Written By: Richelle Mead.
Total Page Count: 2,682.
Synopsis: Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth’s magic. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them. 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.
My Thoughts: Sit back and relax because this is gonna be a long one. I am not normally a huge fan of fantasy books especially, fantasy books about vampires. Vampire book series aren’t rare these days, the vampire fiction boomed happened right around the time Vampire Academy came out. I’ll admit it, I kind of prejudge this series based off of my experience with another very popular (and ridiculous) vampire series *cough*Twilight*cough* (and no I couldn’t bring myself to read those books, I had the pleasure of watching ONE of the movies). My sister read these books and became obsessed and pretty much forced me to read them… and I am glad she did. This series was… everything! Action, love triangles, drama, mysteries, and murder, what more could you ask for?Richelle Mead used ancient Romanian folklore as inspiration for this series which I find to be and interesting and refreshing take on vampire legend. This revolves around three major vampire races living in the shadows of humankind: The Moroi aka the good living vampires who wield special elemental magic, The Dhampir aka half human and half vampires who because of their unique gene mix, are ideal protectors for the Moroi race. They will most likely grow up to become guardians and live by three simple words “They come first”. Then, there are the Strigoi the evil immortal vampires who want to wipe out the entire Moroi race.Caught up in all of this are Dhampir rebel Rosemarie Hathaway and her best friend Princess Vasilisa (Lissa) Dragomir. Lissa is member of one of the Twelves Royal Moroi families. In fact, because of a fatal car crash which killed her parents and older brother,
she is the last member of the Dragomir bloodline. That, and the fact that she wields very special and rare magical abilities, abilities nearly unheard of in the Moroi/Dhampir world, make Lissa very different than other royals. What makes Rose special is not only her devotion to Lissa, but her natural skills (even greater than dhampirs much older) and the bond (literally) that she shares with the Princess. It is something almost no one understands (literally), not even them.
Rosemarie Hathaway is my favorite heroine ever (Sorry Katniss…), but it didn’t start out that way. In book one she was very stubborn immature and too trigger happy for me. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to reach into these pages and slap her. Slowly but surely things started to change, Rose started to realize more and more what her actual purpose was and exactly what her duty meant. I mean, she always wanted to be a guardian but I don’t think she ever realized just all she would be giving up, which is understandable seeing as she is only seventeen. Once she realizes though, that is where the growth begins. Unfortunately for Rose she is human ( well, kind of) and things never go as smoothly as she wishes they would. First she falls in love with someone she shouldn’t, like really shouldn’t. Then she starts to witnesses the deaths of many people close to her and that is when all hell breaks loose (or after all hell breaks loose technically). Despite her silliness and sometimes immaturity, there was no doubt that Rose was brave, beyond brave. I don’t know that many people (fictional of course because literally NO real person could do this) would survive all she has from book 1 to book 6. As Rose grows and learns new lessons, we are all growing and learning with her. She is a great role model for young girls and women alike. Watching Rose taught me so much about myself and about my life and for that she will always be close to my heart. I know that probably sounds more than a little melodramatic but it is the truth.Honestly, throughout the series, Lissa was not my favorite person at all. There was even a point during Shadow Kiss and Blood Promise that I actually felt I hated her (yeah I know, super strong word). She was not only selfish, but she took Rose for granted which is my biggest pet peeves when it comes to relationships of any sort. It was as if she left like she owned Rose and while Rose had to share Lissa with everyone else (Christian Ozera and the other members of the elite royal families). Rose was always so in tuned with Lissa (whether they liked it or not) and always put Lissa first, whether their life was on the line or not. Like, yeah I know you’re not a mind reader, but most people can tell when something is going on with their best friend…except if you are Vasilisa Dragomir. She also seems like such a weakling which was such a huge contrast from alpha female Rose Hathaway. Yeah, yeah, there is really only one Rose and we cannot all be her, but even without the comparison Lissa was just borderline pathetic at times as insensitive as it sounds. But of course, somewhere along the way, Lissa comes into herself, she becomes strong and independant and grows into the amazing young woman she was meant to be. I was so proud of her.Now on to Dimitri. At first I did not like Dimitri AT ALL (despite him being 6’7”… weird.) He was just SO robotic and I was praying that someone would remove the stick from his ass (stake?). Yes, I do understand that he was one of the best guardians in the world, especially at his young age and that he took his job very seriously. Yes, he was also technically an instructor at St. Vlad’s so he did have to keep up his professionalism… but I just couldn’t get into it. In a few of the later books (I don’t want to give too much away) I really wanted to knock some sense into him. He was being far too stubborn and trying too hard to play the gallant hero, like dude, STOP. It wasn’t until after I finished the series that I actually started to appreciate him. He was a strong warrior and a fierce protector, he was hellbent on protecting his people, Moroi and dhampir alike, and all of the people he loved… one in particular. There were times, I wished he didn’t use so much restraint when it came to Rose, but I when I look back at him, it makes those moments when he let himself shed a bit of that control that much sweeter. Those two were meant to be, a perfect pair. At the end of the day, I respect Dimitri even if I didn’t always like him.I knew I was going to love Christian Ozera when he sat his classmate on fire and laughed while doing it (don’t worry, it didn’t leave any marks…) Christian was also a member of one of the twelve Moroi royal families only, because of a shocking choice his parents
made, he was shunned not only by his classmates but also by most of those in the Moroi world (including distant branches of the extended Ozera clan.) Christian was probably the only person on earth who could match Rose in her snark. If she was Queen, he would definitely be King. It is no surprise then, that in the beginning that were not the biggest fans of each other. One of my favorite parts about this story was watching how much their relationship changed, they went from virtually hating each other, to not so hating each other, to respecting each other and finally to a full blown friendship. It was also great to see his relationship with Lissa blossom, she saw past his family’s tainted reputation and right into the person Christian really was and accepted him, creepy sarcasm and all.As soon as I heard the words, “Hey Little Dhampir,” I knew something fantastic was about to happen. Enter Adrian Ivashkov. How does one put Lord Ivashkov into words? He was also a member of one of the twelve royal families (Rose surrounds herself with hot stock lol) but, he didn’t come from just any royal family he is the great-nephew of Queen Tatiana Ivashkov. Her favorite great-nephew according to him. Like Lissa, he wields that rare magic which makes him a little… special. He came in as the typical privileged party boy royal, but we soon found out that there was more to him than his stunning good looks and his love of a good adult beverage. Sure, he was a functioning alcoholic and smoked like a chimney, but he had a lot to offer and was the perfect addition to the group of friends. Naturally, Christian wasn’t thrilled to have him hanging around so much, but eventually they develop an understanding and dare I say a friendship? Rose had already met the love of her life, but if Adrian would have just showed up a few months earlier maybe it could have been him. Okay, just kidding, I think we all know that Dimitri was endgame for her. Adrian was sweet, caring, loyal, generous and far more intelligent than her ever got credit for. He was also unmotivated and co-dependent…That is as far as I will go because if my sister reads this she will kill me (she is so obsessed with him and it’s borderline sad.) It is a shame that he didn’t get his happy ending…yet.There are so many other characters who bring this story to life. Some amazing (like ya boy Abe… Oh and my girl Sydney Sage) and some downright dirty dogs (also, like ya boy Abe), love them or hate them, they all played an essential role in telling Rose’s story. This thing could really go on for hours if I went into every single last one of them. I recommend everyone reading this story, even if vampire fiction isn’t really your thing, you may be just as surprised as I was. Also, if you made the mistake of watching the movie before reading this, please understand that that disaster did not do this series, or even the first book justice.The Vampire Academy series about more than just vampires and blood guzzling (and thank God no whiny human pinning for her undead lover). It was about personal growth, staying true to yourself and your beliefs, love without sacrificing yourself, and of course, true friendship and loyalty. It was a wild ride, one I am happy that I was able to be a part of. I already miss these guys, but it isn’t the end of the road for them quite yet. Luckily, I have one more round before I have to say an official goodbye…Bloodlines, here I come!
- Vampire Academy: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
- Frost Bite: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
- Shadow Kiss: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
- Blood Promise: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
- Spirit Bound: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
- Last Sacrifice: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
OVERALL RATING: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐