Blood Promise – Richelle Mead

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How far will Rose go to keep her promise?

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—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?

If there is one thing Rose is good for, it’s a promise.  And she made Dimitri – her trainer, mentor, and the love of her life – the promise of a lifetime. When Dimitri is taken by enemy Strigoi at the end of the last book, Rose knows that she owes it to him to make good on her promise, no matter how much it will destroy her to do so. After all, he’d do it for her if the situation were reversed. But what would you do to preserve the honor of someone you loved? How far could you go to carry out their last wish? If it meant destroying a part of yourself, would you be able to follow through?

So Rose sets off on a mission from which she knows she may never return. Fighting Strigoi is deadly stuff – especially when that Strigoi has the man of your dreams. He knows your every move, your every weakness.  Rose has no idea what exactly happened to Dimitri, but she knows that whatever it is, it can’t be good. There is no good anywhere where Strigoi are concerned.

Blood Promise finds Rose in Russia, searching for her once beloved – dead, alive, or turned. Russia is everything Dimitri ever said it was, and then some. Its beautiful, crazy, and feels much more like ‘home’ than she ever thought possible. When she stumbles upon Dimitri’s family, though, she doesn’t expect the greeting she’s given. Will they welcome her with open arms as she delivers them the worst news possible, or will they cast her away with cold and darkened eyes? I don’t know about you, but if a strange girl showed up on my doorstep with the same news that Rose has, I know how I’d react…

Interestingly enough, as Rose travels across Russia, it seems that Vladimir Academy is never too far away. Adrian pays Rose a dreamy visit or two, and Rose can’t help but check in on Lissa now and then. It seems that Lissa is a bit lost without Rose and lands herself in all kinds of trouble. Is she woman enough to pull herself together, or will she need her best friend to fix everything once more? My initial feelings towards Lissa were all confirmed three times over in this novel: she’s weak, fragile, and freaking annoying! Again, I disliked reading her through Rose’s thoughts and I thanked my lucky stars that she wasn’t the focalising character.

Meanwhile, back in Russia someone reminds Rose exactly why she came in the first place, and she realises that its time to move on and being her search once more. Just when she thinks she’s never going to find what she came looking for, something off-the-charts kind of crazy happens and Rose’s world is thrown completely and absolutely freaking upside down. Although I’m not going to disclose exactly what this is, I was supremely thrown by these turns of events. I was very uncomfortable as I read through this section of the narrative, always hoping and praying that what was happening would right itself once more. When I realised that this wasn’t going to happen any time soon I became incredibly frustrated. Rose’s character takes an entirely new form in Blood Promise, and I can’t say that I’m altogether happy with her transformation. She loses her edge, and although I understand that the circumstances are pretty much out of her control, I kept waiting for her to get her groove back together. I’m happy to report that she eventually did, but it took way too long for her to shizzle her way back into the Rose Hathaway we all know and love.

Cryptic much? Well, you’re just going to have to read to find out what I’m talking about…

Now I know you’re all wanting to know: Is he, or isn’t he? I could tell you but I’m feeling particularly evil right now and I think I’ll keep that particular spoiler to myself. If you want to find out whether Dimitri is Strigoi, alive, dead, or whatever, then I suggest you run out to your local bookstore as fast as you possibly can and get hold of a copy. I will, however, leave you with this piece of information….

Dimitri DOES make an appearance in this novel. Your questions will be answered and you wont have to wait too long to find out what the hell happened to him. Will you be surprised? Maybe. Maybe not. Depends what you’re hoping for!

While Blood Promise is not my favourite Vampire Academy novel to date, I did read this one in a single sitting. Once I started reading I was desperate to find out what happened. I reckon this one has a little bit of everything for everyone: love, lust, hate, anger, sympathy, empathy, envy, desire, action, skill, and the edge that we’ve all come to expect from the Vampire Academy novels.

I reckon the fans are going to lose it over this one. I can’t wait for the discussion to start.

P.S There’s a new player in town whom I think we’re going to see much more of in the future. While her presence was necessary in Blood Promise, I don’t think we were treated to everything she has to offer. Watch this space…

Rating:[rating:4]

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