New author for me and though I was intrigued with the plot premise, the beginning of this series had me feeling lost in the middle. I was expecting more detail and history of the characters, an introduction and getting to know you phase, if you will. Instead I am dropped into the story feeling like I tuned in after it had started and had missed much of the beginning. Usually, this alone will be enough of a reason for me to stop reading and throw the book against the wall, but I decided to ride it out and see where it takes me. I’m glad I did. Thankfully, the feeling of being lost doesn’t last long as the author does an exceptional job of bringing the reader up to speed, filling in the gaps while keeping the story interesting and not getting bogged down in a lot of monotonous detail and “blah blah blah.”
Very quickly, I was able to see how close Rose and Lissa are. More than friends and closer than sisters, they share a very strong bond and though the reader doesn’t understand the importance of the bond at first or the ramifications of this bond, it is very easy to see how closely connected they are. Once I understood that, the rest of the story quickly fell into place and I got busy meeting the supporting characters and enjoying Rose’s feisty personality, sharp wit and sometimes biting language.
I really like the premise of a vampire academy. A school for vampires; kind of like Hogwarts for blood suckers; really, how cool is that? Upon further pondering, I feel quite sure this is the first for this theme. Within the halls of the academy, we learn that an entire society of vampires exist, the mortal ones who also possess magical abilities, the Moroi and the evil immortal ones, the Strigoi. Rose is a half human half vampire, a Dhampir. Her duty is to guard and protect the Moroi, of which Lissa is one. Once Rose is fully trained, she will also be expected to lay down her life, if necessary, to ensure Lissa is protected from the Strigoi.
Overall, not a bad beginning to a series that holds a lot of promise. Still a little fuzzy on the details regarding why the Strigoi are hell bent on killing off the Moroi, but I’m hopeful that will be cleared up as I progress through the series. I’m looking forward to seeing how the budding relationships between Lissa and Christian and Rose and Dimitri play out.