Plot Outline:

Book 5 of The Saga Of Darren Shan. Five Trials -- five chances for Darren Shan to prove himself worthy of being a vampire -- five ways to die!

But while Darren struggles to complete and survive his perilous Trials, other forces are at work deep within Vampire Mountain. Their goal: to wipe the Princes and Generals from the face of the earth!! Darren is poised to uncover a shocking conspiracy -- but will he live long enough to spread the warning???

Trials Of Death is the middle book of a gruelling, 3-part Darren Shan adventure. The story concludes in Book 6:The Vampire Prince.

Author Notes:

The fifth book of The Saga Of Darren Shan went on sale on 1st October 2001 in Ireland and the UK. (It didn't go on sale in the USA until April 2003 -- the Americans were a bit late coming to the Freak Party!) While most of the books in the series were released at 6 months intervals in the UK, I didn't want fans to have to wait too long for the installments of the Vampire Mountain Trilogy, so I asked my publishers if they would consider releasing book 5 hot on the heels of book 4 -- and happily they obliged.

To help promote the book, my publishers, HarperCollins, gave away free bottles of fake blood which were sent out to book stores all across the British Isles, to be given away as freebies. Hands up anyone who still has one of these!

I sometimes get asked what the 5th trial would have been -- and the honest answer is, I don't know! When plotting the book, I knew I would only need to come up with 4 trials, so that's all I figured out!

It was my decision not to include any teaser chapter of book 6 at the end of the book, bucking the trend of the UK releases -- I thought it would be best to leave readers in total suspense, with no idea of what was going to come next.

Book 5 was the last book in the U.K. with the old-style covers. Though I thought the original book 1 cover was great, I felt that the others weren't as strong, and that the books weren't catching as many eyes on shelves as they should. Collins agreed and set to work on redesigning the look of book 6 -- a look which was to last until the end of the Saga.

Global Cover Variations

  • Book Cover Image Trials of Death (Italy)
  • Book Cover Image Trials of Death (Finland PB)
  • Book Cover Image Trials of Death (Japan PB)
  • Book Cover Image Trials of Death (Indonesia)
  • Book Cover Image Trials of Death (Germany HB)
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