Empire of the Vampire – special editions roundup
Special Editions Roundups
Sometimes publishers are so sure a book is going to be a hit that they go all out in producing multiple fancy editions of the same title. The edition comparison roundups on this site compare all the different editions that are out there for titles with particular buzz to help you in your collecting journey.
Empire of the Vampire is the first book in a new illustrated dark fantasy series for author Jay Kristoff, who is best known for his popular Nevernight series. He sold the novel with the description of it being “the bastard lovechild of Interview with the Vampire, The Road and The Name of the Wind,” so it has high hopes riding on it (which early reviews support).
This novel tells the story of Gabriel de León, last of the Silversaints, a holy order dedicated to defending realm and church from the vampiric “coldbloods”. Imprisoned for the murder of the vampiric king, Gabriel’s tale spans from his youth in the monastery of San Michon, to the forbidden love that spelled his undoing, and the betrayal that saw his order annihilated. Most importantly, Gabriel will tell of his discovery of the Grail—the legendary cup prophesied to bring an end to the eternal night. But now, the Grail is shattered. And with the cup of the Savior destroyed and the last Silversaint awaiting execution, what can bring an end to this unholy empire?
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.
The book includes almost forty illustrations by Bon Orthwick. The UK cover illustration is by Kerby Rosanes with cover design by Micaela Alcaino, and the US cover art is by Jason Chan, typography by Meg Morley and cover design by Young Lim. If you are interested in collecting Jay’s books, you should definitely consider following him on Twitter and Instagram as he is very active on social media and often runs give-aways as well as providing early notice for upcoming special editions.
First printings of the hardback editions will include a “hidden” design (or case stamp) on the boards under the dust jacket, featuring a family crest from the book. Most editions will have the de León crest in silver foil. The Goldsboro limited edition has the Chastain crest in purple foil and the Illumicrate edition has the Voss crest. At least two other bloodlines have crests as well (Dyvok and Ilon) that are likely to be explored further in later books in the series.
How many different editions of Empire of the Vampire are there?
There are currently at least 14 different editions of the book, several of which proved extremely popular with many exclusives selling out within hours of being listed. In particular, the Goldsboro, Waterstones and Illumicrate editions both sold out in a couple of hours, breaking websites in the process. But don’t stress if you feel you missed out on the copy of your dreams – copies of some special editions are available on eBay although most have massive markups. Or even better, there are always other special editions listed below that you can look for instead. (If you want to chat in the comments, please let us know if you preordered one of the special editions? Or two? Or… 14??)
Before jumping to the special editions, here are the links if you’d just like to check out a normal copy to see what all the hype is about (these will feature the regional cover illustrations above). Note that all US preorders were signed, so look for one of these if you’re planning to get a copy.
Also if you are waiting on a book box surprise, there may be spoilers below!
Special Illustrated Edition
2022 Update: In case you happen upon this older post, I’m adding a quick update to let you know that a special illustrated edition of Empire of the Vampire came out in October 2022.
List of Special Editions of Empire of the Vampire
Bookstore Exclusive Editions
Forbidden Planet – Signed Blue Edition (UK)
Hardback. Harper Voyager. 9780008350437.
UK hardback exclusive edition with alternative blue cover and exclusive art card. All copies are signed by Jay. Release price £18.99.
→ OOP (waitlist available). Buy from Forbidden Planet
Goldsboro – Signed Platinum Edition (UK)
Hardback. Harper Voyager. 9780008350437.
UK hardback exclusive signed and numbered edition, with purple sprayed edges, an exclusive dust jacket with foiling, and special silver boards embossed with the crest and motto of Blood Chastain, one of the 4 high vampire houses. 2000 copies. Release price £25.
→ OOP. Check out Goldsboro Books
Indigo – Signed Blood Red Exclusive (US)
Hardback. Macmillan. 9781250280725.
US hardback exclusive edition with alternate red cover, all are signed by Jay (some will include a doodle), and 4 full color endpapers from Ben Orthwick. (Same as the B&N Edition, apart from the Indigo sticker.). Release price CAD$39.99.
→ Buy from Indigo
Waterstones – Signed Sprayed Edges Exclusive (UK)
Hardback. HarperCollins. 2928377053420.
UK hardback exclusive edition with black stained page edges, all copies are signed by Jay. Release price £16.99.
→ OOP. Buy from Waterstones
Book Subscriptions Clubs & Boxes
Fox & Wit (US)
A special US edition signed by Jay Kristoff, with sprayed edges and an exclusive dust jacket illustrated by Daniela Nairn. Also comes with a ‘curio of key’ skeleton key inspired by the book designed by Blissfully Bookish. (Notes: originally advertised with stencilled edges, and owner has advised matching editions for future books in the series are unlikely.) – better image to come shortly…
→ OOP (waitlist available). Check out Fox & Wit
Good Choice Reading (US)
Includes the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition (listed above), virtually signed and personalized by both the author and the illustrator on a special bookplate, along with a variety of vampire-themed goodies. A limited number of signed book-only orders are also available. Release price USD$64.
→ OOP. Check out Good Choice Reading
Obsidian Moon Crate (US)
A special US edition signed by Jay with black sprayed page edges and silver stencilled stars, an exclusive reversible dust jacket featuring art by @warickaart and @niru.sky, along with a full tarot deck with art from @monolimeart, a candle from Blue Forest Black Moon, postcards from main characters written by Jay himself, and an author letter. There is also an add-on blanket option featuring an illustration from the book. Release price US$80.
→ OOP. Check out Obsidian Moon Crate
Advance Reader's Copies
St Martin’s Press (US)
There were four differently colored US arcs released, each one featuring a different crest from the four great vampire bloodlines: The Voss, Dyvok, Chastain and Ilon.
One very shiny red-foiled UK arc was made available to UK-based reviewers.
Note that the ARCs do not have all the illustrations present in the final copies.
→ Only available to reviewers. But you can try eBay.
Italian Edition – preorder offer (Italy)
Italian editions feature red sprayed page edges and a double-sided dust jacket. Preorders included a very limited art book which has every illustration in the book.
→ OOP. Check out Mondadori Store