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Empire of the Vampire

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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 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. From New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff comes Empire of the Vampire, the first illustrated volume of an astonishing new dark fantasy saga.


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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 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. From New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff comes Empire of the Vampire, the first illustrated volume of an astonishing new dark fantasy saga.

30 review for Empire of the Vampire

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jay Kristoff

    EMPIRE OF THE VAMPIRE is not a book for children. It's basically what would happen if INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE hooked up with NAME OF THE WIND in an S&M club while all eight seasons of GAME OF THRONES streamed in the background (consecutively not simultaneously). It is not a book for children. It concerns an ex-monster-slayer named Gabriel de León, who was once quite-the-awesome but has been having a tough time of late and has become a bit of an edgelord but he mostly gets away with his drunken EMPIRE OF THE VAMPIRE is not a book for children. It's basically what would happen if INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE hooked up with NAME OF THE WIND in an S&M club while all eight seasons of GAME OF THRONES streamed in the background (consecutively not simultaneously). It is not a book for children. It concerns an ex-monster-slayer named Gabriel de León, who was once quite-the-awesome but has been having a tough time of late and has become a bit of an edgelord but he mostly gets away with his drunken "I am the night" routine, because who doesn't like a tall, dark, half-vampire dude with magic tattoos and a tragic past and beautiful hair, honestly, that shit is money in the bank where's my Emmy. Before you ask, the vampires in it do not sparkle. Not that I have anything against vampires that sparkle, anyone working in publishing in 2020 owes Stephenie Meyer an enormous debt of gratitude—I don't care if they were your jam, the TWILIGHT books brought an entire generation of folks back to reading and many of them stayed, vampires aren't real and if an author decides they sparkle in sunlight or jizz rainbows when someone plays Halsey on the radio, who gives a damn, just say "as you like it, madame" and roll on with your day. But yeah, my vampires don't so much sparkle as murder you and your whole motherfucking family, and the only reason they pursue 16 year old girls (or indeed anyone else) in this book is because vampires see them as food. (Team Damon 4 life btw) The book is quite long. It's rather violent. It's somewhat gay. Like, not Orange is the New Black gay, but you're talking to the man who wrote Mia fucking Corvere, I'm building up to it, give me some goddamn credit. It is quite smutty and bloody. "Bloodsmutty" if you will. Honestly, there's a blood-drinking blowjob scene in there, so if that's not your thing, just back slowly out of the room while avoiding eye contact, I won't be offended (Hi, Mum). It is, as I may have previously mentioned, not a book for children. It will be illustrated! Though I can't talk much more about that until next year. But, it's pretty epic. Like "best book I've ever written" epic. I mean fuuuuuuuckingepic. But it's not a book for children. So, if the bookstore puts it in the wrong section alongside ILLUMINAE and you find your baby reading it whilst bleeding from the eyes, before you send me an angry mail, pls consider that I warned you. Hope you love it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Robin Hobb

    Let's begin with the usual caveats: I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book, for free, from the publisher. I think Jay Kristoff is a nice person. And I think that neither of those two things will affect my honest review of this book. First impressions: 879 pages! And it's only the first part of the story. So for people who like to move into a book and live there for several years, this is for you. It's a rich, well-realized world of darkness and danger. You won't be bored there. The bla Let's begin with the usual caveats: I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book, for free, from the publisher. I think Jay Kristoff is a nice person. And I think that neither of those two things will affect my honest review of this book. First impressions: 879 pages! And it's only the first part of the story. So for people who like to move into a book and live there for several years, this is for you. It's a rich, well-realized world of darkness and danger. You won't be bored there. The black and white illustrations in the ARC I received are very dramatic and well suited to the tale. I did not receive a page with credits, so I cannot name the artist, but wish I could. The artist deserves praise. Third, and this should probably have been a caveat. I'm not big on vampire stories. But this was from Jay Kristoff, so I gave it a try. It's still not my favorite sub-genre, but I would say Empire of the Vampire is much more than a vampire story. And I am grateful that, for all of their fine manners and sartorial elegance, these vampires are still nasty, evil, horrific villains. As vampires should be. Now, you all probably know that I hate spoilers, so I'm going to dance around a few here. If you like coming of age tales, and even 'sent off to a special place to learn stuff' stories, there is a big chunk of this book that you will really enjoy. If you like lovingly detailed fight scenes, you will get a blood spattered super serving of those. Mysterious library? Some sex? Grumpy mentor, forbidden assignations, a protagonist at the bottom of the pecking order? Check to all of them! Okay, before anyone says, "Oh, those sound like clichés," I would remind you that you can check off a lot of those things in MY books as well. I prefer to think of those things as 'beloved, savory ingredients' in the fantasy feasts we all crave. So what else could be added to make this a full feast? Multi racial, multi gender characters. How about an infusing of mysteries for the reader to speculate about? Some romance, some good old fashioned vendettas. Ooooh, what else can go into the Grimdark feast? Some dumplings of philosophy? At first glance, it may appear to be garnished with sour cynicism, but in the very bottom of the tale, when you stir it, you will find a rich gravy of faith and belief in humanity and the virtues of friendship. So this is my review, more like a recipe for a very enjoyable tale than a critique of plot or characterization. Because I have mentioned so many things that may be seen as 'standard' in fantasy novel, let me assure you that there are no standard characters nor a standard plot between these covers. It's an engrossing read in a rich world. Recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    NReads

    wow I thought I was over vampires but suddenly I am not

  4. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    the empire of the vampire is upon us. and i was not prepared for how much i would love this, obsess over this, devour this. the story is dark and gritty and vulgar and takes vampires, as well as the tale of the holy grail, in a completely unique and bloody direction. JK wasnt lying when he said this book is for adults only - it gives ‘nevernight’ a run for its money in terms of mature content. but i love how brutally real this feels. if vampires were to take over the world, this is exactly how i the empire of the vampire is upon us. and i was not prepared for how much i would love this, obsess over this, devour this. the story is dark and gritty and vulgar and takes vampires, as well as the tale of the holy grail, in a completely unique and bloody direction. JK wasnt lying when he said this book is for adults only - it gives ‘nevernight’ a run for its money in terms of mature content. but i love how brutally real this feels. if vampires were to take over the world, this is exactly how i imagine it would be. the world-building is outstanding and really creates such an immersive setting. the amazing illustrations really add to that, as well! but honestly, the waves of nostalgia i constantly felt throughout is what surprised me the most. the narrative format reminds me so dang much of ‘the name of the wind.’ from the prologue/epilogue combination, to how a man of legend recounts his tale of how he has fallen so far, and just the overall vibe reminded me how much my heart loves these kind of stories. its only the first book, but i truly believe that this is going to my favourite series by JK. _________________________________ i got about 25% in before i realised my ARC was only an extended sampler and, because of that and personal reading preferences, i am going to hold off until i have a complete copy. but what i did read. oh my goodness. release day cant come soon enough. to readers who thought they were over vampire stories, think again. thank you, st. martins press, for 200+ pages that blew me away. ↠ 5 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Omg! Artstation - Sara Mirza - captured Gabriel’s hotness 😏 I’ve been back and forth with this book. My feelings may change as I’m trying to sort myself out. I will say the narrator did an amazing job on the audio. The book is really sad and of course dark. I'm not sure about keeping books like this anymore as life is doom and gloom enough. I enjoyed most of the book accept a few parts. I’m interested to see where this trilogy will go. I want to know if it’s going to be a total disappointment lik Omg! Artstation - Sara Mirza - captured Gabriel’s hotness 😏 I’ve been back and forth with this book. My feelings may change as I’m trying to sort myself out. I will say the narrator did an amazing job on the audio. The book is really sad and of course dark. I'm not sure about keeping books like this anymore as life is doom and gloom enough. I enjoyed most of the book accept a few parts. I’m interested to see where this trilogy will go. I want to know if it’s going to be a total disappointment like some others that I kicked to the curb! I can’t even imagine what will be in two more books 😬 ……….. The art in the book is awesome! I wish all books had art throughout! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  6. 5 out of 5

    Helena Paris

    First, Renée Ahdieh...now, Jay Kristoff...VAMPIRES ARE MAKING A COMEBACK! Me: Also me: First, Renée Ahdieh...now, Jay Kristoff...VAMPIRES ARE MAKING A COMEBACK! Me: Also me:

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Gwynne

    Oh my word, what a book Empire of the Vampire is. Gripping, terrifying and visceral, this is that rare beast of a tale that rips your heart from your chest, stamps on it and leaves you wanting more. Characters you love and hate, a world that feels hauntingly real, and an adventure that grabs you and does not let go, this book is destined for the Fantasy Hall of Fame. I loved it. Full 5/5 stars from me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Two things I can say about this book: 1)This is definitely not for children as Jay Kristoff mentioned on Goodreads review. 2)This is more than vampire story: it’s about losing your belief, your life purpose, your inner source of light, your compass! So far I can honestly say this is the best thing the author wrote. And I want to read the rest of it ! The world building, the clear, dark, wild, haunted depictions, emotional depth of characters are pure perfection! I was up all night and my head feel Two things I can say about this book: 1)This is definitely not for children as Jay Kristoff mentioned on Goodreads review. 2)This is more than vampire story: it’s about losing your belief, your life purpose, your inner source of light, your compass! So far I can honestly say this is the best thing the author wrote. And I want to read the rest of it ! The world building, the clear, dark, wild, haunted depictions, emotional depth of characters are pure perfection! I was up all night and my head feels like still swimming inside an aquarium but it’s totally worth the entire mental exhaustion! Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for sharing this arc in exchange my honest thoughts.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Books with Brittany

    Fuck my face. Bloody brilliant. Hands down Jay’s best work and a fav of the year. You gonna do us dirty like that, Jay? 😒

  10. 5 out of 5

    James Tivendale

    I received an advanced review copy of Empire of the Vampire in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Jay Kristoff and Harper Voyager. Minor spoilers may follow. "It was the twenty-seventh year of daysdeath in the realm of the Forever King, and his murderer was waiting to die." The murderer is Gabriel de Leon. Paleblood. Silversaint. Vampire-hunter and bane of the creatures of the night. He is a legend and having settled a vendetta, killing the Forever King, he is now at the mercy of his ene I received an advanced review copy of Empire of the Vampire in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Jay Kristoff and Harper Voyager. Minor spoilers may follow. "It was the twenty-seventh year of daysdeath in the realm of the Forever King, and his murderer was waiting to die." The murderer is Gabriel de Leon. Paleblood. Silversaint. Vampire-hunter and bane of the creatures of the night. He is a legend and having settled a vendetta, killing the Forever King, he is now at the mercy of his enemies. The new ruler of the vampires wishes for Gabriel's story to be recorded before his demise. In a similar fashion to The Name of the Wind, the historian Jean-François of the Blood Chastain chronicles the events of our protagonist's epic tale, as told by the chevalier Gabriel himself. With this being the setup, in addition to the above-mentioned "present-day" storyline, there are two past timelines that the killer recounts. The first of these surrounds the events of Gabriel's teenage years including his relationships with his parents and sisters, daysdeath and the increased strength and threat of the vampire empire, his infatuation with blood, and his perplexing abilities which leads Gabriel to the brotherhood of the Silversaints. The second of the past accounts finds a thirty-something, disgruntled, addict Gabriel, whose deeds are the tales of legends. He reluctantly joins a sort of fellowship, bemused to find himself part of a prophecy that relates to a god Gabriel thinks is a prick. Gabriel is an awesome character. He's humorous, bitter, witty, sweary, and world-weary. He isn't thrilled to have to tell his tale to the vampire historian but, as the stories progress, there is some excellent back-and-forth banter between the duo. An element that often made me smirk is when the historian will tap his quill on his manuscript, a nonchalant reminder to Gabriel that the Queen of Vampires wishes for him to explain certain parts in-depth, as if to a child. As Kristoff jokes in his Goodreads review of this novel, this is definitely for adults and is "not a book for children". I'd hesitate to say that it is a bit too dark and violent for even the youths of the vampire empire. By the historian doing this though, it adds extra depth and insight and makes for clever worldbuilding when explaining intricacies such as the vampire houses, or familial powers or legacies, etc... Gabriel's "I don't give a fuck"-attitude is prevalent in these exchanges too, especially when Gabriel opts to time hop in his tale instead of telling it chronologically, to the frustration of Jean-François. The Silversaint calmly signals the word PATIENCE that is tattooed onto his knuckles. I read de Leon, especially as he ages, as being reminiscent of Geralt of Rivia from Sapkowski's The Witcher Saga. He comes across as a reluctant hero at certain points, a legendary warrior and swordsman that possesses magical abilities, with acts of bravery or heroism normally following a sigh or a "for-fuck's-sake" grunt. At least that's how I envisaged him. "I am the boy's master. He's impatient. Arrogant. Far too keen for glory. But he's one of the finest swords I've trained, and he took down this highblood alone, drugged to the eyeballs on rêvre. If what I suspect of his line is true... he could be the greatest of us, Talon." "Or the most terrible." Although this is Gabriel de Leon's tale, he shares the page-time and has interesting relationships with a whole range of intriguing characters. Favourites for me were the rival Aaron de Coste, the master Greyhand, the enigma Dior, and the Holy Sister Astrid. He also has a slightly unhinged talking blade called Ashdrinker. The members of the Forever King's family whose paths cross with Gabriel's in Empire of the Vampire make for fine antagonists, being imposing, beautiful, ageless, and terrifying. A part that I really enjoyed and applaud Kristoff for the way he presented this, was when a character we were familiar with from de Leon's youth returns to the page over a decade and a half later in the other timeline. This brought a few true smiles to my face. There is a lot to enjoy here in Kristoff's horror-tinged, vampire-laden, epic fantasy tale. In fact, it was the most I’ve enjoyed a fantasy novel for a long time. I thought it was very well written, being descriptive enough for my mind to fill in the blanks, crafting some impeccable imagery, and adrenaline-fuelling grand set-pieces. Occasionally dancing on the line of melodramatic, but for me personally, it stayed on the right side, being more cinematic than needlessly extravagant. Empire of the Vampire is packed with many stand-out scenes, and knowing that this is only a portion of de Leon's legendary tale, I'll be picking up a copy of the sequel as soon as I can. 9/10. Final Note: The internal artwork by Bon Orthwick (@monolimeart) is incredible.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for access to this eARC sampler, in exchange for an honest review. UPDATE 9/6/21: I’ve stewed in my thoughts for a while now, and I’ve decided to lower my rating completely. Note: this is a review of the 400-page sampler I was provided, NOT the full book (which is around 800 pages). This book is: The Witcher meets Interview with the Vampire meets Game of Thrones meets the movie Underworld It’s also: •Violent as fuck •Bloody as fuck •Profane as fuck •And so Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for access to this eARC sampler, in exchange for an honest review. UPDATE 9/6/21: I’ve stewed in my thoughts for a while now, and I’ve decided to lower my rating completely. Note: this is a review of the 400-page sampler I was provided, NOT the full book (which is around 800 pages). This book is: The Witcher meets Interview with the Vampire meets Game of Thrones meets the movie Underworld It’s also: •Violent as fuck •Bloody as fuck •Profane as fuck •And some would say (myself not being one of them) Sexy as fuck This is NOT: •A book for kids •A read to be taken lightly •The best vampire story I’ve ever seen… I’m not one to shy away from crass language—I, personally, can have an admittedly foul mouth—but here in Empire of the Vampire the vulgarity is severe overkill. I can understand the necessity for worldbuilding and characterization, but it’s SO fucking frequent to the point of absurdity. It took me out of the story often. Every sentence or spoken dialogue had some form of “fuck” “shit” and/or other four-letter words. The insults were always bullysome playground-styled nonsense. It was unfortunate that for a fantasy novel, the author chose to resort to high school-level profanity, which in turn made the adult content seem less intelligent, and more immature. Show me a character is hardened and butch some other way. Seriously. All the macho male posturing was FUCKING ANNOYING and BULLSHIT! Kristoff promised us gay shit, and while I won’t go into specifics, it was just more f/f fetishization. When a (and I am making an assumption here!!!) “straight” male author frequently writes queer women and queer f/f sex scenes (i.e. The Nevernight Chronicles), I find it disgustingly male gaze-y. I shouldn’t even say “women,” because every gay female he writes is a teenager!!!!!!!! What we have here in Empire of the Vampire is gratuitous hetero male fantasy posturing in the guise of fantasy literature. NEARLY ALL** of the male characters are so offensively… STRAIGHT! The effeminate vampire is painted in a borderline homophobic way, all the jokes in the book are straight boy macho bullshit, and the author also makes it a point to mention in his world building how “sodomy is a sin.” There are slurs galore within this book, but Kristoff also uses a few gay jabs, as well. I thought that once—JUST ONE FUCKING TIME—Jay Kristoff would give us a queer male MC. Rant aside, going back to the writing… I mean, when it’s good, it’s GOOD, but when it’s not, it’s cringe. “Ha Ha, you jerkface! I slept with your mother, and your sister, and your grandma” or “That’s not what your wife said last night, you meanie.” It was those kinds of jokes and remarks—nearly every other page—and with much more colorful language. The kind teenagers find funny, or people with a low maturity level. I was fine with it the first few times, but it got old real fast the more it went on and on and on and on. It wasn’t clever or funny, it was childish and annoying. Within the span of a few pages, there were two “jokes” about menstruating women, which is just… it’s just fucking tacky: “a she-devil on the rag” and “a dragon on her period.” Blah blah blah. Like, who finds that funny? (HAHA A PERIOD JOKE! GOOD ONE!) You can’t see it, but I’m rolling my eyes right now. People are finding this banter funny, but I find it underhanded misogyny. Also, a quip about a bishop and an altar boy that I found in terribly bad taste. However, there were many passages that engaged me thoroughly. Jay Kristoff has a deft hand at worldbuilding that doesn’t feel tacked on or info-dumping. It’s masterfully layered; not all of it spoon/fed to us. The kind of worldbuilding you need to pay attention to. Many references are made to past events and characters that we know absolutely nothing about, but it’s never frustrating not knowing the context, because the accompanying dialogue is usually enough to convey meaning and emotion. There’s a quote that I had to jot down immediately after reading it, because it was so good: “…a ball of nerves and restless energy, a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.” If that doesn’t perfectly capture my constant state of being, nothing else will. Who was my favorite character in this vampiric slog? Ash. Hands down. That’s maybe saying something about how I perceived these characters on whole. I will say that they started growing on me, but not until close to the end of this sampler (about 350 pages in!). I know many are written to be unlikable and/or antiheroes, but that wasn’t the problem for me. You see, I LOVE antiheroes and always dig an unlikable character. It’s just the way Kristoff writes a few of them… almost like caricatures designed for specific fandoms. Dior, for example. And certainly Saoirse/Phoebe. Also, of course: Bellamy. Side note: There were far too many characters with facial scarring of some sort. Like, several. I dunno. I found it odd. So, after all that, was there anything (else) I did like? Yes, yes there was: •The level of unflinching violence (gore galore!) •The uncompromising, darker than black atmosphere •A certain measure of surprise and intrigue •A slightly different taken on vampire lore •Thorough and engaging worldbuilding I also liked the structure of this story. The interview style and the non-chronological storytelling was fun and kept me on my toes. Although, whenever Gabriel de Leon went to jump around in his telling, his back-and-forth with Jean-François was always the same argument. JF: “Blah blah you can’t do that.” GdL: “Fuck you, I do what I want.” It was like that every time. (view spoiler)[The relationship between Dior and Saoirse was problematic: The age difference. That made me uncomfortable. A 14/16 year old hooking up with a 19 year old?!? WTF?!? And OF FUCKING COURSE it’s young QUEER FEMALES!!! Am I the only one noticing a trend here???? Mia/Ashlinn, Dior/Saoirse… two TEENAGED couplings that just happen to be sapphic romances… * (hide spoiler)] NOTE: Sexualizing minors of any gender makes me uncomfortable. Some have pointed out to me that this age difference isn’t wholly problematic, but I disagree. That’s just my opinion. Bottom line: (EDIT #1) Yeah, I’ve changed my mind. Fuck this. If my copy was a physical one, I’d have thrown it across the room, but it was on my Kindle and I need that. EDIT (view spoiler)[I forgot to take off a star for what happened to poor Phoebe and Justice. Y’all know me: I care more about the animals than the people, and I won’t apologize for it. (hide spoiler)] **EDIT**9/18/21 These thoughts are my own. Some people will have read everything Jay Kristoff has written, and will disagree with me completely. I have my gripes with him… and his writing… but I know many who love the dude, and will most certainly love this book. I’ve simply had enough.**

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    A huge thank you to HarperVoyager for sending me an ARC copy of 'Empire of the Vampire' by Jay Kristoff. I've not long finished this and I'm still trying to process my feelings. I have been wanting to sink my teeth into a really good vampire story for such a long time, and this FINALLY gave me that fix that I've been craving forever. This is dark, bloody and downright entertaining. I was filled with a constant sense of dread every time I turned a page for fear of what was going to happen next. Th A huge thank you to HarperVoyager for sending me an ARC copy of 'Empire of the Vampire' by Jay Kristoff. I've not long finished this and I'm still trying to process my feelings. I have been wanting to sink my teeth into a really good vampire story for such a long time, and this FINALLY gave me that fix that I've been craving forever. This is dark, bloody and downright entertaining. I was filled with a constant sense of dread every time I turned a page for fear of what was going to happen next. The characters are so likeable and life-like that I felt invested in their stories and their mission. I loved the way this story is told too, as our protagonist is recounting his adventures to a vampire who has him prisoner. I didn't expect the amount of emotion this book has and what it made me feel, and there were many moments where I physically reacted. The story jumps back and forth and it's a format I ended up loving as we got to see glimpses into different characters and get more context behind something, and more. It really pays off as we head towards the end of the story. And let me tell you, I'm dying for the next book. This was just DRIPPING with plot and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next, but also not, because I just knew there would be more bloodshed or something. There are a lot of exciting and memorable moments throughout this and the picture this painted in my head was gorgeously gothic and macabre - everything I wanted from this book going into it. Cannot wait for the final copy so I can see all of the illustrations, because the few that the ARC had were simply gorgeous. I have a spoiler-free reading vlog of this coming soon so I'm excited to share that.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Angelica

    Vampires are making a comeback and the late 2000's are quaking Vampires are making a comeback and the late 2000's are quaking

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    THERE IS A COVER AND A SYNOPSIS and now I am cautiously optimistic

  15. 4 out of 5

    myo (myonna reads)

    i feel like this book is just purely based off of aesthetics and it almost got me too, i was loving Gabriel in the being, he’s like Geralt from The Witcher mixed with Klaus from TVD and i was eating it up at first. But as the book went on i began to not care, I don’t care for the side characters and i was getting bored. I noticed that Jay Kristoff focused on his flowery writing and aesthetics more than anything else and that was my problem with Nevernight as well. This book does remind me of Int i feel like this book is just purely based off of aesthetics and it almost got me too, i was loving Gabriel in the being, he’s like Geralt from The Witcher mixed with Klaus from TVD and i was eating it up at first. But as the book went on i began to not care, I don’t care for the side characters and i was getting bored. I noticed that Jay Kristoff focused on his flowery writing and aesthetics more than anything else and that was my problem with Nevernight as well. This book does remind me of Interview with the Vampire, i found that book very boring without plot. Sadly, this book is the same but what makes it worse is that it’s 700 pages so it just feels like it drags on. I really hope that the sequel focuses on plot because even though i don’t mind characterization the entire book, 700 pages of it with no plot is jusy unnecessary. Everyone wants to write a tomb but just because it’s big doesn’t mean it’s worth 5 stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    I'm pulling the plug on this one for the moment at 36%. This isn't an official DNF. I may pick it up later. I mean, I am not in a rush about it, but it could happen. I'm just not into it at the moment. There's nothing inherently wrong with it. I like the set-up and the writing is lush, with dark, descriptive elements. However, it is requiring way more brain power than I am willing to invest in it right now. This definitely has a heavy, epic fantasy feel, which I generally love, but yeah, I am not I'm pulling the plug on this one for the moment at 36%. This isn't an official DNF. I may pick it up later. I mean, I am not in a rush about it, but it could happen. I'm just not into it at the moment. There's nothing inherently wrong with it. I like the set-up and the writing is lush, with dark, descriptive elements. However, it is requiring way more brain power than I am willing to invest in it right now. This definitely has a heavy, epic fantasy feel, which I generally love, but yeah, I am not tracking any of the names, or events, currently. Perhaps at another time it will work better for me. Goodbye for now to these characters. I hardly knew you! Original: ARC received!!! Day made!!! Commence freaking out!!! Thank you so much, St. Martin's Press. I absolutely cannot wait to devour this!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lucie V.

    I received a 400 pages SAMPLER of this book via NetGalley (thank you St Martin's Press). All thoughts and opinions are my own. *This is a review for the whole book, not just the sampler* ✅ Great writing ✅ Cruel and vicious vampires ✅ Beautiful cover ✅ Thorough world-building ✅ Dark atmosphere ✅ Characters ✅🆗 Pace ❗️❗️ This is not a book for kids, it is bloody, vulgar, and dark. 4.5 stars There is a time for grief, and a time for songs, and a time to recall with fondness all that has been and gon I received a 400 pages SAMPLER of this book via NetGalley (thank you St Martin's Press). All thoughts and opinions are my own. *This is a review for the whole book, not just the sampler* ✅ Great writing ✅ Cruel and vicious vampires ✅ Beautiful cover ✅ Thorough world-building ✅ Dark atmosphere ✅ Characters ✅🆗 Pace ❗️❗️ This is not a book for kids, it is bloody, vulgar, and dark. 4.5 stars There is a time for grief, and a time for songs, and a time to recall with fondness all that has been and gone. But there is a time for killing too. There is a time for blood, and a time for rage, and a time to close your eyes and become the thing heaven wants you to be. This book is gritty, bloody, and deliciously dark. Gabriel is the last of the Silversaints, a group of holy vampire hunters, and the book starts right after he is captured by Her Grace Margot Chastain, the Undying Empress of Wolves and Men. Marquis Jean-Francois Chastain, the Empress’ historian, has been tasked with writing a detailed account of Gabriel's life before his execution and the book is about that. I admit that I was a little wary when I realized that this whole book would be about Gabriel reminiscing and telling his story to Jean-François... For one, I am not a fan of flashbacks in books, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be as involved in the story knowing that no matter what happened, Gabriel would obviously survived since he was still very much alive (although captive and on his way to his execution) and able to tell his story, but I was positively surprised by the result. I was sucked in this book after a few pages only, thanks to the amazing writing and dark ambiance. The pace is good, the plot is intriguing enough to keep me hooked and the time jumps were very well written and not confusing. The weaving of the present timeline and Gabriel’s past was greatly done and I really enjoyed reading about his journey. I have to say though, that you really need to be in “the right mood” for this type of darker and heavier book if you want to really enjoy it. The writing is also definitely a strength (not to say the strength) of this book. It is dark and lyrical, but it was not too much or too descriptive. Be aware that the dialogues are vulgar though and there is a lot of blasphemy. There was a good balance of descriptions, action, and snark, and I LOVED IT. There’s a beast in all men’s blood, Gabriel. You can starve him. Cage him. Curse him. But in the end, you pay the beast his due, or he takes his due from you. Gabriel is a very snarky main character and he doesn’t seem to give a shit about anything. Because of his antagonistic attitude towards almost everyone, it was a little hard to get to know him and to care for him at first, but I just love his “I don’t give a shit and I’m not taking any shit from you either” attitude. His interactions with the other characters made me smile and even laugh a few time. He just decided that he would treat people the way they deserved it, and it so happen that most people deserve to be treated like shit, according to him. Gabriel reached into his battered britches, fished about under the monster’s stare. Finally, he retrieved a tarnished royale from his pocket. “Here.” “What is that for?” Jean-François demanded. “I want you to take this coin to market, and buy me a fuck to give.” While everyone sees Gabriel as a hero, this notion seems to annoy him. He knows that he is good at slaying vampires, but he has no illusion about his character’s worth: he is far from being a hero in shining armor, ready to sweep in to save a damsel in distress. He laughs out loud when people call him a hero and does not hesitate to set the records right and let them know that he’s no hero at all. He is ruthless, brutal, and cold (and drunk sometimes), but more than that, he is a survivor. The fact that he is fierce has a magical sword that can communicate with him telepathically, has magical tattoos, and is a half-vampire hell-bent on eradicating the scum of the world also makes him all the more cool and badass. “’God didn’t want me. And the devil was too afraid to open the door.’ The world-building is also great. The descriptions and lyrical writing do help to create a dark ambiance and I could picture the cities and people very vividly (the map at the beginning of the book also helps). There are also some black and white awesome artworks by Bon Orthwick throughout the book showing us the characters, which made it all feel even more real. Law the First, “The dead cannot kill the Dead.” Law the Second, “Dead tongues heeded are Dead tongues tasted” Law the Third, “The Dead run quick” Law the Fourth, “The Dead feel as beasts, look as men, die as devils.” Law the Fifth, “Even the Dead have laws.” While this book doesn't end with a cliffhanger, there are some twists near the end and some revelations that shocked me and I am very excited to know what awaits Gabriel in the next book. **Just some extra infos** The four vampire bloodlines: Blood Voss: House of the Forever King. Skin can turn as hard as steel, mind readers. Blood Chastain: Can control animals, a few rare individuals can shapeshift. Blood Ilon: Can manipulate emotion (on top of being able to bend will as all vampires can). Blood Dyvok: Unparalleled strength, even among vampires they are insanely strong. The Orders: Brothers of the Hunt: silversaints, vampire hunters Brothers of the Hearth: bind books, craft weaponry, and create tools Silver Sisters: sisterhood of nuns, keepers of the monastery Fanarts by Bon Orthwick

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ꮗ€♫◗☿ ❤️ ilikebooksbest.com ❤️

    No sparkling vampires here! I like the sound of this book. Like getting back to the basics when vampires were scary monsters, instead of romantic Hero’s/heroines. I feel like I felt all those years ago when I wanted to read Interview With A Vampire, long before the movie was filmed. I can’t wait to read it! I want it now!!! Blog|Goodreads|Facebook|Amazon|Twitter|BookBub No sparkling vampires here! I like the sound of this book. Like getting back to the basics when vampires were scary monsters, instead of romantic Hero’s/heroines. I feel like I felt all those years ago when I wanted to read Interview With A Vampire, long before the movie was filmed. I can’t wait to read it! I want it now!!! Blog|Goodreads|Facebook|Amazon|Twitter|BookBub

  19. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    OMG!!! Vampires are on the rise again!? Quite literally as it seems! At least in this book! I only have to hear Jay Kristoff and vampires and I'm already thrilled because damn that man can write and everything I read of him so far was amazing and surprising! So YES to this! I can't wait to read Kristoff's take on vampires! September 2021 though! 😭😭😱 P.S: I love that the title rhymes. XD OMG!!! Vampires are on the rise again!? Quite literally as it seems! At least in this book! I only have to hear Jay Kristoff and vampires and I'm already thrilled because damn that man can write and everything I read of him so far was amazing and surprising! So YES to this! I can't wait to read Kristoff's take on vampires! September 2021 though! 😭😭😱 P.S: I love that the title rhymes. XD

  20. 5 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    I KNEW IT. I KNEW IT WOULD BE VAMPIRES AND I'M SO EXCITED I COULD CRY 😭😭😭 And now I'm just gonna cry more because IT'S FINALLY HERE?! 😭😭😭 I KNEW IT. I KNEW IT WOULD BE VAMPIRES AND I'M SO EXCITED I COULD CRY 😭😭😭 And now I'm just gonna cry more because IT'S FINALLY HERE?! 😭😭😭

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart 4.5 hearts I was so done with Vampire books but then they pull me back in. I was so done with Vampire books, like so over then. But then what happens is a favorite author of mine is like 'hey I'm writing this book and it is about vampires'. And I TOTALLY fall over myself saying "What! I love vampire books, tell me more." If I didn't ultimately enj0y myself through this book, I might feel like a fraud, reading yet another vampire story. What the This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart 4.5 hearts I was so done with Vampire books but then they pull me back in. I was so done with Vampire books, like so over then. But then what happens is a favorite author of mine is like 'hey I'm writing this book and it is about vampires'. And I TOTALLY fall over myself saying "What! I love vampire books, tell me more." If I didn't ultimately enj0y myself through this book, I might feel like a fraud, reading yet another vampire story. What the Empire of the Vampire is, it is dark, it is not for children, heck I don't even think it is for some adults. That is how dark it is! Think Vampires and zombiesk creatures that want to kill and drink you dry and blood families fighting against each other and losing so many characters you love (seriously Fortuna, how could you do that to me) and well...so much more death, pain, lost faith and more, so much more. Only Jay Kristoff makes you love him and hate him all at the same time as he brings you to the conclusion of this tale only to want more hurt, more pain and more of this dark world that will ultimately break your heart as you hug it to console all the characters you love in it. I hated this story as much as I loved it, it's complicated. It is not for the faint of heart reader. It is for the reader that travels with the hero for promise of redemption, even if it never comes. It is for those who root for the underdog even when you know in the end they might not survive. It is for the reader who has lost faith in a true story telling ability. Not all heroes are all good and some have scars deeper than you've ever dreamed of feeling. Our hero is a man who has lost his faith; he is an addict to blood smoke; he is a bastard most days instead of a fool and he has lost more in his short/long 32 years in this world than many with double his years. Gabriel, our hero, you will love him, you will hate him and ultimately you will cry for the life he has lived and the people he has lost. As he tells his tale to his Vampire jailer, you will live his life through two different time frames and become attached to the boy he was and the man he became, I think it would be impossible not to. He is both a hero and a villain, a saint and a sinner, he is the main character and a sidekick. Let's just say he is complicated and his tale even more so. It might take a little while to get rolling but once the story takes flight there is no landing until the crash at the end. Better to live one day a lion, than 10,000 a sheep. Jay Kristoff kept me with bated breath until the end and then all I wanted was the next tale in this saga. I was left bereft that I needed to wait to see what would transpire in this dark saga. This will not be for everyone. It is dark, dangerous, a little smutty in a few areas and heartbreaking. But it is a fantastically brutal tale that will leave some wanting and waiting for more.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    Whilst reading this book I remained impressed by its ingenuity and uniqueness, and yet also found it distinctly similar in tone to two other books - Interview with the Vampire and The Name of the Wind. Upon later reading the author's own review I found he also cited these two books as representative for the book's contents. I'm glad to have belatedly found he delivered on this claim. I loved how this story was delivered. It opened with protagonist, Gabriel de León's, incarceration. He was at the Whilst reading this book I remained impressed by its ingenuity and uniqueness, and yet also found it distinctly similar in tone to two other books - Interview with the Vampire and The Name of the Wind. Upon later reading the author's own review I found he also cited these two books as representative for the book's contents. I'm glad to have belatedly found he delivered on this claim. I loved how this story was delivered. It opened with protagonist, Gabriel de León's, incarceration. He was at the mercy of the vampiric creatures he had spent most of his life hunting and felt his painful execution was soon to be delivered. However, he was, instead, prompted to deliver his life story, detailing all events that led to the present moment in time. This he did, in a more-or-less chronological fashion. There was just something so mesmerising to be first introduced to the present Gabriel before then witnessing his younger, more naïve and fearful self. I was instantly eager to learn how the former was bred from the latter. Gabriel's life-story also provided a political, cultural, and geographical understanding of the kingdom. This is before also chronicling how the vampires continued to rise and overpower their human foe, with only figures like Gabriel to stand and defend them. Both human and vampire had spent centuries at war and the mythical Holy Grail was humanity's final hope for salvation. The vampire that Gabriel is now tied to hopes that his history will point him in the direction for where it lays, and prompt its destruction before any have the chance to use its force against him. This was a very dark tale and it delivered exactly the ominous atmosphere and sinister tone that I desired from it. I am so eager to see Gabriel's story through to completion, and hopefully also see the human race, and his soul in particular, saved as it continues. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Jay Kristoff, and the publisher, Harper Voyager, for this opportunity.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    5 bloody stars WHAT is this SORCERY I absolute LOVE IT and will be reading it AGAIN and again FOREVER. Plot: ★★★★★ Characters: ★★★★★ World: ★★★★★ My undying love: ★★★★★ "No fear, only fury." No negative thoughts at all for my precious, my bloody sweet cinnamon roll. This is a reaction review y'all, check out the official blurb for the general stuff. Empire of the Vampire was gorgeous. It took me a whole week to read, which is long for me, but in all honesty that is a compliment—I savored the heck o 5 bloody stars WHAT is this SORCERY I absolute LOVE IT and will be reading it AGAIN and again FOREVER. Plot: ★★★★★ Characters: ★★★★★ World: ★★★★★ My undying love: ★★★★★ "No fear, only fury." No negative thoughts at all for my precious, my bloody sweet cinnamon roll. This is a reaction review y'all, check out the official blurb for the general stuff. Empire of the Vampire was gorgeous. It took me a whole week to read, which is long for me, but in all honesty that is a compliment—I savored the heck out of this reading experience. No skimming here, folks. When I say this is a novel about vampires, that's like me saying that Paris is about baguettes. I mean, that statement isn't wrong, per se, but it is definitely stripped of perspective and reduced down to a trope. This was a multi-layered epic spanning across 3 separate timelines of the same man's life. > The surface story: Gabriel de Leon is in prison awaiting his execution, and he's being interviewed by a vampire (har har, see what we did here) about his life's story at the end of his spectacular rise and fall from grace. >>> The coming-of-age story: Gabriel de Leon is 15 years old, coming into his own and discovering he's not *just* human, and he's forcibly enlisted into a monastic order of half-vampire warriors training to win the never-ending war against the vampire king. >>>>> The quest story: Gabriel de Leon is in his fall from grace as the realm's indomitable Black Lion, he's older and battered and tragic—and a quest for the unthinkable with a band of unlikely heroes falls into his lap. What now? This was EPIC. It was TRAGIC. It was full of DEPTH. The level of worldbuilding was FANTASTIC. The characters were AWESOME. I am using CAPITAL LETTERS because I loved it and I think it needs EMPHASIS. (Lol) It's not as dark as some make it out to be—speaking from the perspective of a long-time Laurell K. Hamilton reader, folks in that sphere will understand the reference when I say Obsidian Butterfly was more graphic and twisted—but it is one big, f**k-filled bloody mess. And it's awesome. I could live in the pages of this story for quite a long time. If this novel is any indication at all of what's to come for this series, I am READY! Bring it on, Jay. Blog | Instagram

  24. 4 out of 5

    Fabiano

    Give me the fuc*ing sequel

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hamad

    I loved Nevernight, I did not like Darkdawn so I hope this is a redemption for that! (Also I am shallow and love the cover!!!)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Maryam Rz.

    Here's the thing: I still haven't read a single book by Jay Kristoff—*takes cover from the assault of the fans* —okay okay WAIT! There's a but to that! *placating tone* but by the time this comes out, aka Fall 2020, I'd have read many of his books as I already plan to. So let's be civil (😒) and appreciate the fact that: • It rhymes I repeat THIS IS NOT A DRILL the title actually rhymes! 😂 *dies giggling* • Authors are scheming behind the scenes to stage a Vampires' Comeback! Is this a conspiracy wi Here's the thing: I still haven't read a single book by Jay Kristoff—*takes cover from the assault of the fans* —okay okay WAIT! There's a but to that! *placating tone* but by the time this comes out, aka Fall 2020, I'd have read many of his books as I already plan to. So let's be civil (😒) and appreciate the fact that: • It rhymes I repeat THIS IS NOT A DRILL the title actually rhymes! 😂 *dies giggling* • Authors are scheming behind the scenes to stage a Vampires' Comeback! Is this a conspiracy with the vampires? THIS IS A CONSPIRACY WITH THE VAMPIRES And you bet your arse Klaus Mikaelson is behind it—specially with Renée Ahdieh's The Beautiful being set in New Orleans. I have no doubt in my mind. Welcome back, king of horrors :) And the synopsis just because I can: Twenty-seven years have passed since the last sunrise, and for almost three decades, the creatures of the night have walked the day without fear. Once, humanity fought bravely against the coldblood legions, but now, we exist only in a few scattered settlements—tiny sparks of light in a growing sea of darkness. Gabriel de León is the last of the Silversaints, a holy order dedicated to defending realm and church, now utterly destroyed. Imprisoned for the murder of the vampiric king, Gabriel is charged with telling the story of his life. His tale spans years, from his youth in the monastery of San Michel, to the forbidden love that spelled his undoing, and the betrayal that saw his order annihilated. Most importantly, Gabriel will tell of his discovery of the Grail—the legendary cup prophesied to bring an end to the eternal night. But the Grail was no simple chalice; it was a smart-mouthed teenage urchin named Dior. Their journey with a band of unlikely allies would see Dior and Gabriel forge an unbreakable bond, and set the broken paragon on a road to redemption. But now, the Grail is shattered. And with the cup of the Savior destroyed and the last Silversaint awaiting execution, what can bring an end to this unholy empire? Empire of the Vampire is an illustrated dark epic fantasy; the bastard lovechild of Interview with the Vampire, The Road and The Name of the Wind.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eliza ☽

    I will no longer be supporting Jay Kristoff or reading his books. Him and his author friends seem to think they're in an untouchable little Mean Girls gang where they can shit on smaller authors and be casually racist just because they're slightly more famous. Get that shit away from me. I will no longer be supporting Jay Kristoff or reading his books. Him and his author friends seem to think they're in an untouchable little Mean Girls gang where they can shit on smaller authors and be casually racist just because they're slightly more famous. Get that shit away from me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Faith M ✨

    *giggles* it rhymes

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ari

    Holy. FUCK. This isn't a book to read lightly. It's often gory, coarse and violent. But it's also packed with emotion, passion and sensuality. The writing is great, the pacing is phenomenal, and I was hooked from the first chapter. Gabriel de Leon may be no hero, but you're sure as hell going to root for him from the very beginning. Holy. FUCK. This isn't a book to read lightly. It's often gory, coarse and violent. But it's also packed with emotion, passion and sensuality. The writing is great, the pacing is phenomenal, and I was hooked from the first chapter. Gabriel de Leon may be no hero, but you're sure as hell going to root for him from the very beginning.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mara YA Mood Reader

    Me: Ugh I’m so over vampires *hair flip* Jay Kristoff:Yeah so, gotta a new Vamp book coming your way, 2021 baby Me: Omg I freaking love vampires! *ponytail whip* April 23, 2020

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