About the book
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 fearsome 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.
This book was sent for me to review by the publisher.
The Kingmakers is the third, highly anticipated, and final installment of The Vampire Empire series by Clay and Susan Griffith. The previous two books in this series have been nicely building toward this impressive conclusion, and the Griffith team does not disappoint. I have to shamelessly admit that this was one of my most anticipated reads of 2012.
Adele is perhaps one of the most noteworthy characters in The Kingmakers. Readers of this series will appreciate how much she grows and develops throughout the books and how obvious this is in The Kingmakers. In this final installment you will meet a very mature and adult Adele. She’s grown up and moved past her childhood and is fully embracing her adulthood and it shows. She’s a much more believable and memorable character due to this and it is incredibly rewarding for readers to see who she has turned out to be after the trials and tribulations of the two previous installments of the series.
The Kingmakers gets going much faster than the previous books in the series and this quickly moving plot really works in the book’s favor. The Kingmakers opens with a stark and tension filled battle scene, and this seems to set the stage and tone for the rest of the book. The humans are on their knees as the vampires battle against them. The Griffith’s are true to this by filling the pages full of plenty of tension, emotions, and darkness. There are plenty of battles on battle fields, which are written with impressive intensity. However, there are also plenty of more subtle battles that play out in the political arena, as well as surprising betrayals. This causes a nice tug-of-war with reader’s emotions as they enjoy the obvious action of battle as well as the subtle and more personal battles that happen in more private settings.
The love story between Adele and Greyfriar is also rather tense and emotional, but here I had a harder time keeping my interest. Perhaps a reason is because I felt that there were so many other important things happening that Adele and Greyfriar’s relationship seemed less interesting and rather worn to me. Regardless, their love story is touching, and I’m sure it will please many readers with its culmination and the hope it offers despite all odds, which also nicely balances out some of the darkness offered by other aspects of the book.
The Kingmakers ends pretty much how series fans will probably expect it to. This might be a drawback to some readers, as it does lack a bit of the surprise that the previous books contained. The story is great, but the ending is expected and I felt a little bit of a let down due to that. I wanted some more unpredictability with the plot that wasn’t there. However, the Griffith’s make up for this with their fast paced, action packed plot that will cause you to flip pages faster than you expect. Despite the somewhat predictable ending, the level of emotional intensity that the Griffith’s packed into these pages might surprise some readers. Though I do harp on the ending a bit here, I must be honest and say that it really does stay true to how the series has progressed. Though it is predictable, I can’t imagine the book ending any other way.
Despite my few qualms, the Griffith team has managed to do something that is (in my opinion) nearly impossible. They took an extremely tired trope (vampires) and spun them differently, captivating even the overly-cynical Sarah here at Bookworm Blues. Their steampunk world, oppressed humans, and rabid vampires managed to intrigue me where just about 99% of other vampire novels never did. While in some ways The Kingmakers outshined its predecessors, it was a properly epic ending to a series that the authors should be intensely proud of. I was very sad to say goodbye to Adele and Gareth and I’m sure other fans of the series will be, as well. Take heart, dear readers, because the Griffith’s do these memorable characters justice with this fantastic ending to The Vampire Empire.