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The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire Series #2)

The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire Series #2)

4.6 16
by Clay Griffith, Susan Griffith

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This second book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternate history combines rousing pulp action with steampunk style, bringing epic political themes to life within a story of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism.

Princess Adele struggles with a life of marriage and obligation as her Equatorian Empire and their American Republic allies stand on


This second book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternate history combines rousing pulp action with steampunk style, bringing epic political themes to life within a story of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism.

Princess Adele struggles with a life of marriage and obligation as her Equatorian Empire and their American Republic allies stand on the brink of war against the vampire clans of the north. However, the alliance's horrific strategy for total victory drives Adele to abandon her duty and embark on a desperate quest to keep her nation from staining its hands with genocide. Reunited with her great love, the mysterious adventurer known to the world as the Greyfriar, Adele is pursued by her own people as well as her vengeful husband, Senator Clark. With the human alliance in disarray, Prince Cesare, lord of the British vampire clan, seizes the initiative and strikes at the very heart of Equatoria.

As Adele labors to bring order to her world, she learns more about the strange powers she exhibited in the north. Her teacher, Mamoru, leads a secret cabal of geomancers who believe Adele is the one who can touch the vast power of the Earth that surges through ley lines and wells up at the rifts where the lines meet. These energies are the key to defeating the enemy of mankind.

If Princess Adele could ever bring this power under her command, she could be death to vampires. But such a victory would also cost the life of Adele's beloved Greyfriar.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the Vampire Empire trilogy:

"Vampire Empire is one of the best fantasy series I've read, set in a unique postapocalyptic world. The landscapes, the peoples, and the incredible gizmos will attack your senses. Their unforgettable characters will stay with you as the tale unwinds."
- RT Book Reviews

"The best vampire series I have read in ages. . . . I am blown away by it. It has it all: romance, steampunk, vampires, adventure, and impossible odds for the hero to overcome."
- Vampire Librarian

"If I was stuck on a deserted island and could only have one vampire book series with me, my choice would be the Griffiths' Vampire Empire saga. Bye Lestat, farewell Edward. . . . Thank you to the Griffiths for fueling and continuing my love of vampire novels."
- Reader Girls

"Filled with mind-boggling political intrigue, betrayal, deception, magic, and a healthy dose of romance-you will be once again swept away by this burgeoning epic saga. . . . The Vampire Empire series remains at the top of my must-read list in Urban Fantasy."
- Smexy Books

Library Journal
An arranged marriage to the boorish, militaristic Senator Clark of the American Republic proves more than Princess Adele of the Equatorian Empire can stand. As Clark's plan for victory over the British vampire clan that rules most of the Northern Hemisphere evolves into a genocidal campaign, Adele flees her husband and returns to her true love, the enigmatic Greyfriar. With its steampunk setting, enhanced by the mysteries of geomancy and ley lines, this title advances the Griffiths' chronicle of an alternate Earth forever changed by the emergence of a clan of vampires bent on conquest. VERDICT Pulp adventure, steampunk, and gothic romance meet in this luscious tale of intrigue and derring-do, the sequel to The Greyfriar.

Product Details

Prometheus Books
Publication date:
Vampire Empire Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt



Prometheus Books

Copyright © 2011 Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-61614-523-1

Chapter One

The vineyards were dying. Overripe grapes lay rotting on the ground, fermenting in their own juices, leaking their sugars into the earth. Black flies hovered like thick veils on the sweating fruit while trellised vines looked down on the streets of Freiburg that were empty save for a woman being escorted toward the local inn, her face drenched in fear. The man beside her, holding her arm, was stone-faced, but fear also filled his eyes. He refused to look at the woman as she pulled back, trying to extricate her arm.

"Please," she cried. "There was some mistake. I'm not next."

"Yes, you are," was his harsh reply. "Your name was chosen by the committee. Think of it this way, what you do today may save the rest of us."

"We're all dead. You're just prolonging the inevitable!"

"Maybe. But better a few more days than none at all."

"A few days for you." She cast him a scathing glare full of spite and struggled harder, but could not escape. Another man and a woman came out of the tavern to help pull her along.

"Volker, you must stop this." A thin, aging man with reddish blond hair ran toward the group, desperate and angry, stepping purposefully in front of them.

"This is none of your concern, Matthias." Volker turned furiously on the older man, but Matthias held his ground.

"Then take me instead. Let her go."

"They don't want you," Volker sneered. "They want a woman."

With that they dragged her to the inn, closing the door and sealing them inside the building. The interior was dark and stank of stale ale, sweat, and something more pungent. Men and women slumped dejectedly in chairs. All were filthy and weak. On the floor lay four bodies.

The newly arrived woman recognized one of the bodies. "Johan!" She couldn't go to him as she was dragged toward the bar where three lean vampires sat waiting. She went limp and wept.

A trio of gaudily dressed vampires held an eccentric court. Their skin was akin to alabaster and nearly translucent in the dim light of the tavern. The nearest one, tall and poised, draped in a dark green velvet cape with tight riding breeches that disappeared into high, black, shiny boots, turned to regard the woman.

"Ahh, she's a ripe one."

Another vampire wearing only fine linen trousers sniffed the air and licked his lips. "Volker always brings us the finest choices. You've chosen well."

The man who had escorted the woman gave an exaggerated bow along with a shudder he could not suppress. He pushed her ahead to divert the piercing eyes of the triumvirate.

A third vampire slipped to his feet with eager intent. His fingers were laden with jeweled rings. With an effortless leap, he floated over the bar and landed in front of the woman. The vampire studied her before luxuriously sniffing the air around her, ending at her neck. Salty tears leaked from her eyes as she remained fixed on the bodies at her feet. She waited for the inevitable.

The door of the inn opened slowly, causing everyone to turn their heads and blink into the light. In the doorway stood a tall, lean figure dressed in a vintage rifleman tunic, grey cavalry breeches with red piping down the side, and high leather boots. His head was wrapped in a scarf, like a desert bandit, obscuring his face. Over his eyes he wore smoked glasses.

The three vampires crouched and hissed, followed by an audible gasp from the people in the room.

"The Greyfriar," someone whispered, as if saying the man's name would make him vanish like an apparition. Another said it almost like a prayer.

The newcomer took in the room, his gaze stopping on the vampires. The one closest to the woman stepped back to join his companions behind the bar.

The Greyfriar did not say a word as he slowly approached them. Walking past the woman, he stepped between her and the hissing vampires. It was not a sound of distaste or anger; instead, it was a language. These days, vampires used their old tongue only when surprised or when they didn't want to be understood by humans, preferring an eclectic mixture of human languages.

"He's alone," hissed the bare-chested one, rallying his companions.

"He's always alone," retorted the cloaked vampire. "It makes no difference. He kills us as though we are infants. We should flee."

"This town is ours!" the one wearing rings exclaimed. "We will defend it."

"But where are the others? They should have intercepted him." This from the hesitant one.

"How he got past the others is unimportant. There are three of us here."

Casually, the Greyfriar leaned his elbows upon the bar and remarked in perfect German. "When you are finished debating your options, you should know that you are already dead."

The three vampires shrank back another step. The fearful one looked about wildly for an escape route.

The swordsman added, "Your friends are all dead. I killed them as they gorged. They died far too easily, actually."

They attacked, flinging themselves into the air over the bar. Greyfriar stepped back and drew his sword. The pistol, already in his other hand, lifted and fired. The bare-chested vampire shifted at the last moment, obviously familiar with fighting armed humans. The bullet struck him in the shoulder and should have flung him back, but he altered his density at the last second and landed heavily in front of Greyfriar. Claws extended, he swiped as Greyfriar ducked and kicked the vampire aside. The masked man turned quickly, protecting himself from the attacks of the others. His rapier ripped into the onrushing vampires, connecting once, twice, again and again. The vampires darted out of range of the weapon's bite, their bodies streaming blood from the vicious wounds they did not feel. The skin of vampires, though flesh, was desensitized- making them incredibly hard to stop.

Greyfriar's pistol fired again, hitting one of the vampires in the heart. It staggered forward a few steps, reaching with its jeweled hands, before realizing it was dead. Then it dropped to the floor amid the human bodies.

The wounded one sprang back into the fight, and Greyfriar's sword swung up, aiming for the vampire's neck. It would have been a killing blow, but the creature veered again and the sword slashed its arm, which was nearly severed by the force. The vampire was sacrificing its limb to avoid more serious damage. It stood again and ran at the Greyfriar, its useful arm raised, displaying its deadly claws ready to disembowel.

The swordsman sidestepped the attack and then spun, driving the sword into the spinal column at the base of the neck, shoving the vampire downward. The body flopped to the ground, twitching uncontrollably.

The Greyfriar turned to the final vampire, the nervous one. The vampire held out its arms in supplication.

"Wait!" it shouted in German.

Greyfriar worked his blade free as he regarded the pile of dead humans on the floor, some only half-drained of their blood. "Do not expect pity from me."

The vampire's ice blue eyes filled with terror, as he inched toward the open door. When the Greyfriar did not advance on him, he bolted.

In a burst of speed no human eye could follow, Greyfriar rushed the fleeing vampire. One hand grabbed the collar of the velvet cape and threw the creature back into the room. The vampire didn't fall to the ground, however, but twisted in midair as its density changed, alighting on the far wall, hissing loudly.

Humans nearby scrambled out of the way, stampeding from the inn. Soon the room was empty except for the combatants, the littered dead and dying, and the woman who still stood rooted to the floor, her eyes glued to the skirmish.

"Run," Greyfriar shouted at her.

The swordsman ducked under the first feral swipe of the creature's extended claws. The talons caught a corner of his head wrap and partially ripped it off his head, leaving his long black hair exposed. A quick hand held the lower portion over his chin and mouth.

Stepping back, Greyfriar slashed at the vampire, and the tip of his blade caught the muscle of the creature's abdomen. Blood spurted, but the thing didn't even flinch, only spun around and came again, giving no quarter to the swordsman. Greyfriar twisted to avoid the attack, but this time the vampire didn't turn back. The swordsman charged, but not fast enough, and the vampire grabbed the shell-shocked woman by the throat, its claws digging deep but not breaking skin. The creature pulled her between him and Greyfriar, stopping his advance.

"I will kill her!" the creature hissed in a mix of German and its own language.

"Then your life is forfeit."

"It will be regardless!"

"You have a choice."

The vampire hesitated a moment. "The Greyfriar never leaves any alive! You mean you would let me go?"

"No one has ever asked." The swordsman lowered his weapon as he repaired his torn scarf.

The vampire stood stunned. "All I have to do is ask and you would spare my life?" Ever so slightly his hand loosened from around the woman's throat, and she took a gasping breath.

"Your actions will dictate my response. Harm the female and I will kill you. Release her and we will discuss this further."

The eyes of the vampire darted wildly. Greyfriar's face, covered in cloth and smoked glass, offered no clue to his intent. The muscles in the vampire's jaw twitched, then hardened. He backed toward the door. "You lie."

Greyfriar's rapier rose again. "Don't be foolish. There is nowhere for you to go."

The vampire dragged the woman to the frame of the door, smelling freedom beyond. Blood dripped steadily to the floor from the slash in his belly. His nostrils flared and his fangs showed as his mouth yawned open. The hunger rose.

"Don't," ordered Greyfriar, recognizing the signs. He knew the wound was not severe enough to warrant hunger. It was instinct and fear driving the vampire; fear of not being at full strength to fight an unbeatable foe. Greyfriar lowered his sword again. "You have no need to feed. I will not harm you if you release the woman."

Steely, desperate eyes glinted. "It is your fault I am weakened. She dies because of you!" His teeth flashed.

With that, Greyfriar raised his pistol and shot the vampire through the jaw, inches from the woman's head. The creature flew backward and the woman crumpled to the ground, trembling. Greyfriar leapt over her to plunge his sword into the heart of the still-twitching creature. He yanked it out almost angrily.

He turned to the dazed woman and helped her to her feet. "I told you to run." Her dark eyes turned toward him. His irritation abated. The woman stood on shaking legs and he took a moment to comfort her. "You're safe now."

"My husband," she moaned, stepping toward the pile of bodies.

Greyfriar could smell which body had her scent on it. He was long dead. "I'm sorry. But you still live." It brought her little consolation.

"Not for long," she whispered angrily, caught up in her grief. "You'll soon leave us and we'll be left alone again to be ravaged by more of their kind. What good are you?" Despair laced her voice, but she was right.

"I cannot be everywhere. I am truly sorry."

Some of the braver villagers peered in, checking the outcome of the battle. Greyfriar waved them inside after making sure his mask was back in place.

The man named Volker approached Greyfriar and greeted him familiarly, clapping him on the back. "The Greyfriar has saved us!" he announced loudly. "Just in the nick of time. I'm glad my letter reached you."

Greyfriar's emotionless gaze fell upon him. The man stank of fear and lies. "I received no such letter. I know what's been going on here. You opted to sacrifice your own kind."

Volker hesitated, but then blurted out, "We had no choice. They would have just slaughtered us all without some sort of order, so we came up with a system."

"Which you controlled. Were you even in the game? Was your family?"

Volker pulled back, his shame plain. "I ran the lottery. Someone had to." The townspeople glared at him. The woman beside Greyfriar stepped up to Volker and slapped him hard across the mouth.

"It should be you lying there dead instead of Johan."

Volker sputtered and looked pleadingly around at the swordsman. "I only did what I thought was best for the town."

Greyfriar motioned to the older man with the ginger beard. He had witnessed this man's act of selflessness. "What's your name?"

"Matthias." The man was haggard but had an air of calm, with authority in his voice.

"Matthias, this town now answers to you until you come up with some new rule of your own. These people need your help and your compassion."

"Wait a minute." Volker shoved himself between them. "I'm the authority here!"

Greyfriar turned on him. "No longer." He addressed the crowd. "The punishment for his crime will be decided by you. Let justice be done here."

"You can't do that! I only did what I thought was best!" Volker pleaded, looking around for supporters. None stepped forward.

Matthias gathered a group of men to help move the bodies. The woman who had been spared followed her husband out in the morbid procession.

Greyfriar went outside to the cheering of the appreciative town. But the woman's words still echoed. For the first time in many years, he wondered the same thing. How effective could one man be? Stories and legends always made it sound plausible, but there were so many he couldn't save, so many towns where he arrived too late. Still, he would never stop. Long gone were his foolish dreams of dashing heroics. Now all that remained were nightmares of what might have happened if he had arrived too late to save one woman. Adele. Just the thought of her made his numb body ache.

People touched him, both lightly and some a tad harder, all gestures of gratitude, but he felt none of them. He walked among them, slowly cheered by their smiling faces. A small child walked alongside him, clasping his gloved hand, and tugging insistently. They followed him to the town's edge, their eyes gradually saddening with the knowledge that he was already leaving. He had seen it time and time again; every village was the same. Tomorrow they would be left alone to fend for themselves, and the fear and the uncertainty would return.

He hated to leave them; he hated to leave all of the towns, but he had to return to Edinburgh. It had already been far too long since he had stepped on his home soil. His own flock needed him, since they were just as much at risk as these towns on the occupied continent.

Matthias suddenly appeared in front of him. "We have no way to express our gratitude."

"It is not necessary."

"Of course it is," he insisted. "We would all be dead eventually. We have nothing to offer you but our thanks."

Greyfriar inclined his head graciously. This speech was not uncommon either. Many times they offered gifts. Food. Wine. Books. Cows. Most of it was useless to him. He spied a movement in Matthias's coat pocket, and up popped a small, white head. A cat, or more exactly a kitten. It was very small and bedraggled. Greyfriar reached to rub its head and it purred immediately.

Matthias grinned, extracting the tiny creature. "Perhaps we have something for you after all." Thick, gnarled fingers tousled the kitten's fur as it curled up in his large hands. "Her mother and siblings are gone. She is the last of her litter." He held out the kitten to Greyfriar.

The swordsman smiled, but shook his head. "I have a long journey ahead of me."

"And a companion would make it go faster. She is quite independent." He perched the kitten on the Greyfriar's shoulder and immediately the kitten dug in her claws and nestled against the soft scarf at his neck. The little boy beside him giggled.

Greyfriar regarded the lad. "Do you think I should keep her?" He tried to smile, though it was a gesture lost on the boy. Still, his cold, hidden features did not frighten. The child nodded vigorously. Greyfriar turned to Matthias. "Then I shall. Thank you."

Pleased, the older man reached out and clasped him on the opposite shoulder. "Such a small gesture in light of all that you have done for us. But our homes are always welcome to you."

Greyfriar turned to go, but the woman from the inn touched him lightly on the arm. He didn't notice her and walked on past, but Matthias saw it and stopped him.

"Brigida would say something to you, sir."

Greyfriar turned back.

The woman struggled to find her voice through her anguish and embarrassment. "I wanted to say thank you as well. I didn't mean what I said before. I was angry."


Excerpted from VAMPIRE EMPIRE by CLAY GRIFFITH SUSAN GRIFFITH Copyright © 2011 by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith. Excerpted by permission of Prometheus Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Clay and Susan Griffith, a married couple who have written and published together for more than two decades, are the authors of the Vampire Empire trilogy—The Greyfriar, The Rift Walker, and The Kingmakers—and the Crown & Key trilogy, as well as the first Vampire Empire: A Gareth and Adele novel, The Geomancer. Their credits include numerous short stories featuring noted genre characters like Kolchak the Night Stalker and the Phantom and comic books including The Tick and The Simpsons. They've also written scripts for the television/web show Monster Creature Feature. They live in North Carolina where they play World of Warcraft and struggle to entertain their cat. Visit the authors' website at clayandsusangriffith.com/ and www.facebook.com/#!/vampireempire.

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Rift Walker 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Bidellat001 More than 1 year ago
This epic forbidden love story set in a steam punk setting is a explosion on action, love, death, and adventure. Any gender would enjoy reading this along with the first book (Vampire Kingdom.) I find my self anxiously awaiting Book 3.
Openbooksociety_dot_com More than 1 year ago
Brought to you by guest reviewer Erin This had more of the world building I was hoping for. More details about Geomancy and the effect religion has on the vampires. We get to see the desert and the interior of Africa, and different vampire groups (including the nocturnal desert djinns and mountain ndoki). I was happiest to see Adele become such a strong character. One of the things that bugged me about the first book was how often Greyfriar described her face as that of a little girl, or fearful. After getting back to Equatoria she goes from a fearful, sometimes damsel-in-distress to a full-fledged royal, in charge of herself and her destiny. She even rescues Greyfriar this time around. It still has its Errol-Flynn swashbuckling moments, and the action is on par with the first. There are more humans fighting humans this time around though, as the politics are changing. There aren’t a lot of clear characters that are absolutely “good guys” and “bad guys”. There are a few characters that I expect to switch sides before the end of the third book. There are a few already that through their actions have done more to benefit their opponents. But that’s why this book works so well; even though it’s a love story between a woman and a vampire, the characters are believable, and you can’t help but get attached. This review and more at openbooksociety dot com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One word, Excellent! Get it and throw yourself around untill #3 is released, like me!
Heather724 More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!!! Such a perfect middle book to a trilogy! Enough action, romance, suspense to satisfy anyone and a perfect ending to set up the final installment! I am totally dying to continue reading this story! =) Well done, Griffiths! I am in awe! Tight plot, smooth pace, vivid character and scene development, absolutely seamless world building. I typically hate 3rd person, omniscient POV, however, the Griffiths pull it off masterfully. I want to see this series in film!
dalnewt More than 1 year ago
From a vampire decimated Europe to a bustling metropolis of Alexandria to unmapped African jungle, this second installment in the Vampire Empire trilogy thrums with vibrant adventure. This book delivers heart-thumping exploits, action-packed conflict, mysterious magic, treacherous betrayals, cunning intrigue, unpredictable twists and endearing romance. The book's male and female leads, the Greyfriar and Princess Adele, are sympathetic, and the supporting characters are colorful. Multiple story lines deliver an epic adventure story of an alternate earth divided between predatory vampire clans in the ravaged Old World of the North and mechanized human civilizations within the Equatorial Region. The main story lines follow the experiences of Princess Adele, heir to the Equatorial Empire, and the Greyfriar, a legendary masked hero who fights a one-man war against vampires in Northern Europe. Additional threads follow supporting characters including the experiences of Adele's enigmatic tutor, Mamoru, and the efforts of Adele's steadfast protector, Colonel Anhalt. (Anhalt particularly shines in the story.) The thoughts and actions of a bombastic Senator Clark and the intrigue of the heir apparent to the British vampire throne, Cesare, also enhance the narrative. The story picks up three months after Adele and Greyfriar parted within the skies over Scotland. Returned to Equitoria, Adele is avoiding her marriage to the American Senator Clark, but her delay threatens the American alliance as well as the chance for victory in the impending war against the vampire clans. Although she detests Senator Clark and hates his genocidal plan to starve the vampires by fire bombing the surviving humans in Northern Europe, she accedes to her father's wishes and agrees to a short date for the wedding ceremony. Meanwhile, the Greyfriar is realizing the futility of his singular efforts to protect the devastated human villages of Northern Europe. Then, he learns that Cesare, as acting head of the British vampire clan, has cultivated human agents within Equitoria and plans an attack within Alexandria. From that point the story spins a sweeping tale of adventure, conflict, political intrigue and vampire treachery augmented by satisfying relationship developments between the main characters. Adele and the Greyfriar face danger together and apart as the story ranges from Alexandria to Egyptian temples along the Nile to the lush African interior. Adele's resolve and fortitude grow exponentially as the result of her experiences and the Greyfriar's unconditional love. In addition, Adele's dormant magical power erupts into an uncontrolled wave of death for any vampire unlucky enough to be caught within the blast radius. Meanwhile, treachery and surprise revelations cause reversals of fortune for the Equitorian Empire and, eventually, Adele and the Greyfriar. In many ways this second book is devoted to advancing Adele's character; but, while doing so, the book entertains with a wonderfully imagined pulp adventure set within an expansive alternate world setting. I highly recommend this book to all fans of romantic epic adventure fantasy, anyone interested in pulp action with steampunk details and all vampire genre enthusiasts interested in an intriguing conflict that pits cunning and vicious vampires against surviving human civilizations.
Sensitivemuse 4 days ago
***Spoilers ahead you’ve been warned!*** It is greatly recommended you read The Greyfriar before jumping into this novel. You’d be pretty much lost if you started reading out of order. This one was just as good as the first one and better. I enjoyed reading Adele’s development throughout the book! I never thought of her as a whiny damsel in distress even though there were times when she wasn’t sure what to do but in this book she went from a strong character to someone even stronger. She immediately knew what to do and there were times when she didn’t take no as an answer (and the empress in her came out! That was fun to watch!) You now have a more developed plot and you also get to see who’s on who’s side and who has a private agenda (Yes Mamoru, we’re talking about you.) I used to like Mamoru so much until the last third of this book. Wow. I understand where the hatred is coming from but it goes to show how blinding it can be and the way it can twist someone around. Also: Everybody needs a friend like Colonel Anhalt. You need a loyal friend like that in life. No kidding. He’s become one of my favorite characters in the series because of his loyalty, despite discovering who the Greyfriar really is. He adores and cherishes Adele so much I loved reading about him. She treats him just the same way and they both are the best match when it comes to a good loyal friendship, in fact it’s almost a father daughter relationship. Speaking of fathers. The deaths of both Constantine and Dmitri just tore me up. It’s interesting how they died similarly. Both heartbreaking, and wanting you out there crying for revenge because of the way they died. So who do I dislike more? Cesare? Or Senator Clark? I’d go with Cesare on this one. He’s cunning, ruthless but there’s something slimy about him that you just want to sink a stake into his heart and watch him disintegrate. Senator Clark on the other hand is just an uncouth baboon that’s funny when he’s upset. You can’t help but laugh at his antics even though he’s a jerk. The plot in the book is evenly paced as for the majority of it you follow the Greyfriar and Adele through their journey (GARETH THE WEDDING CRASHER! I LOVED IT!) their romance is well written and it’s not sappy or too sweet. It’s just right. They have their funny moments, and their sad ones, and ones where it was a close call to ending them. I rather wish they had more moments on Cesare and his plotting but he’s sporadically featured here and there throughout the book. Not enough though (there’s just something about villains that you want to read more about anyway…) I definitely can’t wait to read the third one! I want to see what’s going to happen now that Adele is using her skills as a Geomancer and she’s getting more training on it (although there’s a downside to that as well.) Can’t wait to see what’s in store for them next!
rjennings10 More than 1 year ago
The Griffiths set a high bar with the first book in their Vampire Empire Trilogy. The second one did not disappoint. The action scenes were plentiful and beautifully-crafted, and the twists genuinely caught me off-guard. All of the characters I loved from The Greyfriar were back, only with more detail. What struck me the most was that there were very few "bad guys" in the book. The characters all acted on the side of right, as they saw it, and could fully justify their actions, even the evil vampire prince. It took a few pages to warm up, but once the story got going, it exploded into high gear and refused to relent until I was left gasping at the end.  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.
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I waited forever to buy this book and i wish i hadnt! This book was everything and more than the first book. It took all the best features of the first book and made it into more. If your on the fence about purchasing this book wait no longer because it is well worth the time and money.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marcie77 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved the first book, The Greyfriar. So I was really excited to read The Rift Walker. I could not wait to find out what was going to happen with Princess Adele and the Greyfriar. I was not disappointed. I could not put this book down. This book is full of blood thirsty vampires and the human race is on the endangered species list. The story line picks up where it left off in book one, The Greyfriar. Adele is forced into an arranged marriage with Senator Clark. She is trying to find any and every excuse as to why she shouldn't marry him. Senator Clark is an ambitious, power seeking, pompous jerk who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Marrying Adele will bring him closer to his goals. Adele is prepared to do what ever needs to be done to save her people from the war with the vampires. Adele goes on the lamb and the adventure begins. This story is fast paced and exciting. The Greyfriar, aka Prince Gareth, has to find a way to stop his power hungry brother, Caesar from destroying the human population. Caesar has several aces up his sleeve and is more cunning than Gareth knows. I really like Adele's character. In the first book, Adele has to find her inner strength and learn to trust someone that should be her enemy. In this novel, Adele's character grows even more. She discovers that she has a power she never knew about. She has no clue how to use it but it has the possibility to destroy her enemies. She has to become the leader that her empire needs. She is tested over and over again but with the Greyfriar by her side, she has a confidence that she's never had before. The relationship between Adele and the Greyfriar is intriguing. They are so different yet they draw strength from each other. The Greyfriar is fiercely protective of Adele and would fight to the death for her. I really like the dynamics of their relationship. Clay and Susan Griffith have managed to write deplorable characters in Casar and Clark. They both mirror each other in a lot of ways. I hope they both get their comeuppance soon. The Vampire Empire series is becoming one of my favorite all time series. If you haven't read these books yet. I strongly recommend them. I know there are a lot of vampire books out there but this series sets itself apart from the rest. I can not say enough about this book. The first book blew me away and the second did it again. I absolutely love this series and I can't wait for the third book to come out.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
I freaking loved this book! Like devoured it in just a few hours loved this book! So much is going on in this book that I need to take deeps breathes in order to slow down and tell you whats going on in my head! *Takes deep breathe* Okay the plot line is dynamic. So much from the very first page to the last page, I ate it up. With every turn of the page, new things unfolded, war is started and then BAM! ending! I think I read this book so fast that I didn't even realize I was at the end till the end and then I was just angry. I mean, I wanted more! The characters left me very happy. The authors did a great job on the progressing growth of the characters and the way it flowed. I loved that the authors hooked the reader and kept the reader entertain till the very end. I felt that the book not only gave the reader everything they wanted but also gave the reader the feeling of satisfaction. Questions from the first book were answered. I like how the authors left you hanging at the end. I don't like cliffies but this one left me squealing!! If you have not pick up Vampire Empire, you must! It is a great steam punk read that I can never get enough of. Action filled with a great romance, The Rift Walker is a book you must read now!
harstan More than 1 year ago
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. The two human superpowers seek an alliance between the American Republic, which recently took back St, Louis from the vampires, and the Equatorian Empire. To cement the alliance, Senator Clark and Princess Adele marry. The human plan is to turn back the clock to over a century ago when vampire clans were myths by cleansing the north from this insidious species. However, Adele is horrified with the genocide which includes her as the key because the geomancers believe she can tap into the earth's power pulsing through ley lines, which used correctly would end the blight but also kill her beloved Greyfriar. Princess Adele flees her marriage, ending the compact between the two super human powers and turns to Greyfriar who saved her life when British Vampire Clan Lord Prince Cesare threatened her. Taking advantage of the human alliance collapse, Prince Cesare leads an assault on Equatoria while insulted Clark considers likewise. The second Vampire Empire fantasy (see Greyfriar) is a terrific alternate history and future thriller in which Clay Griffith & Susan Griffith deftly merge politics and war with a touch of romance. Fast-paced from the moment an unhappy Adele flees with a strong cast (human and vampire); The Rift Walker is a fabulous tale as readers will believe vampire clans exist and control vast areas. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago