Author: Richelle Mead
Location: YA Mead
Reading Level: Young Adult
This review vaguely discusses the plot points of the 3 previous Vampire Academy books. If you have not yet read Vampire Academy, Frostbite, and Shadow Kiss, skip ahead and read the bottom line.
When Blood Promise begins, Rose is in Russia trying to locate Dimitri and killing any Strigoi that wander across her path. She knows she needs to carry out the promise she made to Dimitri, but is still emotionally reeling from the events in the last book. Meanwhile, Lissa is back at the Academy with Adrian attempting to master more facets of her spirit powers. She misses Rose terribly but manages to make a friend in the new headmaster’s enigmatic daughter, Avery. Under Avery’s influence, Lissa’s powers become darker and on the other side of the ocean, Rose encounters one of the hardest personal struggles she will ever face. Will Rose find the strength to fulfill her promise to Dimitri? Will Lissa face the darkness that slowly envelopes her?
One of the fears in reading such a long series (a reported 6 books!) is that the middle books will function primarily as filler for the meatier content to come at the end of the series. Therefore, I am thrilled to report that this 4th book in the Vampire Academy series contains the same amount of fresh content, exhilarating action, and emotional turmoil that readers have come to expect from this series. Richelle Mead introduces a few new characters in this book which help the story feel crisp and exciting, as does Rose’s journey in Russia, a place where she knows little of the language and culture.
I find it very difficult to talk about the plot of this book without giving anything away. I will say that I found Mead’s writing impressive in this installment simply because she makes Rose’s emotions so palpable. The reader really feels Rose’s insecurity about her identity and place in the world as well as her anguish over the task to which she is committed. I did not feel as invested in Lissa’s problems but that part of the story still worked very well. Without revealing too much, I think Vampire Academy fans will be extremely pleased with this book, there is sadness, but also a fraction of hope to carry through to the next installment.
The Bottom Line: If you have not read this series, start reading Vampire Academy now! I truly enjoyed the emotional, exciting and hopeful journey that Blood Promise delivered. My favorite of the series by far will have fans impatient for the next installment. The next book, Spirit Bound, has a reported release of May 18, 2010.