Richelle Mead / YA Urban Fantasy
Book Six of the Vampire Academy series
Penguin Group / December 2010
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?
Ok, first off – how the HECK am I supposed to write a review without including HUGE spoilers?? I tempted Fate the day LAST SACRIFICE was released and ended up having emergency surgery. I hear you say “Well that sucks!” and believe me, you don’t know the half of it. It took a good 5-6 days before I was able to read it, meanwhile each day I would cautiously use the Internet, avoiding the mere mention of the book like the very PLAGUE. I didn’t want ANY hint/clue/suggestion/teaser/OMGSH rants to take away the full experience of reading it so that’s my gift to you – dear review reader. I will now try to attempt the impossible and GUSH about how much I LOVED/ADORED/RELISHED/LOST MY HEART/TREASURED/WENT CRAZY OVER this book. Hmmm… maybe I should stop right there because doesn’t that say it all? *taps finger on chin while thinking* You know what? Keep reading, I want to rant a little about the storyline and characters and honestly, what VA review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t fall completely over myself about my LUST CRUSH Dimitri? Okay, let’s proceed.
If you’re like me, you’ve followed this amazing series from the very beginning, getting to know Rose, Lissa, Dimitri, Christian and Adrian as they come against some pretty steep challenges. Each of the books has been filled with new love, friendship, loyalty, triumph, heartache and betrayal that leaves each reader with a whole mess of emotion. *backspaces about five sentences – “sorry spoilers about previous books”* One thing that stands out LOUD and CLEAR throughout the series is that Rose defines what being a friend means. She moves Heaven and Earth for each of the ones she loves, sometimes desperately fighting the odds in an attempt to save them. So what better way to end this AMAZING series but for Rose to be the one who needs saving. LAST SACRIFICE finds Rose in jail, charged with the murder of Queen Tatiana. She’s obviously innocent but with piles of damning evidence, it doesn’t look good for our beloved heroine. Okay – I’ll give you one spoiler – through a well coordinated jail break, Rose finds herself whisked into hiding with *sigh* Dimitri and others. Rose wouldn’t be Rose if she didn’t have some other plan up her sleeves and for the rest of the story, I watched as she went about finding KEY evidence for her defense and a shocking truth that when revealed would set the Moroi Court on its EAR!! Loads of adventure, drama and action, all the while Rose and Dimitri navigate their feelings about each other.
I think this is about the time where I need to stand up and applaud Richelle Mead because this storyline was by FAR the best of all six! I was totally engrossed in the story, fighting tired eyes for hours so I could finish it all in one sitting. I forgot the world, forgot my family (big kisses to my patient hubby) and even forgot I hurt. The author added so many wonderful touches and insights to the story, special glimpses that left me feeling COMPLETELY satisfied at the end. I felt like I sat down to dinner and was served a succulent 10 course meal that FAR SURPASSED my wildest expectations. I knew I was going to love the book but once I was done, I was still floored.
Rose will always be one of my favorite heroines because for me she has always been so incredibly real. She is far from perfect, with her own set of flaws but what she has that sets her apart is an amazing amount of PASSION. She has a lot of heart for a character and a constant desire to protect the ones she loves. She may not think things completely through at times but whatever she does, she gives herself 100% and watching the journey she’s been on through series has made for an amazing read. She really showed a level of maturity in this book, faced a lot of hard truths and showed a great willingness to listen to her heart and not be swayed by guilt. She spent A LOT of time with Dimitri *cheers* and I loved watching how she dealt with the redefining of their relationship. She had a lot to lose, ultimately her life and I loved how she defined herself as a survivor – she was able to motivate herself to change and act and didn’t rely on someone else to be her savior. She is very strong woman and can I just say – like always, she kicked some serious ass!
This book proves that the book Gods heard my plea because my BELOVED Dimitri is all through this final book and I was able to completely gorge myself on him. Here’s another strong character that has been through Hell and is now trying to sort himself out so he can move on. I have always LOVED/LUSTED/OBSESSED/PANTED/SWOONED/HUNGERED after Dimitri and I want to give a huge thank you to the author because I have desperately missed him. I hurt for him throughout the story because I knew there was so much he wanted to say to Rose but he didn’t believe he could. I was giddy for him when I saw him become the strong Guardian I’ve always known him to be when danger struck and he needed to step up and dominate. I held my breath it seemed the entire book, waiting like the hopeless romantic I am to see whether he’d get back with Rose because no offense to Adrian but I’m a Team Dimitri girl. I think that was one of the biggest questions I had with the book – who would Rose choose – Dimitri or Adrian. Both sexy men in their own rights, both men who loved her deeply. How about you lean in REAL close to your computer screen and I’ll type in who she chooses… you have your eyes up close to the screen yet? *pauses* Okay here it is… she chooses…… *DELETES THE NAME* Mwahahahaha. I told you – no spoilers!
Just a little side comment that I loved and really appreciated about the book was the author having Rose spend a lot of time in Lissa’s mind. It makes a lot of sense since everyone was back at Court trying to find out who the murderer was and with Lissa taking part in royal business, I got to see things that we normally wouldn’t have had access to in the other books. It showed a wonderful side to Lissa, showed her developing into this strong woman who had a more confident, take charge attitude. It gave me the relieved feeling that she was able to stand on her own feet and if need be, could take care of herself. To me it showed a real balancing out in her relationship with Rose, leading them to a place where things could be shouldered more evenly. I’m hoping that as the author begins working on the branch off series, that we’ll get to see more of this independent Lissa.
Although it’s completely depressing that the series has officially finished, the author wrote this final book in such a way that I can sit back, smile and feel content. There were A LOT of shocks throughout the book and there were times where my heart hurt for the characters but ultimately, it was a PERFECT way to end the series. For those who haven’t read LAST SACRIFICE or any of the books, here’s the deal – drop everything you’re doing and START reading! Seriously, this is THE series to read and I can totally see myself pulling out my cherished MUCH read copies out in the future for my grandchildren and great grand children to read. A breathtaking finish and for one last time – I LOVE YOU DIMITRI and * looks around to see whose watching and softly adds* I want to have your babies LOL. Happy reading!!!
(LOL well I was when I finished it)