This novel turned out to be a heavyweight. In terms of the story as well as the incredible amount of over 1000 pages, the German edition is having. Despite that, the story itself is incredibly dark, bloody, and cruel. I love reading books by Jay Kristoff but with this one, I was struggling. This story is completely different from everything I ever read by the author, and I am not sure if I will continue with the other books in this trilogy or series or whatever it will become.

Das Reich Der Vampire-A Tale Of Blood And Darkness
by Jay Kristoff
Das Reich Der Vampire Series #1
Translation Kirsten Borchardt
Original Title Empire Of The Vampire*
Publisher Fischer Tor on June 29, 2022
Genre Vampire
Pages 1024
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher
Gabriel de León is the last of the Silver Wardens, the holy brotherhood sworn to defend the realm from the creatures of the night. But even the Order could not buck the tide. The armies of darkness raged too hard, too cunning, and patient Fabién Voss, the Eternal King, led his immortal children to victory. Beaten and imprisoned by the monsters he was sent to destroy; Gabriel is forced to tell his story. A tale of legendary battles and forbidden love, of lost friendships, betrayals, and unconditional sacrifice. And the search for mankind's last hope: the Holy Grail.
Gabriel de León is in bad shape. He is in a very special prison and his capturer wants his story. But he isn´t willing to play the game the way they want. He only plays by his own rules. Rules that decide if others will live or die.

The novel is beautifully obscene in language, has a dark to somber tone and features a main character who is not only full of surprises, but also has an incredibly dark side. Well, I didn't agree with everything in the plot, and some passages were more of a struggle than a read for me, but still. The emotions that are created here have not left me untouched either.

The term “nun” is completely redefined here. Brilliantly redefined. The characters literally wear their hearts on their sleeves, giving the story its very own poignancy. The main character is direct and completely disillusioned, with so many rough edges it's almost spooky. Even if I prefer Mia from “The Nevernight Chronicles”, the character of Gabriel de León has a power that shouldn't be underestimated.

A dark, gritty, gory novel with unexpected twists. A heavyweight in terms of content that captivates the reader with a varied plot and great characters. Nevertheless, I have to say that some passages were a bit too long for me. But apart from that it was definitely a pleasure to read with often visually stunning passages. And by that, I don't mean the gorgeous black and white drawings that the German edition has.

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Fischer Tor in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

Deutsche Rezension

Der Roman ist sprachlich herrlich obszön, hat einen dunklen bis düsteren Tonfall und zeigt eine Hauptfigur, die nicht nur voller Überraschungen steckt, sondern auch eine unglaublich dunkle Seite hat. Gut, ich bin nicht mit allem in der Handlung einverstanden gewesen, und einige Passagen waren für mich lesetechnisch eher Kampf als Lesevergnügen, aber trotzdem. Die Emotionen, die hier geschaffen werden, haben auch mich nicht unberührt gelassen.

Der Begriff „Klosterschwester“ wird hier vollkommen neu definiert. Auf geniale Weise neu definiert. Die Figuren tragen ihr Herz sprichwörtlich auf der Zunge und geben so der Geschichte eine ganz eigene Schärfe. Die Hauptfigur ist direkt und komplett desillusioniert und mit so vielen Ecken und Kanten versehen, das es fast schon unheimlich ist. Auch wenn mir Mia aus den „The Nevernight Chronicles“, um einiges lieber war und ist, hat die Figur des Gabriel de León eine Kraft, die man nicht unterschätzen sollte.

Ein dunkler, düsterer, blutiger Roman mit unerwarteten Wendungen. Inhaltlich ein Schwergewicht, das mit einer abwechslungsreichen Handlung und großartigen Figuren den Leser für sich einnimmt. Trotzdem muss ich aber auch sagen, dass mir einige Passagen etwas zu lang waren. Aber abgesehen davon war es durchaus Lesevergnügen mit oft bildgewaltigen Passagen. Und damit meine ich nicht die herrlichen Schwarz-Weiß-Zeichnungen, die die Deutsche Edition aufweist.

*The English edition was published by Harper Voyager UK on September 7, 2021 

Jay Kristoff
Jay Kristoff ©Christopher Tovo

Jay Kristoff is an internationally bestselling author of The Lotus War, The Illuminae Files, and The Nevernight Chronicles. He is the winner of four Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, nominee for the Locus award. David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over thirty countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6´7 and has approximately 12,665 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife and the world´s laziest Jack Russel. He does not believe in happy endings.


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