This series is another one on the long list of series that I am slowly but surely making my way through and this book was the fourth instalment in the series. Before going into this book, I was somewhat skeptical about whether the story was just being dragged out into six books to make money and whether this was just a ‘filler’ book. However, this was certainly not a filler book and this book was filled with so many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. It was a very quick and easy read and Richelle Mead’s writing style is so engaging and full of humour that even though this book is just 500 pages, it didn’t feel like it dragged at any point. I love the characters in this series and now that the series is beginning to conclude, we’re seeing the characters develop and change in new and exciting ways. I am very intrigued to see what is going to happen in the next book and I can’t wait to read it.
The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them including Dimitri. He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa – the one she has sworn to protect no matter what is at stake – and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?
Knowing what was going to happen in this book because of the cliffhanger in book 3, I was slightly uncertain about the plot because I was scared it would just be Rose for 400 pages and the main thing I liked about this series was the banter and relationships between the characters. But, Richelle Mead found some really clever ways of mixing Rose with some other characters that kept the plot moving forwards and allowed Rose to interact with other people. Rose might not be my absolute favourite character but she makes a very likeable heroine as she is so strong-willed and determined as well as being spunky and sarcastic. The position of absolute favourite goes to Lissa, even though she wasn’t in this book for the majority of it. I just love how intelligent and gentle and protective she is but that doesn’t mean that she will let people walk all over her and tell her what to do, especially in this book. I’ve loved seeing her grow in strength and confidence as this series has progressed and I’m sure that she’s only going to continue to do so.
Richelle Mead is also great at creating complex and interesting side characters and I especially loved reading about Adrian and Christian. I really like Adrian’s character because he is both arrogant and a really loyal friend; I also love his friendly and sometimes romantic banter with Rose. Christian has been one of my favourite characters since the beginning mainly because of his relationship with Lissa but what I liked about him in this book was that he wasn’t afraid to put his foot down and stand up to people. He didn’t swan back into Lissa’s arms when she’d made a mistake. Like an realistic relationship, he needs time to think about things and I thought that this showed just how forward-minded he is. In this book we also get to find out a lot about Dimitri’s family which was really interesting to find about. I also loved having parts of this book be set in Russia because it is such a mysterious and atmospheric place which really added to the story.
Overall, I’d give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars because it was a really enjoyable and humorous read as well as being full of surprises and I can’t wait to see where this story is going to go in future books.