fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsClay and Susan Griffith Vampire Empire 1. The GreyfriarThe Greyfriar by Clay and Susan Griffith

The Greyfriar, an interesting blend of steampunk, alternate history and paranormal fantasy, introduces us to a British Empire that has relocated to North Africa after a hugely successful assault by organized armies of vampires. Humankind now lives in areas of the globe that offer the greatest chance for survival and resistance to the vampire threat. (This felt very much like the setting of S.M. Stirling’s The Peshawar Lancers in which Britain relocates to India after England was destroyed by a comet.)

The Vampires in The Greyfriar are similar to humans; scientists use the term Homo nosferatii to differentiate between the species. One of the biggest differences between them is that humans consider vampires to be loathsome wild animals — not the cultured, physically perfect sex objects that are so popular in urban fantasy today — and vampires consider humans to be merely food.

The Greyfriarfollows the adventures of Princess Adele, the heir to the Equatorian Empire, as she comes into conflict and eventual war with a large clan of vampires. Adele is rather cliché: a physically gifted noblewoman who is free-spirited, strong-willed… we have read about her many times before. She becomes involved with a legendary warrior, the Greyfriar, whose exploits in combating vampires and campaigning on their home turf makes him a hero.

Other characters include Prince Gareth, a vampire prince who is not your typical bloodthirsty killer; Senator Clark, Princess Adele’s fiancé and a heroic vampire fighter from the Western Hemisphere; Mamoru, Princess Adele’s spiritual advisor; and Prince Cesare, the leader of the clan of vampires that is hunting Princess Adele. These are interesting characters, but at times I wished that the Griffiths would not allow us omniscient interaction with all of them. Sometimes I knew too much of the thoughts and motivations of everyone, and the story might have been more compelling if fewer characters were completely revealed.

An important theme in The Greyfrier is the conflict between science and religion. Mankind, for the most part, has turned its back on the religious convictions that it had previously held and that may not have been wise. In essence, faith and religion are somehow tied into a magical world that has been previously unknown by all but a few. I am guessing that this storyline is going to be increasingly important in future books.

On the whole I really enjoyed The Greyfriar. It was a lot of fun to read — interesting characters and plenty of adventure. I really look forward to the continued technology versus magic theme. As a first installment in a series, The Greyfriar is wonderful.

Vampire Empire — (2010-2015) Publisher: 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 grey 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 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 is the first book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternate history. Combining rousing pulp action with steampunk style, The Greyfriar brings epic political themes to life within a story of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism.

Clay and Susan Griffith Vampire Empire 1. The Greyfriar 2. The Riftwalker Clay and Susan Griffith Vampire Empire 1. The Greyfriar 2. The Riftwalker Clay and Susan Griffith Vampire Empire 1. The Greyfriar 2. The Riftwalker


The Geomancer: Vampire Empire: A Gareth and Adele Novel


  • John Hulet

    JOHN HULET is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years. We still hear from him every once in a while.

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