Last Sacrifice is the conclusion of the six book bestselling series, Vampire Academy, by Richelle Mead. Typically I am scornful of the new genre which takes up three shelves at Barnes and Noble: Teen Paranormal Romance. Yet, Vampire Academy perhaps has something many of the other series (Twilight, House of Night) don’t, or at least a particular something which appealed to me enough that I wanted to finish the novels out.
I’ve always appreciated that Richelle Mead bothered to actually do research and based her vampires on Eastern European folklore. The Vampire Academy world contains Moroi, delicate “good” vampires, Strigoi, red-eyed murderous vampires, and dhampirs, or the offspring of Moroi and humans. She still takes liberties with the original legends, but the writer doesn’t come up with arbitrary traits and powers to use solely as plot devices or for a “coolness” factor.Mead also creates an elaborate social structure in which dhampirs are trained to serve and protect Moroi from birth, as Strigoi are always hunting for ways to destroy and eat their counterparts.
The main character of the series is feisty and stubborn Rose, a dhampir who is best friends with the kind, delicate Lissa, a royal Moroi. The two share a telepathic bond which formed after they were the only survivors of a car crash that killed the rest of Lissa’s family. The series follows a variety of their adventures, from Rose helping Lissa defeat those who want her dead because she is the last of her line to Rose’s love interest in her Russian mentor, Dimitri. Always, Strigoi are a threat to be watched out for.
I don’t want to give anything away for those who have not yet read the series, but the sixth book does a good job of tying up loose ends in a neat conclusion. The awful cliffhanger we were left on with the fifth book ensures that it begins with lots of excitement, and the latter continues until the last fifteen pages. The mystery presented in this particular novel keeps you guessing until the very last moment, throwing you off with red herrings and new clues. Overall, Last Sacrifice was an enjoyable last book in an enjoyable series which I would recommend to any fan of “paranormal teen romance” or young adult literature. Check it out from the library system here.