Plot Outline:

Book 6 of The Saga Of Darren Shan. A close friend butchered. A shocking secret revealed. The vampire clan under threat of extinction.

Only one ally of the clan knows the whole truth. Only one humble half-vampire can prevent an all-out catastrophe. But rather than surrendur to a two-faced would-be Prince, he has abandoned himself to the waters of Vampire Mountain, and faces an almost certain death. Even if he survives his terrifying trip to the heart of the savage mountain, how can he possibly avert the coming calamity -- for he has been declared unworthy of being a vampire, and has been sentenced to death by those he wishes to save ...

The Vampire Prince is the stunning final book of a gruelling, 3-part Darren Shan adventure -- but The Saga Of Darren Shan will continue in Book 7 : Hunters Of The Dusk

Author Notes:

The last book of the Vampire Mountain Trilogy was published on February 1st, 2002. This was a landmark book in my life, for reasons that had nothing to do with the story! I went on a tour to promote the book, and on Thursday 7th February, after a school event in Waterstones in Kingston, a young lady who introduced herself as Bas came up to me and asked if I'd give her a short story for a book she was putting together. I said no, as I don't write very many short stories, but promised to give her something that she could use, such as a fictitious recipe for vampire broth. She emailed me on Valentines Day to follow up, and added a fateful, funny p.s. to her email -- "I hope you're having a better Valentine's Day than me!" That made me smile, and I responded with my own amusing p.s. (which I can't for the life of me remember) and we ended up going on a date a week later, which led to a long-term relationship, and ultimately... marriage!! Oh, and she ended up getting a story from me as well -- check out mo author notes for "Hagurosan." :-)

I really enjoyed writing "The Vampire Prince." It was great to tie up all (well, most of) the plot lines of the Vampire Mountain storyline, to explain why Kurda did what he did, to bring the vampaneze fully into the plot, set up the rest of the Saga, etc. Although I always meant for Vampire Mountain to be a trilogy, I viewed it as a single big book, and what I find when I work on a long book is that the start is usually a lot of fun, introducing all the new characters, setting the plot in motion; the middle can sometimes be a bit of a drag (although that wasn't the case in this instance, as we had all the action of Trials Of Death sandwiched in the middle); and the final third often ends up being the most enjoyable of the lot to work on, as you get excited when you start to see the finishing line approaching!

The book starts with Darren being washed away down a stream through the heart of vampire mountain, and I went for a different style at the beginning of the book to convey the urgency and speed of the situation -- to make it seem more dangerous. I liked the choppy, immediate style, and used a variant of it some years later when I came to write "Lord Loss".

I thought there might be some negative reaction to Darren suckling the she-wolf -- angry parents saying their kids shouldn't be reading books where a child sucks a wolf's nipple! But so far there hasn't been.

I had to work hard on the scenes with the wolves. In the first draft they were too cuddly and human, and Darren was all but communicating telepathically with them. My editor urged me to make them more realistic, and she was absolutely right.

The "prince" on the cover of the UK edition (the first with the new look) was a guy who worked at HarperCollins -- the designer took a photo of him, played around with it, and turned him into a star! :-)

I love the final line of the book. It always brings a smile to my face whenever I glance at it. This is probably the happiest moment of the entire Saga, before the real darkness of the second half of the series and the return of some menacing figures. It's bittersweet, of course, because of the loss of some of our favourite characters, but still, in Darren Shan terms, this is about as sugar-coated as it gets.

Global Cover Variations

  • Book Cover Image The Vampire Prince (Japan PB)
  • Book Cover Image The Vampire Prince (Norway)
  • Book Cover Image The Vampire Prince (UK manga)
  • Book Cover Image The Vampire Prince (Korea Manga)
  • Book Cover Image The Vampire Prince (Brazil)
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