- for the place, see the Lake of Souls
|The Lake of Souls|
|Date Released||October 2003|
|Series||The Saga of Darren Shan|
|Number of Pages||220|
|Previous Book||"Killers of the Dawn"|
|Succeeding Book||"Lord of the Shadows"|
The Lake of Souls is the 10th book in The Saga of Darren Shan and is also the first in the 4th and final trilogy in 'The Saga' called The Vampire Destiny Trilogy. It reveals a lot about the character of Harkat Mulds mainly and introduces a new character called Spits Abrams. This book also adds many more questions that will be answered in the next two books. Also, this book is the longest in the series.
The Lake of Souls takes place right after Killers of the Dawn, with Mr. Crepsley dead and Steve's revelation that he is the Lord of the Vampaneze. Darren is absolutely floored by his mentor's death but is unable to cry for the first month or so. He feels numb, but with the help of the bearded lady, Truska, he eventually does so. Mr. Tiny then appears and tells Harkat that if he wants his nightmares (which have returned) to stop, he must walk through a portal that Mr. Tiny makes. Harkat refuses to let Darren go with him. Debbie Hemlock and Police Chief Alice Burgess want to start an army to combat the vampets, but have to get the approval of the vampire princes first, so they are only mentioned briefly. Darren later decides that he should go with Harkat, much to Harkat's dismay. Darren and Harkat then walk through the mysterious portal, and are thrown into a strange world.
Darren and Harkat are forced to complete many difficult tasks. They first hunt down a black panther and collect a map inside it. Darren finds that the panther's teeth have been marked with letters. They start rearranging the teeth, with Harkat using up all the teeth to get "SLAM DARK HUT", and then again to find it reads "HARKAT MULDS". Harkat dismisses it as an utter waste of time, as Mr. Tiny loves to meddle with time. Harkat keeps the teeth, saying that they might be useful as they are sharp.
Next they have to steal 'gelatinous globes' from the world's biggest toad. They arrive to see the toad standing in the middle of a lake surrounded by crocodiles. Darren and Harkat zip through the lake, grab a few globes, then run off.
Darren and Harkat eventually meet up with Lady Evanna. Her appearance is completely unexpected, and she does not wish to tell the two how or why she is there. She helps them get across the lake where they meet a man who calls himself Spits Abrams. Spits is a former pirate and heavy drinker, and although Darren and Harkat do not trust him very much, they decide that Mr. Tiny put him in that world for a reason, and decide to take him with them.
They soon reach a small area filled with 'people' called Kulashkas, who strangely resemble the guardians of the blood. They are required to steal vials of 'holy liquid'. Darren and Harkat enter the village, Spits being afraid, to find the 'holy liquid' to be the venom from the fangs of a huge creature called the Grotesque. The Grotesque is apparently the Kulashkas' god. Darren and Harkat rush to two vials containing the venom and are attacked by the Grotesque.
Harkat raises the vial as the Grotesque attempts to kill him, and the Grotesque backs off. The Kulashkas arrive, pointing spears at Darren and Harkat, trying to drive them back. They are driven closer to the Grotesque and Darren drives them back with his vial. The chief of the Kulashkas starts trying to speak to them in a non-understandable language, with Darren saying that he can't understand them. The chief starts gesturing that they are free to leave, but must return the vials to the altar which carried them. Darren starts to do so, but a drunken Spits arrives, throwing one vial at the Grotesque, which explodes, killing the Grotesque and hurting those nearby it, revealing the liquid to be highly explosive. Harkat sees floorboards underneath them and starts stomping on them. Darren joins in, with Spits saying, "What in the devil's name are ye..." before crashing through the floorboards.
They end up in a tunnel, following it until they reach a room. There is a fridge, which Spits asks about, as he did not have fridges in his time. There are also postcards, signed by Mr. Tiny. Harkat is bothered by the postcards, but does not explain why. During the night, Darren and Harkat discuss about the world they're in and what it may really be, and Harkat points out the similarities between the Kulashkas and the Guardians of the Blood. They then leave the room, Spits taking a few extra bottles of whiskey.
They soon reach the Lake of Souls. It is seen to be covered with dragons and Darren and Harkat figure out that they should make bombs, filling the 'gelatinous globes' with the Grotesque venom and throwing it at the dragons. They finally get up close to the Lake and Spits says that when Mr. Tiny brought him here, he told him that there was a spell on the Lake forbidding dragons to be closer than eight metres to the Lake unless a living person fell into the Lake. Then Spits quotes on how many people are in the Lake of Souls. He starts talking about how the crew on the Prince o' Pariah, the ship he used to serve, loved his meals, revealing that he is a cannibal. Spits says that he plans to stay by the Lake of Souls, feeding of the people who lived there. He is persistently told not to feed on the souls and is accidentally knocked away from the eight metre zone. A dragon soon breathes fire at him and he is seen burning, running around not able to see, and then falls into the lake, breaking the spell.
While being ruthlessly attacked by a dragon, Harkat pulls up his former identity, revealed to be Kurda Smahlt. The world freezes and Mr. Tiny appears to congratulate him. He also tells them, since Kurda and Harkat are of the same soul, only one could survive. It is decided that Harkat will remain alive.
Back at the Cirque du Freak, Harkat removes the panther's teeth and starts juggling the letters around, and just when he reaches HARKAT, he stops, apparently shocked, then rearranges it to find it reads KURDA SMAHLT. Darren then realizes that Harkat's name is an anagram and that the answer was in front of them all along, saying that if they spent more time on the teeth they might not have had to go through all the tasks. Harkat also takes out the postcards, pointing the time and date it was sent, noting that it was all dated twelve, twenty, thirty, and fifty years later. Harkat then reveals his theory: that the barren land they had visited was the future.
It is also told by Lady Evanna that no matter who wins the War of the Scars, either Darren or Steve would become the Lord of the Shadows who is a ruthless ruler of the night.