Your evil ex-lover wants you and your friends dead, you're facing your final exams to get into the position you want to be in, and you're current boyfriend is a sobering up alcoholic and smoker who loves you dearly but you don't know if you actually want to be with him since his great aunt is also the queen of your race and doesn't seem to like you at all, and you also keep fantasising about your evil ex-lover. These are just some of the issues that Rose faces in the second-to-last installment in the VA series, Spirit Bound. This book brings us back to the original concept of the series, which is that it is a paranormal romance YA novel series.
It starts with Rose preparing for her final exams. This involves her having to go on an obstacle course to show her prowess and protect a 'Moroi' from 'Stirgoi' in a range of tests. However, it turns out that a part of her exam, where she is attacked on a bridge and has to make the decision to possibly endanger her Moroi's life and cut it down, was only included in her exam and not in her peers since she had already had a lot of experience fighting in the real world against real Strigoi, shown on the back of her neck with her molinja marks and star. Among all of this, she is also receiving letters from ex-lover and now Strigoi Dimitri, and she is now trying to find a cure to bring back his soul.
Pack your bags, we're heading to Russia. Richelle Mead's fourth VA book, Blood Promise, is a lot about self discovery as well as the fight for love when it seems the whole world is against it. It starts with a lot of backstory, almost like a 'here's what you missed' as if we hadn't been waiting in anticipation for this book, and then brings us back into the world of Rose and her journey to find Dimitri after the catastrophic ending in the last installment. It is a story jam-packed full with new characters, some important and some not so important, that highlights who Dimitri was away from being a guardian as well as introduces new concepts and abilities that come from being 'shadow-kissed'.
At the end of the last book, Rose says goodbye to Lissa to start her journey to Russia to save Dimitri's soul. She is plagued by the feelings of missing her best friend and doubts that she'll find Dimitri since she doesn't actually know where he is, Russia being a mere educated guess (which is a very cliched 'I know everything about the love of my life' side to romances that people want to believe). She is still a very bad-ass character on top of the romantic escapade she is on, fighting and torturing Strigoi for answers, but it doesn't stay this way for the whole text.
For the third installment of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series, Shadow Kiss reaches a whole other level of suspense and emotion. After leaving the second book in a mixture of emotions, both heartbreak and happiness, Mead shows her prowess and her rapidly increasing skills in the this wonderfully crafted third book that has us anticipating what's going to happen next before we open it. It is a story filled with new adventure and excitement, and also begins the proper look into the odd spiritual connection between Rose and Lissa.
It is the time for Rose and her peers preparing for their qualifying exams, which involves them being paired with a student Moroi to protect them from the teachers who will test them by randomly attacking them as if they were Strigoi. She expects to be given Lissa to protect, since her main goal has been to become her guardian, and she is under the false pretense that their special bond gives her an advantage over the field. However, she is given Lissa's boyfriend to protect, Christian, while her friend Eddie is assigned to Lissa. Rose, with her known anger and defiance, argues with the teachers and demands that she be given Lissa. The teachers reject her pleas and she finally accepts the decision (not happily, although that is expected in someone like Rose) and works hard to protect Christian, feeling silently confident in her abilities after the events in the last book.
Frostbite is the second installment in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. This book highlights the danger of Strigoi more than the first, with the main scene at the beginning depicting just how dangerous and bloodthirsty they are. It also keeps the young adult, paranormal romance genre alive with the growing sexual tension between Rose and Dimitri, plus adding other characters to try and push the two characters away from each other.
It follows closely with the ending of the first book and starts with Rose and Dimitri getting ready to travel to a respectable guardians home for her qualifier. There is a lot of focus on Rose and her feelings for Dimitri, Mead highlighting the way they work well together and the ease they have with each other even with the awkward lust spell they were under at the end of the first book. Their trip is stopped with the discovery that the royal Moroi family that the guardian protects had all be slaughtered including other multiple guardians by Strigoi. It introduces the new calculating ways of the bloodthirsty beasts with the discovery of a silver stake--which Strigoi cannot touch--used to take down the magical shields around the house. This indicates to the guardians that the Stirgoi have humans working for them, which is an odd concept because Stirgoi are famous for their inability to work with others.
Vampire Academy is the first book of six written by US author Richelle Mead. It is a young adult paranormal romance that intervenes the classic vampire myth and categorises different hybrids of vampires by calling them Moroi (good vampires), Dhampir (protectors of good vampires) and Strigoi (bad vampires). These terms have existed in a range of mythic stories and legends in different parts of the world but are reimagined by Mead in this modern story set at the fictitious St Vladimir's Academy in the US.
It starts with two girls, Rosemarie 'Rose' Hathaway and Vasilisa 'Lissa' Dragomir, who are in hiding since they have run away from the academy for reasons hidden from the reader (although there are hints that it has something to do with an unknown power of Lissa's). It is quickly established that Rose is a Dhampir protecting Lissa, a royal Moroi, from the academy as well as possible Strigoi, but it is shown very early that she is incapable of the job since she does not possess the skills to keep their pursuers away. They are sent back to the academy where Rose starts to show her defiant side, which appears constantly throughout the story, and Lissa and her are thrown back into the world of studying.
Charlotte is a reading and writing lover who has completed a creative writing intensive course at the University of Oxford and is a current university student studying a double degree in journalism and creative writing. If you are curious to learn more, check out the 'About' page.