|The Kingmakers by Clay and Susan Griffith|
Book 3: Vampire Empire
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Source: Personal purchase
The epic Vampire Empire trilogy rushes to a heart-wrenching conclusion of honor and love, hatred and vengeance, sacrifice and loss. 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.My Review:
This final installment of Vampire Empire was all that I’d hoped for. I fell in love with Adele and Gareth from the very beginning as individuals, and later as a couple. They both have such strong, amazing characters, and watching them evolve throughout the story, not only individually, but as a couple, has been a beautiful thing to behold. This book brings us to the height of the struggle between the vampires and the humans, specifically with Cesare, Gareth’s brother. There are many twists and turns, not only with Cesare and Flay, but also with some of the people we thought we knew and trusted. There is also a beauty to this series, examining the battle between vampires and humans, with one particular vampire walking the thin line between the two, but also finding there are more gray areas than originally understood, and I loved seeing how it all unfolded. But we still get the full-on bloody, graphic results of what happens when the two meet in battle. There are casualties and heartache.But the flip-side of the blood and battle of this series is the beautiful love story between Adele and Gareth. These star-crossed lovers have one of the most touching and genuine relationships I’ve seen written. There is true mutual admiration between them, depths of love that would cross galaxies if it could, and though the physical attraction between the two is apparent, it is not the center of who they are together. They are one of my favorite couples I’ve read about. In the end, I felt like this series gave me a satisfying conclusion, answering many questions, resolving several issues, but also leaving things realistically. Not every little thing is resolved and tied up with a pretty bow. Considering the world-at-large in this series, that would be impossible or ridiculous. This ending left me in a good place, feeling hopeful and happy.
Bottomline: I love the Vampire Empire series, and The Kingmakers is an action-packed, twisty-turny adventure, filled with heartache and hope, and underlined and highlighted with a beautiful romance. I highly recommend this series, and this final installment.