All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Blood Promise – Richelle Mead

on September 7, 2013

Blood PromiseBlood Promise (Vampire Academy #4)
Richelle Mead
Razorbill (Penguin Books Aus)
2009, 503p
Read from my local library

Please note that the following review will contain ***SPOILERS*** from the previous Vampire Academy novels.

The recent horrific attack by the Strigoi on St Vladimir’s Academy has changed everything. Moroi and guardians have been lost or taken including Dimitri Belikov, the man Rose loves more than anything. She’s had confirmation that Dimitri wasn’t killed and that he has been turned and is now Strigoi himself.

Rose makes the difficult decision to leave St Vladimir’s, withdrawing before she has the chance to graduate. It also means leaving behind Lissa, her best friend, the one she shares a bond with that allows her to feel what Lissa is feeling and the one she had sworn to always protect. Rose has a task that she feels is more important now – a long time ago she and Dimitri swore they’d rather be dead than be Strigoi. And now Rose is going to track him down and kill him, granting his soul peace and herself a little as well, no matter how much it will break her heart to do it.

She travels to where Dimitri grew up in Siberia and is the one to deliver the news to his family. She finds herself growing comfortable there, she could make a home for herself there. But a mysterious man named Abe, a Moroi who appears to have been following her bargains to get her to leave. He thinks she’s going back to the Academy but Rose finds her desire to fulfill her promise renewed again. She leaves for a bigger city where the Strigoi in Siberia congregate – all the better to pick off their kills.

No matter how good she is, how much effort Dimitri has put into preparing her for the day she looks into a Strigoi’s face and finds it familiar, Rose still faces her biggest test yet. She will have to stare down her mentor, her friend, her lover – and then drive a stake into his heart.

At the end of the last book, the unthinkable happened and the amazingly strong guardian Dimitri was taken. I was so eager to dive straight into this one to find out exactly what was going to happen next but I had to wait a little while. This is the biggest book yet weighing in at just over 500p and at times that’s a strength and at others, a bit of a weakness. There are some pretty large portions here where not a lot is happening – Rose spends a lot of time searching in Russia, meeting the Alchemist Sydney (who ends up being the main character in the spin off Bloodlines series) and searching for Dimitri. It seems like an almost impossible task but she does get a stroke of luck. After being injured in a fight against two Strigoi, the mysterious Abe takes her right to Dimitri’s family. She is able to meet them, get to know them, get a glimpse of the man she loves as a child and deliver to them the terrible news of what happened to him. She spends a bit of time there and although she does meet some interesting new characters, including a pair who are spirit bonded like herself and Lissa, there’s quite a bit of downtime. These books tend to be action packed so some of the stretches of passivity took some getting used to.

Killing Dimitri was always going to be hard – Rose had bested him once before in a simulated fight but that was when they were both dhampir. As a Strigoi Dimitri would have far superior strength, speed and reflexes but that wasn’t the biggest problem Rose would face in a fight with him. She’d have to look at him and let go of the memories of past Dimitri and see him only for what he was now. And she knew that once she found him, he’d probably have forgotten his desire to be dead rather than Strigoi and he’d also probably want to kill her – or worse, turn her. What she’s doing is a sacrifice because she knows that there’s a huge chance she won’t survive it and therefore will never get back to take her place with Lissa – who needs her more than ever. Rose can still visit Lissa, see things from her point of view and Adrian still occasionally visits Rose in her dreams. But she tells him precious little when she really should have. To undertake what she was doing alone was always going to end with her being in something she would really struggle to get out of and when she had an opportunity to request help from Adrian she was too out of her mind to take it. Rose’s independent streak is dangerous in this novel and perhaps she sees it as her duty, perhaps its because guardians have never gone after those turned before but she stands alone at a time when she really needs help. Things are changing but they’re not really changing fast enough within the system.

Once again I found myself glad that I possess the rest of the series because the ending of this one packed another punch that immediately has me reaching for book 5. Richelle Mead is the master of ending things leaving you wanting more, she’s done it masterfully in this series. I really found myself liking the character of Abe, the mysterious Moroi with a vaguely sinister manner who shadows Rose. He occasionally helps her, but he also threatens her in order to get her to leave Omsk and the Belikovs. I figured out who he was before the book revealed it to me, but I have to say, I should’ve been a bit quicker. The signs were all there and I had the information I needed to piece it together but it took me quite a few appearances by him before it suddenly clicked. I look forward to him showing up again, because I’m sure he will.

8/10

Book #212 of 2013

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2 responses to “Blood Promise – Richelle Mead

  1. Belle says:

    So happy you’re enjoying this series! This one was one of my faves I think.

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