YA Urban Fantasy / Vampire (594 pgs.)
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 the last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared 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?
Sometimes, I hate reading books. Not in the sense that I hate to read, but in the sense that I absolutely hate to see wonderful sagas end.
A quick note to those who have never read the whole series and are thinking of starting with this book: I beg you, please begin at the beginning. You will be so lost if you begin with this book, and it just won't mean as much. Trust me.
As I mentioned before, I absolutely hated to end this series. In my opinion, these are the books that should have been made into block-buster movies, not Twilight. This series has tremendously better characters and is written far better. But let me step down of my soap box here.
In reading this book, and the whole series for that matter, it is obvious to the reader that Richelle Mead is extremely passionate about her characters. She takes care and precision in molding each of their storylines, their dialogue, and their general actions. This story would really be nothing without its characters, and Richelle Mead has crafted such an excellent bunch of characters that throughout all 6 books, you never tire of them.
In a world saturated with urban fantasy vampire books (whenever I go to Border's, all I see in the YA section is dark covers!), it is extremely refreshing to find a "dark horse" in the pack. This series was definitely one of them. The book was never cheesy, and never, ever clichéd.
Richelle Mead's plot in this novel was intriguing, as always. It was definitely a book I couldn't put down. I just had to keep reading, no matter how small the number was on my alarm clock.
Also in this novel, our protagonist, Rose, really grows a lot during the course of the story. By the end of the book, you can really see how she has grown as a person, and how she has influenced those close to her. I admire Richelle Mead's care in making sure that her characters grow and mature in ways that reflect our own growth in life.
Anyways, I can't say enough about this book, and this series for that matter. Each one of the books are extremely well written, and each one is memorable in their own right. It was a bittersweet moment when I turned the final page in this saga. This is the bar that all other YA vampire novels should be judged by.