?" he asked, getting worried. Steve's always forgetting about homework.

"The day after tomorrow," I told him.

"Oh," he said, relaxing. "Even better. I thought...." He stopped and frowned. "Hold on," he said. "Today's Thursday. The day after tomorrow would be...."

"Got you!" I yelled, punching him on the shoulder.

"Ow!" he shouted. "That hurt." He rubbed his arm but I could tell he wasn't really hurt. "Are you coming out?" he asked then.

"I thought I'd stay in here and admire the view," I said, leaning back on the toilet seat.

"Quit joking," he said. "We were down five-one when I came in. We're probably six or seven down now. We need you." He was talking about soccer. We play a game every lunchtime. My team normally wins but we'd lost a lot of our best players. Dave Morgan broke his leg. Sam White transferred to another school when his family moved. And Danny Curtain had stopped playing soccer in order to spend lunch hanging out with Sheila Leigh, the girl he likes. Idiot!

I'm our best forward. There are better defenders and midfielders, and Tommy Jones is the best goalkeeper in the whole school. But I'm the only one who can stand up front and score four or five times a day without fail.

"Okay," I said, standing. "I'll save you. I've scored a hat trick every day this week. It would be a pity to stop now."

We passed the older guys-smoking around the sinks as usual-and hurried to my locker so I could change into my cleats. I used to have a great pair, which I won in a writing competition. But the laces snapped a few months ago and the rubber along the sides started to fall off. And then my feet grew! The pair I have now are okay, but they're not the same.

We were down eight-three when I got on the field. It wasn't a real field, just a long stretch of grass with painted goalposts at either end. Whoever painted them was a total idiot. He put the crossbar too high at one end and too low at the other!

"Never fear, Hotshot Shan is here!" I shouted as I ran onto the field. A lot of players laughed or groaned, but I could see my teammates picking up and our opponents growing worried.

I made a great start and scored two goals inside a minute. It looked like we might come back to draw or win. But time ran out. If I'd arrived earlier we'd have been okay, but the bell rang just as I was hitting my stride, so we lost nine-seven.

As we were leaving the field, Alan Morris ran toward us, panting and red-faced. They're my three best friends: Steve Leopard, Tommy Jones, and Alan Morris. We must be the weirdest four people in the whole world, because only one of us-Steve-has a nickname.

"Look what I found!" Alan yelled, waving a soggy piece of paper around under our noses.

"What is it?" Tommy asked, trying to grab it.

"It's-," Alan began, but stopped when Mr. Dalton shouted at us.

"You four! Inside!" he roared.

"We're coming, Mr. Dalton!" Steve roared back. Steve is Mr. Dalton's favorite and gets away with stuff that the rest of us couldn't do. Like when he uses swearwords sometimes in his stories. If I put in some of the words Steve has, I'd have been kicked out long ago.

But Mr. Dalton has a soft spot for Steve, because he's special. Sometimes he's brilliant in class and gets everything right, while other times he can't even spell his own name. Mr. Dalton says he's somewhat of an idiot savant, which mean he's a stupid genius!

Anyway, even though he's Mr. Dalton's pet, not even Steve can get away with showing up late for class. So whatever Alan had, it would have to wait. We trudged back to class, sweaty and tired after the game, and began our next lesson.

Little did I know that Alan's mysterious piece of paper was to change my life forever. For the worse!


Excerpted from Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan Copyright © 2001 by Darren Shan
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Meet the Author

Darren Shan is the New York Times bestselling author of Cirque Du Freak and The Demonata, whose novels have sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Darren lives in Ireland, where he writes and collects art, comics, and film.

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Trials of Death (Cirque Du Freak Series #5) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 221 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw this coming when i heard kurda likes map making. CANT WAIT TO READ NEXT ONE (when my parents give enough money to buy the next one) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonmous More than 1 year ago
The Trials of Death by Darren Shan is a really good book. It is action packed, and suspense filled. It follows the story of a half vampire named Darren who is trying to earn good standing amongst his fellow vampire clan members and doing so will earn him a sizable amount of respect from the other vampires. It is a very good book and I reacomend to anyone who likes vampires.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read truly a great read.
M-H_RS More than 1 year ago
If you enjoying action packed books with a little mystery then this is the book for you. This book is a real page turner, this book cannot be put down .In this book a half vampire named Darren Shan has to preform 5 trials that are very dangerous. Many die from doing these trials but if Darren wants to prove himself he has to achieve all 5.
ASheppard More than 1 year ago
Darren is a half vampire that was blooded at a very young age by Mr. Crepsley. Every 12 years the vampire council is haled at vampire mountain and every vampire attends. It is Darren's first council since he has been blooded. The vampire princes which are the highest ranking among the vampires don't agree with Mr. Creplsey's decision to blood Darren at such a young age. They decide that in order to prove that he can become a true vampire Darren must complete the Trials. The Trials are five randomly chosen challenges that are meant for full vampires. Darren must complete them or die trying to show that he can be a true vampire. I liked this book because it was very exciting. There was always a suspenseful challenge that made me want to keep reading. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy or exciting books with lots of action.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read the first 4books and they were amazing. I want to keep reading but i cant because i cant find the 5 book any where. I dont want to just skip over it and continue on with the series because i dont want to miss anything. So just wanted to know if this book is worth to get on the nook.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The main characters in the book Cirque Du Freak: Trials of Death are Darren Shan and Mr. Crepsley. The book has a lot of hazardous trials that Darren has to terminate or he will face his death. If he isn¿t successful he has to be laid on spikes and destroyed. It reminds me of the rest of cirque du freak mysteries. I think you need to read this book to get the pleasure that I did.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Darran shan. You are i would say the greatest auther ever. I am so infatuated with your books. You have so much passion in your wrightings, you make me feel the joy or the pain and sarrows in your books just with the words you use to describe how one feels. I have read almost all of your books and i love them all. Please keep on writing. I would love to read more of your work. Your fan: DAY
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Wow was this intense pretty quick. Why does it end it with another cliffhanger. Well onto the next book then? Still, loving where the story is going though. Very interesting.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cant wait to read the rest of th series!!!! This i a great series for people who like fantasy and unexpected happenings I LOVE YOU DARREN SHAN!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sooooo good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Trails of death book 5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Darren shan is a half vimpire that wants to prove himself to the vampire princes,generals and regular
df1 More than 1 year ago
this book is good because it has a lot of acton in it. it has people turning the pages like crazy. the book is about darren shawn who is trying to prove his self to the vampires by doing these trails such as fire pit and other trails.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
awesome series
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun series full of twist and turns each book is a page turner!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago