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Trials of Death

(Cirque du Freak #5)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  29,446 ratings  ·  790 reviews
The trials: seventeen ways to die unless the luck of the vampire is with you. Darren Shan must pass five fearsome Trials to prove himself to the vampires clan - or face the stakes of the Hall of Death. But Vampire Mountain holds hidden threats. Sinister, potent forces are gathering in the darkness. In this nightmarish world of bloodshed and betrayal, death may be a blessin ...more
Paperback, 202 pages
Published January 18th 2008 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published October 1st 2001)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  29,446 ratings  ·  790 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
THIS IS NOT going to resolve anything of value

I've noticed that Shan tends to end his books with a big TO BE CONTINUED ... but there's a difference between ending the book with a bit of a cliff hanger...versus literally stopping in the middle of a story. This is a case of the latter.

Deeeeep Breaths.

In this novel, we find Darren competing in the Vampire Trials. Either he manages to prove himself worthy of becoming a full vampire or his life will be cut extremely short.

These trials are
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Another frustrating TO BE CONTINUED...

Someone needs to explain to me why I paid $8 for a book that didn't have an ending to it. Honestly, it didn't have a beginning either because that was in book 4 Vampire Mountain. It's just the next installment in one long book you have to read one part at a time. I bitched about this when I reviewed Vampire Mountain. Maybe it's just me but when I pay for a novel I think it should be a full NOVEL with a beginning, middle and an end. Isn't that what I pa

Ahmad Sharabiani
Trials of Death (Cirque du Freak #5), Darren Shan
Trials of Death is the fifth book in The Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan. It is part of the Vampire Rites Trilogy, consisting of books four through six in the 12-book saga. It was first published by Collins in the United Kingdom in 2001, and in the United States in 2003. Darren Shan is about to take the Trials of Initiation, a series of tests that vampires were forced to take part in during years gone by, to prove himself to the Princes. Curren
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned




Shawna :)
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely my favorite one in the series so far. The trials definitely had Goblet of Fire feel and it was neat to see how much all the characters have evolved from the first book. I also liked how this book had all the necessary intense and suspenseful scenes yet it didn't have the scariness and sadness of the previous books. Listening to this series as audiobooks has been really enjoyable so far and I highly recommend this series to everyone. ...more
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
So this is now my favorite book of this series!!! The trials were all so very exciting!!! I loved reading about all the close calls and the drama. Apparently vampires tend to be dramatic. Hahahaha!!! Which makes me laugh for whatever reason.

Mr. Crepsley is even interesting to me now. Along with a lot of the other vampires. Vampire mountain is still super awesome, but seriously, these trials were soooo entertaining.

I highly recommend this to vampire lovers!! I’m thoroughly enjoying the series!!
James Trevino
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
This was an improvement over the previous book but not by much. The plot is still going nowhere up until the last few pages, but at least Trials of Death was action packed. I feel like the series has lost some of it's appeal with the lack of the Cirque background. Not that the vampire society is not interesting, but it alone is not enough to maintain interest. Maybe the next one will be better. ...more
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great series! Always fun, always a good mixed between action, storyline and characters evolution and some good twists to make it hard to predict where it goes. I like every book of this series so far and this book deserve to be more notice/read (even if I discover it years late...)!!
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
I went back and forth with being disgusted by the storyline and riveted at the same time. Yes, it was a weird experience.

‘Trials of Death’ wasn’t filler-ish, better than the fourth because the pacing and almost non-stop action made it hard to put down. Action scenes were excellent, nail-grinding, detailed, spaced right. Some disturbing stuff happened during the trails, especially the weird flame stuff.

Characters are more fleshed out, seeming livelier and not imitations of their former selves (t
— nova
this was my FAVORITE in the series growing up !! all of these books just left me on the edge of my seat.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just LOVE this Series!
Apr 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Think this might be one of my faves in the series.
Nic Echo
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nic by: Tesk
About the Book:
When we last left Darren, he was told that he would have to complete five deadly trials to prove himself a worthy vampire. Not only are the trials themselves deadly, but if Darren fails in any way besides death, he will be executed. It is actually after one of these trials that Darren learns about a treacherous plot that involves the vampaneze.

This book was filled with action and kept me turning the page (especially near the end). Darren's trials were interesting and even t
Directly after hearing that he must face vicious trials or die, Darren Shan takes on the Trials of Initiation in Trials of Death. The consequence for not passing the Trials is death by being dropped on spikes over and over until death takes you. The Trials are hard enough for adult full-vampires, so how will our half-vampire protagonist fare? One things for sure, if Darren passes the Trials he might have wished he didn’t in the end.


The plot in Trials of Death is all about Darren going throug
Oct 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
9.00 on CAWPILE
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Pretty harrowing and brutal, this macabre fifth book in the running Cirque du Freak series continues in the vein of all those that came before it with a lot of action, a lot of blood, and a lot of fun. I liked this one better than the last, as I felt it got a little more involved. But, being a fan of the entire series, I have yet to be disappointed, at all. Shan delivered darkness with Trials by Death, and I would have expected nothing less.

Five Stars!

Riley Naughton
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Trials of Death by Darren Shan is an outstanding book! I have been an avid reader and fan of the series since its debut in 2000. I remember reading the series since 6th grade and loving it ever since, despite the less than adequate movie. This book is the fifth installment in the franchise and never gets old. This story takes place after Darren and Mr. Crepsley, his vampire mentor, have been traveling from the Cirque for a while. Darren has been a half-vampire for a while now but cannot be a ful ...more
Elio Zebinato
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book was amazing and it left me at a huge cliffhanger. In this story Darren has to prove himself to the vampires by doing three trials to show that he is a vampire as well. He must fight underwater mazes, caves filled with spikes and a room full of fire.

The book overall was amazing. It included so much action that I could barely stop myself from reading it. Each chapter just made the reader wonder more and more if Darren would be able to survive the trials. As the reader continues the book
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, horror
In Trials of Death Darren has to prove himself in five trials. Every book in this series is so different from the rest but I think this was my favorite so far, because it surprised me the most.

I was kind of bored during the first half of the book. I have read several books with trials a lot like these, so I thought that this was going to be one of the more predictable books in the series (Darren almost dies a few times but in the end he will probably succeeds in the trials, then i can move on to
Oct 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I need to read the next book. Immediately. As in, I should be reading the next one right now instead of reviewing this. This book had me on edge the entire time; I had to know what happened next so I couldn’t put it down. Darren Shan’s writing is so easy for me to read that I’m almost always able to finish a book in one sitting. Trials of Death was filled with plenty of action, comedy, and characters that I absolutely adore. There’s also a major twist involved (that I called, just saying) that h ...more
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Personally, this is my favourite book of the twelve (although I am sure not everyone will agree with me on this one, yet nobody can deny that it is an important book in the series for developments). This is a fast paced book filled with Darren completing tasks to prove himself a worthy vampire. The tasks he takes part in are all well thought out and highly entertaining to read, keeping you on the edge of your seat as you wait to find out what happens next.

The book also comes with a great twist t
Gillian Murrell
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a big step up from he last book, Darren has to complete 5 trials which will be randomly drawn. I will admit to having tears in my eyes after the 3rd trial. Failure to complete a trail ends in a very painful death and if you loose a trail you are dead anyway. How can the vampires expect Darren to survive I know he is good but this is taking it a bit far he is just a kid after all.
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
That ending was very dramatic!
Holly Ryanne
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Tattooed Bibliophile
Oct 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
We've been avidly listening to this series, and it's been a fun family read.

Until this book. This one drove me absolutely insane with the plot holes. Nothing made logical sense. It seems, every so often, that the author is foreshadowing, or including important details that will come up later, but none of those actually come to fruition.

But my main issue with this book is that I wanted to shake every single adult in this entire series. We finally get a female vampire and of course she's a "pick m
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dana Cristiana
4.5 stars ✨ for this beauty!

This series is indeed more and more interesting. We have this action-packed novel where Darren Shan faces a few death trials, but when the little person does something he shouldn't for his friend, everything goes downhill!

You can't get bored with this one, it is full of action. From the start of the trials, to the cheerful games and party the vampires have, to the twists and turns that lead this series on a whole different path.

I love Mr. Crepsley more than ever befor
Raul Gil Marquez
Thankfully this one is a bit more interesting that the previous 2.
BUT...not sure if this books are worth the money.
You have to buy all of them to have an entire novel.
All the books are finishing with TO BE annoying.

Lucky I bought them second hand, new I will never buy it
Rachel Bea
Soo much better than the previous book.
Wyatt R
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book intense action and absolutely a fun read would recommend.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page count 6 22 Jun 08, 2021 06:25AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Trials of Death (Cirque du Freak #5) by Darren Shan - Starting August 9th, 2020 21 11 Aug 30, 2020 12:07PM  
Cirque Du Freak-A...: Trials of Death 8 18 Sep 22, 2018 10:41AM  
word game 6 19 Jun 11, 2013 12:08PM  

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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

Cirque du Freak (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Cirque Du Freak: A Living Nightmare (Cirque Du Freak, #1)
  • The Vampire's Assistant (Cirque du Freak #2)
  • Tunnels of Blood (Cirque du Freak #3)
  • Vampire Mountain (Cirque Du Freak, #4)
  • The Vampire Prince (Cirque Du Freak, #6)
  • Hunters of the Dusk (Cirque Du Freak, #7)
  • Allies of the Night (Cirque du Freak, #8)
  • Killers of the Dawn (Cirque Du Freak, #9)
  • The Lake of Souls (Cirque du Freak #10)
  • Lord of the Shadows (Cirque Du Freak, #11)

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