Tuesday 7 September 2021

Book Review: Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff book cover

AD* | From holy cup comes holy light;
The faithful hand sets world aright.
And in the Seven Martyrs’ sight,
Mere man shall end this endless night.

It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness.

Gabriel de León is a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night. But even the Silver Order could not stem the tide once daylight failed us, and now, only Gabriel remains.

Imprisoned by the very monsters he vowed to destroy, the last silversaint is forced to tell his story. A story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the Wars of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:

The Holy Grail.

Empire of the Vampire was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I adored The Nevernight Chronicles, so when I found out that Jay Kristoff was writing a brand new series with all the best bits of Nevernight plus vampires, of course I was going to be immediately sold!

I dived into Empire of the Vampire pretty much as soon as my pre-ordered copy arrived, and I was instantly drawn into this vivid, richly described new world. 700+ pages passed in a flash and before I knew it, I had reached the end. Where's book two when you need it? 

The book chronicles the life of Gabriel de Leon, silversaint and adventurer. It flits between past and present, detailing Gabriel's backstory and all the key events, characters, and locations within the story. The narrative does move around quite a bit, which is frustrating when you get left on a cliffhanger as the story jumps down a different rabbit hole. Despite this, it's interesting and engaging, and you can't help but wonder how Gabriel has ended up where he is in the present thread of the story. 

Gabriel is flawed but inherently likeable. In a world where it seems everything is against him, you can't help but be on his side. There are plenty of memorable characters in the wider world too, who Gabriel meets on his travels. One thing's for sure - you never know quite what will happen next! 

My review wouldn't be complete without mentioning the gorgeous artwork accompanying the story. I'm not usually a fan of illustrations in books like this, but the stylised imagery really helps to bring the story and the characters to life. In fact, there are a few illustrations in there that I'd love to keep as prints on my wall. 

So, did Empire of the Vampire disappoint? Of course not! Don't let the length of this book put you off. It's brilliant, immersive, and bound to be another hit for Jay Kristoff.

Rating: 5 stars 

Empire of the Vampire is available to buy now. 

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Will you be sinking your teeth into Empire of the Vampire? Let me know in the comments below! 

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