Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

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Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

Empire of the Vampire #1

US Publication Date: September 14th 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

752 Pages, Hardcover

Goodreads Summary: From holy cup comes holy light;
The faithful hand sets world aright.
And in the Seven Martyrs’ sight,
Mere man shall end this endless night.


It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness.

Gabriel de León is a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night. But even the Silver Order could not stem the tide once daylight failed us, and now, only Gabriel remains.

Imprisoned by the very monsters he vowed to destroy, the last silversaint is forced to tell his story. A story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the Wars of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:

The Holy Grail.

From New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff comes Empire of the Vampire, the first illustrated volume of an astonishing new dark fantasy saga.

Review: *Note: I received an exclusive 400 page sampler from the publisher so this review is based solely on those 400 pages.*

It comes as no surprise to anyone that has been following me for awhile that Jay Kristoff is one of my favorite authors. I am also a huge fan of vampires so when I found out that he was writing a book trilogy about vampires…. I almost lost my mind in excitement. And when St. Martin’s Press sent me the exclusive sampler, whoa boy! I was torn between wanting to devour it and savoring it because I knew that the sampler was going to leave off on a massive cliffhanger so if I finished it too quickly I would be left dying inside waiting for my finished copies to arrive. (And yes, I did say copies plural… but more on that later.)

From the moment I cracked open the sampler, I knew I was going to be in for the ride of my life. There was a huge sense of forboding but in the way that you know you’re reading a vampire novel if that makes any sense. The story starts out in Gabriel De Leon’s present and then proceeds to backtrack to how he came to be in his present circumstances as Jean-Francois of the Blood Chastain records Gabriel’s oral history via the written word and sketches. In that sense it had a similar setup to Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. And yet, Gabriel is a captive which is likely the only reason he is being so forthcoming in telling the details of his life and how he became to be the Last Silversaint. The banter between Gabriel and Jean-Francois is absolutely hilarious which provides a nice bit of levity amongst the heaviness of Gabriel’s tales. Gabriel has lived a rather hard life which is evident from his stories so those brief moments of humor really help to break things up. There is even more humor added once Gabriel arrives at San Michon and the other silversaints are introduced… be prepared to write down some really fantastic insults!

Jay Kristoff’s writing really has a way of immersing the reader into the worlds he creates and it is no different with Empire of the Vampire. It was incredible to visualize certain scenes in my mind and have them match up very similarly with the illustrations. And let’s talk about the illustrations…. wow!!! Bon Orthwick (aka @monolimeart on Instagram) did a phenomenal job on the illustrations for this novel. Bon’s attention to detail in transforming Jay’s words into these stunning illustrations… just amazing.

Everything about this book so far has completely drawn me in! I love all of the different editions that are out there and had actually preordered 6 different editions for my collection! The book published in the UK last Tuesday so I actually received one of my UK editions yesterday and my first US edition is currently out for delivery! The Waterstones special edition is the one that arrived yesterday and it is bloody gorgeous! I can’t wait for my other editions to arrive and add them to my shelf. I have continued reading the rest of the book with the Waterstones edition.

*Please note: These are not glamorous vampires. This book is graphic in terms of violence and sexual content so proceed at your own risk.*

I received an exclusive sampler of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

5 bloody fangs!

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UK Edition

Available to purchase:

Not the Kind of Earl You Marry by Kate Pembrooke

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Not the Kind of Earl You Marry by Kate Pembrooke

The Unconventional Ladies of Mayfair #1

Expected Publication: July 27, 2021 by Forever

349 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Fans of Netflix’s Bridgerton series will adore this stunning historical romance debut, where a wary wallflower enters a fake engagement with one of London’s most eligible bachelors.

The one woman in London who doesn’t want to marry him is now his fiancée.

William Atherton, Earl of Norwood, is as shocked as the rest of London to discover his betrothal via an announcement in the morning paper. Furious at what appears to be a shrewd marriage trap, William tracks down his alleged fiancée before her plans can affect his campaign for a coveted political post. But then William realizes an engagement, however fake, may benefit them both…

Miss Charlotte Hurst may be a wallflower, but she’s no shrinking violet. She would never attempt such an underhanded scheme, especially not with a man as haughty or sought-after as Norwood. Yet his suggestion to play along with the betrothal has its merits… and the longer they pretend, the more undeniably real their feelings become. But when the true culprit behind their engagement is revealed, can their newfound happiness survive the scandal?

Review: Ever since I read Jane Austen in high school I have loved Regency period romances. I was so excited when I got this one in the mail from Forever. From the first moment that William and Charlotte met I was hooked. Charlotte is a woman who values her independence in a time when most women had to rely on men to make their way in the world. And at first glance, William appears to be an arrogant, prejudiced man on similar lines to Mr. Darcy. Their first meeting is explosive and rightly so. Hard to imagine how anyone else would have reacted under the circumstances of having your betrothal announced in the morning paper to a man or woman whom you had never met before. When they both agreed to move forward pretending that they were in fact engaged, I knew it was going to be good. I really enjoyed that Charlotte continued to be her own person throughout the charade of their engagement and working to help her new friends make new homes and jobs for war widows. There were many delightful secondary characters in this book that I am hoping will make appearances in future books in this series. While the story and outcome was a little predictable, there were many moments that made this book it’s own. I am already eagerly anticipating the second book in this new series. This book is perfect for fans of Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen and The Duke & I by Julia Quinn (first season of Bridgerton on Netflix). This book comes out tomorrow so make sure you check it out!

4 Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters

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To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters

The Regency Vows #2

Published April 6, 2021 by Atria Books

384 Pages

Goodreads Summary: The widowed Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham are infamous among English high society as much for their sharp-tongued bickering as their flirtation. One evening, an argument at a ball turns into a serious wager: Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana will forfeit one hundred pounds. So shortly after, just before a fortnight-long house party at Elderwild, Jeremy’s country estate, Diana is shocked when Jeremy appears at her home with a very different kind of proposition.

After his latest mistress unfavorably criticized his skills in the bedroom, Jeremy is looking for reassurance, so he has gone to the only woman he trusts to be totally truthful. He suggests that they embark on a brief affair while at the house party—Jeremy can receive an honest critique of his bedroom skills and widowed Diana can use the gossip to signal to other gentlemen that she is interested in taking a lover.

Diana thinks taking him up on his counter-proposal can only help her win her wager. With her in the bedroom and Jeremy’s marriage-minded grandmother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Willingham, helping to find suitable matches among the eligible ladies at Elderwild, Diana is confident her victory is assured. But while they’re focused on winning wagers, they stand to lose their own hearts.

With Martha Waters’s signature “cheeky charm and wonderfully wry wit” (Booklist, starred review), To Love and to Loathe is another clever and delightful historical rom-com that is perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Evie Dunmore.

Review: I adore regency period romances so I knew that this one would be right up my alley. I hadn’t read the first book yet when I requested it on NetGalley but wanted to read that first before reading this one. I wouldn’t say that it is 100% necessary for you to read the first book in this series to be able to read this book but there is some continuity. The focus of the first book is on Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley and the second book focuses on Lady Diana Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham. Diana is a widow who has no desire to marry again because she enjoys her freedom too much so when Jeremy comes to her with his proposition, she decides to take him up on it. Diana and Jeremy soon realize that there may be more to their relationship than what they had planned. While the story is a tad predictable, it was still a fun read. I really loved Diana and Jeremy’s banter. They were such fun characters. I definitely liked them and their story more than Violet and James from the first book. Their story felt more petty and ridiculous whereas this one was fun, witty, and cute. I am hoping that the third book will be about Emily and Julian. If you’re looking for a flirty historical romance, I recommend checking this book out.

4 Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

June 2021 Book Haul

So I may have gone a little crazy buying books in June… In my defense, I re-discovered the amazing book prices at Goodwill and the majority of my haul came from two very successful Goodwill trips. It’s really hard to pass up books when paperbacks are $1.49 and hardcovers are $1.99! I also got a few from Barnes & Noble as well as Book of the Month club, Half Price Books, Thriftbooks, Amazon, and publishers. From all of these books I had already read Where the Crawdad Sing by Delia Owens and A Fate of Wrath & Flame by K.A. Tucker but I wanted physical copies for my own library. In June I read The Widow Queen by Elzbieta Cherezinska and really enjoyed it. From Grand Central Publishing I received an early copy of the paperback edition of The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. It is the sequel to The Royal We which I really enjoyed. After this month of book buying I will definitely be limiting my book purchases in July.

  • People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Widow Queen by Elzbieta Cherezinska
  • Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly
  • The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
  • For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten
  • A Fate of Wrath & Flame by K.A. Tucker
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  • Mrs. Mike by Benedict & Nancy Freedman
  • Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy
  • Travels in Alaska by John Muir
  • The Last Seance by Agatha Christie
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney
  • The Other People by C.J. Tudor
  • Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  • The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
  • The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
  • The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • World Without End by Ken Follett
  • Black Hills by Nora Roberts
  • Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts
  • The Liar by Nora Roberts
  • Hideaway by Nora Roberts
  • Irish Born trilogy by Nora Roberts
  • Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts
  • Tears of the Moon by Nora Roberts
  • Heart of the Sea by Nora Roberts
  • Irish Hearts by Nora Roberts
  • Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts
  • Girl A by Abigail Dean
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
  • Elevation by Stephen King
  • Copper River by William Kent Krueger
  • Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser
  • A Witch in Time by Contance Sayers
  • Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl & Melissa de la Cruz
  • Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • Haunted Ground by Erin Hart
  • Lake of Sorrows by Erin Hart
  • False Mermaid by Erin Hart
  • The Book of Killowen by Erin Hart

Have you read any of these books?

Month in Review: June 2021

How is it July already?! This year has been going by so fast. It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts… oops! I’ve still been just going with the flow on here and only blogging when I feel like it or have a review to post. But the mood struck today so let’s do this!

I read some fantastic books this past month and a couple of not so great. Most of what I read in June was audiobooks. I worked a lot of overtime in June so by the time I get off work, my brain has been too fried to want to sit and read a book. One of the books that I did read myself gave me a HUGE book hangover too. A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones was SO good.

  • June 2021 Books Read: 12
  • 2021 Year To Date Books Read: 81
  • June 2021 Pages Read: 5,315
  • 2021 Year To Date Pages Read: 35,075

June 2021 Books Read:

  • The Awakening by Nora Roberts
  • The Lost Village by Camilla Sten
  • A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones
  • Madam by Phoebe Wynne (DNF)
  • Katheryn Howard, the Scandalous Queen by Alison Weir
  • Katharine Parr, the Sixth Wife by Alison Weir
  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (re-read)
  • Hideaway by Nora Roberts
  • Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor (re-read)
  • To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters
  • Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
  • The Widow Queen by Elzbieta Cherezinska

Favorite Book Read

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Close Second Favorite Book Read

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How was your month of reading? Any new favorites to recommend?