• Empire of the Vampire

  • By: Jay Kristoff
  • Narrated by: Damian Lynch
  • Length: 27 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,954 ratings)

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Empire of the Vampire

By: Jay Kristoff
Narrated by: Damian Lynch
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Publisher's Summary

"Narrator Damian Lynch’s depiction of the sword is especially creepy and compelling. Lynch has a great sense of dialogue and pitch overall, and keeps this dramatic tale moving." -Locus

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

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.

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press.

©2021 Jay Kristoff (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

Featured Article: 10 Dark Fantasy Adventures to Listen to After Impact Winter


So, you've binged all five hours of Travis Beacham's Impact Winter, and you're still hungry for more. Is this the dreaded vampire's curse? Fear not! Though Beacham's chilling near-future saga, about a group of postapocalyptic survivors holed up in the fallout shelter of a medieval castle with bloodthirsty creatures at their door, is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience, we rounded up more listens to satisfy your darkest cravings.

What listeners say about Empire of the Vampire

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Interview with a vampire

Killer. First time with this author. Shades of Joe Abercrombie and P. Rothfuss ( still waiting for more king killers). Not quite there yet but very good. A great rich story arc told in backwards time. Almost like a collection of shorts. Compulsive listening honestly couldn’t wait to get back to it. This is not a YA novel. Looking forward to more from this world and author. Worth your time and cash/credit

36 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Horrific and Hopeful

I know it's cliche to say but there are not enough words to describe what this book made me feel. It was dark, bloody, romantic, thrilling, tantalizing, heart-rending, and hopeful. I loved it from beginning to end and cannot wait for the 2nd book. It has left my heart racing and it's going to be tough to move past this book. And I honestly don't know if I ever will. It has claimed a place in my heart and on my shelf forever.
The world building was amazing. And God the characters. I love Gabe and Dior so so much and I even came to enjoy the banter between Jean-Francious and Gabe. This book delivered on all fronts with a wide cast of characters. And I'm happy not everyone died in the first book or picking up the 2nd would be a test in endurance for me. Though I'm still terrified to see how it all fell to pieces.

Also the narrator was on point with this one. He brought these characters to life! I sincerely hope he reads the other books in the series because I cannot imagine listening to anyone else portray Gabe. Nope no thank you.

23 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Don't Waste A Credit

I don't usually like to give one star reviews but this novel was a big disappointment. I'm an old woman and I love to read. As I plodded on this novel I have been reminded of a few novels I have read and some films I have watched and it seems that the novel did not have an original voice at all. Sometimes things does not have to be original for me to enjoy them but this one annoyed me right from the beginning. Everything in it reminded me of something else. I usually listen to novels as I walk and during this one I found myself thinking what to eat, making shopping lists etc.

The only positive aspect of the whole reading experience was the performance of the reader.

Skip this one or if you are curious wait for a bargain buy.

18 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

F this / F that

Worst dialog or what dialog? The story line is interesting enough; vampires want sex with humans, and can father children with mortals. Those children born half vampire, half human do inherit some of the vampire’s strengths, abilities but do not live off of blood. These half breed offspring grow up, join others and all become vampire hunters /killers. From there the plot falls apart to me. Locker room dialog, shallow characters and chapter after chapter of… wishing there was an abridged version.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding :)

Most brilliant masterpiece of the year. Best thing since Interview with the Vampire. Will be an instant classic for most.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Long Book, Pay-off?

I’ve read a lot of vampire literature in all of its undead forms and sneaky transformations through each genre (during the dead of night!). From John Polidori, to LeFanu & Stoker & Rice; to Bunnicula and Twilight; To the lusty tomes of C. Harris and the chilling realism of Lindqvist. I like silly and saintly. Erotic and chaste. I’m not a huge fan of horror, but if the plot is good, I will peek around corners and spy on it. I enjoyed Cronin’s Passage trilogy—though my word those were long too.

So: I’m trying to give you a background on why you might consider this review. I’m no stranger to fantasy literature, but I have little patience for world-building beginnings without much action. In fact, I think those kinds of fantasy books are why I don’t read much fantasy anymore—it feels like reading a dictionary at times. Ugh. And how quickly the vocabulary of the new world comes to rely on their own boring platitudes and idioms! Well, Empire commits plenty of those (im)mortal sins. In fact, if I hadn’t started this book because a friend recommended it, I would have abandoned it after “Book 1.” However, I powered through it, increasing the reading speed to 1.5, and found that I started to get a little interested while in “Book 3.” If you’re still with me reader, I’ll give you some pros and cons:

Pros:
The protagonist is unique, and while his existence is part of the plot (mystery origin, mistaken for a weakling), it is not really explained. This is a good driver. I was curious, and I like puzzles. Gabriel is, at least, not easy to solve.

Some of the action /battle scenes are skillfully written.

There is some erotic tension.

There is a thematic critique on religious dogma.

It reminded me a bit of The Witcher (I enjoyed that game & series on Netflix).

Cons:
First 1/3 of the book could be cut.
Redundancies: “fuck my face” and “making the sign of the wheel” and “mother/maiden blessings” BARF.

Reliance on profanity to convey toughness instead of just writing that toughness. The protagonist’s use of modern (boring!) swear words add nothing to (and even contradict!) the hours and hours of painstaking dictionary words of this “other world.” I distinctly remember thinking how vapid “dog’s bollocks” sounded out of the mouth of another “tough guy” character, and how out of place it seemed. I think the asides were meant to be funny, but they seemed awfully labored to me.

The erotic tension built is quickly dowsed by “off -screen,” idealized years of bliss as a flashback. Booooooooo. So, grumpy guy who swears a lot just remains grumpy. How craptastic.

Finally, after 20+ hours of listening, I found myself engaged and interested in the final quest, but several questions were left unanswered. I’m not sure I care enough to find them in the next book.

File Under: It’d Probably Be A Good Video Game Instead

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Quite the Ride

Excellently written. Not a book safe for kids. Excessive language and quite a few sexual situations. Very long. This book is basically Interview with the Vampire meets The Witcher and Game of Thrones.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

'Please, sir, I want some more.'

I need to know what happens. A story unfinished in a world I've become immersed in, is a special little horror. The box to the world is locked and only the author has the key.

5 people found this helpful

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One of the best books I have read in a long time

Interesting characters and great story all the way through, this one was quite a ride. Highly recommended!

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Hidden Gem for Gothic Fantasy Fans

I knew nothing about this book when I bought it and the lack of reviews made me cautious about its quality. Boy was I wrong. This book is amazingly vast in its scope yet held together because its mostly a first person account of one guy's life. Also it does the super smart thing of jumping around chronologically which mixes up the style and tropes its drawing on. (I'd say it dances between Lord of the Rings fellowship, and the standard 'Fantasy protagonist discovers hidden powers')

A very pleasant surprise and worth the credit 100%

4 people found this helpful