Rose’s story is told across six books in the Vampire Academy series. You can read all the reviews I’ve done for them before reading this one if you should so desire: Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound.
To say life is complicated for Rose Hathaway would be an understatement. She is imprisoned and awaiting trial for a murder she didn’t commit, her father insisting she will not face trial and inevitable execution. Abe seems to have something up his sleeve and all Rose’s friends seem to be in on it, but they are determined to keep her out of it. Once the plan is underway, she goes on the run with her ex-Strigoi ex-boyfriend Dimitri, and much to her surprise, Sydney the Alchemist. Firm instructions are given for Rose to stay safe and hidden until the others can figure out who framed her and why, but safe and hidden aren’t in Rose’s vocabulary, especially not when her loved ones are at risk. She has a plan of her own, one that could see Lissa’s royal family name restored. Now she just has to convince Dimitri to go along with it, convince herself that Adrian is the one she wants to be with and convince everyone else that she hasn’t gone completely off the rails. Simple really.
So here we are, on the last book to finish Rose’s story. In the Vampire Academy series, we’ve watched her grow in just a few short years, from a young and impetuous teenager into a formidable and fiercely loyal guardian with no qualms about her duty to Lissa. She’s known love, loss and rejection, she’s travelled the world to try and save the man she loves. While she wants to be Lissa’s guardian she knows with some of the choices she had to make to keep the people she loved safe, that she would be deemed unsuitable to guard a Princess of Lissa’s stature. Now she is on trial for a crime she is innocent of, but someone has gone a long way to make sure she will be found guilty.
Lissa has truly come into her own as a spirit user, being able to cure Strigoi and turn them back into their former selves. Something that was once thought impossible, but her love for Rose and affection for Dimitri gave her the strength to fight for them. Her confidence has increased with Christian’s love, the unwavering support of her friends and her shadow kissed bond with Rose, meaning the last of the Dragomir royal line is never really alone.
It’s been quite a journey and one I’m so glad I made. Right from the first book, Vampire Academy, Rose has been an outstanding character; funny, determined, loyal and fierce and she has fast become one of my favourite heroines. I love the fact that she isn’t perfect, she makes wrong choices, she gets confused by her hormones but she does her utmost to ultimately do the right thing. Those she loves mean everything to her and she would do anything for them, especially Lissa.
While the point of view is always from Rose’s perspective, that she can see through Lissa’s eyes because of the bond, is a unique way of letting the reader know what is going on with her. It works really well and as they spend a lot of time apart in this book but is essential you know what is happening back with Lissa, it was a clever way to achieve this.
The writing, as it has been all the way through the series, is consistently crisp, clean and easy to read. The characters have always been consistent, their personalities solid and very real.
The plot in Last Sacrifice is simply outstanding. I knew there would be a twist at the end but for the life of me, I didn’t see it coming. I even went back and re-read to see if I’d missed any clues but no, nothing. It was very well done.
The plot arc that connects all the books was also very good, often coming to full circles on a couple of issues. Again, I thought it a very nice touch.
When the real action kicks off in this last book, it doesn’t let up til the end, carrying you with it until it’s inevitable conclusion. That unseen twist, Lissa’s surprise and the last sacrifice pretty much finished me off and I had to break out the tissues. I can give no higher praise than that.
While Rose’s Story may have ended with Last Sacrifice, there will be more from Vampire Academy to come and I can’t wait to see who it will be about next. They will however have big shoes to fill to be comparable to Rose.
There is only one negative thing I have to say about Last Sacrifice and that is the Author’s note at the start. Just one line took away any mystique as to whether Rose would survive. I understand why the author’s note is there and for the most part, it’s appropriate, but maybe putting that part at the end with the acknowledgements would have been better.
That doesn’t stop it from being an incredibly engaging and exciting book, even so.