Friday, 14 January 2011

Review: Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy #6
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group:Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin AU -Razorbill
Release Date: December 7, 2010
Format: Paperback, 608 pages
ISBN-13: 9781921518904
RRP: $19.95 AUD

Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice.
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 she is truly out of second chances.  The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

Join Rose, Dimitri, Adrian, and Lissa in Last Sacrifice, the epic, unforgettable finale to Richelle Mead's international # 1 bestselling Vampire Academy series
Love and Loyalty Run Deeper Than Blood


I realise that this review is very very late, but a late review is better than no review, right? (Edit: I also realise that this is very, very long.) But Last Sacrifice is definitely deserving of a review. Thank you heaps to Romy from Lost in Stories for giving me her extra copy of Last Sacrifice! She’s lovely, please go visit her and follow/comment, if you haven’t already.

Last Sacrifice chronicles Rose’s journey from a suspect for regicide to the final showdown, where Queen Tatiana’s murderer is finally revealed. And like all good murder mysteries, Richelle Mead keeps us guessing until the big reveal, with suspect after suspect cast aside in our vampires’ quest for the truth. Woven into the suspense is a beautiful love story, with both guardian Dimitri and royal Adrian vying for Rose’s affections. It is obvious (and has been from very early on in the series) who Rose ultimately chooses, and while I’m thrilled at the choice, I thought Last Sacrifice was disappointingly void of any heartwrenchingly romantic moments. And no, I don’t mean love scenes, but sweet moments that give you that warm fuzzy feeling, as like the other books.

What Last Sacrifice lacks in romantic buildup, though, is made up for in the character development. Richelle Mead’s characters come to life in the series, and I always feel a genuine connection with them. I admire Rose’s courage and perseverance (not to mention her awesome guardian skills), I am amazed by Lissa’s leadership qualities, I’m astounded by Christian’s devotion to Lissa and his determination to defy the status quo, I am warmed by Adrian’s loyalty, and I absolutely adore everything about Dimitri. Even his martyred chastity. You know that Richelle Mead’s is brilliant at writing characters when her readers are able to identify the speaker of teaser quotes, because they know the characters so well that they can tell that such and such is exactly what he or she would say. For example, this quote, “I would do anything for you. The stupider the better.” is so Adrian.
One clever device that Richelle Mead has used in the entire series is the bond between Rose and Lissa. It allows for an interesting mix of narration, because the perspective alternates between Rose’s present tense first person narration of her trials, and a present tense third person narration by Rose, of Lissa’s predicaments. We get a full scope of events, along with Rose’s immediate reaction, and allows for an interesting storyline to unfold.

There is no question that Vampire Academy is one of my all-time favourite series. But why is this so, and similarly, what does it take for a series to become one of my favourites? Well, aside from the sizzling love triangle between Rose, Dimitri and Adrian, with some scenes that made me swoon, there was the whole vampire world that Richelle Mead created. The vampiric aspect wasn’t what made me fall in love with this series, but the flawless immersion of this fabled and fictious world into modern day was a part of it. I also adored Richelle Mead’s unique twists, including her spotlight on the guardians that protect the vampires, the group in which our awesome Rose belongs. Rose’s personality is on the level of unique that I love. She’s strong, fierce, determined, loyal, a kick-ass heroine and impulsive too, but loved by those closest to her, and admired by readers worldwide.

Everyone knows already that Richelle Mead is a brilliant writer as well. She conveys so much with her words, bringing her characters to life, and a fantastical plotline into being for a fandom of hundreds of thousands. Every twist in the story stuns me, and I love love love that I can slip into her world so seamlessly and be enthralled by it all. Maybe someday I’ll have the words to competently express her awesomeness as well.

Finally, what are my thoughts on the ending that I’ve spent months anticipating? Well, I wasn’t certain, but I was sure that Richelle Mead would pull out a gobsmacker. I was disappointed that I wasn’t completely taken aback by the killer, and there wasn’t a horrified “wow” like the first book, but I hadn’t suspected the killer either. I was thrilled at Lissa’s news, although I thought she reached that stage too easily, and Lissa’s sibling was pretty obvious through hints in the previous books. 

There were some threads hanging at the end of the Last Sacrifice, but this makes me yearn for the first in the spin-off series, Bloodlines, all the more. Richelle Mead says:

"Bloodlines is the spin-off series to Vampire Academy (it's the name of the first book and of the series). It's set in the VA world but will be about different characters: Sydney (our narrator), Jill, Eddie, and one of the love interests from VA. I'm not saying who that last guy is, but it's mostly to protect those who haven't read Last Sacrifice. If you have read it, then it should be pretty obvious who the other character is." - Richelle's Blog

Bloodlines is set to come out "at the end of August [2011]" - Richelle Mead

Interview with Preger Entertainment (about film adaptation):


Vampire Academy Official Website | Last Sacrifice at Penguin | Richelle Mead's Website | Richelle Mead's Blog | VA Wallpapers |