Empire of the Vampire is easily the best book I’ve read in 2021. It’s everything that I’ve been looking for in a vampire story. As usual Jay Kristoff knows what I need more than I do. So let’s get into the review.
It’s been twenty-seven years without sunlight, and vampires have started to claim the world as their own. Gabriel De Leon is a Silversaint. His brotherhood is dedicated to defending the realm against vampires. But eventually even the Silver Order couldn’t hold against the creatures of the night. Now only Gabriel remains, but he is imprisoned by the monsters he’s fought all his life. They force him to tell his story; a story full of grief and epic battles and friendships made on his quest for humanity’s last hope, The Holy Grail.
My thoughts on Empire of the Vampire
Can we talk about character development? Because Jay Kristoff is a master. Gabriel De Leon isn’t likable in the beginning. But when he tells his story it makes sense as to why he is the way he is. His motivation become clear and consistent. So despite his gruff outward appearance I came to love him. He’s one of the most well developed characters that I’ve ever experienced.
And the character development doesn’t exist only in Gabriel. The secondary characters were all fully developed with distinct personalities. With the way the story is told, with Gabriel telling his story to Jean-Francois, I was worried that the side characters would be one sided. But that was far from the truth. I came to love some of the side characters and I came to hate a few of them. The emotion that Jay Kristoff can draw from me is impressive.
Another amazing aspect of The Empire of the Vampire is the world building. It’s dark, damp, and gritty. Can you imagine a world without sunlight? The only crops that grow are mushrooms and potatoes. Gabriel mentions several times that he was so tired of potatoes. That just shows how much detail he’s put into this world.
Lastly, let’s talk about the vampires. They’re epic. They’re scary and ruthless and everything that vampires have been missing in the last few years. I loved the vampires. And I hope we get even more of them in the next book.
So those are my thoughts on Empire of the Vampire. I really think this is going to be my favorite of the year. It’s going to take a lot to top this one. I think it’s even better than Nevernight. And if you know how much I loved Nevernight, you know that’s saying a lot.