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Lord of the Shadows: Cirque Du Freak #11    by Darren Shan order for
Lord of the Shadows
by Darren Shan
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The tenth in the Cirque Du Freak series, The Lake of Souls, sent Darren and Harkat on a strange quest into a future wasteworld, with puzzles to solve and items to collect. Number eleven, Lord of the Shadows, takes the duo back (two years later) to Darren's roots - in Cirque du Freak and his hometown all at once.

Darren has repeated nightmares of the devastation that is to come unless he and his companions can avert it - but what horrifies him most is that the face of ultimate evil alternates between that of his old friend and nemesis Steve Leopard - and his own visage. Now, he and Harkat are back traveling with the Cirque Du Freak, and celebrating the birthday of Evra's son Shancus. And the Cirque is opening in Darren's hometown, which gives him a dilemma. Should he let his family know that he's alive or not? They did bury him, after all.

Darren finds out that his parents have moved away, and that his sister Annie has a son. He meets an old friend, Tommy, now superstar captain of the national soccer team. A strange boy named Darius shows up and Darren gives him a tour of the Cirque. Darren is wounded in a violent encounter with the vampaneze and helped by old friends who now lead a force of human vampirites. The purge begins his final transformation to 'a true, night-hugging, sunlight-fearing creature of the dark.'

Readers learn that the identity of the Lord of the Shadows will be determined in the next twenty-four hours. People close to Darren die, releasing his rage for revenge. Evanna tells him he has two choices - 'either death at Steve's hand, or a rise to infamy as the Lord of the Shadows'. Then he comes full circle and confronts Steve in the place where the saga began. What choice will Darren make? The stage is set for a shocker of a finale in Sons of Destiny.

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