ONLY A TRUE BEST FRIEND CAN PROTECT YOU FROM YOUR IMMORTAL ENEMIES…
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…
After reading Iron Fey Series, it’s such a normal reaction for me to find again a new series worth reading. To tell you honestly, this book was in my TBR list since my first sign-up on goodreads and that was in year 2011. I’m not a fan of vampires or any paranormal books. I can’t stomach reading it. Plus, it doesn’t belong to the genres I prefer. So I keep stalling reading this one. Another factor that affected that was, when I tried reading Twilight, which is a vampire book, I failed. I was already half-way through the book, then I stopped. I just can’t find an inspiration to finish the book. I cannot connect to it, the way I connected to the movie. Shoot me, but yeah, that was a first for me. I always loved the book over the movie version, you know. But I might try to read it again, who knows, I might like the book this time.
Before I blab about the characters, let me first introduce you to the world where Lissa and Rose live.
THE MOROIS AND STRIGOIS
There are two types of vampires, the Morois and the Strigois. Moroi were alive; Strigoi were undead. Moroi were mortal; Strigoi were immortal. Moroi were born; Strigoi were made.
And there were two ways to make a Strigoi. Strigoi could forcibly turn humans, dhampirs, or Moroi with a single bite. Moroi tempted by the promise of immortality could become Strigoi by choice if they purposely killed another person while feeding. Doing that was considered dark and twisted, the greatest of all sins, both against the Moroi way of life and nature itself. Moroi who chose this dark path lost their ability to connect with elemental magic and other powers of the world. That was why they could no longer go into the sun. Both Morois and Strigois can’t live under the sun, but Morois can tolerate a little bit of it.
THE ROYALS AND NON-ROYALS
Morois are categorized into two: the Royal and the non-Royal. There are only twelve Royal families that exist, one of which is Lissa’s which belongs to the Dragomir family. Other royal families include the Ivashkov, Ozera, Zeklo, Lazar, Szelsky, Tarus, etc. The Moroi is ruled by a monarch and the Royal Families are the ones who elect their Queen. The non-Royal families are the commoners.
THE DHAMPIRS A.K.A. GUARDIANS
There are also the guardians. They are of the dhampir species. Dhampirs are the product of a full Moroi and a human or a full-moroi and a dhampir. They have the half human genes and half vampire genes. The role of a guardian is to guard a Moroi. Royal Families require more than 1 guardian but the Non-Royal are not that privilege to be provided with 1. Due to genetic oddity, dhampirs, appear like human end inherited enhanced senses and reflexes from their vampire genes and better strength and endurance from our human genes. They also feed on regular food and they can walk under the sun.
Whereas dhampirs feed on regular human food, Morois need feeders to sustain their strength. Feeders are essential to Moroi life. They were humans who willingly volunteered to be a regular blood source, humans from the fringes of society who gave their lives over to the secret world of the Moroi. They were well cared for and given all the comforts they could need. But at the heart of it, they were drug users, addicts to Moroi saliva and the rush it offered with each bite. The Moroi’s saliva contains a chemical that works like a drug to a feeder.
If dhampirs have strength, Morois have magic. There are four unique specializations of magic: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. There’s a fifth magic that uncommon the their world, Spirit. There are different capabilities that come with a Spirit-user. You can visit a dream, read auras, heal people and even let people come back from the dead, compel people like it’s the most ordinary thing to do or put charms on silver objects that will heal or absorb the bad spirit. But there’s a downside to this, as a spirit user, you will eventually have a dark aura that can consume you if not cured or healed. Lissa is very lucky to have a shadow-kissed guardian.
A shadow-kissed is someone who was already dead but was healed. If a spirit user healed a dead person, all the thoughts that are going in the spirit user’s head will be felt by the shadow-kissed. Even her deepest thoughts and even what she’s doing in the moment will be known by the shadow-kissed. The good part is, the shadow-kissed can absorb some of the darkness that appears when the spirit user generates a lot of amount of magic.
Dhampirs. The girls have curves in the right places and the boys are musculary built. Dhampirs have an average height and have tan complexion due to their field training.
Morois. They are lanky, more like the ramp model type bodies. Taller than the dhampirs and have paler skin.
Morois and Dhampirs both go to the same school. In the case of Lisa and Rose, they both attend Vampire Academy. They go to the same school with the Morois, only that they have different specializations. Dhampirs in preparation on becoming full-time guardians focus more on their combat skills. Morois focus more on nurturing their magics.
Rosemarie Hathaway. She’s the heroine in this book. She’s a guardian and have assigned herself as Lissa’s guardian ever since they were kids. I already liked her the first she made an appearance in the book. She’s one hot guardian and has a reputation in their school which only became worst when they ran away from the Academy. I like she’s a very dedicated friend as well as guardian, and she always puts Lissa’s needs first before her own. She even became a feeder for Lissa (which is a major gross in the Moroi world. It is considered like you’re having sex with someone you feed). She’s bonded with Lissa. She was shadow-kissed. I like her easy-going nature. She always make her self comfortable and doesn’t allow herself to be intimidated by anyone. Despite all of the rumors about her, she didn’t let them define her. She doesn’t mind getting into trouble and pulling crazy stunts. She’s a novelty and everyone enjoys her being around.
Vasilisa Dragomir. She’s the last remaining descendant of the Dragomir Family. Her parents and her brother were killed in a car accident which Rose and Lissa survived. She’s very sweet and shy at times. She’s a spirit user and she can heal wounds or even give life to dead. In this book, she was kind of still trying to find herself. And throughout the series, you will see her transition. She was kind of weak here, and always depends on Rose.
Dimitri Belikov. Yummy! LOL. He’s a guardian who was assigned to teach at the Vampire Academy. He was one of the guardians who got Rose and Lisa back to the school. He was also the assigned personal trainer of Rose in lieu of the classes Rose missed while being on the run. He’s very prim. He doesn’t smile frequently and takes his job seriously. He’s seven years older than Rose and this will pose a problem as the series go on since Rose is still a minor. Look out for more Dimitri and Rose moments.
Christian Ozera. He’ll be Lissa’s love interest here. He’s a fire user. He’s also a loner who was judged by what his parents did a long time ago. His parents chose to become immortals so they turned into Strigoi. They were killed before they can turn Christian into one also. Over the years, he suffered on what wasn’t supposed to be his fault.
Mia Rinaldi. She’s really a bitch here. She’s pretending to be a Royal when in fact her parents were non royals working for a royal family. It turns out that she has a reason to be a bitch since she was a victim of Lissa’s older brother. So made it a point to destroy Lissa’s life. You’ll also witness how she changed her attitude towards the end of the series.
Mason Ashford. He’s so cocky and I like him. He’s Rose’s friend but seems to harbor a different feeling for her. I like how he interacts with Rose. He’s very playful and super hyper. He’s a major flirt too.
Eddie Castile. He’s a friend of Mason and Rose. He’s like Mason in a lot of ways. He loves to bicker with Rose but at the same time takes his training seriously. He also has the looks. He’ll appear more throughout the series.
Victor Dashkov. He’s Lissa’s uncle and is dying of cancer. He was so nice to Lissa but then there was a hidden motive behind it. He knew that Lissa was a spirit user and saw it as a way to heal him. To distract Rose from entering her mind, he charmed a necklace so she could be delayed from rescuing her. He kidnapped Lissa and tortured her so she could heal him. But before it got worse, Rose and the guardians was able to catch him. He was then sent to jail.
Natalie Dashkov. She’s Victor’s daughter who has always wanted to gain his approval. She’s very shy and when she start talking, she talks nonstop. She helped Victor accomplish his plan. All the dead animals that were being delivered to Lissa was apparently her doing. She even turned into a Strigoi just to free his father from the cell. I pity her.
It turns out that this book is a lot more exciting than I have imagined. I’m not only digging the love story between the characters. I also love that it’s action-packed and the heroine is such a bad ass and can fight back. I love the twist in the story and it made me anticipate reading the next book. Yeah, this is a vampire story, but it’s more than that. I really got hooked man. This is a whole new world of vampires. A new concept I’ve encountered. And the good news was , I wasn’t bored or grossed out. I connected with the characters. I’m really glad I gave this book a go, since it will be adapted as a movie. I’m quite excited about it though I’m a little bit disappointed with the casts.
The only thing better than imagining Dimitri carrying me in his arms was imagining him shirtless while carrying me in his arms.
“Hey Mason, wipe the drool off your face. If you’re going to think about me naked, do it on your own time.”
This is my time, Hathaway. I’m leading today’s session.”
“Oh yeah?” I retorted. “Huh. Well, I guess this is a good time to think about me naked, then.”
“It’s always a good a time to think about you naked,” added someone nearby, breaking the tension further.”
“The greatest and most powerful revolutions often start very quietly, hidden in the shadows. Remember that.”
“If I let myself love you, I won’t throw myself in front of her. I’ll throw myself in front of you.”
“I had a standing arrangement with God: I’d agree to believe in him—barely—so long as he let me sleep in on Sundays.”
“This was the kind of dress that changed the world. The kind of dress that started religions.”
“I was crushing on my mentor. Crushing on my older mentor. I had to be out of my mind. He was seven years older than me. Old enough to be my…well, okay, nothing. But still older than me. Seven years was a lot. He’s been learning to write when I was born. When I’d been learning to write and throw books at my teachers, he’s probably been kissing girls. Probably lots of girls, considering how he looked.”