Empire of the Damned by Jay Kristoff

April 1st, 2024 Kimberly Review 8 Comments

1st Apr

Narrated by Damian Lynch & Shakira Shute, Empire of the Damned by Jay Kristoff is the second audiobook in the Empire of the Vampire series. It’s an immersive tale that held me in its clutches from beginning to end. I cannot wait for the next audiobook.

Empire of the Damned by Jay Kristoff
Empire of the Damned
by Jay Kristoff
Series: Empire of the Vampire #2
Narrator: Damian Lynch, Shakira Shute
Length: 31 hours and 34 minutes
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.5x

This audiobook includes a bonus conversation between the author and actor/director Joseph Morgan (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Halo).

From holy cup comes holy light;
The faithful hands sets world aright.
And in the Seven Martyrs’ sight,
Mere man shall end this endless night.

Gabriel de León has saved the Holy Grail from death, but his chance to end the endless night is lost. Drawn into an uneasy alliance with the mysterious vampire Liathe, Gabriel must now deliver the Grail to ancients of the Blood Esani, and learn the truth of how Daysdeath might be finally undone.

But the Last Silversaint faces peril, within and without. Pursued by terrors of the Blood Voss, drawn into warfare between the Blood Dyvok and duskdancers of the frozen Highlands, and ravaged by his own rising bloodlust, Gabriel may not survive to see the Grail learn her truth.

And that truth may be too awful for any to imagine.

Kristoff delivers a dark, twisted tale as he further fleshed out the world and characters. There are no sparkly vampires here, as Gabriel de León continues to provide the oral history of what occurred to the Vampire Empress’s historian. In book two, his sister Celene, an Esani vampire, joins him in providing her account.

We pick up where the Empire of the Vampire left off. Kristoff does a splendid job of recapping with help from the historian. The author further fleshes out the world, introducing new characters, battles, twists, history, death and suspense. The tale is dark, from the vampires to the gory battles that unfold. I found myself enthralled. The audiobook only heightened my experience because it is an experience. I laughed, cried, screamed and held my breath. We see suffering, wild chases, suffer unthinkable loss and with each revelation and advancement, I found myself unable to set the story down.

Empire of the Damned felt more like high fantasy than its predecessor as we learned of the different factions and demise of this world. We learned more of Celene’s story and Dior’s as events were retold. I don’t think this suffered from second book syndrome, particularly because I never wanted to set it down. In fact, I lost many hours of much needed sleep and regret nothing. At almost thirty-two hours, it ended too quickly for me. Especially after the jaw-dropping ending that left me screaming for more.

Damian Lynch & Shakira Shute did such a stellar job of bringing these characters and world to life. They captured the character’s personalities and emotions brilliantly. The audio enhanced the story and the characters. I highly recommend listening. Be sure to listen to the bonus at the end with actor/director Joseph Morgan (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Halo).

Amazon | Audible

About Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of THE LOTUS WAR trilogy, a Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy. Part 3, ENDSINGER, is out now. He's also co-author of the upcoming ILLUMINAE (with Amie Kaufman), a YA Sci-Fi... thing, to be released by Knopf/Random House in 2015, and NEVERNIGHT, the first part of a new fantasy trilogy kicking off in 2016. Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13380 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell. He does not believe in happy endings.

About Damian Lynch

Damian Lynch

Damian graduated from the University of Nottingham with a second class division one BA Honours Degree, in French & German (which included a year working as a Language Assistant in a bi-lingual grammar school in Northwest Germany). After working for a few years in international sales, Damian decided to retrain as an actor and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Acting at the prestigious Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

About Shakira Shute

Shakira Shute

Shakira Shute is a audiobook narrator and voice actor, and is a National Youth Theatre of Great Britain alumnus. Since becoming a full-time audiobook narrator in 2021, Shakira has narrated novels for Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan Audio, Tantor Audio, Dreamscape Media, Findaway Voices, Audio Sorceress and East House Productions. She has also narrated books in collaboration with Oxford University Press and MIT and has recently become a narrator for Audm, bringing long-form journalism to audio.

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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

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8 Responses to “Empire of the Damned by Jay Kristoff”

  1. Sophie

    I totally agree that that book doesn’t suffer from second book syndrom and that it feels like high fantasy! I can’t wait to read more about Gabe’s adventures!

  2. ER LeVar

    I’ve been kind of skeptical about picking up this series, even though it feels like it should be right up my alley. Might have to snag some audiobooks for my upcoming train travels, though!

  3. ailyn koay

    Is this the last book for the series or a trilogy? Because I’m into binge reading Jay Kristoff =X