The Kingmakers (Vampire Empire, #3)

The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire, #2)

The Kingmakers by Clay and Susan Griffith
Pub­lisher: Pyr
Pages: Kindle Edition, 374 pages
Series: Vampire Empire
Pub­li­ca­tion date: September 4th 2012

A war to the death.

Empress Adele has launched a grand crusade against the vampire clans of the north. Prince Gareth, the vampire lord of Scotland, serves the Equatorian cause, fighting in the bloody trenches of France in his guise as the dashing Greyfriar. But the human armies are pinned down, battered by harsh weather and merciless attacks from vampire packs.

To even the odds, Adele unleashes the power of her geomancy, a fearsome weapon capable of slaughtering vampires in vast numbers. However, the power she expends threatens her own life even as she questions the morality of such a weapon.

As the war turns ever bloodier and Adele is threatened by betrayal, Gareth faces a terrible choice. Their only hope is a desperate strike against the lord of the vampire clans—Gareth’s brother, Cesare. It is a gamble that could win the war or signal the final days of the Greyfriar.

The Vampire Empire trilogy rushes to a heart-wrenching conclusion of honor and love, hatred and vengeance, sacrifice and loss.

You are the empress, but I'm just the Greyfriar, popular elephant-riding hero.”
“No. You're the future King Gareth of Britain.”

First impressions
Sadness. Pure sadness. No more Greyfriar. No more Adele. How am I supposed to go on with my life after this? How??

Long story short
Humans are at war with the vampires and they are losing. Their only hope is Adele's geomancy power which may end the war in their favor. Adele and Gareth's relationship meets a strong barrier since Adele's gift can easily destroy Gareth with one mistimed touch.

The news is finally out that Dmitri, the vampire king, is dead. Desperate times make Gareth be willing to take Cesare's soon to be throne even if it means killing his only brother. The stakes are high and there can only be victory or death.

My thoughts
I like deep stories that are not slow paced. They should be interesting, present inspiring characters and toy with my emotions. I want fresh ideas and intelligence. I want good taste. I want to feel what the characters are feeling. I want to read something memorable. I want to feel proud of holding the book in my hand and recommend it to people who ask me about it. The Kingmakers perfectly satisfied my wishes.

It’s no surprise that I absolutely loved The Kingmakers. I may have been overconfident, but I had a feeling the Griffiths wouldn’t disappoint.

Theoretically, The Kingmakers was supposed to bore me. More than half of the book was about the war between humans and vampires, and I usually get bored by so much politics and strategies. The Kingmakers approaches these points very well, and the authors do a very good job in keeping the story dynamic and very interesting. I wasn’t given even a remote chance to get bored.

The story concluded in a very different way from what I was expecting. I really had a difficult time predicting what was going to happen. In the end, it was a failure from my side. I could not predict much of the story, except the obvious things. This is a very good thing because I hate it when books get too predictable. The ending was perfect for every character except perhaps Anhalt. I felt bad about what happened to him. I won’t tell you more because that will spoil the story.

After reading Mamoru’s story I understand his actions, and what he is doing can be considered normal for his situation. Of course this does not justify his actions, but it all makes sense now. This is another thing I love about the Griffiths. Their characters feel real and their actions always make sense.

I am absolutely happy because Adele and Gareth got a happy ending. I was extremely worried that the Griffiths will go for a tragic ending and make Gareth sacrifice himself for Adele. This did not happen, thank goodness. There were lots of things left out in the end, but this did not bother me. I like to think that this was done on purpose, and that the authors’ next project will involve Simon. I’d really love to have a series focused on him once he comes of age to rule the empire. Maybe then we’d have more glimpses of Gareth and Adele, and maybe we’ll get more bits and pieces regarding their future. If the Griffiths don’t go for it, I won’t be mad. I’ll just compose a decent ending for Gareth and Adele in my mind, and live with it.

Speaking of Gareth and Adele’s relationship, The Kingmakers had many cute moments, especially from Gareth’s side. The opera scene, when he was so excited over the play. The moment when Adele showed him the Alexandrian Library. And my favorite scene, when Gareth made tea and boiled eggs for Adele.

I did not expect any of these things from Gareth. Cuteness overload!

The Epilogue made me cry. Not because it’s painful or bad, I already told you that Gareth and Adele get a happy ending. It's because it was extremely emotional and sweet. I don’t usually get teary eyed over these things, but Gareth and Adele grew on me over the time I’ve read their books, and now I see them as some people I know that finally got what they deserved. I also cried because, theoretically, I won’t be reading anything for these two anymore. I’m saying “theoretically” because I’m still hoping that Simon’s book will be out one day.

The following quote was in the book, after the Epilogue.
CLAY AND SUSAN GRIFFITH were married at Greyfriars Kirk in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. That's why these books exist.

You need to finish the book in order to get why I liked it so much. This is an extremely sweet fact that changed the way I see Clay and Susan Griffith.

The Kingmakers is everything I wanted from a conclusion to Vampire Empire and more. It's a masterpiece, and I cannot find words strong enough to express how much I loved it. I need more than the mere five-star rating for this book.

A short conclusion
The Kingmakers is a beautiful love story coated by adventure, tragedy and sacrifice. It is the perfect conclusion to a series that is a true work of art. I strongly recommend it to those who like to read complex, action-filled stories that revolve around memorable characters that will leave you breathless.

Favorite quote
In four hundred years he had never loved anyone like he loved her. There was no logic, no rational explanation save who she was. He would never find her equal again, and he knew it. He would live and die beside her. Whatever happened in the future, his calendar now matched hers, no matter what.

View all my reviews



  1. Fantastic review! :) I too was afraid of the same kind of ending you were... I could have really seen it going that route, and I was terrified when I started the book. lol I do wish that the ending had been a little more conclusive as well, but I think it fit the overall tone of the books ending the way it did. It wasn't all tied up in a nice little bow. Anyway, love your review! :)

    1. Thank you :D I really hope we hear from the authors soon. I'm really curious to know what their next project will be.


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