Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead


I finished book #4, "Blood Promise," in the Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy series. Yay!

I started this series only a few months ago after reading through other Vampire series books. It was difficult at first to delve into this series only because it is a Young Adult series. If you read anything on this blog, you will know that I don't really get into the teen angst crap. However, this had it's place.

In this series, the world as we know it has Moroi Vampires (living vampires who wield powers from air, earth, water, fire, and spirit, who still require blood in their diets, and for the most part are peaceful), Dhampirs (offspring of one Vampire and one human or Dhampir parent), and Strigoi (dead Vampires, created by either a Moroi who killed or by another Strigoi and can no longer wield their earthly powers). Of course there are humans that have no clue of any of these others.

The Moroi and Dhampirs are sent to academies for they school lives. The Moroi are trained in their earthly power whereas the Dhampirs are trained to protect and defend the Moroi. They are so strong that they are trained to be bodyguards to the Moroi, against the Strigoi. They are both trained in the same academies together. But they are trained on two different tracks.

This whole series centers around Rose Hathaway, a Dhampir, and her very close friend Moroi Princess Vasilisa (Lissa) Dragomir, the last of her line of royalty. Rose is this feisty, teenager who always gets into trouble and tends to draw Lissa into that trouble. Actually, trouble follows her everywhere.

We find out that Lissa's has a special gift or power. It is not the same as other Moroi. In fact, there are very few Moroi that have this gift of Spirit. With this gift, Lissa was able to bring Rose back from death in a very tragic traffic accident. However, if this has it's interesting effects between them. Now, Rose and Lissa are bonded together and Rose can feel all of Lissa's emotions and can slip into her thoughts without wanting to. This can be a problem when Lissa falls in love a with fellow student and royal, Christian.

During the first 3 books, Rose becomes entangled in a forbidden romance with her instructor & fellow bodyguard, Dimitri. Of course, she doesn't want to tell her best friend of this romance because she fears it will cause Lissa problems. So, she keeps it all a secret until one day, St Vladamir Academy is attacked by Strigoi where Rose is the first to sense the attack. She informs Dimitri, this godlike bodyguard, of the attack. During this battle, Dimitri is captured by Strigoi and then turned. Rose hopes that Lissa can save him, but Lissa refuses for several reasons... 1. He's now Strigoi, and 2. Rose never confided in her about her romance. Her feelings were hurt (teenage angst)... So now there's a riff between the two girls and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa – the one she has sworn to protect no matter what – and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make.

In "Blood Promise," Rose sets out to find Dimitri and kill him... again.

You have to understand that for Rose to take on this feat, she must not only find, but kill Dimitri. Dimitri has always been stronger than her and now he's Strigoi, which means, now he's even stronger. Rose is so friggin in love with Dimitri that she is uncertain of herself.

The setting of "Blood Promise" is in Dimitri's home country, Siberia. Rose goes to his home town, meets his family and inadvertently ends up telling his family that he was overtaken by Strigoi. Rose is accepted by his family as family, but Rose realizes this is not the place for her. She recaptures her goal to find Dimitri and put him at peace. In her journey she does find other Strigoi, which she quickly kills... she also finds other Dhampirs like herself who are not blood promised and whose goal is only to kill Strigoi... Finally she finds Dimitri....

Now, I have a tendency to prattle on and on about books I read...thus giving away too much. I am not going to do that here. You'll have to read this series yourself.

I will say this...I found these books exciting to read and got myself hooked enough to want to keep going. However, if I were to rate this series against all the others I've read, I would rate this 3 1/2 stars out of 5.
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