epinions.com | 27 April 2010 | Freak 369
Destiny Is Fulfilled In The Climax of Darren Shan's 'Cirque Du Freak' SeriesProduct Rating: 5.0Pros Lots of plot twists, you finally learn about the true Lord of The Shadows.Cons You will feel like kicking yourself for not getting the pun in the title.The Bottom Line If you are a fan of the series then consider this a must read book.Full ReviewIMPORTANT if you haven't read the other books in the Cirque Du Freak series, please consider reading them in the exact order they were written. This review contains a few spoilers but not enough that you won't want to read it and learn the truth about Darren Shan and how the series endsThe saga of Darren Shan comes to a climax in "Sons of Destiny"; the last book in the Cirque Du Freak series. While I was a little less than impressed with the second book in Shan's Demonata series, I went into reading this one more than a little anxious to find out how the whole thing ends. Shan began writing this series when he was a teen, needless to say, the subject matter of vampires, demons and things that go bump in the night were all I needed to get me hooked on the books after a friend sent me the second one, The Vampires Assistant. After reading that one I started tearing through the series often reading one book every two days and thirsting for more. Shan isn't what I consider a complex writer like Anne Rice; his words are simple but have impact. Rice is verbose and eloquent, Shan is direct and to the point … most of the time. In this, the last book of Shan's Cirque Du Freak legacy you learn a lot but when I hit the last page and closed the book I was left with a few questions. He left a few things up in the air and possibly a door open for another installment somewhere in the next five years. The Rolling Stones proved that just because someone says it's the last hurrah, it usually isn't.Cirque Du Freak: Sons of DestinyIf you followed the other books then you will be kicking yourself for not getting the unbelievable pun in the title of the book. As usual, Shan gives you a five or six page recap of past events. In this one he reflects on his past, mistakes he has made and personal regrets. The thing about regrets is that if you are given the chance to change them, you are meddling in what exists in the 'here and now'. Shan is faced with the task of fulfilling the prophecy of the Lord of The Shadows, the one being that is strong enough to undo all that humans hold sacred. Desmond Tiny is a character that you love to hate; he sticks his nose in where it doesn't belong and in this book you see exactly how meddlesome he can be. Even though he wasn't mentioned in some of the earlier books, in Sons of Destiny you find out that even though his name wasn't spoken, he was there in spirit gently coaxing Shan and Leopard along their path. One thing that really blew me away was when Mr. Tiny revealed that he was the one that helped Darren win the ticket to the Cirque Du Freak and the one that whispered doubtful words to Steve, forcing him to question Shan's friendship and the eventually falling out between them. Yes, Desmond Tiny is a true bastard but that is just the tip of the iceberg.In the last book you learn about the fate of Annie, Darren's younger sister and that she's now grown up with a child of her own. Her child will play a small but important role in how the War of Scars plays out as well as who becomes the true Lord of The Shadows. This was something that really haunted me when I was reading previous installments in the series; there seemed no way out for anyone, there had to be a winner and a loser in this situation and no matter who came out on top, humanity would end up suffering. The battle between Steve and Darren has gone on for years; both have strong allies on their side but they both know that death will come for one of them. In some ways death would be preferable to carry around the title of 'Lord of The Shadows' for eternity. Desmond Tiny spoke of the outcome in riddles and rhymes in previous books but it isn't until this one that you learn how much of a part he had to play in the whole thing. If you read between the lines it shouldn't have come as a huge shock that Evanna and Mr. Tall were both children of Desmond Tiny but there are a few more offspring that you learn about in this book. If you think I am going to tell you who, you are indeed demented.I expected there to be more bloodshed and fighting in this one but there wasn't. The confrontation between Steve and Darren did cause a lot of deaths, including some innocent people like Shancus, the son of Eva Von, Darren's best friend when he joined the Cirque Du Freak. When you are reading the book you really don't get a feel of how things are going to turn out; the vampets and vampanize are great in number but there is doubt lingering behind their blood stained eyes. RV, the former eco-warrior that lost his hands when trying to free a member of the Cirque plays a small but pivotal part in this book. It is the first sign that you get that all is not well in Steve Leopard's camp. One of my favorite characters in the series has to be Vancha. He has proven time and time again that he is a true Vampire Prince bur refuses to leave Shan's side no matter how bad things get. Does he end up getting killed off? Well, let's just say that even if someone does die in the book, they don't really die. OK, that takes a little explaining. Chalk that weird line up to Desmond Tiny. You learn about some of the things that he has altered in history as well as visiting his strange home near the Lake of Souls. Because he has the power to travel through time he can go back and prevent someone from dying so even if someone is 'offed', Des Tiny can teleport back and change the course of history.When I was reading earlier books in the series I sort of knew that Steve would be the only other person besides Shan that would be able to survive the Coffin of Fire. He was the only person that had the ability, hatred and evil needed to survive such an ordeal. When you finish the book you do feel like smacking yourself because you were already privy to a lot of the things that were revealed. The title of the book is the biggest of them all but you don't get the meaning of it until you read about three quarters of the book. So how do I feel now that the series is over? Well, I can't really say for sure that it is indeed a done deal. Evanna is pregnant and her spawn will unite the clans, Desmond Tiny still has the power to travel back in time and meddle where he shouldn't and there is the whole 'replacement' thing to deal with. Just because someone is removed from history doesn't mean that it will change it, just the names, not the actual events. This was a hard pill for me to swallow because every person is going to react differently to situations and even the smallest change will cause a ripple in history, events and things to come.The Bottom LineIf you followed the other books then chances are you are going to know some of what happens but there are still a lot of amazing things that are revealed in the book. What really troubled me was that there was no cut and dry ending; since Desmond Tiny still has the ability to go back in time and change things he can undo things that Shan and Evanna have done to ensure that there is a bonding between the two clans. Sure this leaves the door wide open for Shan to jump start the series in the future if he wants to but he will have to get awfully creative to try and top what he's penned so far. You see a lot of maturity in this book, he is no longer a teen that is wandering around trying to figure out what is going on and he does make the ultimate sacrifice to save humanity. I was a little disappointed that the actual war between the two clans played out on such a small scale, it would be been incredible to see it unfold in a larger setting than a soccer stadium but hey, that's why I write the reviews and leave the books to others.As always, thanks for the visit…
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