Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, Book 6) – Richelle Mead

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Note: If you have not read the Vampire Academy series yet….DO IT. You might not be sold on the first one, but you will be hooked from the second. You must, must check out this series.

Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules.

She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir Princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose- for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back… and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your life is about saving others, who will save you?”

Warning: Though there will be no spoilers (other than discussing plot points already known in the previous novels), there will be a lot of gushing about Richelle Mead’s greatness and Last Sacrifice’s awesomeness.

As a book reviewer, in order to post reviews on a regular basis you need to read books at a certain pace. Usually you set a page goal of how many pages per session to read in order to finish the book in time to review it, which with some books, can feel like a chore. From my perspective as both a reviewer and general reader, the best books are the ones that make you look at a book and think, “oh no, I only have 300 pages left” and you hope somehow another 300 will come from nowhere because you just don’t want that book to end.

Richelle Mead’s stunning conclusion to the Vampire Academy series, Last Sacrifice, fits perfectly into that category of books.

It fits, not because it’s the last book in a series and is expected to be good – which is not always  true since the last book can often make or break a series, but because Last Sacrifice was just that darn good.

When we last saw Rose she had been arrested, accused of killing Queen Tatiana, Dimitri claimed to no longer have feelings for her and had been given clues from the murdered Queen herself about a lost Dragomir, Eric Dragomir’s illegitimate child. The book picks up days after the trial we saw in Spirit Bound and wastes no time getting right into the action.

One by one the answers to five books worth of questions start to reveal themselves as we realize just how well Richelle Mead has interwoven so many plot points to create such a complex but fascinating storyline.

There were so many moment that would make me stop and practically fall off the bed, squirming with excitement over what I’d just read. Particularly at each chapter end there’d be either a shocking reveal or  someone would say something so simple with such a huge impact that would make one of many “OMG/OH SNAP” moments.

Besides the plot itself, it’s the amazing characters that really make this book. They are so well developed and each of them have grown and matured since the first book, being able to read about them again was like hanging out with old friend, it was so comfortable being with them in the story.

Rose for me is always a stand out. It’s probably an understatement but this. girl. kicks. butt. And not just in the literal Strigoi killing kind of way. Rose especially has matured as a character, along with Lissa as well, who have had a role reversal since for once, it’s Rose that is in trouble and needs to be saved. Not that Rose is content to just sit around and wait though…but that’s Rose for you.

I also loved the cameo from my favorite character, the word badass. It’s become pretty notorious in the Vampire Academy series and I think makes only one appearance, but I love it.

I was also very glad to see more of Abe, who has a wicked sense of humour and charisma that Rose obviously inherited, as well as Sydney, who we know will be a character featured in the spin-off, Bloodlines.

It goes without saying that the love triangle between Rose, Dimitri and Adrian is resolved but I really, really can’t say anything at all, because even the slightest comment will give it away. But I will say, that things progressed quite naturally.

As I said earlier, the last book can really make or break a series, and Last Sacrifice finished Vampire Academy off perfectly. You head into the thick of the action with Rose as she battles against accusations, Strigoi, emotions and Spirit and comes out, if possible, even more of a badass than she was before. You’ll hate your body for needing to sleep because it’ll come between you and reading one more chapter.

In future, I trust Richelle Mead with any and all series and their ends because this one was done spectacularly. I can’t believe it’s over, but I’m definitely content. Luckily we don’t have to leave the Moroi and Dhampir world completely as we look forward to Bloodline’s release in August 2011.

If I could it’d be 10000 stars out of 5. But I’ll have to settle for 5 out of 5.

Pages: 594
Publication Date: December 2010
Rating: [rating:5]

Teaser Quote: He smiled at me . . . fondly. “Ah, my daughter,” he said.
“Eighteen, and already you’ve been accused of murder, aided felons, and acquired a death count higher than most guardians will ever see.” He paused. “I couldn’t be prouder.”

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