Book 4, Blood Promise
Summary from Goodreads: Rose Hathaway's life will never be the same. The recent attack on St. Vladimir's Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose's neck, a mark that says she's killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters . . . Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life's vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She'll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved? Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir's and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?
True to the Rose I've come to know, she sets out on her own to find the man she loves. This story followed the well-established pattern of intrigue and suspense, as well as the action and emotion that I found in the first three. Some new characters were introduced that I really enjoyed getting to know. I've come to expect a lot of great character development from Ms. Mead, and she delivered both in her new characters, and especially with the character of Dimitri. I learned a lot about his back story in this book, and it made me like him even more. And feel bad that now he was Strigoi and had to die.
Book 5, Spirit Bound
Summary from Goodreads: Salvation has its price. The words stunned Adrian for a moment, but he kept going. "You're lying. What you're describing is impossible. There's no way to save a Strigoi. When they're gone, they're gone. They're dead. Undead. Forever." Robert's next words weren't directed at Adrian. They were spoken to me. "That which is dead doesn't always stay dead...." After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. It's graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives outside of the Academy’s cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri. He's out there, somewhere. She failed to kill him when she had the chance, and now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever. But Rose can't forget what she learned on her journey—whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose's prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what—and who—matters most to her. In the end, is true love really worth the price?
Is there a way to save the Stigoi, to save Dimitri without killing him? I loved that we got to see Dimitri as a Stigoi. For as long as we've been involved in this story now there was a lot we didn't know about them. It was great to develop that group of characters and to learn more about what exactly they did and were. I also loved Lissa in this one. She became less of a weak little Princess and more of a strong person who could stand on her own. I was not expecting the ending of this one to go the way that it did!
Book 6, Last Sacrifice
Summary from Goodreads: Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. 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. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardian to come. 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?
I was sad for this series to come to a close. But since I've already read Bloodlines and am eagerly getting into The Golden Lily, I'll survive. I don't think I could have asked for a better ending. From the election leading to a new King or Queen of the Moroi, to worrying whether Rose and Dimitri can get back on track, or wondering whether or not Rose is going to live. I can't help but feel bad for Adrian, who really seems to care about Rose, all the while knowing that she'll probably never be able to love him the way she loves Dimitri. But the real ending of the book was completely satisfying, and left me exactly where I was hoping to be.
Overall Thoughts: I ended up loving this series. From the characters to the plotline, even the settings were a wonderful way to visit this paranormal world. It managed to remain lighter than so many other books in this genre without feeling unsubstantial. Quite the opposite, you run through so many emotions throughout the series, particularly in these last three books when things get so much more complicated. If you love fun and exciting vampire stories, or if you've never read a vampire book before (are there people out there who haven't?), this would be a great place to start!
My Rating: 5 shots