Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6)
Razorbill (Penguin Books Aus)
Read from my local library
Rose Hathaway has been in trouble before – many times. But not like this. Charged with treason for murdering the Moroi vampire Queen, Rose is confined to a cell awaiting her trial where she’ll be almost certainly found guilty and then executed. She’s been set up and Rose is desperate to investigate, to find out who is behind it all. She can’t just sit around here waiting for them to pass verdict and kill her.
It seems as though her friends feel the same way, putting together a complicated plot to break her out and hide her somewhere safe and remote while they investigate and find the real killer. Rose finds herself in rural West Virginia with her former lover Dimitri Belikov and the Alchemist Sydney Sage, away from the action. It’s not something that sits well with her but as Dimitri has already proven, if she tries to escape, he will hunt her down. And he might be dhampir again but he’s still a ruthless fighter who is almost impossible to beat. Rose should know – she’s tried many times.
So instead Rose comes up with another plan – she’s been given information that, if she can prove is true, will lead to another Moroi vampire’s name being put forward for consideration to become the new monarch – that of Vasilisa Dragomir. Rose convinces Dimitri and Sydney they have to do everything they can to track down a missing Dragomir family member that will give Lissa quorum, her seat on the Council and also the right to nominate to be the new Queen.
Rose knows that time is running out for her to produce the mysterious relative in time for the election to be held at Court. She also has to get the person back to Court when she was recently broken out of it and is now the most wanted fugitive. But Rose has always been reckless and she’s always wanted to go down fighting.
Last Sacrifice is the final novel in the Vampire Academy series but not the final novel set in this world. At the end of the previous novel, Rose was charged with murder of the monarch and ordered to stand trial. The evidence is damning and yet also clearly planted. Although Rose didn’t like the former Queen and she is a formidable killer, as her Strigoi fighting marks indicate, she’s a warrior, not someone who attacks Moroi royalty. But she knows that with cases such as this, justice must be swift and severe – it’s the best deterrent. And when Rose is found guilty, she will be executed immediately.
This book begins with an assortment of Rose’s friends and family “breaking her out” and getting her far away from the Royal Court. She’s supposed to lie low in West Virginia and let others handle it but clearly whoever thought of this plan didn’t take the time to actually factor in that it is Rose. She doesn’t do ‘sitting around, waiting for others to rescue her’. She never has and she probably never will. She gets herself into trouble and she gets herself out of it.
The book is split between Rose being on the run trying to find the missing Dragomir family member and Lissa’s time at Court, first trying to track down information to help Rose and then going through the trials to stand for election after being nominated as a candidate. Lissa really does develop in this book as a character, growing in confidence and self-assurance. She still has her moments of not liking the limelight and being uncomfortable with attention on her but she begins to find pride in completing the tasks that are set for those running for election, especially as she needs to complete them by herself. No one is there to assist her, not Rose, not Christian, there’s just her and her intelligence.
The love triangle of Dimitri-Rose-Adrian is further complicated here. Rose is technically ‘with’ Adrian and after Dimitri was returned to dhampir from Strigoi, he told Rose that he no longer loved her, was no longer capable of loving her or anyone. He has to come to terms with the atrocities he had committed whilst Strigoi both to other people and of course everything he did to Rose as well. However as Dimitri begins to readjust back to life as a dhampir he finds his feelings conflicted. Sometimes the guilt consumes him and he believes himself unworthy of being loved. Other times he sees a light at the end of his dark tunnel and the life he could have if only he were to reach for it. Rose has fun with Adrian but the two of them never really connect, not in the way that Rose and Dimitri do. This is evident in how little Rose thinks of Adrian when she’s on the run with Dimitri and her lack of real concern before the break out when, through “Lissa” she hears Lissa say that Adrian is passed out with some girls somewhere. It wasn’t actually true but Rose didn’t know that at the time and she really didn’t seem to care. I contrasted that with her reaction to Dimitri’s friendship with Christian’s aunt Tasha in Frostbite and the differences are stark. Adrian visits her in her dreams occasionally but most of her moments are preoccupied with Dimitri and his struggle and their close proximity which is stirring up things for both of them. It’s pretty obvious that Rose and Adrian were never meant to be – even without Dimitri being returned to dhampir, even if he didn’t begin to accept his deep feelings for Rose still existed, I question whether or not Rose and Adrian could ever have worked. Adrian is made look weak by Rose and the others: he’s the guy who never wants to be involved. He does stump up the goods a few times but he also spends too much time wallowing in alcohol and cigarettes which Rose has little patience for and wasting his potential, which she has even less patience for. I think Rose always needs someone who will fight at her side, who keeps her on her toes and who gets her. Someone who is strong, who has her back as much as she has theirs and I don’t think Adrian ever really got her. I think he loves her and that his feelings are genuine but he doesn’t understand her that well. And she loves him too, but not in the way that she loves Dimitri. However, did I feel as though Rose went about this the wrong way? Yes, yes I do. I don’t think she gave Adrian nearly as much consideration as she should when she was on the road with Dimitri. And she had the opportunity to give the poor guy a heads up!
I spent the whole time reading these books as Team Dimitri (of course!) but I have been assured most confidently that the Bloodlines series will make me unashamedly team Adrian (not for Rose just…in general). We shall see what happens!
I think Last Sacrifice was a fabulous end to this series – it tied up a lot of threads, things that had been in place since the very first book. I was pleased to note that I didn’t pick who had murdered Queen Tatiana but when it all unfolded, it made sense, especially why Rose was set up to neatly take the fall. There were a great number of scenes that I adored (the one with Abe, Dimitri and Janine springs to mind!). There’s also plenty that was left open ended (particularly Adrian and Sydney) that paves the way for the spin off series very nicely.
Book #213 of 2013