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Birth of a Killer

(The Saga of Larten Crepsley #1)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  6,368 ratings  ·  419 reviews
The highly anticipated prequel to the New York Times bestselling Cirque Du Freak series!
Before Cirque Du Freak...
Before the war with the vampaneze...
Before he was a vampire.
Larten Crepsley was a boy.
As a child laborer many centuries ago, Larten Crepsley did his job well and without complaint, until the day the foreman killed his cousin as an example to the other children
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published September 1st 2010)
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Ollie you cant read it on here but you can read it on by looking it up then you read it by clicking "borrow". Hope this helped :D! …moreyou cant read it on here but you can read it on by looking it up then you read it by clicking "borrow". Hope this helped :D! (less)
Alexandria Stokes No, it's just to organize all the books you've read, find your next book, and write and read reviews with other readers. …moreNo, it's just to organize all the books you've read, find your next book, and write and read reviews with other readers. (less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Birth of a Killer (The Saga of Larten Crepsley #1), Darren Shan

Following the massive success of the Demonata series, Darren Shan is back where it all started – telling the life story of the vampire Larten Crepsley. Spanning centuries and continents, taking in sea voyages, murder, war and love, this is the epic, blood soaked tale of a vampire who started out a nobody… and ended up changing the world forever.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز شانزدهم ماه آگوست سال 2013میلادی

عنوان: تولد یک قاتل (حماسه کرپسلی،
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Whoa. THAT was amazing.
I got it yesterday and finished it last night at about midnight. Gosh, the ending was SO suspensful.
Birth of a Killer is the first of four book in a prequel series to the awesome Cirque Du Freak. And it's all about Larten Crepsley. Many centuries ago, he worked as a child laborer with a dozen or so of his brothers and sisters. But his best friend was his orphan cousin, Vur Horston. After Vur does something wrong in the factory they work at, the boss kills him as an exampl
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: goal-1000-books, 2017
Began and finished in a single afternoon, impossible to put down and a fantastic treat. To return to Shans vampire stories without having to reread is a real pleasure. We get the opportunity to be reacquainted with several familiar faces, some of which we thought we would never see again and others we were hoping not to.
A brand new story with the same brilliant story telling ability from one of the all time greats. Whilst the first book may have had some of the same destinations and characters
I loved this book so much, I could cry from happiness!
It was so lovely to read about all the older characters (but when they were younger), and also find out about some of the even older characters that were dead by the time the first series occurred.

I'll probably have to buy the entire series when they're all out. :3

Also we get to find out why Mr Crepsley's hair is orange!!! :D
Paige  Bookdragon




This book is flatter than my cleavage and I'm not going to read the whole series, book bundle be damned.


Elements and style : In this prequel to The Saga of Darren Shan, Darren Shan is more serious than he is in the saga of Darren Shan, using the more somber fell to reflect the protagonist, Larten Crepsley. He also provides a feel of connection to the normal series by introducing characters that appear in that series, and showing how they knew/know Larten Crepsley. He uses an older style of speaking, showing how this is 300 years in the past, and every once-in-a-while provides a flashback to whe ...more
Jun 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who have read and like Cirque Du Freak
I loved this book it answered a lot of questions for me that weren’t answered in Cirque Du Freak. I did read the ARC (advanced readers copy) of this book so I will not be too harsh on it (though I didn’t see much if anything that really needed to be changed.)

I’m not going to write much because I don’t want to give away spoiler but I have a few hunches of things that might happen but I could be totally wrong. (No I’m not saying what they are)

There is a thing that bothers me that I just realized
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: r-f, g-f-fantasy, lng-1, a-ya
Having finished reading this series, I assure you that if I could go back in time and unread it, I would.

While Mr. Crepsley is a character full of strength, courage and will in the “Cirque du Freak” series, here he is portrayed as nothing more than Destiny’s puppet, nothing more than a simple tool in somebody else’s plan. Someone who choosed the wrong thing when he had the power to change his future and who now has a future that no longer belongs to him.

In short, the incredible character he on
Nicola Mansfield
Jan 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reason for Reading: I love Darren and read each new book as it comes out.

Larten Crepsley is a major character in Shan's "Cirque Du Freak" series and this book, first in a proposed 4-book series, tells his life story starting briefly with his pre-vampire childhood and continuing on through the years until he becomes a fully blooded vampire and leaves his master to go out in the world by himself.

Since this book happens before the "Cirque Du Freak" series it is not necessary to have read it to unde
Jul 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
5 stars. The first in a series of four, this is the story of Darren's mentor from the original series, whose origins were only ever vaguely hinted at previously. A page turner right from the start, this is more gripping than the original series, and the hero is I think more likable and certainly easier to sympathise with.

From his poverty stricken and beaten down origins to his meeting with his vampire master, this is going to be a must read for all Darren Shan fans, as well as for anyone looking
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recensione su BookLover

Larten lives with his family and spends his days earning his keep in a workhouse. His only joy is spending his time with his cousin, Vur, and he doesn't expect to do much in his life but grow up and start a family of his own.
This all changes when Larten has to escape his town (and old life) forever. Sad, hungry, and desperate, he finds refuge in a crypt, and his life takes a turn for the best (or worse) when he meets Seba Nile.

I have to admit I like this first book in the
Thomas Silva
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book was the beginning of a prequel series, having the main character be Larten Crespley, so far they have introduced old characters and even a few new ones along the way, if you've enjoyed Cirque Du Freak, I definitely recommend that you read this series. :D
Lelita P.
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't understand why recently I read some series that bring back memories of my happy childhood/adolescent life; a prequel/sequel/supplement of some main series that I loved so much back then.

I'd been way tougher in my teenage age--I hardly cried even for the saddest movies or books. But Darren Shan series was special because my eyes heated so badly after reading the 9th book. You who followed this series should know what event I'm talking about, which made me nearly cry.

That's why Darren Shan
Mark Young
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first of four, the opening chapters of this YA vampire tale are excellent. A good solid entertaining read.
Oct 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Most readers of The Book Zone will not need me to tell them that Birth of a Killer, the new book from Darren Shan, is actually a prequel to his fantastically successful Saga of Darren Shan series. One of the key characters in that series was Larten Crepsley, the vampire that first blooded Darren Shan, thus turning him into a creature of the night. Larten is a very popular character with Shan fans, and in my opinion is one of the author's greatest creations: his personality seemed so well develop ...more
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lör K.
[Written on mobile, apologies for any mistakes]

Darren Shan is well known for his The Saga of Darren Shan series that gripped the hearts of countless young adult horror lovers and many more people worldwide. One of the main characters in this series is Larten Crepsley, Darren's mentor in the world. After the completion of this series, Shan came out with The Saga of Larten Crepsley, the backstory of one of the most beloved vampires in young adult literature.

In Birth of a Killer, we're introduced
Yaroslav Mikhnevich
This book is called The saga of Larten Crepsley: Birth of a killer. This book is written by Darren Shan, and it is a backstory book about Darren Shan's vampire master - Larten Crepsley. I chose to read this book because it tells us more of the universe of Darren Shan, vampires, and danger.
The book starts off with explaining Larten's life when he was a young kid, about 13 years old. The similar way the Darren Shan series started. And then a bit further into the book, after some explanations and
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Birth of a killer

Love all the darren shan books! I had read all if the cirque de freak series and look forward to starting book two in this series.
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dark-fantasy
This book was seriously amazing. I have previously read The Saga of Darren Shan series and i must admit Larten Crepsely was not my faviourite character as one didnt learn much about him in the series.

Anyways it starts of with Larten as a human working at this terrible factory with his beloved cousin Vur(seriously he liked him more than his sibilings). The main reason it was a terrible place was because the man(called Traz)in chrage over the child workers was ruthless and would inflict terrble pu
Oct 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Horror fans, teens
Shelves: ya
Initially I only picked this book up because I had first dibs being a librarian and because we are showing the movie Cirque du Freak: the Vampire's Assistant at the library and thought I'd get some back story (since the book it's actually based on is currently checked-out).

I didn't think that it would be that hooking! I had read the Demonata series, which was also interesting in the beginning though, but quickly lost it's appeal to me. But, I'm thinking that I really need to read the next one i
Jessi Brown
Aug 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, young-adult, arc
I recieved this book as an ARC from "Little Brown books for Young Readers"

Birth of a Killer by Darren Shan tells the tale of Larten Crepsley, a young boy who is living in awful conditions, has to fight for his food, and has a horrible sorry excuse for a person as a foreman. One day at work, his foreman goes too far with his beatings and kills one of the few people Larten cares for. At that moment, something snaps in Larten and he kills his foreman sending him on the run for his life. He is not
Mohammed Rahman
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Larten Crepsley never planned to go on a blood thirsty rage streak and kill his boss at the age of 11. It all kind of just... happened. When his boss killed Larten's dearest friend and relative, Vur Horston, all he could think of was the rage that had overcome him. Having killed the boss in front of the other children that had been working to support their families in his poor neighborhood, word spread like wildfire, all heck broke loose, and soon enough, the whole village was hunting him down w ...more
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, fantasy, vampires
Having been a massive fan of the original Darren Shan saga, hearing the story of 'where it all started' with the story of Larte Crepsley really appealed to me. Basically, this book outlines the basics of Larten's life before he became a vampire, and then some of the events afterward - including how he met Mr Tall, where the name of his alias, Vur Horsten, came from, and his first meetings with Mr Tiny.

Shan's writing style is much the same as it was in the original saga, and indeed in The Demona
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, own
I would have given it 3.5 stars if it would have let me. This doesn't stand up to Cirque Du Freak in the slightest. I'll admit that the mention of familiar Cirque characters gave me goosebumps and some of the more intense moments really pulled me into the story, but the ending did nothing for me. It was a sad excuse for an attempted cliffhanger. I'm not overly interested in this devil-may-care lifestyle that Larten is adapting. After skimming some reviews for Ocean of Blood, I'm not sure The Sag ...more
Jul 22, 2011 rated it liked it
When I heard that "The Saga of Larten Crepsley" was coming out I was excited because I really enjoyed reading "The Saga of Darren Shan". This is the prequel to Darren Shan as it is about Darren's master Larten Crepsley. It follows his beginnings of becoming a vampire and the life he led. We come across many familiar characters from the first series, and even though this one is set many years before the first series we all know vampires live for a long time so it wasn't surprising to see names I ...more
I borrowed this book from the library. Only after I got home I realised that it was a pre-sequel to a different series (Cirque Du Freak).

The blurb still sounded interesting though, so I decided to read it anyways. And I really enjoyed it, though I did feel I was missing out a little as I haven't read the other series. (I feel like I might need to now though!)

I'm guessing my rating might have been a star higher if I had read the other books first. So I would recommend that if you are considering
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Like all Darren SHan books, this was phenomenal!!!
I loved it, it really set up the rest of the series and I'm DYING to get my hands on book two.
This was a wonderful book, very enjoyable, and the last page made me shake from anticipation.
It really made me remember some of the things Mr.Crepsley murmed in the Cirque Du Freak series about his past, and now I look forward to the full story behind some of the things Larten mentioned in Cirque Du Freak.
Awesome Shan, you've done it ag
Sean McBride
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so I have a penchant for reading teen books. Everyone needs a guilty pleasure though right? The good part is that now after two teen series and one adult series Mr. Shan has really come into his own. This one was longer than any of the Cirque Du Freak or Demonata books and it was much more organized. The characters were much more fleshed out and the plot wasn't as thrown together as some of his other books. This is still, however, a teen book and wont be winning any literary prizes, but if y ...more
Nov 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Interesting to know where Mr. Crepsley started, the twists I suspect will not be as dramatic as those of the Darren Shan Saga but one can hope. I have high expectations for this pre-quil series. I highly doubt that the talented Darren Shan will disappoint me and I look forward to the release of the second book in the series.
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Librarian's note: Also writes books for adults under the name Darren Dash. And in the past he has released books for adults under the names D.B. Shan and Darren O'Shaughnessy.

Darren Shan (born July 2, 1972 in London, England) is the pen name of the Irish author Darren O'Shaughnessy, as well as the name of the protagonist of his book series The Saga of Darren Shan, also known as The Cirque Du Freak

Other books in the series

The Saga of Larten Crepsley (4 books)
  • Ocean of Blood (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, #2)
  • Palace of the Damned (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, #3)
  • Brothers to the Death (The Saga of Larten Crepsley, #4)

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