Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school - it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s - the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi - the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires - make Lissa one of them forever...
This is why you're supposed to review books relatively quickly after you read them - otherwise they fade from your memory and you struggle to remember what was so great about it in the first place. I rate books right after reading them, and I gave this one 4 stars on Goodreads. Now, I struggle to remember why, nothing strikes me as all that special.
It was an okay read and fairly well written, but main character Rose is just a pain in the neck with her her basically amazing qualities and sexiness that makes everybody either want to be her, be with her, or totally hate her guts. Lissa is so obnoxiously helpless it hurts and most of the males are basically just there so the girls can lust over them. And for a plot that's supposedly set in a school setting it's got next to nothing to do with getting educated, unless you count Rose's P.E. lessons with Mr. Dark and Mysterious.
I liked the vampyric aspects of the story, I think that take was refreshingly classical, you've got vampires, you've got semis and you've got humans who get fed on. You've got bad guys and good guys, you've got a hierarchy and it's all sort of Eastern European. Thumbs up for that. Them wielding elemental magic? Thumbs down.
Overall the book is quickly read and though not exactly a page turner, I kept on reading for longer periods of time and I did enjoy the final revelation and the ending.
Supposedly 4 stars once you've just read it, somewhat closer to 3 stars a few weeks later when you can't remember why you liked it that much in the first place.
332 pages / published in 2007
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2012.