Near Perfect – Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend.
In the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. Millions of humans were killed outright. Millions more died of disease and famine due to the havoc that followed. Within two years, once great cities were shrouded by the grey empire of the vampire clans. Human refugees fled south to the tropics because vampires could not tolerate the constant heat there. They brought technology and a feverish drive to reestablish their shattered societies of steam and iron amid the mosques of Alexandria, the torrid quietude of Panama, or the green temples of Malaya.
It is now 2020 and a bloody reckoning is coming.
Princess Adele is heir to the Empire of Equatoria, a remnant of the old tropical British Empire. She is quick with her wit as well as with a sword or gun. She is eager for an adventure before she settles into a life of duty and political marriage to man she does not know. But her quest turns black when she becomes the target of a merciless vampire clan. Her only protector is The Greyfriar, a mysterious hero who fights the vampires from deep within their territory. Their dangerous relationship plays out against an approaching war to the death between humankind and the vampire clans.
The Greyfriar: Vampire Empire is the first book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternate history. Combining rousing pulp action with steampunk style, The Greyfriar brings epic political themes to life within a story of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism.
I was blindsided by how phenomenal THE GREYFRIAR was from start to finish. Amazing vampire mythology, a chilling alternate history, and a poignant romance that grips your whole heart and refuses to let go.
Imagine a world where vampires have decimated the population on nearly every continent for the past century, where the remnants of humanity have fled to the warmest parts of the earth and attempted to rebuild society, where the humans who didn’t escape (and those who are captured during raids) live as cattle. Welcome to the Vampire Empire.
The vampires in THE GREYFRIAR are frighteningly fascinating. Cunning and merciless, they view humanity much the same way we would a hive a bees: useful yet bothersome, and ultimately expendable. They have a complex political structure steeped in tradition and social pedigree. They are preternaturally strong and, among other abilities, they can control their density enabling them to ‘fly’ along wind currents.
As rich and absorbing as the vampire empire is, the heart of THE GREYFRIAR was the blossoming romance that grew between Adele and Greyfriar amidst the war between humans and vampires. It was moving and heartbreaking at every turn. She duty bound and promised to another man, he torn between family loyalty and the woman he desperately wants to understand.
I’m amazed that a story as epic and lavish as THE GREYFRIAR comes in at just over 300 pages. That’s a testament to writing ability of husband and wife duo Clay and Susan Griffith who wasted not one word in their superb vampire steampunk novel. The action is exhilarating, the vampires are refreshingly sinister, and the love story a gentle force so captivating that I truly believe it will weather even the most daunting obstacles. Book two in the Vampire Empire can’t come soon enough.