Fri 8 Feb 2008
Richelle Mead is a relative newcomer in the Urban Fantasy field (as she labels her works), but she’s got three books out already and will have five out before the end of this year. Vampire Academy is the first in her Vampire Academy series; it’s also her only YA-intended work to date. The author describes herself thus: “I have red hair and subsist entirely on Kona coffee.” One might stereotype from this tagline that her books are high-energy, with volatile female characters. Unfortunately for the world of political correctness, that’s true — about this book, at least.
In Rose and Lissa’s world, there are vampires: Moroi or Strigoi. Moroi are mortal, capable of tolerating a limited amount of sunlight, and have the capacity to be moral. Strigoi are immortal; they’re generally formed when a Moroi or a dhampir goes rogue and kills someone when taking his or her blood. They’re evil, of course, and dhampir (a half-Moroi, half-human or dhampir, with extraordinary strength, reflexes, and senses, but no need for blood) are supposed to kill them. Right now, though, there are too many Strigoi, and they generally try to kill Moroi — especially the members of the twelve Moroi royal families. Rose is a dhampir; her mother is one of the most famed dhampir guards in existence. Lissa is a very high-ranking member of the Moroi royalty. They’re both in their mid- to late-teens, and they’re, at the beginning of the book, on the run. However, they get caught quite early on, and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s — an academy for Moroi and dhampir that tries to prepare them both for higher education and for life in what is admittedly a dangerous world. The situation that caused them to be on the run still exists, though, and Lissa has many enemies based on her rank. It’s up to Rose to keep her safe and sane. Can she? (more…)