Cirque Du Freak
Cirque du freak


Darren Shan: Cirque Du Freak

Written by

Darren Shan

Cover Artist




257 pages

Cirque Du Freak is the first book in the Darren Shan Saga. It was first published in 2000 by Harper Collins and Little Brown.


Young Darren Shan has been fascinated by spiders from an early age. His best friend, Steve "Leopard" Leonard has grown up reading horror comics and stories of the Wolf-Man and vampires. After viewing the "Cirque du Freak" Darren and Steve are mesmerized by the fantastic and disturbing show, especially by the act of the mysterious Mr. Crepsley and his giant, deathly poisonous spider, Madam Octa. After the show, Steve sneaks back into the theater and confronts Mr. Crepsley about being a vampire. Steve demands to become a vampire too, and join the circus as Mr. Crepsley’s assistant. The vampire refuses Steve upon tasting his blood, and declaring it “evil”. Steve is enraged, and declares revenge on Mr. Crepsley when he grows up. Unbeknownst to Steve, Darren has hidden in the theater, witnessing the confrontation and becoming wary of Steve. Darren develops an obsession for Madam Octa, and returns to the theater to steal her, using his knowledge of Mr. Crepsley's true nature to his advantage. He trains the spider in secret with a flute that forces the spider to obey his commands. Eventually, Steve visits Darren, demanding to know why Darren is avoiding him. Darren lets slip that he had witnessed Steve's and Mr. Crepsley's talk by falling in a trap of "names" by Steve and that he had stolen Madam Octa. Darren gets distracted, losing control over the spider, which bites and paralyzes Steve. Steve's only hope for survival is if Darren makes a deal with Mr. Crepsley to become his assistant. Steve lives, but Darren is turned into a half-vampire and is thrust into the dark world of the vampires. Darren tries to live amongst humans, but decides to join Mr. Crepsley after nearly attacking his sister. To successfully free Darren of all previous bonds, including family, Mr. Crepsley helps his apprentice fake his own death by perfectly simulating an accidental, but fatal fall. Following Darren's human body's funeral, Mr. Crepsley digs Darren up. Darren begins his new life as a vampire, ending his days as a human by encountering Steve who vows on his blood to track him and his mentor, Mr. Crepsley, down to the ends of Earth as the world's best Vampire Hunter when he grows up.

Flim AdaptationEdit


Also SeeEdit

Darren Shan: The Vampire's Assistant

Darren Shan

The Saga Of Darren Shan