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 gray 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 a 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, Book 1) is the first book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternate 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.
Vampire Empire, Book One: The Greyfriar is a mix of paranormal, steampunk, and post-apocalyptic life. We are introduced to many of the key players that one can assume we will continue to see. Princess Adele, Greyfriar, Senator Clark, and one nasty vampire Prince who is set to take the throne as well as the whole world.
You see, back in 1870 the vampires let themselves be known to all of mankind. In a well developed and plotted sweep that lasted only two years, the vampires undid the human world. Cities as we know them fell to their hands, and the people fled south to regroup. Now, in 2020, humans have been rebuilding, strengthening, and waiting for the day to start a major war against the vampires.
One of the largest nations is the massive Empire Equartoria to which the Princess Adele is the rightful heir. When she is sent out on a mission tour, her air ship as well as the accompanying ships, are attacked by Prince Cesare the heir of the vampire clan in England. While his right hand woman, Flay, tries to secure the Princess, a mysterious man appears out of nowhere to save the day.
Greyfriar comes to the rescue of the Princess, and tries to keep her safe. He wears a mask over his face to cover his identity, and he’s armed to the hilt with guns and swords. Princess Adele feels safe by his side, but she has no idea of the deep secrets he hides. The clandestine mask he wears is only the sheer beginning of who, or what, this man is.
Will the Princess and Greyfriar thwart the plans of the twisted vampire Prince? Can Adele accept what lies behind the mask? Tsk, Tsk… You will have to read it to find out!
I had a good feeling about this story just from the cover. It is such a lovely cover, really. Air ships, a good looking duo, dressed to kill – literally kill! But then I opened up the book, and found myself enthralled with the story presented to me. Each page is filled with conflict, action, mystery or suspense that kept me hanging onto to every word.
I think the characters are highly developed, and I loved the word painted scenery of desolate Europe. I enjoyed the descriptions of the steam powered ships, as well as the other little knick knacks here and there. If it weren’t for the vampires, I wouldn’t have minded living there.
Then there was the end, and my heart sank just a little bit. Then I remembered, “Hey, this is only the FIRST book!” I am really looking forward to the next part of the series. If you’re thing to read is alternate history, steampunk, or action then pick this one up for a downright good read.
*This post was originally found on Mother/Gamer/Writer. As a regular contributor there I have permission to repost this in its entirety. I also received a copy of this book at no charge, however, all opinions are my own. As a sign of good faith, I no longer post affiliate links in my reviews.