I first met Clay and Susan Griffith at DragonCon several years ago. They were, and still are, some of the nicest people I've ever met. I picked up a copy of Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar, published through PYR Books, and later devoured it that night, only to return to their table the next day to purchase the second book in the trilogy. I devoured that one as well yet waited several years to purchase the third book. When I finally made that purchase, I decided to return to their Vampire world and found myself loving the story all over again.
It is the year 2020 and vampires rule most of the major cities in the northern part of the world, while the majority of humans are either bred as food for the vampires, or they live in the Southern cities as vampires don't truly care for warmer climates. Princess Adele, heir to the Empire Equatoria, is also quite a wielder with weapons against vampires. However, when her airship is caught unawares by a vampire attack, she is soon rescued by the enigmatic and dashing Greyfriar, the hero of Humankind and the scourge of vampires! As the Greyfriar continues to protect Adele from the vampires, her Intended, a brash and uncouth man, promises to tear Heaven and Hell apart to find her . . . . and start a war with the vampires to further his glory and fame. However, Adele has another "friend" - Prince Gareth, a kindhearted vampire who rules in Scotland and the elder son of King Dimitri in England. Unlike the other vampires and his younger and bloodthirsty brother Cesare, Gareth wishes to understand humans in a better way. He sees Adele as a way to understand them better while Adele sees him as something else.
This book is an excellent mixture of alternative history, vampires, romance, and action! I'm glad that I'm reading it again, because it feels even better the second time around. Adele is not your typical "woman who swoons at everything" - she holds her own, can kick many a vampire's ass, yet knows how to be reasonable and even forgiving when it comes to Gareth. Although Gareth is a "kind" vampire to his human subjects, he is still a VAMPIRE. He will kill and drink blood because that is his nature. Yet, when he attempted to learn how to write like a human . . . . yeah, my heart just melted. BIG crush on Gareth - I had forgotten how much I truly liked him.
I know that there is a new book involving Adele and Gareth - it will soon be purchased by me because I love their relationship. They learn from each other and yet are clearly their own person/vampire. The love they have for each other will never die.
Thank you, Clay and Susan - I hope I will see you two soon!