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The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

The first Vampire Empire fantasy is an exciting thriller

In 1870, vampires came out of the coffins to attack western civilizations in the northern temperate zone. Instead of leading a counterinsurgency, human leaders fled south while their former subjects became food for the conquerors.

A century and a half later, the wor...
In 1870, vampires came out of the coffins to attack western civilizations in the northern temperate zone. Instead of leading a counterinsurgency, human leaders fled south while their former subjects became food for the conquerors.

A century and a half later, the world remains divided between the vampire and human zones. A party led by Senator Clark of the American republic stunningly takes back St. Louis from the vampires. At the same time, Equatorian Empire Princess Adele is on a state visit to Marseilles when British vampire Prince Cesare kidnaps her in spite of the efforts of the mysterious freedom fighter Greyfriar. These two events bring a treaty between the two human superpowers and a plan to attack jointly the vampires.

The first Vampire Empire fantasy is an exciting thriller that grips the audience with the divided world concept that feels like a supernatural Cold War with heated incursions. The story line is fast-paced though it behooves the reader to ignore the plausibility factor; especially of the limited lack of major difference on how minorities are treated yet react radically different to injustice in both camps. Mindful of Phil Ochs' Ballard of William Worthy "But somehow it is strange to hear the State Department say You are living in the free world, in the free world you must stay". Still this is an exciting paranormal futuristic spin to the Cold War.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on October 23, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Couldn't finish it

If your idea of excellent writing is Twilight, you'll probably enjoy this, too.

posted by 5191518 on November 19, 2010

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  • Posted October 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The first Vampire Empire fantasy is an exciting thriller

    In 1870, vampires came out of the coffins to attack western civilizations in the northern temperate zone. Instead of leading a counterinsurgency, human leaders fled south while their former subjects became food for the conquerors.

    A century and a half later, the world remains divided between the vampire and human zones. A party led by Senator Clark of the American republic stunningly takes back St. Louis from the vampires. At the same time, Equatorian Empire Princess Adele is on a state visit to Marseilles when British vampire Prince Cesare kidnaps her in spite of the efforts of the mysterious freedom fighter Greyfriar. These two events bring a treaty between the two human superpowers and a plan to attack jointly the vampires.

    The first Vampire Empire fantasy is an exciting thriller that grips the audience with the divided world concept that feels like a supernatural Cold War with heated incursions. The story line is fast-paced though it behooves the reader to ignore the plausibility factor; especially of the limited lack of major difference on how minorities are treated yet react radically different to injustice in both camps. Mindful of Phil Ochs' Ballard of William Worthy "But somehow it is strange to hear the State Department say You are living in the free world, in the free world you must stay". Still this is an exciting paranormal futuristic spin to the Cold War.

    Harriet Klausner

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Three thumbs up!

    This is my first steampunk novel, and it didn't disappoint. Loved it. This is on my favorite list. Right away you will love Adele, the Colonel, the Greyfriar, Flay, and all of the other villains and heros! Action, mystery, revenge, and a trace of romance...it has it all. I especially loved the slow build of relationships. I like it most when an author can make you feel hate, revenge, fear, or love - instead of just telling you that this character really hated that one. This novel is masterfully written and is a must read. Stop wasting time. Go. Buy. Read. You won't regret it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2010

    Highly Recommended!!!

    I loved, loved, LOVED this book! I can't remember the last time I found a book that completely swept me away like The Greyfriar did. I usually grab a book, read a bit every now and then, and eventually finish it when time permits. Not with this one. I made time for this book. It demanded to be finished. I couldn't read it fast enough!

    This isn't just another story latching on to the vampire hype. I highly recommend picking up this book, and get one for a friend too. You won't want to lend yours out.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I was very skeptical of this one. I wasn¿t sure what to think of

    I was very skeptical of this one. I wasn’t sure what to think of it. It’s got fantasy. With history and a bit of steampunk added. Which is a great combination, but it really all boils down to the story and its’ characters. It’s certainly got a nice blend of fantasy/history as well and I liked that. I was really expecting something cheesy with a romance in it that’ll make my stomach turn. Thankfully I was wrong!




    I enjoyed this novel until the very last page. The action was well done, the world building was really good and well established, and the characters memorable. The blending of different genres also is nice you have a bit of steampunk, alternate history, fantasy, paranormal, and just a little bit of romance. It’s perfect.




    Of course what adds to this awesome book is Gareth (one of the main characters) has a castle full of cats. No seriously. That is AWESOME. I reacted the same way I did when I saw Hellboy with his room full with cats. (I squeed and squeed until I couldn’t no more) so for me, that was a major added bonus. The chemistry between Adele and Gareth was good as well. Their characters seemed perfect for eachother I really enjoyed how they got along.




    I haven’t gotten around to reading the second book yet, but I’m hoping it will be just as good as this one! I definitely recommend this book to fantasy lovers out there. It’s definitely worth a read through. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2013

    This is the vampire book I¿ve been waiting for. With the recent

    This is the vampire book I’ve been waiting for. With the recent influx of touch-feely vamps floating around, I was nervous about picking this one up, but Clay Griffith absolutely blew me out of the water. The world he crafted is both huge in scope and intricately detailed, the people who inhabit it are wonderfully diverse and delightfully real, and the retro-futuristic technology was both well-crafted and believable. And the fight scenes! Oh, the fight scenes! The Greyfriar is an incredible hero, and Princess Adele was highly relatable, but my favorite character by far was Prince Gareth. I found myself sucked up into his curiosity and almost childlike wonder. This is a great book for vampire lovers and fans of steampunk, fantasy, sci-fi, and tales of political intrigue.




    I was provided a copy of the book by BTS eMag for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review – all opinions are mine, and do not represent the opinions of BTS, BTS eMag, CBS, NBC, or ADHD.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2011

    Amazing Read!

    If you like sci-fi and are looking for a vamp novel that breaks the mold, this is your book. A quick read and a guilty pleasure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it so much I hugged the book!

    This Fairy was surprised by such a great ride!! I must tell you right away; this is NOT your average ordinary bland bandwagon vampire novel. You will see no sparkle here. The Fairy devoured this book because it was so good, yet I wanted to read slowly because I didn't want it to end. When Greyfrair finally did come to an end I honestly was sad to know I was going to have to shut the cover. However, when I did I quickly swooped up this book into a huge bear hug. I was so happy to have read a book this wonderful! Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar is a mess of genres in such a way that it works. Steampunk is why I wanted to read this book but it didn't take long to find out that it was choked full of horror, including horrid politics, action/adventure, romance, and some bloody war. I think I have to admit I'm fond of bloody wars. Yes, indeed! However, this book was not amazing just because of the genre mess... which made for different reading. Clay and Susan Griffith have a gift for stringing words together to provide minimal but optimal images. I was right there with Greyfriar the whole way! The images that were floating around in my head were amazing... if I do say so myself. Not only did the imagery of the world blow me away (& I have wings) but the fight scenes had me all up in a huff of excitement! Blood, gore, mayhem. I was in heaven. A bloody hero *sigh*. The Northern Hemisphere was attacked in 1870, nearly killing and destroying what we know to be the Western Civilization. The Great Killing! Princess Adele, the heir of Equatoria is due to wed a renowned vampire killer, Senator Clark (whom I didn't care for at all), which would unite her Empire with America. This arrangement of merging both of the biggest human empires together now posed a huge threat to the vampires that live in the northern areas of the world. Adele and her younger brother, Simon, are on their way to Marseilles when their dirigible is intercepted by a larger than normal ban of vampires lead by Flay. Her master, Cesare, is known for his human massacres & is the youngest son of King Kimitry, Flay follows his orders to capture the heir. Now the heir of Equatoria, Adele, is running from. Flay. These vampires are parasitic with very powerful physical characteristics whom roam freely in the colder areas, feedlot humans for dinner, and terrorize others so they are afraid of being enslaved by them. Classic damsel in distress, I think not. She takes out a few vampires before the hero enters. The Greyfriar swoops in to save her. I fell in love with this dark cloaked man right when he pulled out all of these weapons and started hacking up the vampires on top of him in a gory morbid way. *sigh* It must of been a beautiful sight. It is also quite a shock to Adele because The Greyfriar is a man whose stories of heroism and acts of battle are all thought to be fables. He ended up being this strong yet mysterious man who drew in not only me but our lovely Adele as well. He is mine, back off Adele! (I should mention that she is crafty with a weapon as well!) Ultimately she captured by the war crazed Flay albeit her best efforts of flight and the efforts of her masked mystery fighter, by Flay who brings her to England for Cesare. I love that the head warrior is a female. How hot is that!?! Overall, The Greyfrair was amazing, Truly. A Fairy even a Black or a Disaster of a Fairy would lie. It is a favorite book and will be forever. My copy will become greatly ragged. Get

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A must read!!

    This book was awesome! I love everything? in it. It was definitely one that brought all kinds of giddiness to my heart. The adventure, the mysterious, and love makes for a great read. This is not your ordinary vampire tale. This is a complete unique reading experience that I can enjoy over and over again.


    The Queen, Adele is on the run from vampire. As as heiress, with her up and coming marriage arrangement she poses a threat to the vampires and they are set out to kill her. But not before The Greyfriar come into the picture. An extraordinary man who saves peoples lives, leaving great tales of heroism behind him.


    The Greyfriar blew me away! I love every moment in reading it. The plots and the fights were absolutely mind blowing. I love the Greyfriar. His mysterious and good heart immediately drew me to him. He wanted change and was doing it all on his own with asking nothing in return.


    The romance was touching. I just love watching two people get stuck together, then fall in love right before your eyes. The way that they enjoyed each other company was one you could tell was fulfilling and relaxing. I rooted for them all the way.


    The SECRET!! Was OMG! Major OMG! I was so caught up in the book that I failed to notice the signs of the mysterious Greyfriar. Even to have learn his identity in the end stole my heart. I knew at that moment that this man is the man of dreams.


    If you have not read this book you should. The Greyfriar is a must read of 2011! I can't wait for the next book!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A KNOCKOUT READ!

    Whew , this book spoiled me. I loved it in so many ways...

    But I must admit, I hadn't been quickly immersed in this book after reading the back description and I guess I was afraid by the presentation in the first few pages too because it was slightly intimidating in all it's alternative(otherworldly)history ...I was very wrong in my prediction. The promise of greatness in this read was fulfilled and there is no doubt that the on going Vampire Empire series will be epic. Enriched with wicked steampunk adventure, this read overachieves in all genres from soul-defined romance to impressive combative action. I was also enthralled by the glow of realism in the story too, it merged with the fantasy and paranormal romance aspects of the novel almost perfectly.

    As for the cons, I waited for the eventual cliches but the writing was so crazy good that it distracted me from any that came. The love was something else too...it was a fine twist in the vampire romance part of the novel.

    Clay and Susan Griffith are a fantastic duo.

    By the end of the book I was completely blown away and excited for the upcoming sequels. The Greyfriar is a hidden classic, a thrilling story and I hope you consider this book because this book is too good to be missed. Fav Quotes...

    " "Greyfriar!" His tall figure leapt, and he drew his rapier while in the air, the blade falling as he came down. A bloody head lolled to the side. The swordsman didn't stop moving but rushed the vampire Adele was barely holding at bay...Clawed hands rose to strike the man across the face, but Greyfriar ducked and thrust through the chest of his opponent, twisting the blade to destroy her heart. The body fell to the ground and Greyfriar turned to Adele."

    "Her hands astonished him. Her skin was so much darker than his alabaster flesh..."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Simply Amazing

    I picked up this book due to All Things Urban Fantasy's 5 star rating and recommendation and it did not disappoint. This was the first novel I have ever read to be considered steampunk in any way. While the steampunk aspect is not a major part of the story it is great in setting the scene of this alternate history world. The vampires that have taken over most of the northern hemisphere of earth, or anywhere else that it is cold, are classic frightening vampires. It's hard to decide between Adele and The Greyfriar for which character I like the best because they both show tremendous strength throughout the novel. One scene in particular taking place in a "library" showed a great depth to this book that leaves you thinking. I can't say enough about this novel, and Clay and Susan Griffith are two outstanding new (to me at least) authors who have created a brilliant start to this trilogy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2010

    Couldn't finish it

    If your idea of excellent writing is Twilight, you'll probably enjoy this, too.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Dangerous vampires, steampunk atmosphere, good characterization

    Dangerous vampires, steampunk atmosphere, good characterization and fast-paced, well-written action scenes. What else could you want? This book had an original storyline and interesting mythology. An enjoyable book #1 in a series I'm looking forward to delving into.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2014

    this series is great - exciting twists and turns and very believ

    this series is great - exciting twists and turns and very believable characters

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  • Posted November 17, 2013

    The Greyfriar is the first book in the Vampire Empire trilogy by

    The Greyfriar is the first book in the Vampire Empire trilogy by the husband and wife duo, Clay and Susan Griffith.




    You know how they say not to judge a book by it's cover, well I'm guilty of it, including this book, I'm not a big fan of the cover and so I wasn't in any kind of hurry to read it although the synopsis sounded really good, but I was given the chance to review it and I'm incredibly happy to say that I loved it!




    I very much enjoyed immersing myself in this world that Clay and Susan have created, the perfect combination of paranormal (I love my vampires), steampunk and action all thrown together into an alternate history set in 1870.




    We have a strong heroine in Princess Adele of Equatoria, engaged to be married to a man that she has never met, all for political reasons, her fiancée Senator Clark who also happens to be a vampire hunter sets out to rescue Adele after she is kidnapped by the vampire Prince Cesare, who hopes to discover the secret war plans that Equatoria have planned against the vampire race.




    But on their tail is Greyfriar who originally rescued Adele before she was captured, Greyfriar who is a secret identity of a character in the book, and whom I had pretty much guessed  who it was before it was revealed to the reader.




    Held in the Tower Of London for quite a bit of time, she finds herself associating a fair bit with Prince Gareth, Cesare's brother and heir to the vampire throne, Gareth is very different to all the other vampire's around and Adele finds herself not fearing him as much as she should.




    After escaping she finally reunites with Greyfriar and they make their way to Scotland where Adele discovers she has powers that could potentially destroy all vampire's forever!




    An extremely enjoyable read that I hope to continue on with at some point.

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  • Posted February 7, 2013

    A Perfectly Blended Cocktail The Grayfriar is a perfectly blend

    A Perfectly Blended Cocktail

    The Grayfriar is a perfectly blended cocktail of steampunk, horror, paranormal romance and action/adventure that is sure to quench the thirst of any reader. It introduces you to a unique and brilliant cast of characters. From mysterious and sexy vampires to zombies, the author has created a wonderfully detailed world at the height of steam powered machinery. The hero/heroine of the book, Gareth and Adele, are perfect for one another, proving that romance goes beyond chemistry and physical needs or desires. With well written descriptions from Clay & Susan Griffith, you are placed in the middle of the scene, experiencing every horrific or touching moment between the characters. A phenomenal and unique story, The Grayfriar is sure to delight.

    I was provided a copy of the book by BTS eMag for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review – all conclusions are my own responsibility.

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  • Posted December 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Greyfriar by Clay and Susan Griffith is one series that I wa

    The Greyfriar by Clay and Susan Griffith is one series that I was so excited to start.  Reminiscent of Blade, this is one series that readers everywhere should keep an eye out for.




    Set in a steampunk world where Vampires have taken over most of the world populace, and a war between the humans and the vampire kind is ready to break out.




    The story opens up on a sky ship, where Princess Adele, the heiress to the Empire Equatoria is on her way north to tour the lands and people when unbeknownst to her and the royal guard that accompany her, a powerful vampire clan attacks the ship with one goal in mind…to capture Princess Adele and hold her captive and use her as leverage against Equatoria for their own benefit.  And it’s not just any clan.  It has been set forth by Prince Cesare, son to King Dmitri, a once feared and revered vampire.




    As the ship goes down, Princess Adele is confronted by a most fearsome war chief known in the vampire world and Prince Cesare’s right hand man…erm…woman, Flay.  And Flay will stop at nothing to get what she came for.  That is until a legend appears out of nowhere, and helps Adele escape her clutches…The Greyfriar.  Feared by all vampires for his ability and ease in defeating their kind…loved and honored by the humans for all he does to protect mankind.  But it is not with ease that the Greyfriar helps Adele.




    As I said earlier, Flay will stop at nothing to bring Adele home to Cesare…lest she loses her life.  And it’s with this determination that Flay does, in fact, capture the Princess.  But it will not be the only time in which she will have to come face to face with her greatest challenge…The Greyfriar.  And the Greyfriar will stop at nothing to keep the Princess safe, and take her home where she belongs.




    Okay…The Greyfriar = yum!  With the way he pops up at the most opportune time, I found myself cheering out loud time and time again when he would show up to foil Flay and Cesare’s plans.  I love strong male characters, and the Greyfriar is definitely one of those.  Not only that, but the mystery that surrounds him had me captivated.  Once his secret is revealed, you can’t help but fall even harder for him!  And OMG what a secret it is.




    The fight scenes found throughout the book were described in such a way that I was able to see the battle unfold easily in my mind, like a movie (which by the way, would be totally awesome to see made!).  The characters, be they good or bad, were wonderfully developed and all had personalities of their own, which made them even more enjoyable.  I mean, let’s take Senator Clark for instance.  Yes, he is Princess Adele’s Intended, and so I can see how he would be so determined to go all out and do what needs to be done to bring back his bride.  But his cockiness and his arrogance had annoyed with him…but in a good way.  It had me appreciate the other characters in the book even more!  The twists and turns found within these pages shocked me and awed me, and had me unable to put this book down.




    Readers everywhere will come to love the story that develops between Princess Adele and The Greyfriar.  Fans of Blade will fall head over heels for The Vampire Empire series, and I personally can’t wait to dig into book #2 to see what will happen next, and of course…to see more of the Greyfriar.




    And as a fun fact…do you know who narrates The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire #1) by Clay & Susan Griffith?  Buffy fans!  It’s non other than Spike himself, James Marsters!  Have a listen!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2012

    Entertaining

    Loved it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

    Ok

    This book is not horrible. I bought it by accident one night, and was afraid that it would be a waste of money. Lucky me that it was fairly well written. The relationship to steam punk is tennuous at best though and i was a little saddened that it tried to be so many things all at once.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Vampire Empire, Book One: The Greyfriar is a mix of paranormal,

    Vampire Empire, Book One: The Greyfriar is a mix of paranormal, steampunk, and post-apocalyptic life. We are introduced to many of the key players that one can assume we will continue to see. Princess Adele, Greyfriar, Senator Clark, and one nasty vampire Prince who is set to take the throne as well as the whole world.

    You see, back in 1870 the vampires let themselves be known to all of mankind. In a well developed and plotted sweep that lasted only two years, the vampires undid the human world. Cities as we know them fell to their hands, and the people fled south to regroup. Now, in 2020, humans have been rebuilding, strengthening, and waiting for the day to start a major war against the vampires.

    One of the largest nations is the massive Empire Equartoria to which the Princess Adele is the rightful heir. When she is sent out on a mission tour, her air ship as well as the accompanying ships, are attacked by Prince Cesare the heir of the vampire clan in England. While his right hand woman, Flay, tries to secure the Princess, a mysterious man appears out of nowhere to save the day.

    Greyfriar comes to the rescue of the Princess, and tries to keep her safe. He wears a mask over his face to cover his identity, and he's armed to the hilt with guns and swords. Princess Adele feels safe by his side, but she has no idea of the deep secrets he hides. The clandestine mask he wears is only the sheer beginning of who, or what, this man is.

    Will the Princess and Greyfriar thwart the plans of the twisted vampire Prince? Can Adele accept what lies behind the mask? Tsk, Tsk... You will have to read it to find out!

    I had a good feeling about this story just from the cover. It is such a lovely cover, really. Air ships, a good looking duo, dressed to kill - literally kill! But then I opened up the book, and found myself enthralled with the story presented to me. Each page is filled with conflict, action, mystery or suspense that kept me hanging onto to every word.

    I think the characters are highly developed, and I loved the word painted scenery of desolate Europe. I enjoyed the descriptions of the steam powered ships, as well as the other little knick knacks here and there. If it weren't for the vampires, I wouldn't have minded living there.

    Then there was the end, and my heart sank just a little bit. Then I remembered, "Hey, this is only the FIRST book!" I am really looking forward to the next part of the series. If you're thing to read is alternate history, steampunk, or action then pick this one up for a downright good read.
    Originally Reviewed at:Mother/Gamer/Writer
    Reviewer: Heather

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  • Posted March 4, 2012

    The Greyfriar wasn't just another vampire book. This book had go

    The Greyfriar wasn't just another vampire book. This book had good characters that developed without overshadowing the story. The characters blended nicely with the vampire and steampunk aspects. This book was highly recommended and I was not disappointed.

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