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Palace of the Damned (The Saga of Larten…
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Palace of the Damned (The Saga of Larten Crepsley)

by Darren Shan

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Warning: May contain spoilers

End the end of Ocean of Blood Larten, half mad with the flu and with grief over the death of his young assistant Malora, slaughters just about everyone on board the ship, including the parents of a baby boy.

This book starts with Larten wandering the icy wilderness of Greenland with the baby, seeking death. He comes across Perta Vin-Grah finally resting place that once was the talk of myths and decided it a very fitting place to die. Once his sets aside the baby he returns to the task at hand, his death. As he's just about to jump to his death the familiar face of Desmond Tiny saves him telling him its not his time.
Larten realises he doesn't actually want to die and takes the young baby with him, searching for a way of the ice.

The book skips forward a few years to Larten in Paris with his fiancée Alicia raising the now child , Gavner Purl. There is only one problem, Larten hasn't told Alicia he's a vampire and is going under the name of Vur Horston. He's living as a human and sometimes believes he is. Everything is going well for him and for once he seems truly happy, until one night he bumps into his old fiend Tanish Eul. After a little convincing Larten goes into business with him only to discover that Tanish is still the coward he always was, letting others die at the hands of a vampaneze to save his own skin. Still feeling horrible for the slaughter of all those people on the boat he makes it his mission to save the girls and kill the vampaneze, doing what Tanish never would.

Tanish turns on him and knowing its the only way he can get the better of him, blames the death of the girls on him announcing to the whole world what/who he is.

Once Alicia finds out his true nature, he has no where else to go but home. Where becomes a general and see people from his past, the most exciting being Arra Sails and Evanna. After 10 years he decides to take some time away and returns to Paris to check up on Alicia and Gavner but when he gets there he doesn't find them all, Alicia tells him the Tanish came back and soon after Gavner had gone missing.

I loved this book (I think I've yet to find a book by Darren Shan that I don't like) this series focuses so much on Larten feelings and I personally love that. Because I've read The Saga of Darren Shan back to front many times its lovely to see where some of the characters came from, what life they had and why/how important they were to Larten. I'm looking forward to seeing how it ends, but I also don't want it to. In a way I feel like everything I wanted to know how Larten after reading The Saga of Darren Shan has been answered, and when I finish The Saga of Larten Crepsley I can get closure. :) ( )
  Staciesnape | Sep 14, 2014 |
Has Darren Shan sold his soul to the devil? That's a question I have asked myself after finishing all three of the books I have read so far in The Saga of Larten Crepsley. Why? Because the man has not failed to deliver even once, so surely there must be more than natural talent at play here?

I will try to make this review as spoiler-free as possible as far as Palace of the Damned is concerned, but if you have not yet read Ocean of Blood yet then you may want to navigate away from this page now. OK... for those of you still reading, Palace of the Damned picks up pretty much straight after the dramatic and bloody conclusion to the second book in the series. Larten is full of self-loathing following his actions on the Pearly Tornado, and he is now heading into the frozen Arctic wasteland where he intends to put himself out of his misery for good. Things are slightly complicated by the fact that he is still carrying the baby he 'rescued' from the ship, and with no sign of any form of civilization it looks as if this young child may die with him. However, after what seems like days he finds himself led to the legendary Palace of the book's title where something happens that changes everything. And there is no way that I am going to tell you what that is, although we do witness the naming of the baby.

Following the release of Ocean of Blood, and Larten's taking of the baby, there was some excitement among many fans as they speculated as to who the baby was, with most of them getting it spot on, and as this happens in the first few chapters of the book I don't think it is too much of a spoiler to say that it is Gavner Purl. Yet again, Darren Shan treats his readers to another key morsel in the history of Larten Crepsley and this character goes on to play an important role in the rest of this book.

As in the previous two books in this series Palace of the Damned is split into several parts, with sometimes lengthy jumps in time between each one. So, after the first three chapters we leap forward from the Arctic wasteland to Paris, 1906, and herein lies my only criticism of this this book - I wanted it to be much longer. It is only 256 pages in length and I reckon there is easily another 50 plus pages of story that could be told to fill in some of the jumps in time (how did Larten and the child get to Paris for starters?). Maybe I am being just a little too picky as not all of the jumps in time are quite so huge though; in fact, the jump from Paris to Larten's next destination happens at just the right time in the story, and to fill in that journey with more detail would not have added to the story. I guess I am just greedy for more history of this great character.

I loved Ocean of Blood because of its focus on Larten's formative 'teenage' years, when he was initially full of reckless abandon, and then later seeing the influence various others had on his development towards 'adult' vampirehood. In this book we see yet another change in Larten as his life journey continues: he is still full of regret at his massacre of the people on the Pearly Tornado, but in Paris he faces another challenge as he falls in love with a human. Of course, Larten being Larten he omits to inform her that he is a vampire and therefore it was only going to be a matter of time before..... (I told you it would be spoiler free). However, his relationships with Alicia (for that is her name) and the child he rescued that she adopts as her own, are of paramount importance to the rest of his story in this instalment, right up until the final page where we are left hanging with those dreaded words To be continued..... If you are weak like me you will then go on to read the sample opening chapter of book four, to be titled Brothers To The Death. I kind of wish I hadn't done this, and I wish HarperCollins hadn't included it at the end of the book, as on reflection I qould have liked to be kept in suspense for the next six months or so. However, it wasn't all bad as this sample chapter does itself end on a cracking 'ooohhh-can't-wait-to-read-the-next-book' moment.

All in all Palace of the Damned is yet another superb addition to the saga from Darren Shan and I loved the way he has developed his character even more and we are now really beginning to see the Larten we first met in Cirque du Freak, although I am saddened a little by the fact that there is only one more book left in the series. ( )
  book_zone | Apr 1, 2013 |
this book is a good book for anyone who has read any bok by darren shan or if you have read the other books in the series as well as the cirque du freak series. ( )
  theman5450 | May 1, 2012 |
(contains spoilers for Books 1 & 2 of the Saga of Larten Crepsley - those reviews)

Picking up exactly where Ocean of Blood left off, Palace of the Damned is the penultimate book in this prequel (to Circus of the Damned) quartet. After killing the ship's entire crew - as revenge for their killing Malora after his 'vampiracy' was revealed to the crew, is on the run. With a baby in his care - keeping it safe from the cannibal on the ship - Larten now has more to worry about than his own needs.

Tired of the vampiric life, Larten no longer has the thirst for he hunt and hides out in Paris as a human. It is there where he finds love - and maybe even some happiness.

But how long can Larten really hide out as a human before his inner darkness and he's forced to return to the dark, to his clan. And will he be safe anywhere or will his enemies find him?

One thing's for sure, one way or another, Larten's path is sure to be perilous and lead to deaths.

Palace of the Damned is great, it brings out more of Larten's humanity while also contrasting that with just how not human he is. After the first book introduced us to Larten's true human life and his beginnings as a assistant and the second brought in more of the vampire politics, it's great to see a different side to Larten.

As someone who's reading this prequel series before reading Circque du Freak, I know that I am missing some of what readers of that series will get out of this series. The characters that are in this series, I'm sure will pop up in the latter series (at least some of them) and whether you read that first or this first, it'll be great to know their back stories as well.

It didn't feel like there was as much action in this installment as in the others, but it definitely brought a necessary bit of Larten's life to light.

This series definitely stops in the middle of scenes and on cliffhangers and Palace of the Damned's ending is no different - it will have you almost counting the days until May when the final Saga of Larten Crepsley book releases. ( )
  BookSpot | Nov 13, 2011 |
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“They didn’t make me a Prince just because of my dashing good looks,” Vancha chuckled.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316078700, Hardcover)

Before Madame Octa...

Before the Cirque...

Before Darren Shan...

Larten Crepsley was a young man.

After failing his mentor and killing the entire crew of a ship in a bout of revenge for the death of his assistant, Larten is bereft with guilt. He no longer has the drive to live the vampiric life, and hides out in Paris, masquerading as a human. There, he finds some happiness, even falling in love with a girl. But the darkness inside him is too great for humanity, and he is forced to make a choice: hide in the shadows of the human world, or take his place among the vampire clan and protect those weaker than himself. But enemies are waiting, traps are laid, and Larten's path is bound to be strewn with bodies.

This is his story.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Having received a sign that he is not meant to die, young vampire Larten tries to live in the human world, raising the infant who survived his veangeful killing of a ship's crew and falling in love with a human girl, but the darkness inside him forces him back to Vampire Mountain.… (more)

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