Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review: Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) by Richelle Mead

Read and Reviewed for Vampire Book Club's Vampire Academy Re-Read Challenge

Synopsis (via Goodreads):
After the massacre at Vampire Academy, Rose Hathaway faces the most difficult task of her life and she knows that she must do it alone. With Mason departed for the other world, Rose must hunt down and kill Dimitri Belikov, the man she loves most. The fourth nail-biting episode of Richelle Mead's popular vampire series dramatically shows the fatal power of a promise.
My Thoughts: When Rose makes the decision to journey to Siberia and hunt down her beloved Dimitri it isn't something that happens on a whim.  Well, it kinda does, but that's just because Adrian's awesome and funds her trip.  That's really not the point I'm trying to make here, though.  Rose's journey was foreshadowed in book 1 when she and Dimitri have a heart-to-heart about how they wouldn't want to go on living as Strigoi.  As loyal as Rose is to those she loves, she can't ignore that request.  This is all completely in character for her.  The growth for her happened when she made the decision at the end of book 3 to walk away from Lissa, doing something for her for once instead of the Moroi.  Once again, that's the theme at the heart of all this: Things have to change.  Rose might want to protect Lissa and be her Guardian, but she shouldn't have to give up her life in the process.

Things that I really enjoyed this time around:
  • We got more info on the Shadow-Kissed and the link that develops between bondmates.  I think that's pivotal.  Up to this point, Lissa and Rose have been floundering along, learning as they go.  There's so much untapped potential between them that every scrap of information they get adds layers and layers to their friendship and bond.  I love that the bond doesn't have to go one-way.  Rose doesn't just have to absorb all the negativity and deal with it, now, with Lissa's help, there's a way for her to find a balance.
  • Adrian.  This is the book where I really fell in love with his character.  His chivalry toward Jill.  His hurt at the way Rose continually turns him down.  His concern for Lissa.  The way his power is beginning to grow.  All these things added up and made him more or a person and less of a two-dimensional party-boy.
  • Christian.  I seriously love his anti-social tendencies.  I have since book 1.  He may be psychotic but he's Lissa's psychotic.  His hurt at Lissa's lies and omissions was painful.  I want the two of them to end up together.  I want them to find a way to make it work.  Until Lissa can stand up for herself, to the Queen and to the other royals, he's always going to be on the fringes.  And I don't like that.
  • Dimitri.  Oh, Dimitri.  Getting a look at his family life made him more of a person.  Getting a glimpse at what he'll do in his quest for power was hard.  the flash of old-Dimitri when he handled the ring was heartbreaking.
  • Lissa.  Without Rose she's a mess.  Sure, there were extenuating circumstances but  she pretty much fell apart without Rose as her touchstone.
  • Rose's family.  She has an mom who's a badass Guardian and an absent father.  Being pulled into Dimitri's family and given a glimpse of their way of life shook her.  Her reunion with her mother at the end was sweet.  And her father... I like the guy.  I like him a lot.
On a shallow note, I think this is my favorite cover for the series.  It's sad and poignant and absolutely gorgeous.

Other reviews in this series:
Book 1: Vampire Academy
Book 2: Frostbite
Book 3: Shadow Kiss

More books by Richelle Mead

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