Title: Blood Promise (Book #4 in the Vampire Academy series)
Author: Richelle Mead
Release Date: 25 August 2009
Publisher: Razorbill Publishing
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Razorbill Publishing, Amazon, Book Depository US, Book Depository UK, Kindle Store
Grade: 4.5 stars
Goodreads appetizer: After the massacre at Vampire Academy, Rose Hathaway faces the most task of her life and she knows that she must do it alone. With Mason departed for the other world, Rose must hunt down and kill Dimitri Belikov, the man she most loves.
The fourth nail-biting episode of Richelle Mead's popular vampire series dramatically shows the fatal power of a promise.
*sorry for my disjointed rambling the memories and impressions are stil so vivid I don't know where to start*
I have to admit I found the beginning a bit slow and dragging, but I understand that Richelle Mead had to give an introduction to the story and show us Rose's grief. In my opinion the novel truly began when Rose landed in Baia and met Dimitri's family. And what a nice and warm family! I was so happy to see Rose enveloped in so much love, acceptance and friendship, it was truly great to see her protected and nurtured from/through her grief by the unconditional and honest love and affection of Dimitri's family.
I had this small thrill, you know that buzzing anticipation when you know something is about to happen and you feel like your skin is too tight? Well that's how I felt: holding my breath for the big facedown between Rose and Dimitri to see how it would go when they would finally see each other again. But what happened after was still unexpected...
Reading about Rose's captivity I had very ambivalent feelings. I was glad to see Dimitri's attachment (loved how his protective side always surfaced in connection with Rose) (and by the way I was completely surprised because somehow I thought that after being changed into a Strigoi they forgot their previous life, their friends, family and emotions /don't know why I thought that/, so when I heard Dimitri remember Rose I was flabbergasted) and that Rose finally got part of the happiness she deserved: they had a few stolen days/weeks(?) together, and it was good to see Rose happy without restraints, in the previous books she only had very brief moments of happiness but then real life and worries intruded. On the other hand it was painful seeing the strong, independent Rose reduced to a mindless, weak and drugged zombie. She was like a medieval concubine to a rich aristocrat: kept in a golden cage, showered with beautiful gowns and jewellery but she had to be available like some kind of personal sex (here blood) slave... It was stomach turning. And Richelle Mead managed to write this part so amazingly, that after the initial joy one Rose/Dimitri supporter might have felt at their reunion, the way they spent their time together and especially what it did to Rose got so revolting, that any true fan of either character knew that something must happen, that Rose had to get away.
And that escape/fight/bridge scene! I lack the words. I rarely cry while reading, but I teared up I imagined that bridge scene so vividly and especially poor Rose's doubts and questions afterwards, always going back to that scene.. It was heartwrenching.
The emotional intensity of Shadow Kiss was met in Blood Promise too, and I love how this series despite being a young adult series is definitely not a light and cotton candy fluffiness teenage angst story but is so full of emotion and heartbreak.
I was again guessing throughout reading the novel when the relevance of the title would be revealed and I was not disappointed. I love how the titles of Richelle's Mead Vampire Academy series besides being catchy have a deeper meaning conveying an important notion or momentum of the novel, and it was just the same here. The motive of promise reared its head many times and in different circumstances, but was always in the forefront.
I liked the storyline that Rose left the safety and mundane days of the Academy and went to see the world. I enjoyed reading about her enthusiastic exploration of Russia and how she saw Dimitri's comments and memories behind everything. (However I found it a bit irritating as it is so highly improbable as near impossible that not only do every Russian speak English in a remote village/town in Siberia, but that even old - I mean grandma old - people were bilingual! Come on!)
I missed Christian. :-( Through Rose's visits we felt as if Lissa was still next to Rose, and Adrian kept popping up in Rose's dreams, but Christian didn't get enough "screen time" for my taste. His snarky humour was sorely missed. And back to Lissa. *groans* After the small respite in Shadow Kiss, Lissa got back again on my "Characters-I-Most-Want-to-Knock-on-the-Head-and-Render-Unconscious" list. She made me so mad! How everyone is always melting on what a kindhearted, gentle and selfless person she is, well she only demonstarted that she was a spoilt, selfish, egocentrical and quite cruel person. She truly got on my nerves, I wanted to slap her so badly! But then she got again that last couple of chapters after the big Avery showdown where she redeemed herself. I hope she'll manage to stay on my good side by remaining a good friend to Rose and being a bit more selfless and attentive to her.
I read Blood Promise until 3 am on a weekday, meaning that in less than 5 hours I had to get up and go to work. But somehow that didn't daunt me. The story was fast paced and addictive (I start to feel that with each subsequent book Richelle Mead ups the addiction level..), and I just couldn't stop devouring the story and turning the pages fast enough!
Cover: 9/10 (I think I like this cover the best in the series so far)
I'm participating in the Vampire Academy re-reading challenge at Vampire Book Club, if you'd like to join us, click here: