Synopsis (via Goodreads):
St. Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school—it's a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they're being dragged back to St. Vladimir's—the very place where they're most in danger. . . .My Thoughts: Going back and starting this series from the beginning again was kinda exciting. Richelle Mead does such a superb job of laying hidden hints along in her narrative about what's to come in later books that a reread is almost a must. Her characters jump off the page at me (which would have been totally awkward if I was being literal because WHOA!) and all of them feel so well developed. There's a reason behind why Rose is so impulsive. Lissa doesn't simply fall into depression at the drop of a hat, there are definite signs that it's there and there's a starting point to when and why it all began. Without going into details (for those that haven't read later books), Dimitri and Rose have a conversation in the car that has direct bearing on later events. Richelle Mead practically hands us a blueprint of what's to come and it's heartbreaking.
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy's ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world's fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.
In the grand scheme of things, this is the book that sets up all the characters and points us in the direction the series is heading in. While impulsive and sometimes reckless, Rose is keenly aware of her duty to Lissa. Yet it is also shown that she is willing to grow and change. Lissa is bound by her perception of what is expected of her as a Moroi Princess. It takes a lot to get her to see that she is more than just her family name or her title.
And Dimitri- strong, silent, enigmatic Dimitri- well, you don't get to really start seeing him until he begins to loosen up and see Rose. Even then, he's so aware of his position as a Guardian and what that means for any future he'll have that he's hard to get a handle on. He knows his duty. He's willing to sacrifice his own happiness to ensure that those entrusted to him are never short-changed.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable read. Even the second time this year. Yes, I read it twice this year. It really is that good.
More books by Richelle Mead