Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest 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 Lissa one of them.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger…and the Strigoi are always close by.
Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever…
I picked up this particular book while I was in Orlando as a WDW intern. Originally, I had picked it up because I wanted something to read on the bus rides to work and it seemed interesting enough. Boy was I underselling it. Normally, I’m not the type to go for vampire novels, and while I wasn’t particularly hooked after the first one, I continued on with the series and by the end, it had become one of my favorites.
The thing that I love reading the most in this series is the growth of the main protagonist, Rose. When you meet her in the beginning, she’s rash, stupid, selfish, and rebellious, mostly without justification. She does care very much for her best friend and does things with good intentions, but they usually blow up in her face.
Without spoiling information about the series, I can’t explain much about how Rose grows up in the later novels. There’s a big theme of duty and sacrifice as well, which is an interesting sub-plot. I accidentally spoiled myself to the ending of one of the side issues, although I’m not too worried about spoilers so it’s fine.
There is a movie adaptation of this first book, and while it is interesting and well-produced, it’s not entirely true to the source material. Of course, that goes for most book to movie adaptations nowadays, so I suppose slight inaccuracy can be overlooked in some instances.
All in all, yet another amazing series that I have stumbled across. Makes me lad that I picked up the first book to begin with. There is also a second series, the Bloodlines series, that I just recently finished. I’ll post a separate review of it on a different day, but that one was almost as good as this series, so it’s well worth the read!
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