Summary - Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest and most dangerous vampires--the ones who never die.
The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a Dhampir; she is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them.
After two years of illicit freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. Rose will continue her Dhampir education. Lissa will go back to being Queen of the elite Moroi social scene. And both girls will resume breaking hearts.
Fear made Lissa and Rose run away from St. Vladimir's--but their world is fraught with danger both inside and out of the Academy's iron gates. Here, the cutthroat ranks of the Moroi perform unspeakable rituals and their secretive nature and love of the night creates an enigmatic world full of social complexities. Rose and Lissa must navigate through this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever...
Review - I wasn't keen on reading this particular novel. I thought I was all vampired out. I guess I'm not! Actually it's not the vampires that interested me at all, it was the Dhampir. And not even because they are Dhampir but due to the fact that Rose, Dimitri and even Rose's mother were vastly appealing characters that draw you into Mead's tale.
I think Rose is fabulous. She's impetuous, moody, passionate, loyal and flawed. Her attachment to Lissa is great but I don't necessarily see the appeal of Lissa. I personally found Christian to be much more intriguing and hoped that when Lissa scenes came along, that she would talk about him rather than anything else. While Rose is a character who is quite well detailed, the others aren't as much. I assume this is something that will be remedied upon reading the successive titles. Many characters are rather two dimensional, somewhat cliched but I found myself enjoying the story regardless.
Mead writes a quick paced narrative with an intriguing blend of sass and adventure. There is intrigue, adventure, actions, seduction and every type of relationship you can imagine. It's an interesting take on vampires and I applaud Richelle's efforts. I will definitely be checking out the following novels to see what happens.
Format: Paperback, 330pages
Publisher: Penguin Aust.
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Richelle Mead's Website
Below is a video of Richelle discussing series burn out - I like to think she's secretly thinking of Breaking Dawn when she's discussing what happens if a) you don't have a clear plan and 2) you extend a series longer than necessary for monetary reasons. (Wow, I am summoning the Snarktress this evening).
Two things bugged me enormously about this book though:
1) The Cover - They've made Rose look like a carbon cut out Angelina Jolie.
2) I think Vampire Academy is a horrible title for a series. Just plain lazy. I know, let's create a series called Zombie College (no wait, I think I would read that. Sigh.)