Published by Penguin on August 16th 2007
Number of Pages: 340
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Purchase: At Amazon
Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies...
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. Rose 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 Academy hearts.
Fear made Lissa and Rose run away from St. Vladimir's -- inside the Academy's iron gates, their world is even more fraught with danger. 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...
After the first few chapters, Rose comes across as a jealous, shallow, loudmouthed bitch. She cares a great deal about her looks, and flirts at the drop of a hat. And yet, something caught my interest in the first few pages. It kept me reading as she tossed one smart comment after another. She literally seemed to live for Lissa. It didn’t matter to her what others thought of her, I mean it did of course. But nothing was more important than protecting her best friend. And she had many moments where she was more than what she appeared to be on the surface.
The first few chapters showed little to nothing of her bad points. They didn’t come into play until Rose and Lissa were back at their school. And then they were an almost constant stream, before she started to finally grow up enough to soften the edges. She was still a smart-aleck, with a lot of anger issues, and compared her looks more than once to the vampires around her. But most of the time, she was focused on Lissa. Keeping her friend safe and sane.
And Lissa was just as focused on keeping Rose safe. In their world, Lissa is a Princess and Rose her Guardian. Lissa is also one of those people who can make friends as easily as breathing. She had few of the faults Rose showed, but Rose had enough for them both. Lissa didn’t stand out to me well as a character. I mean I liked her well enough, but there didn’t seem to be as much substance to her as there was to Rose. And without all Rose’s bad points, I’m not sure if she would have ended up as flat as Lissa.
But for all that, I did enjoy the book and will be picking up the next one in the series. It’s a good, no-thinking-required light read. The way it ends, it could almost be a stand-alone instead of a series. Nearly every plot point is wrapped up, and the last few pages feel like the book is being wrapped up. So if you hate the thought of picking up yet another series, you could do worse than this one. At least it doesn’t leave you hanging at the end, and doesn’t require a great deal of thought or attention.