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The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire #1)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  4,001 ratings  ·  646 reviews
Rousing pulp action and steampunk come together in a heartbreaking story of high adventure and alternate history.

In the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. It is now 2020 and a bloody reckoning is coming. Princess Adele is heir to the Empire of Equatoria, a remnant of the old tropical British Empire. When she becomes the t
Paperback, 303 pages
Published November 18th 2010 by Pyr (first published November 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
Update- Book 2 is The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire, #2), it will come out in September 2011, Yeah!!!

Review is still below: :)

The rambling review of a book fanatic…

I finished the book and I hugged it. Yup, I’m gonna admit it. I hugged the book. It was THAT good. You are going to have many reviews for this book that will do an awesome job of detailing what the book is about and they will do a much better job of explaining the story. Therefore, I am going to do a funky bullet point list of what I l
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Feb 07, 2013 Stacia (the 2010 club) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of alternate history, steampunk and adventure based fantasy
Recommended to Stacia (the 2010 club) by: Isamlq
Soon he would have to reveal himself to her, and he knew what her reaction would be.
His numb heart broke at that realization.

What to say, what to say, what to say...

Swashbuckling Adventure! Political Intrigue! Forbidden Desire!

My apologies in advance for the sheer amount of quotes I'm saddling you with this time. I tried to cut back as much as possible, but I was so in love with the imagery through words in The Greyfriar that I had such a hard time choosing what to include and what to leave
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Whoah my dear book! Steady now, you just might make me fall on my arse with all the ROCKING you’re doing!

I’m in love!

I’m in love with the story, I’m in love with the authors and most importantly I’m in love with Gareth.

My only tiny problem with the book was the POV switching. It worked so well for Adele and Gareth, but sucked for the other characters. It got me bored. But I won’t take away any stars from the rating because everything was awesome and I had a great time reading experiencing the bo
Dec 04, 2013 Carol. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers of the Parasol Protectorate

Would you like some wine with your pastiche?*

Soulless meets Beauty, shares meaningful whispers and lingering gazes, then elopes to The War of the Worlds, undoubtedly to spawn a trilogy (if they sell well).

Understand, I didn't mean to read this. But it was a recent monthly read, and I'm trying to be more open minded about urban fantasy. Why? Because I desperately want to believe in the worlds urban fantasy creates--if they weren't so glaringly awful at it.

This is not awful.

This is, however, fair
Marg K.
The Greyfriar is a steampunk vampire adventure romance. In regards to blending these different elements, I think the book succeeds in doing so quite well. In fact, for the most part, I really enjoyed the story. However, it was the writing that I found rather flawed.

The steampunk genre seems to be experiencing an increase in renewed popularity these days. Sadly, some authors think that all it takes is a pair of goggles paired with a Victorian jacket and brass pistol to call something steampunk. T
This was unexpectedly good and I have to thank Sandra for recommending it time and time again.

So, what's so good about this one?


A masked hero! Which in my head was some sort of crossover between Zorro and Dread Pirate Roberts (aka. Dreamy)

A kickass princess.

Some pretty awesome world building that included the creation of a new Empire around the tropical regions.

A SLOW romance and zero insta-love. (Can't even explain how happy I am about this!)

Jess the Romanceaholic
I swear I have no words, but dangit I'm going to try!

This book has a little bit of everything. There's steampunk, romance (the heartfelt kind, not the steamy kind), swashbuckling adventure, horror (complete with gore), politics, religion, family issues, intrigue, betrayal, all wrapped up int a giant ball of awesomeness.

What worked for me:

*The whole secret identity of Greyfriar. I actually had a hard time deciding who I liked better -- "Greyfriar" or his alter-ego, (view spoiler)
Here’s what the blurb on the back says,

“In the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. Millions of humans were killed outright. Millions more died of disease and famine due to the havoc that followed. Within two years, once-great cities were shrouded by the grey empire of the vampire clans. Human refugees fled south to the tropics because vampires could not tolerate the constant heat there. They brought technology and a feverish drive to reestablis
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Note: I received a review copy of this book compliments of the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinions. Thanks, Pyr/Prometheus Books!

Vampires and steampunk! The former, obviously, is a topic that's been wildly popular for years and years. The latter, as well, has been a subgenre gaining more traction in the science fiction and fantasy world lately, hence the fact that I would finally stumble across a book which unites both concepts in the foundation for its story was only a matter of time!
harlequin {Stephanie}
Love a book with a good strong name. The greyfriar, rolls off your tongue nicely doesn't it.

This is gonna be a short review. Hello? Five stars should speak for itself. I want to highlight a few key things that blew me away.

1: Not only is this a fantastical tale to work them poor missused brain muscles, but it is truly great literature. Not overly so. Will not bore you to tears. I promise.

2: I don't know about you, but I hate characters with no follow through. Authors have a tendancy to write cha
I enjoyed this book a lot, surprisingly, because I had no expectations and it's sat on my Kindle for a WHILE. I'm kinda OVER vampires, but this was a really interesting interpretation, with alt-historical-European history thrown in (written to be young adult friendly). I liked the old-fashioned quality of the writing, it felt like an early 20th century book, a bit fairy tale-ish, simple but compelling. I definitely will enjoy reading the next. I think the cover art doesn't sell the book the way ...more
Mar 28, 2011 oliviasbooks rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of steampunk and alternative history who do not mind a little zombie action
Recommended to oliviasbooks by: Kim + Michelle
What a potent mixture:
- An alternative history setting that has the human states and kingdoms huddled around the equator since the repelled-by-warmth vampire (homo nosferatii) clans crawled out of their hidden spots to initiate the Great Killing in 1870, leaving only enough human prey alive to keep as cattle herds.
- Steampunk elements like pneumatic sailboats cruising the skies that somehow underline both the excotic atmosphere of the strange British-Egyptian-Persian Empire and the war-and-powe
Lady Heather

I really enjoyed this story!

This is the first book in the 'Greyfriar' Trilogy.

The story takes place 150 years after 'The Killing'. A time when the Vampires have come out of hiding, and take over the world. Humans have either escaped to other organized human settlements (in the south), or became 'blood slaves' to the Vampires (in the north).

The Vampires in 'this world' are viscous & merciless, and think nothing of the humans except as a source of food.

The characters and world building in t

The airship that is carrying princess Adele, heir to the throne of the Equatorian Empire, is under attack. Colonel Anhalt is desperately trying to protect her but soon their ship crashes into the hostile vampire grounds and the young girl is separated from him. Thankfully Adele is not alone. A man who is considered to be a legend among her people comes to her rescue and so their journey together begins.

I must admit that the first chapters of the book were hard for me to follow. English is not my
The human world has been nearly destroyed by a great vampire killing war. Humans are living in small closed communities along the equator. A princess from one of the larger settlements is to marry the Butcher an American Vampire Hunter to unite the two nations into one giant campaign to end the Vampires world dominance. Her visit to neighboring towns goes terribly wrong when her ships are attacked and she is taken hostage. Greyfrair, a legend among humans tries to save her and the empires future ...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

I was blindsided by how phenomenal THE GREYFRIAR was from start to finish. Amazing vampire mythology, a chilling alternate history, and a poignant romance that grips your whole heart and refuses to let go.

Imagine a world where vampires have decimated the population on nearly every continent for the past century, where the remnants of humanity have fled to the warmest parts of the earth and attempted to rebuild society, where the humans who didn’t escape
The Greyfriar
3.5 Stars

A well written story although the world building is quite dense and requires patience to wade through. The synthesis of post-apocalyptic, steampunk and vampiric elements is compelling as is the original take on vampires rising up against humanity and subjugating those who once oppressed them. The descriptions of the vampires' cruel domination are particularly gruesome and horrifying yet the authors still manage to convey that there are two sides to every conflict.

Mad Scientist
Review appearing at Steampunkery & Book Reviews

Concoction of a Review:
This was a great ride – not your average ordinary bland bandwagon vampire novel. I wanted to read it fast because it was so good and slow because I didn’t want it to end. When Greyfrair finally did come to an end I was full of emotion for this book that once I read the last word I literally hugged the book. For the Mad Scientist this book was that good. No, it was an amazing string of wo
I feel like I've read so many different takes on vampires – pretty ones, sparkly ones, scary ones, ugly ones, heroic ones, gruesome ones etc. There are so many out there that sometimes I forget the acute differences or which particular vampire society I’m currently reading about. Besides Eric the Viking – my all-time favourite vampire, I’ve come to realise that I do prefer my vampires to be the broody, dark, mysterious and slightly evil ones which Greyfriar delivered.

The vampires in Greyfriar s
Mrs. Badass
Hm. 3.5/5 but I'm rounding up to 4 stars.

I loved the cats!!

The world was interesting, and I enjoyed the take on history, vampires, and the technology humans had to re-create after the great killing in 1850ish.

I enjoyed the characters, Adele, the Heroine was strong, capable, and an intriguing woman. She has a quiet inner strength I admired, and I liked how she grew throughout the book.

Greyfriar was awesome. Sure he's a bit cliche albeit a cross between Zorro and robin hood, but I liked him, and h
This is a book with a lot of buzz and good reviews, and the novel has some nice things going for it. The pace is frenetic; the action starts in the first chapter and rarely tapers off. The setting is creative and it's fun to think about the world the Griffiths have created. Basing humanity in the tropics was a stroke of world-building genius. But there are significant problems with the setting, plot, and characters.
Character: The characters are really one-dimensional. Adele is yet another form o
Aly is so frigging bored
Buddy read with Marulett

Dudes I didn't expect to finish this book, I swear! But when I picked it up the 2nd time it seemed like a totally other novel! This served like a great lesson for me: when you don't feel like(are not in the mood for) reading something, don't!

Thank you Anzu for pushing it to me :D I'll read the other 2 for sure :)

PS: Love the cover!
PPS: Love the cats as well :D
I am Bastet
This is a great book!
Jun 01, 2014 Sandra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sandra by: Stacia (the 2010 club)
Shelves: fantasy
I think fans of brave heroines and politics in exotic realms in fantasy series, lovers of action in fantasy novels and vampire fans in general will love it as much as I did.

Vampire Empire has certainly got elements coming from all those genres. I find incredible how Clay and Susan Griffith have managed to mix up the best of them, coming up successfully with this amazingly entertaining series.

Please, come to Vampire Empire and enjoy its characters, its action packed adventure and its amazingly
The Greyfriar (Book 1 in the Vampire Empire Trilogy) was my first proper introduction to the steampunk genre. In this bold alternate universe authored by husband and wife team Susan and Clay Griffith, vampires are vicious, powerful, and wisely feared by the human population. 150 years ago, vampires and altered the course of history as they emerged and destroyed much of human civilization toward northern territories, forcing survivors to move south. But humans are resilient beings and with time t ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: This remarkable adventure hits all the right points. With complex and riveting characters and a captivating plot, this deeply emotional story is sure to win readers’ hearts.

Opening Sentence: Your Highness would be safer below.

The Review:

Princess Adele is the heir to the Equatoria Empire. Adele is betrothed to the egomaniacal Senator Clark, ruler of the American Empire. The merging of these two vast empires will be a formidable foe for the insatiable vampires who rome freely ov
Prolly better than a 2* star rating but not really my genre so it gets 2.5 rounded down.

Whats it about then?

Girl Human meets Boy Vampire = Forbidden Love. The End....

It starts of well, with the premise of fallen empires, now overrun by vampires with the remnants of the great empires residing in their former colonial lands about the equator. The main empires being the British, run by world WWI style generals & the Americans led by General George Custer lookalikes which is all good, they said
Wow! I loved this book! You know you have an over-the-top, crazy book when you combine Steampunk with nasty, vicious vampires. I figured this book would be total cheese, and in many ways it was, but it was such well done cheese, that I was grinning from ear to ear. I thought their world was so rich and darkly beautiful. I thought the romance was sweet and sad. The story just kept moving at a breakneck pace that I couldn’t put it down. There was absolutely no smut, and the funny thing was, I didn ...more
Joan (official heroine hater)
Buddy read with the TBD girls!

I ended up enjoying this one but it was definitely a case of “took awhile to get into it”. The first 50% really dragged for me; way too much info dumping and military/political maneuvering and plotting. That kind of stuff is just really not my cup of tea, so it was kind of like hiking through knee-deep mud for awhile and I almost considered DNF’ing it. There was also about a bazillion names, locations, and territories to keep straight that added to the tedium. I fel

As I was nodding off last night to the thundering pops of at home fireworks outside my window (northeast D.C. thinks the 4th of July lasts for a week), I couldn't get Disney's Beauty and the Beast out of my head. Beautiful Belle is trapped in the Beast's castle and held against her will. During her imprisonment Belle comes to see the Beast for what he is and not what he looks like. He's smart, gentle, and compassionate. Outside the castle, Belle's suitor -
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Saucy Wenches Boo...: June - The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire #1) by Clay Griffith 12 14 Jul 25, 2015 07:16PM  
Good Novels to Co...: A must read! 1 5 Jul 23, 2013 11:13PM  
Urban Fantasy: Book of the Month - January 32 208 Jan 28, 2013 11:52PM  
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Clay and Susan Griffith are the authors of the VAMPIRE EMPIRE series and the CROWN & KEY trilogy.

"Vampire Empire is transforming genre fiction." Paul Goat Allen, B&N Explorations.

If you're on Facebook, please think about going to and clicking LIKE. If you done it already...Thank you.

Clay & Susan Griffith are a married couple who have written and published
More about Clay Griffith...

Other Books in the Series

Vampire Empire (4 books)
  • The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire, #2)
  • The Kingmakers (Vampire Empire, #3)
  • The Geomancer (Vampire Empire: A Gareth and Adele Novel)

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