(Vampire Empire #3)
Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Amazon)
A war to the death.
Empress Adele has launched a grand crusade against the vampire clans of the north. Prince Gareth, the vampire lord of Scotland, serves the Equatorian cause, fighting in the bloody trenches of France in his guise as the dashing Greyfriar. But the human armies are pinned down, battered by harsh weather and merciless attacks from vampire packs.
To even the odds, Adele unleashes the power of her geomancy, a fear- some weapon capable of slaughtering vampires in vast numbers. However, the power she expends threatens her own life even as she questions the morality of such a weapon.
As the war turns ever bloodier and Adele is threatened by betrayal, Gareth faces a terrible choice. Their only hope is a desperate strike against the lord of the vampire clans—Gareth's brother, Cesare. It is a gamble that could win the war or signal the final days of the Greyfriar.
The Vampire Empire trilogy rushes to a heart-wrenching conclusion of honor and love, hatred and vengeance, sacrifice and loss.
Completing a dark and brilliant trilogy, The Kingmakers beautifully balances the brutality of the war Equatoria wages against the vampires in the north with the warmth and tenderness emanating from the relationship between Adele and vampire prince Gareth. We are continuously subjected to the death and destruction claiming the front lines – the frailty of human bodies remarkably apparent as the claws and fangs of the vampire hordes easily rend flesh from bone – but just as we are reminded of our physical vulnerabilities, the Griffiths pull us out of the darkness with a display of mental fortitude and strength of will from Adele and those around her, keeping us hovering on a precipice between success and failure in the many battles facing our beloved protagonists.
The highlight of this series is the should-be impossible relationship between Adele and Gareth, their quiet moments together ones that hold us captivated as we revel in Gareth’s unexpected sense of humor and their clear love for one another. Gareth possesses a dry wit, bantering with Adele in a way that never fails to surprise us given the dark seriousness of his brethren, and delighting us with a laugh before the reality of their circumstances sobers us one again. Part of Gareth’s appeal has always been his unusual interest in everyday human activities, and in this last installment we get to see that inquisitiveness in all its glory as he attempts to make a suitable dinner for Adele and accompanies her to the opera. We’re never able to forget what Gareth truly is despite the differences in his personality, and it’s an equal pleasure to watch Gareth use his vampire abilities to come to the defense of Adele and the country she loves as it is to see him obliterate everything humanity thought it knew about vampires.
The Griffiths do a spectacular job of bringing Adele and Gareth’s story to an end in a way that satisfies without tying up every last thread into a perfect bow, allowing us the freedom to use our imaginations as to their future without overwhelming us with a vast expanse of uncertainty when we finish the last page. The battles with the various villains aren’t perhaps quite as epic as we might have anticipated given the build-up, the fight with Flay in particular over with unexpected speed given her fighting capabilities and her surprisingly human motivation to hurt Gareth as much as he’s hurt her. That said however, things toward the end are anything but easy for both Gareth and Adele, and we can’t help but grip the pages of the final chapters with such force our fingers tingle for long minutes afterward as the blood finally returns to them. Powerfully romantic, gritty, and compelling, the Vampire Empire series is a success on every level.
More information on Clay, Susan, and the outstanding Vampire Empire trilogy can be found here:
Today kicks of the blog tour for The Kingmakers (ignore the starting date on the banner, it lies ;-), so be sure and check out Clay and Susan's blog for the full tour details and the list of participating blogs. As part of this promotional tour, the Griffiths are offering up an amazing giveaway including autographed copies of the entire Vampire Empire trilogy as well as a stunning steampunk-themed necklace:
How gorgeous is that? To enter, please just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway