The Kingmakers by Clay and Susan Griffiths

The Kingmakers is the final instalment of a vampire series written by the Griffiths and encompassing steampunk, war, love and vampires.  The Griffiths have managed to bring an alternate history to life where great swathes of the world have been overtaken by vampires.  They’ve taken the idea of vampires and using a combination of fresh ideas and old myths created something very original.  If you haven’t read the first two books you may want to step away from this review now as it will undoubtedly contain spoilers.  You have been warned.

Kingmakers gets off to a fairly immediate start.  The war between the vampires and humans is on and the battles are becoming desperate and bloody.  The Greyfriar (or Prince Gareth) does his best to even the odds fighting out at the front with the army but even his expert fighting and swordsmanship cannot deny the simple fact that the vampires seem to be gaining ground.  Desperate times call for desperate measures and so Adele takes a different and more cunning route and using her geomancy sneaks into the very heart of the vampire lair to practice her own special weapon of mass destruction.  This of course brings inevitable qualms about using such a weapon.

Meanwhile the jilted Senator (Clark) has returned to the US and has begun his own war with the vampires using his ruthless policy of ‘killing the herds’ – yes, he’s killing the people who the vampires feed from.  He’s decided that they’re little more than cattle and has managed to justify it to himself – it doesn’t seem that others from his immediate circle are quite as comfortable with his methods.

Gareth is also facing his own personal demons.  King Dimitri has been declared dead and Cesare is about to call a meeting of the vampire leaders to choose a new ruler.  Of course he is expecting to be uncontested and just to help sway the vote will be inviting along a number of dignataries from those countries who have now allied with him.  Gareth seems finally to be experiencing a moment of doubt and comes up with a plan to once again join with Flay in a bold attempt to kill Cesare and be crowned King of England.

Oh, and Mamarou – well, we’re about to find out a little bit more about what really drives him and to exactly what lengths he’s prepared to go to in order to succeed.

So, all the pieces are set out nicely with all the key players poised to jump into the fray.

I thought this was a very satisfying conclusion to the series.  I did wonder how the authors would pull it off but I think they did a great job.  This book undoubtedly has a slightly different feel than the first two.  In fact I think all three books have differed in certain respects.  In Kingmaker the action is virtually instantaneous and non stop.  There are plenty of tense moments when key characters seem to take incredible risks and you actually wonder how they’re going to survive.  There is betrayal and politics and a little bit of heartbreak but the plot is lightened by the interaction between Gareth and Adele and the humour they share.  Adele has really come into her own as a ruler and her people certainly do love the idea of her and the Greyfriar.  Gareth on the other hand, whilst still playing his loving self, coupled with the aloof and cool exterior that he shows to others, seems to suffer from a little bit of anxiety about what is place is going to be exactly.  In fact there’s a question mark hanging over the future of the the Greyfriar.

Given the ending – which I’m not going to share at all – it’s going to be very interesting to see where the next series, that starts very soon with the first instalment called The Geomancer, takes us next.

I think this has been a really good series and I can’t wait to pick up the next book.

I was provided with a copy of The Kingmakers courtesy of the publisher for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

Also – I do love the covers for this series.  Check them out:


3 Responses to “The Kingmakers by Clay and Susan Griffiths”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I am going to start this one either later this week or early next, but I read your review anyway because it’s actually quite a good refresher. It’s been a while since I’ve read books 1 and 2. Now I’m very curious about the ending, which oh yes I am definitely happy to be experiencing for myself soon – great prep for The Geomancers!

    • lynnsbooks

      It’s a good end to this first three. Really looking forward to Geomancer. There are definite questions here – what’s in store for Gareth, is the Greyfriar still needed?? It’s quite intriguing to see where things will go next.
      Lynn 😀

  2. The Geomancer by Clay and Susan Griffiths | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] the past history  – my previous reviews are here for The Greyfriar, The Riftwalker and the KingMakers.  They’re all great […]

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