This review was done by Julie Brazeal, staff reviewer with the YA Fantasy Guide. Julie also has her own book blog: http://ataleofmanyreviews.blogspot.com//The Vampire Empire trilogy is quickly becoming one of my all time favorites. The Rift Walker is book two and filled with more action and life or death situations than one reader can bear. Book one, The Greyfriar, left the main characters Adele and Greyfriar apart with an unknown future. By the end of The Rift Walker, we are left with an all too unsettling plot twist that includes a very vicious vampire. The Griffiths have created a world where humans and vampires are enemies, yet between the love of Adele and Greyfriar, I am truly rooting for some sort of truce and cohabitation. I think this is probably a Utopian view on my part because the studies Adele continues with her teacher is making her a very powerful weapon to kill vampires. I’m torn knowing that if Adele sees her full potential through; it could very well mean no future for her and Greyfriar. In fact, Greyfriar would have to be sacrificed for the greater human good. This is a dilemma Adele may be faced with as she grows stronger. This book is more about Adele coming into her own and realizing who she is as a future Empress. One character I am growing to love is Anhalt, head guard to Adele. This man is someone every person should be so lucky to have as a friend. I’m not sure there are people this loyal and true in real life, but in the book, I’d want him by my side. In fact, my favorite quote from the book is “… I will fall on you like unholy hell. Do I make myself clear?” Oh, that Anhalt has passion! One character I’m still not sure about is Mamoru, Adele’s teacher. He makes my blood boil in this book at times and others so guiding. Greyfriar seems to take a step back in this book since it is more about Adele and her journey. He is in many scenes and ever present with Adele, but this book is more about the action, the war, the battles, twists to gain power, and murdering reigning monarchs than love scenes. Although, the printed stories and plays that are written and performed about Adele and Greyfriar I think are a nice bit of humor referred to throughout the book. I’m not sure what to think about how Greyfriar is handling the situation in the north with Cesare. However, since this book was more about Adele and her journey, I’m not making any judgments until book three as to how Greyfriar really handles Cesare. The writing I can say nothing negative about. It is fluid and seamless, not once was I brought out of the story from something distracting about the writing or editing. The dialogue is believable and appropriate. The scenes are well placed, the story well paced, settings and action scenes well described. The characters are well developed and I even invested in the villains! The steampunk elements continue with airships and weapons, but it is not overdone, nor are you constantly reminded this is a steampunk book. The story takes over and you just read a gripping tale. If you are a fan of The Greyfriar, you will want to read The Rift Walker. This story is not like most where the reader is mainly reading to see the final outcome of the two love interests. The Vampire Empire story is a gripping tale of not only love, but power, politics, war, loyalties, lines drawn, assassinations, and a species fight for survival. You will swoon for the love and your heart will race for the action. The Griffiths continue to deliver one of the best epic stories I’ve read.