Vampire Warlords is the third book in Andy Remic’s Clockwork Vampire trilogy. Now generally I am annoyed when authors write a single story and pass it off as three separate books (even in a trilogy), however I have enjoyed this series so much, in this case, I can even forgive that. Remic wrote the Clockwork Vampire trilogy partly in tribute to the late David Gemmell, and it is fair to say that he has done a great job of catching the feel of Gemmell’s dark and gritty style. Remic certainly has a style of his own ( some may find his language a little strong for a fantasy series) and this comes through well, working exceedingly well with this, his first fantasy series.
Vampire Warlords picks up where Soul Stealers left off, the Vampire Warlords have been released from their eternal prison and they are spreading their control across the lands, either feeding on everyone they can find or turning them into vampires. It seems like all of he factions, in their own way decide that they must try to stop the Warlords. The humans are led by Kell, a mature axeman who has a seriously dark history and temper (very reminiscent of Gemmell’s Druss). He tends to fight his way through any situation, even when diplomacy might be a safer option. As well as Kell and his compatriots there are various groups with their own agendas. The most mysterious being a race of ancient creatures that resemble children combined with insects. They certainly play a part in the fight to take down the vampire warlords, but to be honest they are not well utilised and are left mysterious to the end (clearly they will appear in future books, but they could have been left out of this one without seriously effecting the plot).
So, maybe the plot is not perfect, it has a few holes and some elements are only there to set up future books, however the vitality of the story are Remic’s writing style certainly make for a worthy read. I would highly recommend the Clockwork Vampire Chronicles. Kell’s Legend is an excellent introduction, Soul Stealers fleshes out the story very well and now Vampire Warlords gives us a suitably powerful conclusion.
I will waiting for Remic’s next fantasy novel with baited breath…