The blogging community is small and the paranormal blogging community even smaller. We all know each other to some degree. One of the bloggers I know better than most is Abigail from All Things Urban Fantasy. She and I launched our blogs within a month of each other in 2009 and she has been an invaluable resource, sounding board, co-host, and fast friend ever since.
It pains me to have to call her out, but Abigail is a Blogger Bully!
We talk shop all the time and always recommend books to each other. But recently, it’s gotten ugly. See I haven’t read one of Abigail’s favorite series, and she hasn’t read one of mine. Naturally we started trash talking and threatening each other until…Blogger Bully was born.
Once a month, Abigail and I will bully each other into reading a book we love that the other hasn’t read. My May bully selection is Clay and Susan Griffith’s THE GREYFRIAR while Abigail will tackle Caitlin Kittredge’s STREET MAGIC.
Title: The Greyfriar
Author: Clay and Susan Griffith
Series: Vampire Empire (Book 1)
Publication Date: November 18, 2010
Format: Trade Paperback, 301 Pages
ISBN-10: 1616142472 (Pyr)
ISBN-13: 978-1616142476 (Pyr)
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
Quick & Dirty: This remarkable adventure hits all the right points. With complex and riveting characters and a captivating plot, this deeply emotional story is sure to win readers’ hearts.
Opening Sentence: Your Highness would be safer below.
Excerpt: Chapter 1 and 2
Princess Adele is the heir to the Equatoria Empire. Adele is betrothed to the egomaniacal Senator Clark, ruler of the American Empire. The merging of these two vast empires will be a formidable foe for the insatiable vampires who rome freely over the Northern Lands. Destroying anything and everything in their path, the vampire clans are looking to gain more power and more land. The Greyfriar is a thing of legend. A fable told to empower humans in their fight against the vengeful and vicious vampires. The Greyfriar is a brave hero, risking life and limb to slaughter as many evil vampires as he can, stopping at nothing to defend Princess Adele. Shunning his duties and stepping back from political machinations, Lord Gareth, heir to the Vampire Empire, chooses a different path entirely. His younger brother, Cesare, ever the power hungry and gruesome master has designs on his brother’s throne. As matters intensify, the vampires and humans are preparing for another battle. War is coming! Who will emerge victorious in this deadly Game of Thrones?
The Greyfriar is a wonderfully crafted story set in a world that will leave you breathless. The vampire mythology is truly unique and such a wonderful surprise. I don’t think that I will ever be able to forget the way in which vampires are portrayed. The vampires in this story are truly frightening. It reminds me a lot of how vampires are portrayed in 30 Days of Night. The vampires are cunning, cold, calculating, skilled in combat, feral and ruthless predators. They strike without warning. Delivering devastating blows and impressive kills, it’s easy to understand the anxiety that humans feel at the mere mention of a vampire.
One of the things that most surprised me was how deeply emotional this story is. I enjoyed getting to know Princess Adele. She’s a fabulous and charming heroine. I didn’t like Adele merely because she is strong and kicks a lot of butt. I liked Adele’s unwavering humanity and compassion, which is often forgotten in grave times. Despite her station, Adele remained selfless, grounded and gracious. She genuinely cares for others and is willing to make sacrifices for her people.
I can’t talk too much about The Greyfriar himself without spoiling something, so he must remain shrouded in mystery. I was completely shocked when he dropped the identity bomb on me. He’s a loyal and fierce warrior full of surprises. As for Adele and Lord Gareth, I’m hopeful that things will work in their favor. The connection that these two characters share is beautiful. Their shared conflicts are tragic and the obstacles in their path are daunting. Loyalties will surely be tested, and some alliances may prove to be deadly. The only real question is — how will the empires survive the fallout?
The Greyfriar has it all. This story has intense action, strong and intriguing characters, marvelous characterizations, fantastic worldbuilding, and powerful emotion, which amounts to a passionate and thrilling adventure that won’t soon be forgotten.
Overall, Clay and Susan Griffith have created a memorable story that will keep you riveted from start to finish. Treachery, action and intrigue are masterfully woven throughout the story, leaving your heart racing and your pulse pounding. The Greyfriar is adventurous, highly entertaining, dangerous, captivating, but most of all — unforgettable.
In that split second, Flay fell on the swordsman like a hawk. The two became a blur of arms, steel, and teeth. Flay surged, fell back, and surged again. Greyfriar dropped the wide-bladed scimitar and worked the tip of the rapier. His blade was a blur, and its sharp hiss filled the air, competing with Flay’s own snarling.
The war chief parried with her claws, taking awful gashes across her hands but blocking Greyfriar’s killing strikes each time. The need to spill blood surged through her. This was the moment she’d waited for, the moment when she could kill the Greyfriar and feed on him. But she knew she could not. The princess was her charge. The princess mattered. And the princess had fled.
Despite Flay’s need to kill this man, he was merely an impediment preventing her from going after Cesare’s vanishing prize. He seemed to know it and revel in his ability to delay her. Flay tried to slither past in a swift shadow, but he blocked her with a skill and agility that was extraordinary for a human. Each passing second carried the princess away into the chaos of London. The desperate vampire lifted herself only to feel Greyfriar’s grip on her ankle. She kicked him across the face, but his steel grasp refused to lessen.
Enough, Flay thought. I have no time to duel this lucky wretch. The war chief threw back her head and screeched. Greyfriar flinched at the sound. Within seconds, the alley began to fill with vampires. Some responded to the old war call. Others were merely drunk and hoping for some bloody street burlesque. The sight of a human and a vampire battle sparked an instinct that presses them onto the swordsman.
A flood of bodies tumbled into Greyfriar. Their claws and teeth ripped into him while he strained to hold Flay’s ankle. She took hold of an iron fixture high on the wall and pulled with all her strength. His fingers slipped from her foot and, through a web of arms and legs, he saw Flay rising into the sky.
The Vampire Empire Series:
FTC Advisory: I purchased a copy of this book. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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