They come first.
My vision was growing dimmer, the blackness and ghosts closing in. I swore it was like I could hear Robert whispering in my ear: The world of the dead won’t give you up a second time. Just before the light completely vanished, I saw Dimitri’s face join Lissa’s. I wanted to smile. I decided then that if the two people I loved most were safe, I could leave this world.
The dead could finally have me.
Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.
Now the law has finally caught up with Rose – for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.
But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back…and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?
Before we begin, if you haven’t read my review of the first book in this series, hop on over there and then come back 🙂
For those of you who have been following this entire series, we’ve been through a lot haven’t we? Death threats against Lissa, Dmitri being taken and turned Strigoi, not to mention Rose’s new love interest in Adrian Ivashkov. I will admit that Mead has kept me entertained and interested very well throughout the entire series.
In the conclusion to this series, Rose has just been accused of murdering the queen of the entire vampiric race. That definitely cannot bode well for someone, especially a person as outspoken about her dislike of the queen as Rose has been. But, with no other viable alternatives, it seems that this is the end for Rose. Except it’s not, because we have an entire book to fill.
Small spoiler, but it’s in the beginning of the book so not really, but Rose gets broken out of jail by several people who clearly believe in her innocence. She’s brought to a remote location where the dhampirs sent to hunt her cannot get to her, and told to stay put. But this is Rose, since when does she do as she’s told? She decides to go off on yet another adventure, but this time it changes the fate of the vampire world as they know it.
Honestly, I thought this was a perfect wrap up to a series. Normally once something ends, I’m immediately on fanfiction looking for more to read about the lives after canon, but in this one I though that it ended so well, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I didn’t even touch the spinoff series Bloodlines for several months afterwords because I didn’t believe it could get any better (spoiler, it does, read Bloodlines!).
There are fifteen million plotlines and strings to tie up, but it all finishes off in a way that is fulfilling and makes sense for everything. One of my pet peeves is when authors tease something or write a subplot in earlier in a series and it never comes to fruition. Sure, there are a few questions left at the end, but only one major question goes unresolved, which ends up being the main premise of the next book series.
I loved seeing the character growth in Rose. To be honest, I think Lissa remains mostly unchanged for the series besides her developing magic more and maybe growing up a bit, but it’s in Rose where we really find the true growth. She’s not the rash, “run in with no plan” dhampir we met in the first book. And then there’s her relationship with Dmitri. I could seriously read all the best moments of the relationship all day long. I may or may not have just recently rented out all the books from the library again just to read my favorite parts.
All in all, there are so many reasons why this series sits in the top section of my favorite books of all time. I love it so much, and hopefully you will enjoy it just as much as I have.
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