Great writing, intriguing antagonists and one scrappy heroine make this a worthy addition to the steampunk genre. The authors’ take on vampires is much more classical (no sexy sparkling teenagers here!), yet they are so much more than token bad guys in this Vampire Empire series starter. Princess Adele makes a great role model for tween and teen girls — not to mention some adults — and the Greyfriar is everything a steampunk hero should be.

Vampires took over all livable northern lands 150 years ago, and now the humans want them back. Princess Adele of the Empire Equatoria is pledged in an arranged marriage designed to unite two powerful kingdoms in time to wage one final war against the vampire clans. But the vampires have caught wind of the plan and decide that kidnapping Adele is the best way to stop the marriage — and prevent the war. Adele and the rest of humankind must rely on the rogue hero known only as the Greyfriar to keep the princess safe. (PYR, Nov., 320 pp., $16.00)
Reviewed by: 
Rhomylly Forbes