Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest and most dangerous vampires–the ones who never die.
The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir; she is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them.
After two years of illicit freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. Rose will continue her Dhampir education. Lissa will go back to being Queen of the elite Moroi social scene. And both girls will resume breaking hearts.
Fear made Lissa and Rose run away from St. Vladimir’s–but their world is fraught with danger both inside and out of the Academy’s iron gates. Here, the cutthroat ranks of the Moroi perform unspeakable rituals and their secretive nature and love of the night creates an enigmatic world full of social complexities. Rose and Lissa must navigate through this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever…1
These books have been out for awhile which works out perfectly for me. I can breeze through them and not have to wait for anything. The release of the film was the only thing that really prompted me to read these books. I added them to my list of things to read but kind of let them fall behind as other new exciting reads came up.
It’s always interesting starting a new vampire series because you have to set your thoughts of what vampires are aside and allow the author to introduce which type they will be portraying. In the Vampire Academy series there are quite a few different things so try and stay with me.
Our standard main vampires are called Moroi. There are 12 royal families in the Moroi society. They drink blood but are not as effected by sunlight. They eat regular human food but have humans on hand known as Feeders. This concept in itself has a few terms and descriptions but those can be left for if you read these books. Moroi also have magical powers based on the four elements. The Moroi specialize in one element as it is stronger than the others. The Moroi only use this power for good and the children are taught from a young age never to use it as a weapon. Although they have vampire genes which makes them stronger, because they only use their powers for good they are basically pretty helpless. Because of this they normally have Guardians.
Guardians are known as Dhampirs. Half-human, half-Moroi. Now it gets confusing. A Moroi and a human create a Dhampir, but Moroi tend to stay away from humans and instead procreate with other Moroi. Moroi and Moroi create more Moroi. Instead Moroi men go to Dhampir communities, sleep with the woman and create more Dhampirs. Since the Dhampirs are guardians of the Moroi they usually send their children to the Vampire Academy to learn skills to become guardians as well. Some choose to raise there children instead and live in these communities, ultimately becoming “blood whores” for the Moroi.
Going back to the vampires. Moroi are threatened by things known as Strigoi. These are more of what you normally think of when you think of vampires. They need blood and often kill Moroi for their blood. They have red eyes and they can’t handle the sunlight. They are also stronger than Moroi. Strogoi can be created by force or by choice. Abusing special abilities can cause you to become a Strogoi as well as being created by a Strogoi via blood exchange.
The Vampire Academy is for both Dhampir to train to become Guardians as well as Moroi to learn their history and perfect their abilities. Vasilisa (Lissa) is the last in the line of the royal family Dragomir. Her best friend Rose is a Dhampir and they share a very special bond. Rose is able to feel and see through Lissa but Lissa is not able to do the same to Rose. Lissa has her own unique and mysterious abilities. This bond makes Rose the perfect Guardian for Lissa, but Lissa is a princess and requires a responsible Guardian and Roses’ track record isn’t so good.
The story begins with Lissa and Rose on the run. They had run away from the academy but there are many mysteries and holes in the story that have to be filled in as you read. I enjoy the whole vampire world, especially with the element of magic.
The Vampire Academy is pretty preteen girl which can hinder the story depending on who is reading. If you are able to overlook this there is a pretty interesting story waiting to unfold. They are simple reads and you can breeze through them. I’m interested in seeing the movie for comparison. At the moment I am thinking it may be worth it to just watch the movies instead, but then you would have to wait for the rest of the novels to be turned into film (if that happens). If you are into the whole vampire and magic world you may want to check out these novels. I would not get your hopes too high for any sort of a Twilight hype.
1. Book summary courtesy of Richelle Mead webpage