Edna's Reviews > The Rift Walker

The Rift Walker by Clay Griffith
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Nov 17, 11

bookshelves: 2011, steampunk, won, science-fiction, paranormal
Read from November 01 to 05, 2011

Clay and Susan Griffith's The Rift Walker, sequel to The Greyfriar, made me somewhat apprehensive. The first novel was one of my favorites last year, so would the next installment of the Vampire Empire series live up to my high expectations? It did. The Rift Walker is as fantastic as The Greyfriar, if not more.

The Rift Walker takes place a few months after The Greyfriar ended. Princess Adele of Equatoria receives more pressure from her father Emperor Constantine and her intended, the American Republic's Senator Clark, to proceed with their wedding so their nations can unite as one against the British vampire clan. The humans don't know that the vampire Prince Cesare is forming his own alliance with other clans around the world. When Greyfriar learns of Cesare's plans to strike at Adele and Clark's ceremony, he comes to the rescue, whisking the Princess off to safety and away from her royal responsibilities. But that doesn't mean her duties and nation are far from her mind since war with the vampires seems inevitable. All the while, Adele also learns more about her strange powers which are evolving into something grander than she ever thought. There's so much weighing on her but with Greyfriar at her side, maybe they can find a balance between their worlds.

The Rift Walker was entirely addicting with excellent, detailed writing. It has a little bit of something for every reader by smoothly blending several genres. It even included some very well placed humor, notably with Adele and Greyfriar, which pleasantly surprised me. Another outstanding element was the vivid descriptions of the new African locales that take readers right into pages. I can always count on the Griffiths to set up a great world to get lost in.

There were plenty of intriguing storylines that seamlessly weaved together. The politics were genius and twisted as this time it centers heavily on humans whom Cesare cleverly used to his advantage. Power exemplifies delusions and the corruption of certain individuals. Masks fall and deceits are exposed with pieces of the vampire-human war moving into place. Some lines are drawn illustrating where individuals must choose their a side, even if that means working with the enemy. It tests duty versus morals, a running theme in the novel.

Though Greyfriar has a lesser role in The Rift Walker, he is still a powerful figure. He chose his side and that's with Adele. Readers get a chance to see just how deep their relationship is. Their bond is so effortless and solid--they just fit. Individually, they are strong, but together they are an even greater force to be reckoned with even with their new setbacks.

The Rift Walker--the title actually refers to the princess and her ability--is Adele's moment to shine. She makes a rash decision to escape with Greyfriar as her future was unfairly being chosen for her. It was clear from the previous book that she was being used, but here Adele is taking action, taking her future into her own hands. With the court seeing her unfit due to her half-Persian blood and her gender but also unstable because of her time in the north with the vampires, I don't blame her for finding a different route. She's in a man's world but she comes out on her own as a bright, strong-willed woman. She proves throughout the book how she will be a great, compassionate ruler, better than any other individual trying for the throne. Adele also has her geomancy lessons, showing just how extreme the power radiating from the earth is in her hands. It's in her to change the course of the world. I'm completely fascinated and eager to see how it will unfold.

Besides the two main characters, minor ones from The Greyfrair are fleshed out with their own perspectives. Mamoru, Colonel Anhalt (favorite minor character!), Lord Kelvin, and others show more aspects of their personalities to give added layers and support to plots. With that, there were grave disappointments, but also remarkably touching bits--all made for a good read.

The Rift Walker is an adventure worth delving into. It's an extraordinary, action-filled novel that will keep readers up late at night, scrambling to get to that last page to read the fate of the beloved characters Adele and Greyfriar. The Rift Walker surely leaves a great set up for the conclusion of the series coming out next year. I, for one, am waiting on pins and needles.
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