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Rarely has a place impacted me as a reader as much as the Vampire Empire, the setting of the superb series by Clay and Susan Griffith. It began with THE GREYFRIAR, which remains one of the best vampire books ever, and continues on September 20th from Pyr Books with THE RIFT WALKER. It is the vampires themselves who are taking us on today’s Deadly Destination…on a tour of the London left after The Great Killing. The giveaway today is equally fantastic thanks to Clay and Susan, five commenters will win a signed copy of THE GREYFRIAR and an ARC of THE RIFT WALKER! See details below.
The Vampires Guide to London
Clay and Susan Griffith
A filthy creature crouching in the center of a vast empire. A monster, reaching out at its whim, snatching up the weak and helpless to feed its voracious appetite.
Dark and unhealthy. Fired by a white-hot heart of burning coal. The air choked with smoke boiling from hundreds of thousands of chimneys. Black soot blocking the sun, staining the buildings and the people with a layer of grime that can never be scrubbed away. The Thames choking with waste, turning that great river dark and dead. Even the space of the city itself serves the powerful, with the poor herded together into small, filthy hovels where they die young at the mercy of their predatory masters.
But all that was before we came.
For countless centuries, we had lived among the humans of the north, skulking in the shadows, hiding in forests and catacombs. We slid out at night to hunt and feed. They called us many things – ghouls, witches, undead, vampires.
Then, in 1870, our time came. We descended on the bloated, faithless civilizations of the north. We fell on London and we wiped it clean. The savages who ruled it could not run, could not hide, could not win.
Now, it is one hundred and fifty years since the Great Killing and the cities of the north are reborn, chief among them, old London. The underworld of boilers is cool. The forest of chimneys is calm. Grey skies are now blue. Brown water is now clear. Green grass covers hard cobblestones and macadam. There are no rich and poor. There are only humans, and they are all equal before us.
Anyone is free to live where they may. Certainly, a very few spaces are reserved for the business of the vampire clan. Buckingham Palace, for example, is the center of the clan’s rule. There you will find King Dmitri and his son, Prince Cesare, who are masters of a reign that prides itself on leaving their subjects to their own devices. There are no burdensome taxes and no tyrannical restrictions. Humans are totally free to live as they see fit, to live as well as they can manage.
Virtually any other space in the city – Westminster, St. Pauls, Hyde Park, the stately homes of Kensington, the trendy flats of Mayfair, the warrens of Whitechapel – are free for the taking, if you can hold them. The British Museum is the frequent home of a particular clan lord – Gareth, Prince of Scotland – but rumor has it he wouldn’t begrudge humans squatting in his town home, even while he is in residence.
London is a free and natural city once more. The perpetual and unnatural filth of human industrialism has been replaced with the temporary waste of humanity itself. Blood soaks into the ground and is gone. Flesh decays to humus and feeds new growth. And even bones eventually degrade to dust and blow away in the fresh wind. All that we do leaves little impact. We live in harmony and London will slowly return to the fields and forests that once graced these riverbanks. We have put a firm stop to the savagery of humanity that mutilated the Earth.
Now, London is a pleasant, green space of freedom. If we send for you to visit, you dare not refuse.
About Clay and Susan Griffith
Clay and Susan Griffith are writers who have also been married for 16 years. They are the co-authors of The Greyfriar: Vampire Empire Book 1 (2010) and The Rift Walker: Vampire Empire Book 2 (September 2011) (Pyr Books). The third book of the series will be out in 2012.
Clay and Susan have written many comic books over the years including The Tick, The Man-Eating Cow and, more recently, Ray Harryhausen Presents: It Came From Beneath the Sea…Again. They also script and contribute to the tv/web show Monster Creature Feature (www. mcftv.com).
They plan to continue writing together. And to stay married.
Want to read more from Clay and Susan Griffith?
5 winners will receive a signed copy of THE GREYFRIAR & an ARC of THE RIFT WALKER by Clay and Susan Griffith
Available on September 20, 2011 from Pyr Books
Princess Adele struggles with a life of marriage and obligation as her Equatorian Empire and their American Republic allies stand on the brink of war against the vampire clans of the north. However, the alliance’s horrific strategy for total victory drives Adele to abandon her duty and embark on a desperate quest to keep her nation from staining its hands with genocide. Reunited with her great love, the mysterious adventurer known to the world as the Greyfriar, Adele is pursued by her own people as well as her vengeful husband, senator Clark. With the human alliance in disarray, Prince Cesare, lord of the British vampire clan, seizes the initiative and strikes at the very heart of Equatoria.
As Adele labors to bring order to her world, she learns more about the strange powers she exhibited in the north. Her teacher, Mamoru, leads a secret cabal of geomancers who believe Adele is the one who can touch the vast power of the Earth that surges through ley lines and wells up at the rifts where the lines meet. These energies are the key to defeating the enemy of mankind, and if Princess Adele could ever bring this power under her command, she could be death to vampires. But such a victory will also cost the life of Adele’s beloved Greyfriar.
The Rift Walker is the second book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternative history. Combining rousing pulp action with steampunk style, the Vampire Empire series 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. . . . 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.”
– All Things Urban Fantasy
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- Review: Towering by Alex FlinnMay 18, 2013