Butterbeer and The Conquering Dark by Clay & Susan Griffith

August 19th, 2015 Kimberly Feature, Review 66 Comments

19th Aug



Have I got a yummy recipe and book recommendation for you today! The Conquering Dark by Clay & Susan Griffith is the third book in the Victorian-era urban fantasy Crown & Key. Today’s recipe was inspired by the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and my recent trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Orlando Florida. Grab a cup of Earl of Grey and a Jammie Dodger and enjoy!



Butterbeer in blenderIngredients

  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch syrup
  • 32 oz of your favorite cold cream soda


  • Place 4 (16-ounce) glasses in freezer and chill for 30 minutes to an hour
  • Mix ice cream, butterscotch and cream soda in a blender until combined
  • Divide between the frosted glasses
  • If desired garnish with whipped cream
  • Serve with a straw


I recommend using a full-flavored vanilla ice cream and avoid slow-churned etc so that the drink is thicker in consistency. I prefer vanilla bean. My family had no issues sampling this and in fact want to know when I will be making more. Whip some up and pop in a DVD of Harry Potter for a fun family night.

Book Recommendation

Butterbeer and The Conquering Dark by Clay & Susan Griffith
The Conquering Dark
by Clay & Susan Griffith
Series: Crown & Key #3
Narrator: Nicholas Guy Smith
Length: 11 hours and 43 minutes
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 4.5 cups

The Crown and Key Society face their most terrifying villain yet: Gaios, a deranged demigod with the power to destroy Britain. To avenge a centuries-old betrayal, Gaios is hell-bent on summoning the elemental forces of the earth to level London and bury Britain. The Crown and Key Society, a secret league consisting of a magician, an alchemist, and a monster-hunter, is the realm’s only hope—and to stop Gaios, they must gather their full strength and come together as a team, or the world will fall apart. But Simon Archer, the Crown and Key’s leader and the last living magician-scribe, has lost his powers. As Gaios searches for the Stone of Scone, which will give him destructive dominion over the land, monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane, alchemist extraordinaire Kate Anstruther, gadget geek Penny Carter, and Charlotte the werewolf scramble to reconnect Simon to his magic before the world as they know it is left forever in ruins.

The Conquering Dark is the third book in the Crown & Key trilogy by writing team Clay & Susan Griffith. This Victorian-era urban fantasy with steampunk flair has been an absolute joy on audio,  thanks in part to the stellar narration of Nicholas Guy Smith. Unique, dark and intense with a cast of characters I have come to love I quickly consumed the Conquering Dark.

Gaios and his minions are plotting and the members of the Crown and Key Society band together to stop his evil plot. Ooo and what fun it was. The Griffiths delivered plenty of suspense as Simon has lost his abilities. The adventure was vivid from incredible battle scenes to the comradery between the characters.

While the Conquering Dark and its predecessors are plot driven – it is the unique and colorful characters that truly bring this tale to life. Simon is brilliant even if he is sometimes a little stubborn. *snort* Kate Anstruther our beloved alchemist is fearless. The aid she gives Simon had me holding my breath. Malcolm MacFarlane monster-hunter and heart of the group makes me smile and I know the descriptions do not quite match but I see him as cleaner looking version of Hagrid from Harry Potter. Geek girl,  Penny Carter is another favorite with her impressive gadgets. Our werewolf Charlotte and Imogen, Kate’s sister, impressed me and did a fine job of assisting our crew.

The action was intense as Gaios’ minions create chaos when they attack the royal coronation. Our courageous heroes pursue them and mayhem ensues. The climactic last battle has the team working together to save all of Britain. The scenes are vivid and I bow to these authors. Their ability to bring the scenes to life gave me thrills.  I could smell the fire, taste the fear and hear the war cries.  One particular scene involving a dead man hanging from a tree was creeptastic. If you appreciate world-building and thrive on the details you will quickly become lost within these pages.  The gadgets, villains and city sprang to life before my eyes. It was brilliant and quite the adventure.

Nothing makes me happier than a series arc having a satisfying conclusion. Nothing felt rushed and if anything, I was saddened that this is the end of our journey. After finishing the trilogy, I lay in bed and dreamed of new obstacles for our motley crew.

Nicholas Guy Smith added an extra layer of enjoyment to the tale. His voices he created for our characters brought them to life.  His ability to deliver the snarky banter between the crew and the creeptastic tones of the villains gave me goosebumps.

The Conquering Dark was a stellar conclusion to the Crown & Key trilogy. Fans of steampunk, urban fantasy and Victorian London will enjoy all the rich detail. I recommend adding action packed series to your library.

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

66 Responses to “Butterbeer and The Conquering Dark by Clay & Susan Griffith”

  1. Cyn

    The drink looks awesome and so easy to make! Thanks for the recipe!
    And I definitely need to check out this series, too!

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    I’ve wanted to read this couple since I met them at RT 2013! I’d kinda forgotten though. :/ Thanks for putting them back on my radar, Kimberly. I’m glad that this was such an exciting installment in the series. Thanks also for sharing that recipe…I feel a family movie night coming on! 😉

  3. Mckenzie

    This Butterbeer looks so amazing! I’m working on a cooking feature for the blog as well and am planning on using my Harry Potter cookbook — but would you believe it doesn’t have a recipe for Butterbeer?! I’ll have to give yours a try for sure! I really enjoyed this post; thank you for sharing. Awesome review! *hugs* 🙂

  4. Michelle

    MMMm love me some butterbeer! Brings back memories of Harry Potter release parties and baking in the sun in Florida.
    I still have this series on my wishlist, it sounds really fun.

  5. Sharon

    I would have never have even thought to have a go at making butterbeer. That sounds so yummy. This series is new to me but worth more of a look. Glad you enjoyed it.

  6. Candace

    The butterbeer sounds awesome! I may have to make that one of these days. I already have the first one of this series on my audible wishlist. It sounds awesome!

  7. Christy

    Mmmm yum, that looks good. Especially with it being so hot. Yay, glad you liked the book. I plan to read the first one soon.

  8. Kristin

    Can I slip any alcohol in this? Either way, soooo yummy sounding. And Breyers all natural vanilla bean is the ONLY way to go.

    I freakin’ bawled my eyes out at the end of this book…. freakin’ Griffiths… 🙂

  9. Sophia Rose

    I’ve got this one for review, but just wanted to glance at your rating. I love where the series is going and feel a bit sad that it is finished with this one. Oh and bonus! Butterbeer recipe, thanks! I definitely want to sample this.

  10. Melissa (Books and Things)

    I’m almost done with this book and I’ve enjoyed it a lot as well. As for the ending… well, the Vampire Empire was supposed to be done and another book is coming out, so you never know! 😀

  11. Katherine

    I had a hard time focusing on the book after the butterbeer recipe! I had some ages ago at Universal and have been wanting more ever since. The book sounds good too but I think I’ll get to the butterbeer sooner!

  12. Sarah

    I’ve always wanted to try butter beer now I’ gonna have to give it a shot myself. Sounds yummy!

  13. Aurian

    O this is the first time I see a review about this series, adding it to my wishlist immediately! Thanks Kimba!

  14. Ramona

    Ahh, I still have to get back to this trilogy, which I can’t wait to do. The review is amazing, Kimba – only pointing out what I’m missing… Ah, time… As for your recipe, wow! Very imaginative and totally inspired! I will try it for sure 🙂

  15. Lexxie

    The recipe sounds incredibly delicious, Kim! I wish I could get butterscotch here, but that’s not possible 🙁
    The Conquering Dark sounds good, too, I haven’t heard of this one before, but I’ll definitely check it out.
    Have a wonderful Wednesday and happy reading.

  16. Anna G

    Ohh, that recipe sounds so yummy! I need to make that for my family. Thank you for sharing it! 🙂

  17. Melliane

    Your recipe looks good! I have heard so many great things about this series and it’s great to see you had a great time again. I have book 1 in my wishlist! I need to buy it.

  18. kindlemom1

    I really really loved this series and I so hope this wasn’t the last book because I would love to visit this world and characters again! I’m keeping my fingers crossed with the way it ended, that it won’t be!

  19. Jenny

    Ummmm. I need some Butterbeer immediately. And lucky you going to Universal Studios! That’s on my list, I really want to check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

    And I can’t believe how fast this series is coming out! I feel like I just learned about the first book and now we’re on book 3 already. I have some catching up to do:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was fun being able to listen over the summer. We use to live in FL and had season passes but the Harry Potter came after we moved so I was delighted my husband took me last April. You have to do both parks to see everything

  20. Nick

    I love that this series ended with such a bang for you, Kim. The action and the plot-driven story really appeals to me. And wohoo for it being a trilogy! Will have to check this one out for certain.
    Wonderful review!

  21. Naomi

    Glad to see that this was a satisfying ending to the series Kimberly.
    I do love the recipe for butter beer! Yummo!