Posted on January 23, 2008 by alanajoli
Written by by Richelle Mead
Reviewed by Alana Abbott
Rose and Lissa have been on the run, trying to evade the very people who were supposed to keep them safe. But St. Vladimir’s Academy didn’t seem safe two years ago, and when Guardians capture the two runaways, they don’t feel any safer. But staying on seems like the only option, so Rose, a half-vampire training to be a guardian known as a Dhampir, and Lissa, a Moroi or mortal vampire, go back to school as normal: classes and training all night and sleeping during the day. Forced to coast through the middle, trying to avoid notice as long as possible, the girls manage to stay out of trouble: until trouble comes looking for them. In Lissa’s case, this means animals, torn apart and almost dead, are left in her bedroom. In Rose’s case, it’s her tutor Dimitri, who is far too attractive for Rose’s own good. But since Lissa and Rose share a bond–Rose experiences Lissa’s emotions almost as though they were her own–they share problems as well, and it’s not just their reputations at stake. It could be Lissa’s life.
Half mystery, half teen drama, Vampire Academy introduces a dying world of tradition: the Moroi can do magic, but must be protected from the evil, undead Stirgoi by their Dhampir guardians. The Stirgoi feed on the blood of innocents, and if they can drink from a Moroi, so much the better. So when Rose suspects that Lissa is being hunted, the danger of losing her is very real. Lissa’s own strange command of magic–unlike the traditional techniques of the Moroi–put her in even greater danger, and threaten to drive her insane. The novel is almost as much an exploration of this new world as it is a school drama, but classes, gossip, and training come with their own dangers. The description of blood feeding is chilling and enticing at the same time. Mead definitely has a good handle on vampire fiction, and she’s developed a sassy, smart-ass voice for Rose, who narrates through both her own and Lissa’s eyes. This is the first in a series, and given the fully fleshed feeling of the world, there are plenty of stories for Mead to tell.