A bleak, steampunk future; an endless struggle between humans and vampires threatening to erupt in all-out war
In the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. Millions of humans were killed outright. Millions more died of disease and famine due to the havoc that followed. Within two years, once-great cities were shrouded by the gray empire of the vampire clans. Human refugees fled south to the tropics because vampires could not tolerate the constant heat there. They brought technology and a feverish drive to re-establish their shattered societies of steam and iron amid the mosques of Alexandria, the torrid quietude of Panama, or the green temples of Malaya.
It is now 2020 and a bloody reckoning is coming.
Princess Adele is heir to the Empire of Equatoria, a remnant of the old tropical British Empire. She is quick with her wit as well as with a sword or gun. She is eager for an adventure before she settles into a life of duty and political marriage to a man she does not know. But her quest turns black when she becomes the target of a merciless vampire clan. Her only protector is the Greyfriar, a mysterious hero who fights the vampires from deep within their territory. Their dangerous relationship plays out against an approaching war to the death between humankind and the vampire clans .
The Greyfriar is the first book in the Vampire Earth trilogy of steampunk-horror adventure and alternate history. I had seen an almost endless stream of positive reviews, so I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the hype was not entirely misplaced (indeed, I only have one complaint), and this novel was an enjoyable start to a promising new series. Lots of action, stylishly steampunk, grand politics, an interesting and original take on vampire mythology, and a strong human element all combine to make The Greyfriar a solid and fun read.