Fourth in the Vampire Academy young adult urban fantasy series revolving around Rose Hathaway, a young Guardian-to-be.
Oh man, I cried. It was so hard in Shadow Kiss when Dimitri was taken by the Strigoi but having to encounter him again with the promise of what could have been was just so sad. Mead did an excellent job of building tension and setting us up for the next in the series—I’m on pins and needles! Rose learns so much about herself, about Strigoi, about more advanced skills between a spirit user and the person who holds a bond, who is shadow-kissed.
She was also brilliant in creating Galina and Dimitri’s Strigoi personalities with their contrast between the living dhampirs and their evil counterparts.
Thankfully, Mead created a believable scenario for death and resurrection in Blood Promise; so much more realistic than some “resurrections” I’ve read recently.
Torn between her love for Dimitri and her knowledge of his desire to not live as a Strigoi, Rose has left school and is hunting across Russia for Dimitri, the Strigoi. She can’t bear to think of him as one of them and she can’t bear that they will never have the life of which they dreamed. Seeing Russia without Dimitri’s presence but with the memories of his reminiscences tears at Rose as she views the fairytale-like buildings of which he spoke.
Her anger lends her the strength to kill all Strigoi she encounters. A mess she spreads across the city until she comes to the attention of an Alchemist, Sydney. Seems there is some information Rose would have learned when she graduated. Now she’ll have to figure it out as she goes.
Just as Rose will have to find the strength and the truth when she does find the object of her hunt. And an even greater strength when she must unite with Oksana to save Lissa.
Rose Hathaway is a dhampir who has almost graduated as a full-fledged Guardian, one who protects Moroi. Instead, she is hunting across Russia to release Dimitri, her lover and her teacher, into a true death. Janine Hathaway is her mother and a renowned Guardian. Vasilisa “Lissa” Dragomir is Rose’s bondmate, a royal Moroi and the last of her line. Adrian Ivashkov is another spirit user, like Lissa with whom he’s working on using spirit at the academy but he copes with the side effects by smoking and drinking. He’s in love with Rose.
Sydney is an Alchemist. A member of a human organization who protects humans from knowledge. Abe Mazur is a very powerful and influential unknown Moroi dealing in the legal and the illegal with an intense interest in Rose whom he progressively threatens more and more.
Dimitri Belikova was one of the best of the Guardians and worked one-on-one at the school with Rose as well as teaching the dhampirs in general. A Strigoi attack ended with their abducting him; the only outcome can be their turning him to Strigoi. Dimitri and Rose loved each other. Olena Belikova is Dimitri’s mother, a healer, living in Baia, Siberia; Yeva is his grandmother, the witch with Sight. His three sisters also live with their mother with their children: Karolina with her son Paul and a baby daughter; Viktoria; and, the pregnant Sonya. Oksana and Mark are a spirit-using Moroi and her bondmate with some fascinating tricks to teach.
Denis, Tamara, Lev, and Artur are unpromised dhampirs in Siberia who are like Rose; they want to fight and pay no attention to strategy or practicality. When Rose leaves the Belikovas, she throws in with them believing she will have a better chance of finding Dimitri. Galina is Dimitri’s old instructor back when he was in school; now she is the head Strigoi with her own estate outside Novosibirsk. Nathan is the Strigoi who awakened Dimitri and is now so angry because Dimitri has a higher status with Galina than he.
Eugene Lazar, a royal Moroi, has arrived to replace Headmistress Kirova; his daughter Avery and son Reed are with him. Simon is Avery’s Guardian. Jill is a fourteen-year-old student at the academy who is interested in learning how to use her Moroi talent to fight. Alberta is the Guardian captain at the school who would love to see Rose graduate.
The cover is a downcast profile of Rose in a rather dreamy pose above the wrought iron gates of the Vampire Academy. The title is a Blood Promise Rose and Dimitri exchanged that neither wanted to live as Strigoi.