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 nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.
Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead
August 17, 2007
YA – Paranormal Romance
Paperback, 332 pages
Six feet seven inches of a “bad ass god,” at least god-like in his appearance – hot damn. Dimitri is a twenty-four year old guardian of the Moroi, or vampires, some descended from royal blood. The Strigoi are those vampires who choose to go to the dark side by drinking humans to death, therefore obtaining immortality. The guardians are crucial in keeping the Moroi safe in the war against the Strigoi.
Dimitri works at St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school where novice guardian Rose ran away with her charge and best friend, the princess Lissa two years ago. Lissa has some deep, dark secrets, the least of all that she shares an emotional bond with Rose. It only goes one way – Rose always knows how Lissa is feeling, which comes in handy when needing to protect her. Dimitri and guard eventually locate Rose and Lissa and drag them back to the academy most unwillingly.
Soon Rose realizes the mistake she made running away with Lissa – she is not strong enough or well trained enough to keep Lissa safe from the Strigoi. Dmitiri offers to give extra training sessions to Rose, to catch her up on her missed time and soon an attraction develops. But all is not well at the academy. The reason they ran away in the first place has not disappeared, and soon Rose, Lissa and Dimitri will be tested on an entirely different level.
Vampire Academy starts right in the middle of the action, yet you are never lost. Richelle Mead does a great job at not dropping a ton of info at the beginning, holding just enough back to keep you guessing for awhile.
The book is told in Rose’s POV and she has that sarcastic, confident demeanor which I always enjoy in a heroine. But for all of her outwards confidence, she has a deep-seeded root to take care of Lissa. She is very unselfish in that respect – I don’t remember a time where she gets angry or jealous because of the choices she has to make in life. It is just the way their relationship is and they both accept it and don’t dwell on it. I find this a very mature attitude for a seventeen year old, and one that I admire.
Dmitri is still very much a mystery – there is definite attraction on both of their parts, but it is hard to act upon it with Dimitri seven years her senior, and in more of an employer role over her. That doesn’t stop their attraction though, and I can’t wait to see how it plays out in future books.
The character that really caught my attention is Christian, who is the outcast, darker character, who secretly pines for Lissa. The defensive mechanisms of sarcastic cut downs he put up went straight to my heart – but it was the times he reached out to help Lissa that made me melt. Because of the bond Rose and Lissa share, Rose is at some times able to “get into Lissa” and see through her eyes. Richelle Mead uses that to let us see Lissa and Christian’s relationship develop, through the eyes of Rose. We were able to witness the more intimate moments of those two, even though the story is still told in Rose’s POV.
This book sets the foundation for what I hear is a great series and I am eagerly picking up book two.
Rating: Four Stars