usagi ☆ミ's Reviews > The Kingmakers

The Kingmakers by Clay Griffith
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's review
Apr 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, vampires, urban-fantasy, steampunk, alternate-universe-or-history, reviewed
Read from August 28 to September 07, 2012

Note: This review is for books 2 and 3 of the trilogy, so there may be spoilers.

I found book 2 to be the biggest improvement of the series so far, and book 3, while it was a good conclusion, still didn't feel entirely whole to me. I love the romance that the authors have injected into this alternate universe adventure, but at times it was a bit over the top with the paranormal, a little too unbelievable with certain bits of the world that the Griffiths have created. I did really like both books, though, and while I'm sad to see the trilogy end, I feel like its end was complete enough so that I don't feel like it hasn't been properly wrapped up. If you love steampunk and romance, the last two installments of the trilogy are most definitely for you.

I found book 2 to be on a whole new level when compared to book 1, and I'm glad to see that that momentum created in book 2 carried over nicely into book 3. There is a whole lot of tension going around, and both 2 and 3 felt far more urgent than the more comparatively leisurely-paced book 1. It felt like in book 2 (and book 3), the authors found and hit their strides, and the writing just flowed so much better. I found the developments to all of the characters compelling, and I LOVED the wedding scene with Clark, Adele, and Grayfriar. Adele and Grayfriar's romance became all the more believable throughout their trials, and Clark rattling his saber (literally) throughout both books was a great foil (no pun intended) to the lovers.

And what I loved the most? While I could see twinges of Mamoru's betrayal starting to pop up in book 2, his full-on crazy tantrum in book 3? Didn't see that coming, not entirely. And that was really nice, because there were large chunks of books 2 and 3 that I did kind of see coming down the road. Something as huge as Mamoru's betrayal and having it so that I didn't really see it coming? Brilliant.

But the parts that didn't quite sit well with me were worldbuilding-related, I suppose. Parts of how the Equatorian empire was created and how the various double-agent assignments of the Undead seated in Commons (Aden and the rest) just weren't really believable. I mean, eye-rolling unbelievable. Letting in Flay and the other vampires to attack the city? Wait - weren't they pretty much dead in the heat? While the answer was almost kind of hastily made up with the idea that regional traditional faerie species like djinns and divs were just regional vampires, again, that wasn't quite enough for me. I just didn't find it believable that everyone worried about Adele and Simon's safety to the degrees seen in the book wouldn't think to check everyone's loyalties?

But beyond that, the worldbuilding was excellent, and the pacing, while uneven at times (I admit, during some of the war scenes that seemed pretty slow or repetitive, I tuned out a bit), was otherwise pretty good. I loved the weapons - they were some of the most creative bits of the war-themed sub-arcs. Blood gas! Fahrenheit Sabers! I definitely wanted one of those sabers by the end.

All in all, a really fun (and more than a bit addictive) read, for books 2 and 3. I'm sad to see this series go, but I feel like it's been adequately ended and the characters are all in good places. Everything felt nicely wrapped up. I'm definitely looking forward to what the authors are going to write next, because this series was a blast!

Final verdict? If you've read book 1, you simply must read the rest of this trilogy. "The Rift Walker" and "The Kingmakers" are both out now from Pyr/Prometheus Books in North America, so be sure to check them out!

(posted to goodreads, shelfari, and
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Reading Progress

09/03/2012 page 23
6.0% "Glad that this is just a trilogy - it feels like a perfect fit."
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