Larten Crepsley's life as a human ends one grey day in the factory where he has worked since he was eight years old... and his life as a vampire begins! The first of a four book series, this charts Larten's early years as a vampire's assistant, and his formative experiences once he is blooded. We...
View full details for Birth Of A Killer

Global Cover Variations

  • Birth Of A Killer - UK and Ireland Cover Image
  • Birth Of A Killer (Turkey) Cover Image
  • Birth Of A Killer UK paperback Cover Image
  • USA - Birth Of A Killer ARC Cover Image
  • Reviews for Birth Of A Killer

  • Chuckles Book cave

    Chuckles Book Cave | 08 January 2014

    Larten Crepsley is a child slave working in a silk factory with his cousin to earn money for his poverty gripped family. When he finally stands up to his bullying boss Larten finds himself an...

    Read full review: Chuckles Book cave
  • YA bigBOOKworm

    YA bigBOOKworm | 10 March 2013

    I am kind of sad to be giving this a 3 star rating. I loved The Cirque Du Freak series! I just felt that this first book in the Saga of Larten Crepsley was kind of slow and not very eventful. I...

    Read full review: YA bigBOOKworm
  • 50 Books In A Year Challenge

    50 Books in a Year Challenge | 02 February 2013

    In Darren Shan's excellent "Saga of Darren Shan", Larten Crepsley was the master and friend of Darren, who the reader developed a unique love and curiosity for as his past remained mysteriously...

    Read full review: 50 Books In A Year Challenge
  • Books Galore

    Books Galore | 04 August 2012

    Before I write a review I'll tell you a story. I was there when Darren Shan first said he would be doing The Saga of Larten Crepsley . He was doing a small signing/reading/Q&A at a local...

    Read full review: Books Galore
  • MonnStar’s Fantasy World

    MoonStar's Fantasy World | 24 March 2012

    I liked this book. Even though I am not really the age group it was meant for :) First off all. I wanna give this book 4 out of 6 stars. Which is a big number 4 :)


    I chose to give this book...

    Read full review: MonnStar’s Fantasy World
  • Nyx Books Reviews

    Nyx Books Reviews | 21 March 2012

    A prequel series to his Cirque du Freak books, The Sage of Larten Crepsley follows the life of vampire Larten, who will play such an important part in the later books featuring young Darren. Set...

    Read full review: Nyx Books Reviews
  • Once Upon A Book Nerd

    Once Upon A Book Nerd | 27 September 2011

    This book follows the story of Larten Crepsley, as a young boy, working in a silk factory with his cousin and best friend, Vur. After a number of unfortunate events, Larten is forced to flee from...

    Read full review: Once Upon A Book Nerd
  • Book Splot

    Book Splot | 11 July 2011

    Birth of a Killer is the first in Shan’s new four book series The Saga of Larten Crepsley. The new series is a prequel to the Cirque du Freak series. Tracing the early years of Larten Crepsley...

    Read full review: Book Splot
  • Vampyre Gurls Book Club

    Vampire Gurls Book Club | 11 June 2011

    In this highly anticipated prequel to the Cirque Du Freak series, Larten is introduced as a caring young man caught in a very unfortunate circumstance. Readers will enjoy learning how and why...

    Read full review: Vampyre Gurls Book Club
  • The Purple Moose

    The Purple Moose | 06 May 2011

    This next book by Darren Shan, Birth of a Killer, is not only the beginning of a series, it’s the beginning of the beginning; the first book of the new Cirque du Freak prequel series.



    Read full review: The Purple Moose
  • The Book Keep

    The Book Keep | 03 May 2011

    I was immensely excited when I learnt that there was going to be a four-book prequel to 'The Saga of Darren Shan' (Or SODS, as I like to call it). SODS is my second favourite book series of all...

    Read full review: The Book Keep
  • Books4Hearts

    Books4Hearts | 10 April 2011

    I love, love, LOVE the Cirque Du Freak series and The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan. This book is the first in a four book series chronicling the life of Larten Crepsley (you know, pre Darren)....

    Read full review: Books4Hearts
  • Spiinechills

    Spinechills | 31 March 2011

    Epitaph (In a Nutshell): The start of another great series from the master of YA horror.


    Dearly Departed, We are gathered here today to discuss Birth of a Killer by Darren Shan. I've been...

    Read full review: Spiinechills
  • VOYA

    VOYA | 11 March 2011

    When Larten Crepsley's cousin, Vur Horston, is killed by an overzealous, brash, and downright evil foreman at the silk factory where they both work, Larten makes an instant decision to kill the...

    Read full review: VOYA
  • Independent Reading

    Independent Reading | 27 February 2011

    As a child laborer many centuries ago, Larten Crepsley did his job well and without complaint, until the day the foreman killed his brother as an example to the other children.


    In that...

    Read full review: Independent Reading
  • Bookmarked!

    Bookmarked! | 24 February 2011

    Birth of A Killer: The Saga of Larten Crepsley is the first book in a four-book prequel series to Cirque du Freak.

    This series features a beloved CDF character, Larten Crepsley (Darren’s...

    Read full review: Bookmarked!
  • Kirkus Reviews

    Kirkus Reviews | 13 February 2011

    Larten Crepsley watches as the brutal foreman at a silk factory drowns his cousin, Vur Horston. Moments later, Larten is a fugitive, having stabbed the foreman through the throat. As he cowers in...

    Read full review: Kirkus Reviews
  • School LIbrary Journal

    School Library Journal | 13 February 2011

    This adventure story traces the early life of master vampire Larten Crepsley. Sent to work in a Dickensian factory, young Larten kills the abusive foreman and flees. He takes shelter in a...

    Read full review: School LIbrary Journal
  • The Crab Shack

    The Crab Shack | 12 February 2011

    As I declared in my review of 2009's Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant film, the colourful big-screen adaptation was my first (surrogate) taste of the works of teen horror author Darren...

    Read full review: The Crab Shack
  • Tiger Reviews

    Tiger Reviews | 10 February 2011

    Larten, a boy raised in a very impoverished family with an abusive mother is forced into working at a silk factory with a horrible boss. He is then chased out of town after killing his boss who...

    Read full review: Tiger Reviews
  • Book Madness

    Book Madness | 24 January 2011

    Darren Shan is one of my favorite authors, I'm not sure what it is but his books are just different then most vampire books that are out today. I find that while reading through the Cirque Du...

    Read full review: Book Madness
  • Novels Now

    Novles Now | 08 January 2011

    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...

    Read full review: Novels Now
  • Ms Yingling Reads

    Ms Yingling Reads | 31 December 2010

    At a point in the past where child labor was the norm, Larten and his cousin Vur are sent to labor endlessly in a silk factory under the eye of the evil Traz. When Vur is killed by Traz, Larten...

    Read full review: Ms Yingling Reads
  • Teenreads

    Teenreads | 27 December 2010

    Born into an impoverished family, Larten and his siblings are forced to work hard. Every morning they trudge into a world of long hours and brutal treatment at the factory. His cousin Vur, slight...

    Read full review: Teenreads
  • Books Of Amber

    Books Of Amber | 17 December 2010

    This is the first book in the new four book saga by Darren Shan. It’s the highly anticipated prequel to his previous saga - The Saga of Darren Shan - and it’s all about a certain Mr Larten...

    Read full review: Books Of Amber
  • The Gothic Imagination

    The Gothic Imagination | 13 December 2010

    Darren Shan is a popular name in the series fiction market. His first series, Cirque du Freak – The Saga of Darren Shan is an astonishingly long 12-part vampire series, published in over 30...

    Read full review: The Gothic Imagination
  • CM Magazine

    CM Magazine | 03 December 2010

    When young Larten Crepsley’s cousin is murdered by their sadistic factory foreman, Larten is helpless to control his rage. Fleeing the angry townspeople after stabbing the foreman to death,...

    Read full review: CM Magazine
  • Bookbitz

    Bookbitz | 23 November 2010

    I can honestly say that even when the world of books (and film and… well pretty much everything) is at the moment flooded with vampires, I was still excited about this book. Those creatures just...

    Read full review: Bookbitz
  • Lindea

    Lindea | 16 November 2010

    Okay, where to start. I could start off writing something about my obsession of vampires, but I won’t because then I would be repeating myself.


    “Birth of a killer” is the first book in a...

    Read full review: Lindea
  • My Favourite Books

    My Favourite Books | 15 November 2010

    I read and enjoyed Cirque du Freak and was excited to see that Larten Crepsley is the focus of this new series. The Larten we know is world weary and battle scarred but Birth of a Killer shows us...

    Read full review: My Favourite Books
  • Books 4 Teens

    Books 4 Teens | 10 November 2010

    If you love vampires (check) I think you’ll be in for a treat with Birth of a Killer. Okay the vampires don’t sparkle and shock horror there is no romance going on but you know what with an...

    Read full review: Books 4 Teens
  • Musha Books

    Musha Books | 06 November 2010

    When reading prequels, it can be either two things: good or bad. Good is because it directly relates to the future and always references to events and characters of the future. Bad because they...

    Read full review: Musha Books
  • Young Writers

    Young Writers | 02 November 2010

    You’ve probably heard of Darren Shan – he’s a popular author, but two of his novels have been turned into Hollywood Blockbusters – “Cirque du Freak” and “The Vampire’s Assistant”. When his latest...

    Read full review: Young Writers
  • Teens Read And Write

    Teens Read And Write | 28 October 2010

    I loved the Cirque Du Freak series. It was awesome. So to say I was excited for the story of Larten Crepsley is an understatement.

    The story begins with a very young Larten living in a...

    Read full review: Teens Read And Write
  • Flipside

    Flipside | 26 October 2010

    What's the story? This is the prequel to Shan's ace Cirque Du Freak series. This story goes back to the vampire Larten Crepsley's beginnings. As a cash-strapped boy, he works hellishly long hours...

    Read full review: Flipside
  • The Bookbag

    The Bookbag | 22 October 2010

    Larten Crepsley leads a hard, hard life. One child amongst many, born during an industrial revolution, he works horrendously long and dangerous hours in a silk factory even though he's yet to see...

    Read full review: The Bookbag
  • Traf Trash

    Traf Trash | 21 October 2010

    There are many people who have either read or watched "The Vampire's Assistant", also known under the title "The Saga of Darren Shan". This will come as a welcome surprise to those who enjoyed...

    Read full review: Traf Trash
  • Books @ NCPL

    Books @ NCPL | 19 October 2010

    Larten Crepsley and his cousin Vur Horsten stuck together like glue. Living in a poor family of many children is difficult, especially due to the time era. Because of their poverty, Larten and...

    Read full review: Books @ NCPL
  • Teenspace

    Teenspace | 18 October 2010

    For everyone who has devoured every book in the Cirque Du Freak series, but is still thirsting for more, or for those who are still summoning up the courage to open the first book, this novel, a...

    Read full review: Teenspace
  • Happy People Good Karma Blog

    Happy People Good Karma Blog | 15 October 2010

    Just finished reading the first book in the Crepsley Saga by Darren Shan called Birth of a Killer and it was great! Fantastic Book.


    I’ve been reading Darren Shan’s work for a number of...

    Read full review: Happy People Good Karma Blog
  • Chile Blogs

    Chule Blogs | 14 October 2010

    Just finished reading the first book in the Crepsley Saga by Darren Shan called Birth of a Killer and it was great! I’ve been reading Darren Shan’s work for a number of years. I’ve brought my...

    Read full review: Chile Blogs
  • Teeth Whitening

    Teeth Whitening | 10 October 2010

    Three of the best novels in terms of excellent writing and making sense are “The Saga of Larten Crepsley: Birth of a Killer” by Darren Shan (Little, Brown, $16.99); “Z” by Michael Thomas Ford...

    Read full review: Teeth Whitening
  • Amy Reads

    Amy Reads | 06 October 2010

    I haven’t read any of the Cirque Du Freak books, but I did see the first movie – it was not bad. That being said, I’m not sure the books are for me.


    Larten Crepsley lived with his family in...

    Read full review: Amy Reads
  • The Book Zone

    The Book Zone | 03 October 2010

    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...

    Read full review: The Book Zone
  • Irish Independent

    Irish Independent | 02 October 2010

    Darren Shan has sold over 15 million books worldwide in 31 different languages, and already has one Hollywood film under his belt. His new novel, Birth of a Killer, is back in familiar territory....

    Read full review: Irish Independent
  • Emotionally Fourteen

    Emotionally Fourteen | 28 September 2010

    Birth of a Killer is the highly anticipated new novel from Darren Shan. The first novel in The Saga of Larten Crepsley, and the prequel to The Saga of Darren Shan, it chronicles a young and naïve...

    Read full review: Emotionally Fourteen
  • “YA” Need Books

    "YA" Need Books | 16 September 2010

    NOTE: This review is based on an ARC (advance reading copy) provided for free by the publisher. The publication information is subject to change. Expected release date: October 5, 2010.


    Read full review: “YA” Need Books
  • 5 Minutes Peace

    5 Minutes Peace | 05 September 2010

    After the success of the original ‘Saga of Darren Shan’ and the subsequent ‘Demonata’ series, Darren Shan goes back to where it all began in book one of ‘The Saga of Larten Crepsley’. I’ve had...

    Read full review: 5 Minutes Peace
  • Empire Of Books

    Empire Of Books | 31 August 2010

    Darren Shan is back with a brand new series. After completing the amazing Demonata series last year, and releasing the one off story, The Thin Executioner, he is gearing up for the release of...

    Read full review: Empire Of Books
  • She Blinded Me With Library Science

    She Blinded Me With Library Science | 19 August 2010

    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...

    Read full review: She Blinded Me With Library Science
  • Mightier Than The Sword

    Mightier Than The Sword | 18 August 2010

    Larten Crepsley is back. Darren Shan’s latest book, Birth of a Killer takes us on a rollercoaster adventure back to the childhood of our favourite orange-haired vampire, Larten, to show us how...

    Read full review: Mightier Than The Sword
  • Mr Ripley’s Enchanted Books

    Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books | 22 July 2010

    Darren Shan, and his ever rapid production line of exceedingly good horror books, has introduced a new series. This first book is due to be published late September. The main character should be...

    Read full review: Mr Ripley’s Enchanted Books