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CHILDREN'S LITERATURE -- reviewed by Christopher Moning

Things are really heating up in this novel, the seventh installment in Darren Shan's Cirque Du Freak series. Darren Shan—the character shares his name with the author of the series—is a half vampire, and now one of only five Vampire Princes in the world. Vampires are six years into "The War of Scars," against their blue-veined cousins, the vampaneze. Vampeneze are creatures that, unlike vampires, kill their victims after they feed on them. The powerful yet shady Mr. Tiny has prophesied that Darren and two of his brethren will have four chances to kill the Lord of the Vampeneze. Darren, together with his mentor, Mr. Crepsley, and another Vampire Prince, Vancha March, set out on a mission to hunt down and destroy the vampaneze. First, they visit a powerful witch named Lady Evanna, who sometimes provides aid to vampires but more often refused to take sides in the war. Darren is briefly reunited with his friends at the Cirque Du Freak, but soon is engaged in deadly combat with the enemy. Well-paced and smoothly flowing, Darren Shan has crafted another finely wrought effort in the best selling "Saga of Darren Shan."

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