by Richelle Mead4 out of 5
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 .....
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy's ruthless social scene, and unspeakable night-time rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi - the world's fiercest and most dangerous vampires - make Lissa one of them forever.
Lissa and Rose are best of friends and would do anything to keep each other safe. And this just so happens to be put to the test, as they return to Vampire Academy.
I know, I'm really behind on this one. I've wanted to read it after watching the film, which was kinda meh, but alright. So, a couple of years later...
This starts with Rose and Lissa, who are on the run from St. Vlad's Academy, hiding amongst the humans and trying to finish their education.
Their luck has run out, as Guardian Dimitri is closing in.
Once the girls are back in the Academy, which is pure high school drama, plus the powder keg that is Moroi politics, the threats start to roll in.
I really liked the vampire world that Mead has created. The evil Strigoi that are more like the traditional vampire: soulless, powerful, ageless and forced into the night. The good Moroi are simply humans that need to drink blood to survive, and have a little elemental magic under their control. And then the Dhampirs, the mongrels that have the strengths of Moroi and human, and are the perfect Guardians.
There are boyfriends and flirtations, but at the centre of this story is the friendship between Rose and Lissa. They are so different, but perfectly balance each other. Despite everything that goes on, their first concern is always for the other.
I found the beginning quite hard to follow, and wondered if I'd missed a book. These teenagers have been on the run for two years, because it was too dangerous to stay at St. Vlads. Not much explanation (at the time, everything fell into place later), it just rattled on, as though you know the background.
They step back into everything as though it were two months.
I also struggled when the present narrative suddenly became a flash back, or a past narrative, without any change in tone. Suddenly a scene would play out with the teacher that left years ago, completely throwing the story.
Despite these little niggles, the story has an addictive nature that drags you along, keeping you guessing as to who is behind the traumatic events in Lissa's life.
I'll definitely be continuing with the series.