Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) by Richelle Mead

**If you haven’t read the first three books in the Vampire Academy series, please do not proceed. This review will contain inevitable spoilers and this is one series you do NOT want to spoil.

I’ve been on a Vampire Academy reading binge for a week or so now and I am still obsessed with this series. In the last book, a big change happened which made me question the future of this series — the death of the beloved Dimitri, but not just his death his transformation into a Strigoi. To say I was heartbroken is an understatement, but I’m happy to say that my concern were unfounded, and this series has a heart-wrenching and somewhat controversial future, but a future nonetheless.

5996153Rose 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?

I love this series because it explores the realities of life in a supernatural setting. Rose is suffering from the loss of Dimitri and her love for him fuels her fire to free him from damnation. She is brave. She is stupid. Her adventure to Russia to find and kill Dimitri is amazingly complex. I wanted her to find him and set him free but I also feared his return, knowing that Dimitri is Rose’s biggest weakness. She finds herself in a situation that is both horrid and blissful. Her conflicting emotions and vulnerabilities combined with her spirit makes Rose one of my all-time favorite characters. There is so much depth to her; she possesses such hope for the future despite her circumstance, yet accepts the harsh realities. She is a walking talking contradiction and I LOVE her for it.

This book stands apart in the series because Rose is no longer in her comfort zone. She makes new friends and a whole lot of new enemies. Plus, this book doesn’t have as much of the witty banter to fall back on as comic relief. Don’t get me wrong, Rose is still Rose but there is a serious undertone combined with pain that dominates the pages. There isn’t as much romance either but there is a whole lot of Dimitri and what ifs. It’s so heartbreaking but it’s mesmerizing and I couldn’t look away. Rose really grows in this installment, truly marking her depth and complexity.

I loved this one. This story is unique and addictive. Blood Promise is another great example of Richelle Mead’s amazing writing skills.

STARS: 5 out of 5

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