It loathes me to give any book of Darren Shan’s a rating lower than three stars, but here it is. The Vampire Prince
follows in the footsteps of Trials of Death
where it takes place immediately after the preceding book. After Darren has witnessed Kurda Smahlt’s betrayal, the murder of Gavner Purl, and jumped into the river which surely would mean death for him. Now that Darren is the only one that knows of Kurda and the vampaneze he must make a tough decision: let the vampaneze attack his comrades or return to Vampire Mountain and be executed for his failure in the Trials. PlotThe Vampire Prince
was boring, I’m sad to say. The first half of the book is taken up with Darren being nursed back to health by the wolves from earlier and him getting back to Vampire Mountain. There is fighting but it isn’t described in the same way that Shan usually describes the action scenes. It was more like an overview of the fight than the reader being in the fighting with Darren. The rest of the book is the vampires dealing with the traitors and dealing with the funerals of the fallen vampires. There’s also a lot of talk about the morality of the vampires and their ways.The Vampire Prince
isn’t the most exiting book in the series thus far. At the very least the reader learns a bit more about the oncoming threat of the vampaneze.Writing
Since not much action happened in The Vampire Prince
the writing was quite dull. Shan isn’t the best at writing scenes where there is not much action going on. I’m thankful that he doesn’t drag it out, though, as the books can be finished within hours, easily. Something I noticed in this book was when there finally was an action scene it wasn’t written as well as previous action scenes. I said in my review of Trials of Death
that I liked the way Shan wrote the action scenes, especially between Darren and the boars. But the action scenes in The Vampire Prince
felt like they were written with a lot less energy. Characters
The biggest complaint I have about the characters is that they are, more or less, background characters in Darren’s story. You can’t really have a good story with only one character in the front lines. Darren was that character and all the other characters were weak in their development. There were characters that were killed that I didn’t feel all that sad about because Darren’s relationship with them wasn’t written with them being as close as he probably meant for it to be. And it’s not like Shan can’t write good friendships. Darren and Evra had a very good friendship that was very real, and I would have been sad right along with Darren had Evra died. The characters are interesting, yes, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that they aren’t well developed.Things I Didn't Like
I didn’t like how Arra Sails was treated by the book. The absolutely silly reason why there aren’t that many vampire women is a part of my problem. Another part is how Arra is supposed to be portrayed as this strong woman but she’s really not. We’re told Arra is the best at the bars yet a young half-vampire nearly beats her and then she’s beaten by a pacifist of a vampire! And there is no reason for what happened to hear at the end of the book. You could have easily switched Vanez and Arra and it would have been better because at least the one
female vampire that Shan actually gave a name to wouldn’t have succumbed to the fate that she did.
The only other things I didn’t like was about how Kurda went about things and how the reader’s supposed to regard the vampaneze. Why didn’t Kurda tell the Princes about the Vampaneze Lord as soon as he found out? I understand that the vampires would have wanted to go out and kill every vampaneze but that wouldn’t have made much sense seeing as how the Vampaneze lord is still currently human. The vampires would be looking for a human, not a vampaneze. I feel like this whole situation could have been easily avoided and it feels like a major flaw in the plot.
There’s also the way that Shan wants us to regard the vampaneze. The vampaneze kill every time they feed and they feed more than vampires. Why are we as the readers supposed to feel any sympathy for them at all and agree with Darren’s views on them? This is a problem I always seem to find with authors that write about vampires and have them as their main characters. It’s the same problem I had with the readers expecting to sympathize with the vampires in The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod
. We’re supposed to be on the side of the vampires who are being hunted down and killed even though they too, like the vampaneze, kill when they feed. The vampaneze kill when they don’t have too, and we know this because vampires don’t need to kill. Why should we care about the vampaneze?Diversity
There’s a character who is completely blind that doesn’t consider himself useless. That’s pretty great seeing as how a lot of portrayals of characters becoming blind are with the character thinking they’re no good any more. That’s about it, though.Overall
I thought The Vampire Prince
was dull in comparison to the rest of the books. It’s almost on par with Tunnels of Blood
, where nothing happens for the majority of the book. Shan needed to make the relationships between the characters stronger. I hope the next book brings more action because this book was severely lacking.
Here is a link to my notes. Reply