Read the kingmakers by Clay Griffith Online

the-kingmakers

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 oA 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....

Title : the kingmakers
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 15872438
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 374 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the kingmakers Reviews

  • Anzu The Great Destroyer
    2019-02-05 15:36

    You are the empress, but I'm just the Greyfriar, popular elephant-riding hero.” “No. You're the future King Gareth of Britain.”First impressionsSadness. Pure sadness. No more Greyfriar. No more Adele. How am I supposed to go on with my life after this? How??Long story shortHumans are at war with the vampires and they are losing. Their only hope is Adele's geomancy power which may end the war in their favor. Adele and Gareth's relationship meets a strong barrier since Adele's gift can easily destroy Gareth with one mistimed touch.The news is finally out that Dmitri, the vampire king, is dead. Desperate times make Gareth be willing to take Cesare's soon to be throne even if it means killing his only brother. The stakes are high and there can only be victory or death.My thoughtsI like deep stories that are not slow paced. They should be interesting, present inspiring characters and toy with my emotions. I want fresh ideas and intelligence. I want good taste. I want to feel what the characters are feeling. I want to read something memorable. I want to feel proud of holding the book in my hand and recommend it to people who ask me about it. The Kingmakers perfectly satisfied my wishes. It’s no surprise that I absolutely loved The Kingmakers. I may have been overconfident, but I had a feeling the Griffiths wouldn’t disappoint.Theoretically, The Kingmakers was supposed to bore me. More than half of the book was about the war between humans and vampires, and I usually get bored by so much politics and strategies. The Kingmakers approaches these points very well, and the authors do a very good job in keeping the story dynamic and very interesting. I wasn’t given even a remote chance to get bored. The story concluded in a very different way from what I was expecting. I really had a difficult time predicting what was going to happen. In the end, it was a failure from my side. I could not predict much of the story, except the obvious things. This is a very good thing because I hate it when books get too predictable. The ending was perfect for every character except perhaps Anhalt. I felt bad about what happened to him. I won’t tell you more because that will spoil the story.After reading Mamoru’s story I understand his actions, and what he is doing can be considered normal for his situation. Of course this does not justify his actions, but it all makes sense now. This is another thing I love about the Griffiths. Their characters feel real and their actions always make sense. I am absolutely happy because Adele and Gareth got a happy ending. I was extremely worried that the Griffiths will go for a tragic ending and make Gareth sacrifice himself for Adele. This did not happen, thank goodness. There were lots of things left out in the end, but this did not bother me. I like to think that this was done on purpose, and that the authors’ next project will involve Simon. I’d really love to have a series focused on him once he comes of age to rule the empire. Maybe then we’d have more glimpses of Gareth and Adele, and maybe we’ll get more bits and pieces regarding their future. If the Griffiths don’t go for it, I won’t be mad. I’ll just compose a decent ending for Gareth and Adele in my mind, and live with it. Speaking of Gareth and Adele’s relationship, The Kingmakers had many cute moments, especially from Gareth’s side. The opera scene, when he was so excited over the play. The moment when Adele showed him the Alexandrian Library. And my favorite scene, when Gareth made tea and boiled eggs for Adele.I did not expect any of these things from Gareth. Cuteness overload!The Epilogue made me cry. Not because it’s painful or bad, I already told you that Gareth and Adele get a happy ending. It's because it was extremely emotional and sweet. I don’t usually get teary eyed over these things, but Gareth and Adele grew on me over the time I’ve read their books, and now I see them as some people I know that finally got what they deserved. I also cried because, theoretically, I won’t be reading anything for these two anymore. I’m saying “theoretically” because I’m still hoping that Simon’s book will be out one day.The following quote was in the book, after the Epilogue.CLAY AND SUSAN GRIFFITH were married at Greyfriars Kirk in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. That's why these books exist.You need to finish the book in order to get why I liked it so much. This is an extremely sweet fact that changed the way I see Clay and Susan Griffith.The Kingmakers is everything I wanted from a conclusion to Vampire Empire and more. It's a masterpiece, and I cannot find words strong enough to express how much I loved it. I need more than the mere five-star rating for this book.A short conclusionThe Kingmakers is a beautiful love story coated by adventure, tragedy and sacrifice. It is the perfect conclusion to a series that is a true work of art. I strongly recommend it to those who like to read complex, action-filled stories that revolve around memorable characters that will leave you breathless.Favorite quoteIn four hundred years he had never loved anyone like he loved her. There was no logic, no rational explanation save who she was. He would never find her equal again, and he knew it. He would live and die beside her. Whatever happened in the future, his calendar now matched hers, no matter what.Review also posted on1st read: 4th - 7th Sept 20122nd read: August 2015

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2019-02-15 08:27

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2015/10/13/b...I was so happy when I found out that Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith were returning to the world of Vampire Empire this fall with another Adele and Gareth book. Even though you can read the upcoming novel as a stand-alone without reading this trilogy first, I still wanted to find out how things will end in the third book before tackling The Geomancer. Plus, I am a completionist at heart.It’s actually been quite a while since I read the first two books in this series, but this is a very special world full of very special characters, the kind that stay with you for a long time. I jumped right back in with no problems, and it was like I never left. War between humans and vampire is at full tilt, with Empress Adele of Equatoria launching a campaign to take back the lands of the north. Fighting at her side is her consort, the vampire Prince Gareth who is helping the human cause in his guise as the legendary Greyfriar.The Equatorians also have a secret weapon – Adele herself. A talented geomancer, she has the ability to use the powers of the earth to burn away vampires in vast numbers. But geomancy has its costs. As surely as it kills vampires, the power also poses a danger to her beloved Gareth, not to mention every time she uses geomancy it drains her energy and threatens her own life. After a huge attack on the heart of vampire territory, Adele sees the destruction she has wrought and starts to wonder if there is another way to wage this war. Gareth seeks a chance to do affect change as well, using his influence to undermine the efforts of his brother Cesare, who has become the new king of the vampire clans.This book is full of bloody battles, hidden alliances, and betrayals. It’s a lot to fit into the concluding volume of a trilogy, but in spite of this, the novel is well balanced and pulls everything together in a spectacular finish. Of all three books, The Kingmakers is probably the most action-packed and fast-paced, building up to the climax of the war.And yet, there’s also plenty of what first drew me to this series: the romance! In between all the intense fighting and war planning, it’s good to see that Adele and Gareth are still able to find ways to spend quality time together. When it comes to forbidden love, theirs is one of my favorites. So many tales involving star-crossed lovers rely on unnecessary drama and emotional manipulation to keep things “interesting”, but there’s no need for that nonsense when it comes to Adele and Gareth. Throughout the trilogy, their romance has never once felt contrived to me, with their relationship rising above all those cloying clichés. It’s always good to see them as a team, with the Greyfriar’s resolve complementing the Empress’s indomitable spirit.The Kingmakers is an emotional finale, filled with difficult choices and dark twists. You might be surprised at how things end. For me, it was a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, and that’s what mattered. Clay and Susan Griffith did something very amazing here, taking a tired old trope like vampires but still somehow managed to make it interesting and unique. Throwing in the alternate history and steampunk setting was a stroke of genius as well.This book has only cemented my love for this world and the characters. Thinking about the sweet moments like the scenes of Gareth and Adele together at the opera house or at the Great Library of Alexandria still makes me smile. It has also made me realize that it’s probably a good thing that I read this only after I found out there’s another Vampire Empire book on the horizon. Clearly, I’m not ready to say good bye just yet! Now onwards to The Geomancer!

  • VampireNovelFan
    2019-02-03 08:18

    Powerful, PerfectionEpic doesn’t even begin to describe Kingmakers, the final novel of the Vampire Empire trilogy. Each installment is better than the last; Susan and Clay Griffith have done an amazing job at building momentum to this moment and it really doesn’t disappoint.Adele leads the war against vampires to the north and Gareth is getting first hand experience with the it, fighting for Adele in the front lines of battle. But the vampires are formidable opponents and have gained the upper hand, quickly bringing the humans to their knees. Something must be done and Adele’s geomancy powers may be the ace in the hole that the human race needs to win once and for all.The last novel is jam packed with story, but there’s a lot of action so it gets going much faster than its predecessors. Politics, betrayal, and new revelations are key to Adele and Gareth’s development. They are the heart of this saga after all. But with their seemingly impossible love, can the heart still beat?Adele has matured wonderfully over the novels and she’s become really admirable. I liked seeing her in a major position of power, strategizing and making difficult decisions that challenge morality. It’s a nice departure from other urban fantasy novels where the heroines start at the bottom and have to work their way up. She’s on a slippery slope as she tries to control her geomancy powers, which may be dangerous to more than solely vampires.Gareth is as wonderful as always with his selflessness. He’s even adorable at times as he still tries to fully understand human customs and history. His light moments with Adele really gave me the case of the warm fuzzies, if only because it feels so fleeting as the pull of his vampire heritage requires that he finally face his brother once and for all. That, and her powers seriously conflict with his entire being on a biological level beyond their control.This book has pretty much everything you could ask for and you’ll experience practically every emotion while reading it. The ending is very powerful, enough that you may want to have kleenex on hand, but I won’t spoil it any further. My only complaint is that I want more. I love this world and I’m sad to see it end; though unfortunately that must happen to all good things…Well done to the Griffiths on their fantastic work! This is definitely one of my favorite trilogies ever.*ARC provided by the publisher*Review also posted to Amazon.

  • Sharon
    2019-02-07 14:28

    All I can say is Colonel Anhalt is the besstttttt. He's not even the main character, but he's literal perfection. His honor, loyalty, and kindness. *sigh* I don't even know what age he is (don't know if I missed it or the series just didn't say), but whether he's 20 or 100, I'll marry him in a jiffy.As for the actual other stuff in this book, it was OK. I'm still not 100% into the romance or politics or pacing of this series, but it has been interesting and different. The ending was pretty satisfying too.

  • Hayat
    2019-01-22 09:40

    I really enjoyed reading The Kingmakers, the conclusion to this brilliant trilogy. I read all three books too fast to do a proper review, since I was desperate to know what happens next but now that I'm finished, can't wait to reread this series, take my time and savour each moment.

  • Mags~CVAddikt~
    2019-02-02 09:42

    REVIEW TO COME *******************I need this book ... like ... NOW!!

  • Gavin
    2019-01-27 10:37

    This was a good conclusion to the Vampire Empire trilogy. I like the world the Griffiths created. It was a steam-punk alternate version of our own world. Despite that it had definite "fantasy" feel to it which I liked. I love the romance between Gareth and Adele and was happy with how their relationship progressed in this book. They are a great couple. Very caring and romantic. I enjoyed most of the scenes they shared together. My favorite probably being the play they seen together in Alexandria. It was so funny. This series had an abundance of villains. The villainous vampires were especially great and always compelling to read about. Cesare was ruthless and manipulative while the vampire war chief, Flay, was as scary as she was crazy. The human villains, like Senator Clark and Mamarou, were equally threatening. I liked the balance between the action and the romance this and did enjoy the locations like Edinburgh Castle and Greyfriars church. I was a bit surprised by the way things ended. I do think there is the possibility of a sequel series in the future, which I'd be happy to read.Rating: 4 stars. Audio Note: This series was narrated by James Marsters, of Buffy fame. He did a good job, but did sound a little bored at times. I'm sure this is just his style as I felt the same when I listened to him narrate The Dresden Files.

  • Ferdy
    2019-01-28 13:16

    SpoilersThis was the worst book in the trilogy — it was slow, cheesy and predictable. The plot was boring - Adele, now the Empress of Equatoria uses her powers to help her people in the battle against the vampires. Whilst vampire prince, Cesare, wants to crown himself king after killing his father so he can unite all the vampire clans under his rule and win the war against the humans. He needs his brother, Gareth, to become king but Gareth wants to stop Cesare so that his beloved Adele will be safe. Gareth was just a bore, there was nothing to him except for his love for Adele. I usually like reading the hero's POV but I think Gareth would have been much more endearing if his POV wasn't known. Cesare was slightly more engaging than Gareth, he still didn't have much depth though — all he wanted was power and control. His daddy and big brother issues were pretty dull but they made for far more interesting reading than Gareth's ridiculous feelings for Adele. The worst part of the book was Adele, she was a bloody awful heroine. There were so many things that pissed me off about her, so be prepared for a rant about her.Adele and her Mary Sue ways were so fucking annoying. Her stupidity was amazing — she kept questioning whether she should use her powers to kill the vampires despite the fact that 1) they were evil 2) they were responsible for millions of deaths 3) she was at bloody war with them 4) they wanted to enslave humanity. I suppose her defense of the vampires was meant to make her seem forgiving and compassionate but it just made her look like a dumb bitch.The only reason she refused to use her powers to kill the vamps was because she didn't want to kill her twu wuv Gareth - never mind that Gareth had once killed thousands of humans and enjoyed it, never mind that the future of humanity was in her hands, never mind that humans were dropping dead. None of that mattered if it hurt her centuries old twu wuv. What a stupid, selfish bitch.Adele's hypocrisy irked me no end — she was pissed if any of her friends didn't embrace her vampire boyfriend but then she'd feel betrayed, disgusted and self righteous when someone else was working with vampires. What a silly cow.Naturally the only people in the spoilt bitch's life that were important to her were men - Greyfriar, Anhalt, Mamoru, her brother. There wasn't a single female that mattered to Adele. She was a sexist douche.A very disappointing read, mainly due to an insufferable heroine, although the dull plot didn't help matters. I'm so glad I'm done with the series.

  • Hitandmiss
    2019-02-06 11:26

    Short review - A very lackluster and disappointing ending, Sure the empire is safe and England is secure. However major things are left kinda up in the air, without a real resolution. Many of which could of provided an interesting chapter or two.People don't know the truth about the Greyfriar, or even what happened to him.How will Adele and Gareth work out? (Empire needs a future ruler and she isn't going to get one from him!) *Side note* most of the Adele/Gareth talks as they are just the same conversation in a different locations, with the rare exception of the library scene which was refreshing compared to all the rest. The relationship is so slim and dull I really don't care how it ended, other than the fact that she has essentially doomed his race to extinction on her current course and he really should care about that.What is the purpose of the Lay lines other then as a convenient weapon against the vampires? (I really thought they might be used to "Cure" vampires)Clark - who we all loved to hate deserved a better ending then that!what about the America campaign or the rest of the world?I could go on, but meh. I don't think this series really connected with me well and I probably wasn't the target audience. Too much dramatic love, not enough plot or real tangible solutions for my liking. As someone whose not really into Steam punk I was kinda expecting this to win me over to it, Other then Airships there really wasn't much steam or punk in it either. Oh well.

  • Mitticus
    2019-01-23 15:39

    (Leido al 2° intento...)3.5 starslost half star just for this: “You don't see it, do you? The Greyfriar was never about saving the world.”He regarded her quizzically.“He was about saving only one.” Adele picked up his hand and placed it on her chest. “Me.” yep, speshul snowflake all along with that sentence make me wanna kick her shins, (view spoiler)[and with that 'deux ex machina' incredible -literally- salvation at the penultimate hour. (hide spoiler)]more later...

  • Yodamom
    2019-01-19 09:27

    What an ending for this trilogy, WOW-it had it all- intrigue, betrayals, action, political upheavals, and of course love. What a wonderful end to the series. I found myself cheering at the demise of some nasty characters, they really asked for it so many times. I was also in tears for the ones lost for no reason other than cruelty. There is a lot of drama packed into this one book. It all comes to a fine point that left me satisfied and a bit jarred from the thrill ride.I can't tell you anything about the story without spoiling it.

  • Aly is so frigging bored
    2019-01-28 08:26

    What an ending!

  • Jamie
    2019-02-10 15:31

    Epic story. ***Spoilers from the previous two Vampire Empire books***He was the Greyfriar, the mysterious swordsman of the north. He was the consort of Empress Adele.First, let me begin by gushing about this cover. All three of the books in this epic series, The Greyfriar, The Rift Walker and The Kingmakers are gorgeous. These are some of my favorite covers to view. I love how both main characters are portrayed. It's a shame that this series was penned as a trilogy, because I would love to see more of these covers (not to mention read more of this story!).The Kingmakers begins with a lengthy war scene. The Greyfriar/Gareth is fighting alongside the Equatorian military as they are pushing northward into vampire territory. Prince Cesare, the vampire King of England, has made it clear that he plans to overrun the Equatorians. The Americans, led by Senator Clark are making progress in the new world, but the Equatorians are facing heavy losses in northern Europe. The Greyfriar is excellent help in scouting and strategy against the vampires, but even with his skills and talent, the Equatorians are facing a major defeat.Empress Adele can no longer sit idly by while her soldiers are dying by the masses. She takes it upon herself to help save her men. Of course, no one is happy about this turn of events, but this is one of the reasons why Adele is such a powerful and compelling heroine. Adele will not sit by and watch destruction. Although she knows that her powers could possible injure The Greyfriar, she travels to the war's front lines on her own, and takes matters into her own hands. She doesn't ask Garreth for permission, and she doesn't let fear dictate her actions. She understand the risks involved, but she is a consumate head of state. She will do whatever is best for her people, no mind the risk to herself. Adele has grown up a lot since the events of The Greyfriar. When she first met Garreth, she was a teen-aged princess, not accustomed to ruling the world. By the events in The Kingmakers, she has lived through political and personal betrayal, grown into her powers, become a leader of her nation, and followed her heart. She has learned that she has a greater responsibility than to just her own happiness.Her hair was unencumbered and went chaotic in the wind. She was lovely, but not stunning. Still, she exuded a personal authority that demanded attention.The relationship between Garreth and Adele is one of the sweetest and most dedicated romances I have had the pleasure to read about. Garreth and Adele are only really whole when they are with one another, yet both feel a larger responsibility to their people and their places in the world. Adele has the power to destroy Garreth, and many times, after using this power to protect her or her men from Ceasre's vampires, Garreth cannot even be in the same room as her. Garreth's family and old acquaintances would love to see Adele dead. This is not an adult, sexy-time book. There are romantic scenes, yet the physicality of their relationship is not what this book is about. It is about these two powerful people, from very different backgrounds, who love each other more dearly than anything else in the world. I really could go on and on about their relationship, but it would be best for you to read about it yourself! It's hard to put into words how awesome this couple is.The moment the door closed, he grabbed her arm and pulled her to him in a deep embrace. She crushed against him, her mind filled only with the desire of him. His leather glove held the nape of her neck and tilted her heard up as she pulled the cloth from his sharp-featured face so he could kiss her. His long, dark hair brushed her face. She thought only of the long days and nights without him, filled with worry and want.There were so many times in this book where I thought there was no way for Adele and Garreth to survive this vampire war. There were many close calls, and moments where I thought all was lost. "Politics, deceit and death" were thrown at Adele and Gareth at every turn. Adele's power is such that Garreth could very easily be destroyed. The northern vampires are hell-bent on destroying Adele, including planting Equatorian assassins near her, so there is danger for this couple on all sides. "Never doubt my love for you, Adele. How could I not love you? Your mind and your heart never stop working; you never stop trying to find the right path. There is always hope in you."The side characters bring a different and layered texture to this story. Trusted confidantes turn enemies, political allies turn to betrayal, and some loved ones do remain loyal to the Empress. I must begin with the loyal, selfless and loving General Anhalt. Anhalt has been like a second father to Adele. Although he didn't originally approve of the romance between Gareth and Adele, he allowed Adele to make the decision on whom to trust. As this book continues, Anhalt comes to respect Gareth and to see that the vampire truly does love Adele more than his own life. Anhalt gave Gareth a chance to prove himself, which is more than anyone else in the Equatorian military would have allowed. Anhlat also proves his loyalty to the Empress and Equatoria when he makes a selfless sacrifice in the name of all that is good.Flay is just as evil as she has always been. Unfortunately for Gareth and Adele, Flay is also highly intelligent and an excellent fighter. Although she has feelings for Gareth and wants to be in a position of power, she does not take kindly to Gareth's regard for Adele. When Gareth attempts to garner Flay's assistance, he doesn't take into account Flay's anger and pride. It makes for a very interesting scene towards the end of this book.Mamorou, oh Mamorou. How you disappointed me! I won't spoil what it is that Mamorou does in this book to make me hate him, but it was nothing that I expected. I had an idea of what Mamorou planned, but was unprepared for the full scale of his ambition. I liked his back story, but he always struck me as an honorable man. Let's just say there's more to Mamorou than originally presented.The sarcastic, sardonic humor that Clay and Susan Griffith have used in previous books is present in The Kingmakers. This is not a laugh-out-loud type of humor, but a sneaky, intelligent humor. Gareth and Adele are nothing if not amusing. Even during the worst of times, they tend to make observations about their surroundings or one another that had me grinning. Here is an exchange between Gareth and Adele:"But he is a fearsome warrior. Known far and wide as the deadliest hunter his kind has yet produced. In fact, Gareth is credited with the killing of -" Adele touched his sleeve as her lips quirked upward. "Um, yes. We get the point. Prince Gareth is a god among vampires." The swordsman lowered his head with a rebuked cough. "Well, he is known to be quite impressive is my only point."The ending of this book was intense. It seems there is no path to happiness for Adele and Gareth, and that destruction is sure to follow them. I was on the edge of my seat while reading the last couple of chapters, as if I were lost in a fairy tale. The ending was satisfying, yet not my favorite type of ending. There was an open-ended feel to it, and there are still questions I'd like answered. The authors have said that this series was only imagined as a trilogy, but I feel they have more to explore with these characters in this lovely world they have created.If you are a fan of fantasy and steampunk, or epic, romantic stories, or like dark and gritty fairy-tale-type books, than I urge you to pick up this series. It is one of the most well-written and intelligent UFs that I have had the pleasure of reading. Thanks to Clay and Susan Griffith for penning one of my more cherished stories! I look forward to seeing what these two write in the future.She would never stop loving him no matter where their paths led them. Never would she have regrets.

  • Willow
    2019-01-26 10:43

    All in all, I have to say this was a great ending to the Vampire Empire trilogy. I had no idea how the Griffiths were going to pull everything off, but they did. And what’s funny is, they truly waited until the wee end of the book to resolve everything. While reading, I wanted to peek ahead, but I stopped myself, saying ‘’No no, don’t do it.” Now I don’t want to give anything away, but this review is probably a little spoilery. Don't worry though, I promise not to give away the ending. :) Now that it’s over, I’ve been contemplating the series as a whole, and I’m not really sure if it’s a five star series. I think at first I was just so blown away by the amazing Steampunk world the Griffiths created that I couldn’t help squeeing like a fangirl. I would love to see this series made into movie or a graphic novel. It’s so visually stunning. The book seems to lack a certain grittiness though. The characters aren’t twisted and gnarled with little flaws and peculiarities. The dialogue is flat and stilted. There’s no raunchy sex or grisly horror…no disturbing surprises (except for one at the end.) Of course it's YA, so it isn't supposed to be too disturbing. All three books have a certain wholesomeness to it that reminded me of old 1930s swashbuckler movies, with the same noble sentiments and same morality. And I say this even with the grim world the Griffiths created and the vicious vampires. I can’t help but feel this book needs a good dose of dark fantasy and some spicier personalities. Don’t get me wrong, Cesare does some horrible things and I was shocked a couple times, but I wasn’t pulled in kicking and screaming into the horror. The writing style is too distant to be visceral.Gareth is probably the most complicated character in book. As a vampire, he has killed hundreds of humans, yet he has grown to love humanity. He’s still a vampire though, and is missing a certain empathy which makes him unable to notice the nuisances of human behavior. Yet what he does miss, he seems to make up for with instinct, speed and strength, plus a keen sense of smell and hearing. One of the advantages humans have over the vampires is they are smarter and more complex. Humans read and write, build fortresses and weapons, while vampires are just parasites, wearing the clothes of dead humans, letting the walls of the cities they conquered fall into ruins around them. Vampires don’t even clean up after themselves, leaving dead bodies to stink up the streets. While Gareth may have looked outside the box and decided his race is worthless, he still is not as cunning as his human friends, which I thought was an interesting choice. Does Gareth have to be clever to be a hero, or is it alright to have him go on instinct alone? I liked that they attached the vampire weaknesses to Gareth, instead of making him a super vampire. Some of the bad things that happen in the book happen because Gareth has no forethought. I thought this made him interestingly flawed. I read a review that complained that Adele was a Mary Sue, and I decided I didn’t agree. The main reason being that Adele is vulnerable. I liked her. I was rooting for her. She didn't annoy me. Yeah, she’s got a special power, but it's also a curse. It's aging her. She could die, and she is far from invincible. But she never whines about it. She accepts it. And she even manages to laugh at herself saying, that sometimes her overconfidence ‘annoys even her.’ Adele’s biggest weaknesses is that she’s not coldblooded enough to make the hard decisions of a ruler. But she’s young, and her harrowing experiences change her through the series. Her other big weakness is her lover is a vampire, which complicates her life. The Griffiths make it quite clear that she and Gareth cannot have children and their future together is not going to be easy. Gareth will outlive her, watching her grow old while he does not. This relationship will be tainted by tragedy, and Griffiths know this. Consequently, the ending isn’t all hearts, flowers and perfect bliss. I think having a tint of sadness at the end is always fitting, because it reflects true life. Problems I had with the series were I found the battle scenes and General Anhalt’s point of view boring. I didn’t care about Anhalt. But to be honest, the only writer who’s ever been able to pull me into a battle was Bernard Cornwell. Most of the time that stuff just doesn’t interest me. I was also bummed that there weren’t more scenes with bad girl Flay. She’s my favorite character in the series. I could read a whole book about her. Anyhoo, I did enjoy this series and this last book. Vampire Empire is definitely my favorite Steampunk!

  • Savannah (Books With Bite)
    2019-02-05 13:28

    Vampire Empire is by far, an amazing series. I have followed this series from the first book and love it. I'm, sad to see the story end, but so happy that it's ending well.The characters of the book have grown and learned so much. It is so cool to see both Gareth and Adele working together. The way the came up with plans so flawlessly, the way they work together, the trusted each other. They were a fabulous team. They both made some very important decisions, that I think well do them good. They thought things out and weren't doing anything rash.Now, their love for each other is so amazing to see. It's a love that everyone yearns to have and jealous to watch. They are a match made in heaven. Their few stolen moments of peace left me in awe and wanting more.The plot itself is excellent. Loose ties are tied as well as the final secrets are exposed. The magnificent action sequences leads the reader to full blown adventure right where you are sitting. It's fast, it heart-racing, it's AWESOMENESS! The intimate details of the world building along with flowing emotions, it blows you away.The Kingmakers is an amazing story! Written beautifully, The Kingmakers raises the bar for all YA books. A complete package of writing, story line with amazing characters, nothing goes wrong in The Kingmakers. If you want a adventure that takes you away, The Kingmakers will rock your world!!

  • Desinka
    2019-02-07 09:31

    First read, December 2012: *****Reread, July 2014: **** 1/2I'm very happy I did this reread. This is one of my all time favourite series and it's kept its appeal. I loved the steampunk fantasy feel of the world. The world building and the story were quite interesting. Adelle and Gareth were great characters and I loved their romance all the way through. I loved (to hate) the villains of the story, too. My only problem with this final book was the ending that (view spoiler)[left Gareth with a kingdom of ashes and offered no real resolution of the vampire/human problem. (hide spoiler)]I hope the authors will write a sequel trilogy both to tie up these loose ends and because I loved the world and the characters so much I definitely want more! Audio note: I was quite excited James Marsters was doing the narration of the trilogy. However, in retrospect, I think I'm a bit disappointed by his performance. He sounded less than enthusiastic and even bored at times. However, his worst fault was that he never bothered with a single Scottish accent! I couldn't believe the Scottish prince spoke American English, but so did his Scottish humans! This was a major disappointment for me and I think it ruined the atmosphere of the story to a degree.

  • Sandra
    2019-02-14 15:15

    The most important thing for me to say it's how much I wish someone else would give this series a shot. Reasons to try:-It's already completed, -It's really remarkable in every single facet: well written, plot, world, action, pace, main characters, secundary ones!, where adventure and love doesn't strangle each other,...I wonder what else would you ask for?

  • Dani
    2019-02-14 13:28

    4.5/5 starsThe human advance has been halted at Grenoble, and the situation is dire.The newly crowned Empress Adele is fighting a costly war against the European vampire clans. What was once successful Imperial siege on the vampire city has been turned around on the weary and beleaguered Equitorian troops. The human cost has been staggering. Now winter has set in and supplies dwindle as the vampires close in around them on every side. Retreat is no longer possible, the ammunition and food are almost gone. The Equitorian soldiers have reached an impasse – they must stand or die.Then the Empress unleashes the Empire's greatest, most potent weapon – herself. But while her geomancy could be used to save thousands upon thousands, potentially winning the war against vampires, the wielding of so much raw power presents too many unknowns and consequences that Adele is unsure she could live with. It is a war that cannot be merely won on the battlefield, but with ruthless cunning and calculated subterfuge if Gareth & Adele want to beat vampire prince Cesare at his own deadly game.Adele. The situation has escalated tenfold since the reader has last seen Adele and her beloved Greyfriar. Cesare continues to pursue his bid for power over Britain and the vampire clans, as Adele settles into her role as a ruler of an empire at war. It is a daunting task as she must make decisions that impact countless lives, must mediate disputes between fractious members of her war council, must guard her secrets from those who might betray her, and above all she must present an authoritative, formidable, decisive front to those who would seek out and exploit her weaknesses. She's been matured by political games, loss, death, and war. And more than that, this is a life she's been groomed for. Yet even so, the knowledge of what might be required of her to save her people, the knowledge that she's sending men to their deaths every day, the knowledge that sometimes a ruler must do what they must to protect something greater than themselves, all of this weighs heavily on Adele's shoulders. For underneath the cool, regal facade she must maintain, lies an uncertain, conflicted young woman of twenty.I love how Clay & Susan have written Adele. From first meeting this young, slightly, naïve girl in The Greyfriar to seeing her stubbornly claim her birthright as well as her love for Greyfriar in The Rift Walker to watching her rule and wage war in The Kingmakers, Adele has grown into a character that I absolutely love. She's so strong, so determined, so courageous, so loving, so optimistic, and so unwilling to admit defeat. And I think that's why I love her the most– that last attribute. That she will not give up fighting for what she believes is right, and just, and good even in the face of insurmountable odds. And her tenacity serves her and her people well.Gareth. Gareth in The Kingmakers is facing a bit of an existential crisis. He feels that the need for Greyfriar is fading in the new political landscape of war-torn Europe. He wonders at the futility of Greyfriar, the impact he's made as the masked hero, as he tries to discern where he fits into the grand scheme of things in the here and now – as a vampire with a conscience, as the prodigal vampire prince who turned his back on his own kind to protect the humans of the north. Gareth has a wonderful duality to him. He's a fierce warrior, a ruthless vigilante, and a remorseless killer exacting justice upon those he feels deserve it. He's a cunning vampire prince – pragmatic and practical. He does what he must and can play the game. But when surrounded the small circle of those he cares for and trusts, he's gentle and kind, with a hilariously dry wit. He's fascinated by human customs, art, history, music and literature, and these things bring out a wonderfully shy, childlike curiosity about the world that absolutely melts my heart. Another thing that melts my heart? The way he loves Adele, wholly and completely.Gareth & Adele. Their love is a grounding force, a place of solace for them both – it's the eye of their storm. While danger ever encircles them, and their enemies continue to haunt their steps, while the fear of failure and their own uncertainties plague them, they find strength, assurance and safety in one another. And that is what I love about them together. They are truly in love. They're honest with each other, kind to each other, willing to sacrifice every for the other. There's no artifice, no political agenda, no games, no power struggle between these two. When they're together they're just Gareth and Adele, two people who've built their relationship on mutual respect and friendship. Two people love each other unconditionally, and who are unafraid to be themselves with each other. They are both somewhat dryly humorous and their witty back-and-forth, as well as their intuitive understanding of each other, constitutes some of my favorite moments of the book. All in all, their love story is really quite beautiful, and it really is the driving force of this book. Even as the odds are stacked against them, they refuse to give up what they share.Secondary characters. All of my favorite – and not so favorite – characters are back in this nail-biting conclusion. From Simon's unflagging lust for adventure, to Anhalt's steady loyalty, to Mamoru's questionable zeal, to Senator Clark's unfailing arrogance, to Flay's unpredictable aggression, to Cesare's limitless ambition – the characters the Griffiths populate their well-conceived, steampunk world with are three-dimensional and thoroughly developed. Loyalties are revealed, courage is tested and lines are drawn. It's the final act, and everyone has a part to play in this grand drama. Story & Plot. This book starts off with a literal “bang,” and barely pauses long enough for the reader to catch a breath. There are a few quiet moments between Adele and her Greyfriar, but then we're once more plunging headlong into the fray – up to our necks in intrigue, battles of both politics and sword, and always in danger. I confess, I had a few loose predictions going into The Kingmakers about where this book might go, and I have to say the Griffiths surprised me... in a good way. Things didn't play out quite how I expected (and in some cases, that is a very good thing). The only real issue I have with this book is the pacing of the ending. It felt a tad rushed. That's not to say it didn't conclude in some kind of satisfying way. It did. It just felt like it got there a little too... fast? There were also just a few other small things about it, that I can't mention here, that kept my rating just slightly under five stars. However, despite my minor issues, as the rating shows, altogether, I do love every other thing about this novel.Overall. With a sweeping romance, an epic battle between two rival species, a captivating world of gears and steam, action sequences that are almost cinematic, a cast of fully realized characters, creatures that'll haunt your nightmares, and a plot full of twists, turns and intrigue, The Kingmakers is a thrilling and fitting conclusion to the Vampire Empire Trilogy.

  • (Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
    2019-01-25 15:17

    Originally posted at http://smexybooks.com/2012/09/review-...Favorite Quote: “How will history judge me? I care not.”There are some spoilers from last book so read at your own risk!! The Kingmakers is the dramatic, pulse pounding, emotional, heart wrenching conclusion to Clay and Susan’s epic Vampire Empire trilogy. From the first sentence of The Greyfriar (book one), I was instantly swept away into an incredible adventure of unimaginable horror, and an impossible romance so pure, that it shatters your heart. At the end of The Rift Walker (book two), Adele and Greyfriar exposed betrayers within Adele’s empire and gained valuable allies. Some of Adele’s trusted allies and hidden enemies have found out the Greyfriar’s secret (he is really Prince Gareth) and now they both wait to see what they will do with that information.The Kingmaker is a splendid conclusion to the spellbinding magic of The Vampire Empire. Filled with mind boggling political intrigue, betrayal, deception, magic and a healthy dose of romance-you can’t help but be swept away by this epic trilogy. The Greyfriars was Greyfriar’s story. The Rift Walker was Adele’s story. The Kingmakers is their story. We begin with an intense battle scene as the war with the vampires has escalated.. Adele’s beloved General Anhalt and Greyfriar are leading her troops against the vampires, but there are high losses to the Equatorian army.Adele has grown so much since she first met Gareth. The young teenage princess has become the empress of a nation. A nation that looks to her for guidance and protection. Adele has realized that her happiness is second to what her people need. With that, she decides she can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch her country’s possible desecration, so she ignores protocol and heads to the battlefront. We now witness the power she has gained in reference to her Geomancy magic. A power that could turn the war in their favor.The subtle romance that flavored the series takes a heavy, firmer stance in here. We see more one on one scenes between Adele and her consort that serve to backlight decisions both of them make regarding the war and their life together. It remains an integral part of the arc and the Griffith’s did a fantastic job of slowly building their love affair to the pivotal point it reaches in The Kingmakers. While the storyline isn’t new, enemies turned lovers, the way in which they develop the romance is indicative of their craftsmanship. Adele and Gaeth are soul mates. I adore them. They have each proven time and time again the sacrifices they will make for one another. They are only truly at peace when they are together.The moment the door closed, he grabbed her arm and pulled her to him in a deep embrace. She crushed against him, her mind filled only with the desire of him. His leather glove held the nape of her neck and tilted her head up as she pulled the cloth from his sharp-featured face so he could kiss her. His long, dark hair brushed her face. She thought only of the long days and nights without him, filled with worry and want.The Griffith’s used the first two books to expand and develop this world while focusing on deeper development and commitment of the characters. We have now reached the end and everything the Griffith’s has prepared us for is now being revealed. There can be only one winner and Adele and Gareth know it must be the humans, even at the expense of their own lives.The secondary cast still remain as strongly defined as our protagonists. Rather than simply extending the storyline, they expand and lift it. Senator Clark, along with Flay, General Anhalt, and Mamoru all excel in their scenes and play their parts brilliantly. General Anhalt excels in his devotion and love for Adele. He is her right hand and I love how secure he is in his place at her side.“How long do you think you can maintain your strength, my old friend?” Anhalt watched his beloved Adele depart. “As long as she needs me. As long as she needs me.”Flay is as dangerous as ever and I do appreciate the fact that the Griffith’s never attempted to humanize her. She is a vampire warrior and a killer. Just as she should be. Mamoru. Poor Mamoru. His deception is finally out in the open and we all shudder with sorrow at the lengths he goes to complete his agenda. We don’t see much of Caesar though his presence remains a dark shadow over the story. I admit I missed seeing more of him and watching his plans reveal side by side as Adele’s did.Multiple storylines and subplots run parallel and intertwine with some staggering revelations. Gareth is finding it harder and harder to play the role of the Greyfriar. He feels he is not doing enough, especially concerning his brother, Cesare. Adele worries about her people and Gareth, trying to figure out a way for everyone to survive the horror that cannot be denied. I love that her humanity both restricts and frees her. Everyone has their own agenda and the wrap ups are deliciously devious. New reveals are made, alliances change, and new enemies are found. There are still quite a few humorous scenes and dialogue in here that engage and give the reader a respite from the seriousness of the story."But he is a fearsome warrior. Known far and wide as the deadliest hunter his kind has yet produced. In fact, Gareth is credited with the killing of -" Adele touched his sleeve as her lips quirked upward. "Um, yes. We get the point. Prince Gareth is a god among vampires." The swordsman lowered his head with a rebuked cough. "Well, he is known to be quite impressive is my only point."The ending is exactly as it should be. A tantalizing combination of excitement and despair we which we learn the fate of Adele, Gareth, and the world. Even though this is the last book of the trilogy, I do hope the Griffith’s think about writing more of Adele’s and Gareth’s adventures. I, for one, would love to see more of this world and the couple we have come to love. Regardless of whether they do or not, The Vampire Empire series remains on my top ten must read list in Fantasy.RATING: A+

  • Marcia
    2019-01-28 07:38

    The Kingmakers is the 3rd and final installment of the Vampire Empire trilogy. I have read many glowing, nearly rhapsodic, reviews of this book, but for me, it was definitely the weakest of the three. I really enjoyed the first book, The Greyfriar, Vampire Empire Book 1. It was my first introduction into a steam punk world of dirigibles and steam engines, and an alternate history of the planet. It also had the most charming of swash-buckling heroes in the mysterious Greyfriar. I gave it a solid 4 stars for captivating me with the characters and the world building, even though the writing is less than brilliant at times. Still, it was fun, and I was eager to read the second book, The Rift Walker. I liked that book a bit less, though the level of intrigue was actually higher. It just didn’t have the same magic for me that Book 1 had, and this third book was weaker still, in my opinion. Part of it is that the writing in The Kingmakers was even less strong, but also, the focus on greatly detailed battles caused the first half of the book to bog down and move way too slowly for my tastes. Some reviewers loved those scenes, but I really just wanted to get on with the relationship between The Greyfriar and his beloved Adele. Call me a hopeless romantic, but the dynamics between the two of them interested me more than flying “steamnaughts” and giant robots, driven by riders inside, a la the movie Aliens. Though the series was fun, and I’m glad I read all three books, since I was really interested in getting to the Happily Ever After part, there was one subtle but persistent thread that was an annoyance all the way through. Specifically, an anti-American slant that was somewhat disguised, but ever-present. It started with one character who was the most blatantly overdone and heavy-handed example of the classic Ugly American you ever saw. Now, I realize he was meant to be a bad guy, and I was fine with that. It’s just that he was a hit-me-over-the-head kind of loud and arrogant ass that I could barely stand to read about. I would have preferred it if his faults had been a bit more subtle, but the in-your-face approach is what the Griffiths went for. Okay, I just tried to overlook it. But worse than this guy’s obnoxious loud mouthed personality were the little references to how bloodthirsty and crass Americans in general were.Don’t get me wrong. The Griffiths are entitled to their opinion of America and Americans. We aren’t perfect, by any means. Still, it is off-putting to feel disdain for my country seeping into the fabric of the story, even though it was subtle, as I say. And, as I have mentioned before, I do not enjoy real-world politics of any kind popping up in my fictional escapist reading. I have plenty of non-fiction political history books on my shelves for when I want to read about that subject. For one thing, I can’t take anyone’s opinion on what’s going on in the world today seriously when I’m reading a book about body density altering vampires who float above the earth, and descend in blood-thirsty hordes to rip, slash, and brutally murder humans, referred to as their “herds.” Vampire books, werewolf books, zombie books, you name it…just leave out the politics, please, especially if you plan to sell lots and lots of books in a country you seem to have little regard for. Some of us WILL notice.So I had that little irritation going on, but I really loved the character of The Greyfriar, and I wanted to see how it all turned out. I stuck with the book, and overall, was glad I did. There were finally even some honorable, self-sacrificing Americans at the end, who bravely gave their all for the good of humanity. They sort of made up for the Ugly American and his so-called bloodthirsty country; therefore, I’m trying to be open-minded about the earlier slights. It was just hard to see Americans being portrayed as idiots, while Persians are portrayed as intelligent, caring people, who play a big part in the salvation of the world and all its literature. (For those not up on their history, Persia is the old name for Iran.) So try as I might, these little things were very bothersome to me, but in the interests of “art,” I pushed them to one side as best I could and soldiered on.The story was still imaginative, The Greyfriar and Adele were a great couple, and the concept of geomancy was new to me and very interesting. All in all, the writing wasn’t particularly strong, and the political slant was a bit off-putting for me, though probably not noticeable to everyone; but the world-building was fun, and The Greyfriar was a touching and sweet character, perplexed as he was by humanity, and striving so hard to understand us. Bottom line, there are enough fun things in the series to make me recommend it to those who like the genre, and won’t be offended by subtle touches of real life bias slipping in here and there. While many reviewers like the third book best, due to the non-stop action, I prefer the first one, which dealt more with character studies, and which had long periods of quiet discovery. It was less exciting, perhaps, but more touching, and that worked better for me.Bookin' It

  • Stephanie
    2019-02-13 10:21

    ORIGINALLY POSTED: THE KINGMAKERS Vampire Empire 3Beyond Love and Politicsat FANGS, WANDS and FAIRY DUSTTHE KINGMAKERSVampire Empire Book ThreeClay GriffithSusan GriffithPYR September 4, 2012374 pagesTrade Paperback / e-bookDisclosure: Received unsolicited from published. No remuneration received and all opinions herein are my own unless otherwise noted.VAMPIRE EMPIRE on FacebookREVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS TO BOOKS ONE AND TWO 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. (PYR)Vampire Empire Book Three, THE KINGMAKERS is a remarkably complex, nuanced political thriller, a Shakespearean love-story, an epic adventure and a treatise on a broad scope of morality, rolled into one.I tore through the book with fear for the lovers, the empire and even the soldiers and supporting characters driving me on. Would the resemblance to Rome and Juliet push the lovers to the same end as that cursed pair? Would one survive and the other live on like Victoria without Albert? Would she reunite with The bully American, Senator Clark? It was hard to put the book down.As it's the third book in the series we've already met most of the characters. Some are beautiful, some are terrible, most are a combination of the two. The Griffiths draw characters holistically. We don't just get an archetypical hero or heroine. Greyfriar/Gareth and Adele are given to us warts and all.Some of the characters, like Cesare, Gareth's pretender brother are just pretty much evil. But, even he is given complexity; his evil personality is different from that of the other bad guys and women in the series. He is driven simply by a lust for power and a childish need to best his older brother. Flay is also evil, but her actions, at least, speak to a bad girl spurned.Adele isn't just an Empress, she is a sister/parent to her brother, a pawn to her mentor, a girl to her cadre of bodyguards, a lover, a woman, someone who occasionally puts her own love before her empire.Gareth/Greyfriar isn't a perfect hero: He can't plan, he draws incorrect conclusions, he doesn't always arrive in time, in some ways he is even childish despite his many years. And, of course he is also a vampire. Not that these are the usual vampires.Where other vampires in literature use their long lives to learn or create; these vampires don't use tools or weapons. Most cannot read or write. They are unable to care for or maintain the palaces and great buildings they have taken over.And the plot is just as nuanced: The war is not just a war against extinction; it's a war where issues must be confronted about how it's fought and how that fighting results in collateral damage; how use of a weapon could be genocide; how one person can be blinded by hate, another by a lust for power.The love story is touching but lacks the expression of physical passion. Would it have detracted from the story or made it too adult? It feels a like YA crossover in this respect, but politically, I think it is quite adult.The love story did get me though as the couple realizes the depth of their feelings and how far the will go for each other. I didn't see how the story could end well for them. They make choices that lead them into a relationship they both know are potentially both transformative and disastrous for their peoples and themselves. One man and one woman choosing each other; to believe in each other can change the world.All this talk of politics, Shakespeare and nuance may lead you to believe this is a boring piece of fiction, shrouded in literary pretension, but it is not! While it's not strictly genre fiction it reads quickly, fast and deliciously. Not boring at all.I love the complexity of the world the Griffiths have constructed. It is an earth with a completely alternate history. At times, continuity is a force that drives the story. There's some steampunk influence but it's not about steam punk and the use of aether. There's more magic than technology.I have loved the series from the start and highly recommend it to anyone who likes epic adventure, love stories and intrigue. I think it is a MUST READ!

  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    2019-02-06 14:28

    This. This right here is my unenthused face. This series started off well and then steadily nose-dived to this thoroughly uninspiring conclusion. Why come up with really unique and interesting world building only to use it for the setting of a cheesy romance and tepid plotting? What a waste. Final verdict on the Vampire Empire trilogy: NOT FAVORABLE.It took me almost a complete month to finish this audiobook. How often does it take me that long to read a book? Not fucking often, I can tell you. Sure, I was in Europe for two weeks of that, which did mess with my audiobook schedule, but I could have found time when I was walking around the airport or during some of my time alone, but I didn’t. Why? Because I didn’t want to. Why did I finish, you might be wondering? Well, I’d already bought the audiobook, so it seemed like the thing to do. Plus, I tend to be an optimist and to hope that things will improve. Sometimes that bites me in the ass.The romance between Adele and Greyfriar/Gareth has been hard for me to handle the whole way through. Oh, they were sort of okay in the first book, mostly because I’m really susceptible to hate to love ships. However, I quickly lost what little interest I had in their romance and holy shit does this series spend a lot of time on their canoodling. The whole war between the vampires and the humans seems to be more an obstacle between their love than an actual plot, even though that’s sort of the whole fucking point.Adele and Gareth are set up as Romeo and Juliet, in love despite the disapproval of their species. There’s problem number one that I have with this series. I mean, normally vampires are humans with some extra powers. Undead humans, but humans. They might be really old, which can make the romances a bit creepy, but compared to actually being different species that’s not so bad. They are literally not the same type of creature. I mean, okay, I’ve shipped a few like that in my time (generally aliens), but the whole forbidden love Romeo and Juliet thing sort of put paid to any chance at that.Not to mention the fact that Adele and Gareth are doubly chosen ones. Adele is basically an Egyptian Buffy, with magical vampire-killing abilities. Gareth is the ONLY vampire who can read or who cares about humans or who has fine motor control in his hands. THE ONLY ONE. He’s been masquerading to protect humans from vampires and is pretty okay with his human love killing bunches of vampires. That’s totally okay for a creature to be on board for the killing of all of their kind if it’s necessary to save another kind. Yeah. That happens in totally sane creatures.To top it all off though, they’re both BORING. They have all the chemistry of a wet sponge and a kitchen sink. Sure, they may go together, but nobody’s waiting eagerly to get home and read about their nice, clean, squishy romance. They are so sincere too each other that I want to just hurl into said kitchen sink. Then there’s the fact that everyone but the evil people come to accept their romance, because WHO CARES IF THE EMPRESS WILL BE ABLE TO HAVE A KID? Totally cool for her to be with a vampire. That is totally how empires work. Like, no one even suggested that he be her mistress and that she get a husband for procreation. Of course, her advisers also let her go running around the kingdom into dangerous circumstances, so this empire isn’t the brightest anyway. If your ideal romance is a forbidden love where the couple keeps telling each other how much they care about one another and constantly running off to save one another and constantly thinking the other one is dead (R&J much?), then you may love this.Aside from that, the plot’s really lacking in a push forward, despite the fact that there’s a war on.They natter on and on about plans, try them, fail and end up doing something else anyway. That happens, but after endless discussion, I’m not exactly pleased. Then there’s the fact that one of the bad guys was taken out because he took the time to grandstand rather than just dispatching his victim. HOW CONVENIENT. And then there’s the magical survival bit at the end. Basically, Gareth should have been killed by Adele’s powers many times over before the end of the story, considering that they took out other vampires farther from her than he was, but he’s too fucking special for that apparently.Oh and here’s the icing on the cake, the factor which made me rate this book down from a 1.5 or 2 to a 1. MASSIVE ANIMAL DEATH. It’s even implied that the death of the animals is less terrible than the ripping up of Gareth’s library, consisting of like ten books. NOT OKAY. (view spoiler)[Kill a whole bunch of cats when you could have killed humans instead and you get my reviewing wrath.(hide spoiler)] Fuck this book and its animal killing. You won’t get any artificial tears out of me, book.I recommend reading just the first book if you don’t like cheesy romances. If you do like your romances dripping with sincerity and forbidden love, go get this right now because you’ll love it. Yet another series I’ve finished that went down in giant flames. *sighs*

  • Anna
    2019-02-09 10:35

    I reviewed this for a web magazine for a while back, and--without posting that same review here--I can't help but mention how absolutely horrible this book is.First of all--every villain is Starscream. If you don't understand the reference, look on TV Tropes. Well, perhaps I shouldn't say every villain--there is one that's an evil version of Inigo Montoya, but his wasted potential depresses me enough that he's hardly worth mentioning. Second, the writing is so purple I was nearly vomiting the over-aureate prose (yes, you can actually be over-aureate--this book proved it).Third--it was just that horrible of writing. The foreshadowing is nothing more than the literary version of blunt-force trauma, the synopsis promises 'political intrigue,' but what we get are villainous monologues that reveal everything that's going to happen...for the entirety of the book, and the characters are all so profoundly stupid (see the Starscream Trope) that 'flaw' doesn't even begin to cover it. I'm not even going to get into the love scenes (mostly because it seems like the male lead is trying to break Adele's neck every time they embrace), so just trust me when I say they're horrible. I don't understand how this book has four-star reviews when the writing is so sloppy, and the plot so--well--horrible. At least the first book had action scenes to salvage the grotesquely pulpy plot; The Kingmakers didn't even have that, since amor-vinit-omnia and a Special Snowflake invasion make it impossible.It's a horrible book, and if you recommend it to anyone, I just want you to know that I'm silently judging you.

  • All Things Urban Fantasy
    2019-02-17 08:38

    Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyThe Vampire Empire series has been a cinematic thrill ride from start to finish. High adventure, pulse-pounding danger, and sweeping romance have been the calling card of this series since THE GREYFRIAR. Now, in the final book of the series, all out war has broken out between the humans and the vampires. It’s bloody and unforgiving and a powerful sendoff to a fantastic series.What has remained so compelling throughout this series is the character of The Greyfriar. This legendary hero whose bravery and unmatched prowess with a blade even inspires fear in the vampires. He is nothing short of magnificent, and yet, he doesn’t see himself that way. His secrets won’t allow him to. And he is well matched in Adele, the young princess turned Empress of Equatoria. She has grown into a strong and selfless leader, as well as a formidable threat to the vampires because of her unprecedented geomancer abilities. Together, Greyfriar and Adele have discovered a love that cannot be broken, and a strength that could save the world.From the first explosive scene depicting a pivotal battle where bombs lit up the night’s sky, briefly illuminating the swarms of vampires descending from the sky, I got chills. Assassination attempts, betrayal, sacrifice, and passion fill THE KINGMAKERS pages leading up to an ending that was nothing short of heroic. Greyfriar and Adele’s romantic adventure will leave an indelible mark on all who read it.Sexual Content:Kissing. References to sex

  • Sarah
    2019-01-27 14:37

    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.Read my full review here: http://www.bookwormblues.net/2012/09/...

  • Kat
    2019-02-02 13:33

    Now that's the end I'm talking about. For every book series I read, I usually expect there to be a huge grand finale for the last book. I want it to be explosive, with a really big bang towards the end. It should have the obstacle of all obstacles. And it has to have that oomph, that one final, strongest ever, most intense, at-your-limits push towards victory. I want the characters to work really hard for that happy ending. And usually, the finales I encounter don't meet my epic expectations. Fortunately, this one did. I am totally satisfied with the conclusion of this trilogy. It's one of those roller coaster rides and you just sit back and enjoy all the action and drama unfolding. This is a very enjoyable steampunk vampire series. Light on the romance, with lots of court politics, warfare, and action.

  • Jeffrey Michael
    2019-02-09 07:19

    OMG! Such a great ending to the series but I can see the opening for a sequel or spin-off. I love the Griffith's writing and highly recommend this series to anybody interested in a Vampire series with a strong female character, good story line and a different approach to the world of vampires. My hat is off to Clay and Susan on the entire series. Well written, great characters, and enough suspense to keep you reaching for it right after you put it down. I'm sad to say that this is supposed to be the end of the series and as with all good things, they end. Or do they? Only the Griffiths know for certain. lol Buy all 3 and read a great trilogy. They're on my RECOMMEND list.

  • Kara-karina
    2019-01-27 11:18

    I think this is my rating for the series in general. I really enjoyed the first book, second one was okay, and then I took a long break before reading book three, which was alright too. There are some funny moments, but overall the tone is depressing and reminded me of Sanderson's propensity to kill off any joy his characters desire to have. It was interesting to see how the whole thing can end, but I didn't enjoy it. It felt more like a necessity to finish reading it. I am not sure I'll continue with the spin-offs.

  • Lynn Williams
    2019-02-12 15:17

    I worried about how the authors would manage to conclude this but they did a great job. Review to follow.

  • Damaris (GoodChoiceReading)
    2019-02-14 08:37

    I am so in love with this series. I want more... :-( Full review to come!