Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff – Mid Point Review

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 couldn’t 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.

I’m having a bit of a strange time with this book. When I’m settled down with it and reading its hugely enjoyable and I get sucked right back in to the story. However I’m just not picking it up that often.

It is a properly hefty book so the size might have something to do with it but I’ve read similar sized books before with no problem. I think what it might be is that it is a story that needs you to immerse yourself in it. It’s not a book for picking up and reading a couple of pages of when you get a minute, it needs time devoted to it. Which is absolutely not a bad thing, I simply don’t have the time to give it a long stretch of reading at the moment. My reading is very much slotted in to my day right now. I haven’t and don’t want to DNF it but I am taking a bit of a break to read something else before coming back to Empire.

I’m enjoying the way the story is told with Gabriel recounting his own story, it makes for an interesting narrative that is engaging to read.

The Vampire lore is fairly traditional but here we have two classes of Vamp – those who rise from the dead whole and powerful and those who rise as rotted copses and are almost akin to Vampire Zombies. Its a nice mix and both types are equally as terrifying in their own way. It’s nice to see properly evil Vampires appearing in books again.

The tale itself is of epic scale and the timeline jumps about to give us elements of the story at different times, these time jumps are nicely signposted though and easy to follow. Gabriel is very much an anti-hero, he never pretends to be a nice guy or to be doing the things he does out of kindness. He takes the actions he does for his own reasons and because the suit him. Despite this I can’t help but like him anyway.

A book that needs time devoted to the reading of it, but one that repays that time with an immersive (if bleak) story.

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