The Saga of Larten Crepsley is an offshoot from the Saga of Darren Shan, Shan’s longest series of novels. There are four short novels in the Saga, adding to the current twelve. In fact, all of Shan’s novels are fairly short, and these are only slightly shorter than he normally writes; so if you’re a fan you probably won’t mind. Anyway, I think that they are a worth addition to the saga(s) and I’m glad I read them. Here we go.
The saga (in saying this I refer to Crepsley’s, not Darren’s) is the story of Larten Crepsley’s history; how he became a vampire and rose through the ranks to become a general and so on. It does also tie in with the SODS (Saga of Darren Shan) and the war of the scars (vampires vs vampaneze). There’s also a bit of Larten’s romantic side, what with humans and with the gorgeous Arra Sails. This won’t be lacking in Desmond Tiny either..
The plot of the books is very linear, and they follow each other exactly. It is basically one novel split into four small counterparts – it would be a standard size novel if it was all in one. There are some time leaps within the books you need to watch out for. For example, at the beginning of one of the chapters, it says something in the vein of ‘for the next eight years, Larten…’ And that’s basically history that is unimportant, but Shan wants to give a perception of time flowing between events. It doesn’t hitch the plot, but make sure you keep your eyes peeled. Larten is the only character we follow throughout the Saga, so it’s fairly easy to read. There’s no swapping between characters, places and times to confuse you. This is all about the ginger guy. Of course, an important factor in this is whether the plot is conflicting with tSODS at all. The answer is that no, it does not. It all links in perfectly. One very nice thing about the ending is that it takes it right up to the beginning of the first book in tSODS. Some of you may be wondering whether it is better then to read the Saga of Larten Crepsley before tSODS. I don’t think this would work very well. All of the information about vampires, what they are, how they work and where they live us in tSODS. You probably could read them in pure chronological order, but the experience given by tSOLC is much richer for knowing all of the information in tSODS.
Shan’s characters are always greater, and I’ve waxed lyrical over the quality of their creation before. Maybe I’ll write a love poem one day. An interesting thing I noted in reading tSOLC is that having read tSODS I had already formed my opinion on Larten Crepsley. We judge people on their actions – even fictional characters – so having some more information on Larten’s history forced me to revise my opinion on him. Larten may come across exceedingly conservative, dark and mysterious in tSODS. In fact, he’s a bit of a grumpy bloke. Knowing what he’s been through from tSOLC I can respect that, and why he’s like that. Good on you buddy.
Larten Crepsley as portrayed in the ‘Cirque du Freak’ movie.
tSOLC is a nice addition to a brilliant set of books, and a worthy addition to Shan’s vampire universe. If you enjoyed tSODS, read them. If you enjoy Darren Shan, read them. Finally, if you enjoyed Demonata, read tSODS and then read tSOLC – it’ll keep you busy a long long while in the reading world, which is great. It isn’t an adventure of epic proportions, but the tale of a single guy who goes on to be the mentor of someone very special (I’ll save that for tSODS). It’s quite a light read, so enjoy it!
7/10. They’re good books, but they aren’t great and it didn’t keep me hooked for a particularly long length of time