St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.
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I felt her fear before I heard her screams.
Her nightmare pulsed into me, shaking me out of my own dream, which had had something to do with a beach and Orlando Bloom rubbing suntan oil on me. Images—hers, not mine—tumbled through my mind: fire and blood, the smell of smoke, the twisted metal of a car. The pictures wrapped around me, suffocating me, until some rational part of my brain reminded me that this wasn’t my dream.
I woke up, strands of long, dark hair sticking to my forehead.
Lissa lay in her bed, thrashing and screaming. I bolted out of mine, quickly crossing the few feet that separated us.
“Liss,” I said, shaking her. “Liss, wake up.”
Her screams dropped off, replaced by soft whimpers. “Andre,” she moaned. “Oh God.”
I helped her sit up. “Liss, you aren’t there anymore. Wake up.”
After a few moments, her eyes fluttered open, and in the dim lighting, I could see a flicker of consciousness start to take over. Her frantic breathing slowed, and she leaned into me, resting her head against my shoulder. I put an arm around her and ran a hand over her hair.
“It’s okay,” I told her gently. “Everything’s okay.”
“I had that dream.”
“Yeah. I know.”
We sat like that for several minutes, not saying anything else. When I felt her emotions calm down, I leaned over to the nightstand between our beds and turned on the lamp. It glowed dimly, but neither of us really needed much to see by. Attracted by the light, our housemate’s cat Oscar leapt up into the open window.
He gave me a wide berth—animals don’t like dhampirs, for whatever reason—but jumped up on the bed and rubbed his head against Lissa, purring softly. Animals didn’t have a problem with Moroi, and they all loved Lissa in particular. Smiling, she scratched his chin, and I felt her calm further.
“When did we last do a feeding?” I asked, studying her face. Her fair skin was paler than usual. Dark circles hung under her eyes, and there was an air of frailty about her. School had been hectic this week, and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d given her blood. “It’s been like . . . over two days, hasn’t it? Three? Why didn’t you say anything?”
She shrugged and wouldn’t meet my eyes. “You were busy. I didn’t want to—;”
“Screw that,” I said, shifting into a better position. No wonder she seemed so weak. Oscar, not wanting me any closer, leapt down and returned to the window, where he could watch at a safe distance. “Come on. Let’s do this.”
“Come on. It’ll make you feel better.”
I tilted my head and tossed my hair back, baring my neck. I saw her hesitate, but the sight of my neck and what it offered proved too powerful. A hungry expression crossed her face, and her lips parted slightly, exposing the fangs she normally kept hidden while living among humans. Those fangs contrasted oddly with the rest of her features. With her pretty face and pale blond hair, she looked more like an angel than a vampire.
As her teeth neared my bare skin, I felt my heart race with a mix of fear and anticipation. I always hated feeling the latter, but it was nothing I could help, a weakness I couldn’t shake.
Her fangs bit into me, hard, and I cried out at the brief flare of pain. Then it faded, replaced by a wonderful, golden joy that spread through my body. It was better than any of the times I’d been drunk or high. Better than sex—or so I imagined, since I’d never done it. It was a blanket of pure, refined pleasure, wrapping me up and promising everything would be right in the world. On and on it went. The chemicals in her saliva triggered an endorphin rush, and I lost track of the world, lost track of who I was.
Then, regretfully, it was over. It had taken less than a minute.
She pulled back, wiping her hand across her lips as she studied me. “You okay?”
“I . . . yeah.” I lay back on the bed, dizzy from the blood loss. “I just need to sleep it off. I’m fine.”
Her pale, jade-green eyes watched me with concern. She stood up. “I’m going to get you something to eat.”
My protests came awkwardly to my lips, and she left before I could get out a sentence. The buzz from her bite had lessened as soon as she broke the connection, but some of it still lingered in my veins, and I felt a goofy smile cross my lips. Turning my head, I glanced up at Oscar, still sitting in the window.
“You don’t know what you’re missing,” I told him.
His attention was on something outside. Hunkering down into a crouch, he puffed out his jet-black fur. His tail started twitching.
My smile faded, and I forced myself to sit up. The world spun, and I waited for it to right itself before trying to stand. When I managed it, the dizziness set in again and this time refused to leave. Still, I felt okay enough to stumble to the window and peer out with Oscar. He eyed me warily, scooted over a little, and then returned to whatever had held his attention.
A warm breeze—unseasonably warm for a Portland fall—played with my hair as I leaned out. The street was dark and relatively quiet. It was three in the morning, just about the only time a college campus settled down, at least somewhat. The house in which we’d rented a room for the past eight months sat on a residential street with old, mismatched houses. Across the road, a streetlight flickered, nearly ready to burn out. It still cast enough light for me to make out the shapes of cars and buildings. In our own yard, I could see the silhouettes of trees and bushes.
And a man watching me.
I jerked back in surprise. A figure stood by a tree in the yard, about thirty feet away, where he could easily see through the window. He was close enough that I probably could have thrown something and hit him. He was certainly close enough that he could have seen what Lissa and I had just done.
The shadows covered him so well that even with my heightened sight, I couldn’t make out any of his features, save for his height. He was tall. Really tall. He stood there for just a moment, barely discernible, and then stepped back, disappearing into the shadows cast by the trees on the far side of the yard. I was pretty sure I saw someone else move nearby and join him before the blackness swallowed them both.
Whoever these figures were, Oscar didn’t like them. Not counting me, he usually got along with most people, growing upset only when someone posed an immediate danger. The guy outside hadn’t done anything threatening to Oscar, but the cat had sensed something, something that put him on edge.
Something similar to what he always sensed in me.
Icy fear raced through me, almost—but not quite—eradicating the lovely bliss of Lissa’s bite. Backing up from the window, I jerked on a pair of jeans that I found on the floor, nearly falling over in the process. Once they were on, I grabbed my coat and Lissa’s, along with our wallets. Shoving my feet into the first shoes I saw, I headed out the door.
Downstairs, I found her in the cramped kitchen, rummaging through the refrigerator. One of our housemates, Jeremy, sat at the table, hand on his forehead as he stared sadly at a calculus book. Lissa regarded me with surprise.
“You shouldn’t be up.”
“We have to go. Now.”
Her eyes widened, and then a moment later, understanding clicked in. “Are you . . . really? Are you sure?”
I nodded. I couldn’t explain how I knew for sure. I just did.
Jeremy watched us curiously. “What’s wrong?”
An idea came to mind. “Liss, get his car keys.”
He looked back and forth between us. “What are you—”
Lissa unhesitatingly walked over to him. Her fear poured into me through our psychic bond, but there was something else too: her complete faith that I would take care of everything, that we would be safe. Like always, I hoped I was worthy of that kind of trust.
She smiled broadly and gazed directly into his eyes. For a moment, Jeremy just stared, still confused, and then I saw the thrall seize him. His eyes glazed over, and he regarded her adoringly.
“We need to borrow your car,” she said in a gentle voice. “Where are your keys?”
He smiled, and I shivered. I had a high resistance to compulsion, but I could still feel its effects when it was directed at another person. That, and I’d been taught my entire life that using it was wrong. Reaching into his pocket, Jeremy handed over a set of keys hanging on a large red key chain.
“Thank you,” said Lissa. “And where is it parked?”
“Down the street,” he said dreamily. “At the corner. By Brown.” Four blocks away.
“Thank you,” she repeated, backing up. “As soon as we leave, I want you to go back to studying. Forget you ever saw us tonight.”
He nodded obligingly. I got the impression he would have walked off a cliff for her right then if she’d asked. All humans were susceptible to compulsion, but Jeremy appeared weaker than most. That came in handy right now.
“Come on,” I told her. “We’ve got to move.”
We stepped outside, heading toward the corner he’d named. I was still dizzy from the bite and kept stumbling, unable to move as quickly as I wanted. Lissa had to catch hold of me a few times to stop me from falling. All the time, that anxiety rushed into me from her mind. I tried my best to ignore it; I had my own fears to deal with.
“Rose . . . what are we going to do if they catch us?” she whispered.
“They won’t,” I said fiercely. “I won’t let them.”
“But if they’ve found us—”
“They found us before. They didn’t catch us then. We’ll just drive over to the train station and go to L.A. They’ll lose the trail.”
I made it sound simple. I always did, even though there was nothing simple about being on the run from the people we’d grown up with. We’d been doing it for two years, hiding wherever we could and just trying to finish high school. Our senior year had just started, and living on a college campus had seemed safe. We were so close to freedom.
She said nothing more, and I felt her faith in me surge up once more. This was the way it had always been between us. I was the one who took action, who made sure things happened—sometimes recklessly so. She was the more reasonable one, the one who thought things out and researched them extensively before acting. Both styles had their uses, but at the moment, recklessness was called for. We didn’t have time to hesitate.
Lissa and I had been best friends ever since kindergarten, when our teacher had paired us together for writing lessons. Forcing five-year-olds to spell Vasilisa Dragomir and Rosemarie Hathaway was beyond cruel, and we’d—or rather, I’d—responded appropriately. I’d chucked my book at our teacher and called her a fascist bastard. I hadn’t known what those words meant, but I’d known how to hit a moving target.
Lissa and I had been inseparable ever since.
“Do you hear that?” she asked suddenly.
It took me a few seconds to pick up what her sharper senses already had. Footsteps, moving fast. I grimaced. We had two more blocks to go.
“We’ve got to run for it,” I said, catching hold of her arm.
“But you can’t—”
It took every ounce of my willpower not to pass out on the sidewalk. My body didn’t want to run after losing blood or while still metabolizing the effects of her saliva. But I ordered my muscles to stop their bitching and clung to Lissa as our feet pounded against the concrete. Normally I could have outrun her without any extra effort—particularly since she was barefoot—but tonight, she was all that held me upright.
The pursuing footsteps grew louder, closer. Black stars danced before my eyes. Ahead of us, I could make out Jeremy’s green Honda. Oh God, if we could just make it—
Ten feet from the car, a man stepped directly into our path. We came to a screeching halt, and I jerked Lissa back by her arm. It was him, the guy I’d seen across the street watching me. He was older than us, maybe mid-twenties, and as tall as I’d figured, probably six-six or six-seven. And under different circumstances—say, when he wasn’t holding up our desperate escape—I would have thought he was hot. Shoulder-length brown hair, tied back into a short ponytail. Dark brown eyes. A long brown coat like horse riders wore, not quite a trench coat. A duster, I thought it was called.
But his hotness was irrelevant now. He was only an obstacle keeping Lissa and me away from the car and our freedom. The footsteps behind us slowed, and I knew our pursuers had caught up. Off to the sides, I detected more movement, more people closing in. God. They’d sent almost a dozen guardians to retrieve us. I couldn’t believe it. The queen herself didn’t travel with that many.
Panicked and not entirely in control of my higher reasoning, I acted out of instinct. I pressed up to Lissa, keeping her behind me and away from the man who appeared to be the leader.
“Leave her alone,” I growled. “Don’t touch her.”
His face was unreadable, but he held out his hands in what was apparently supposed to be some sort of calming gesture, like I was a rabid animal he was planning to sedate.
“I’m not going to—”
He took a step forward. Too close.
I attacked him, leaping out in an offensive maneuver I hadn’t used in two years, not since Lissa and I had run away. The move was stupid, another reaction born of instinct and fear. And it was hopeless. He was a skilled guardian, not a novice who hadn’t finished his training. He also wasn’t weak and on the verge of passing out.And man, was he fast. I’d forgotten how fast guardians could be, how they could move and strike like cobras. He knocked me off as though brushing away a fly, and his hands slammed into me and sent me backwards. I don’t think he meant to strike that hard—probably just intended to keep me away—but my lack of coordination interfered with my ability to respond. Unable to catch my footing, I started to fall, heading straight toward the sidewalk at a twisted angle, hip-first. It was going to hurt. A t
Only it didn’t.
Just as quickly as he’d blocked me, the man reached out and caught my arm, keeping me upright. When I’d steadied myself, I noticed he was staring at me—or, more precisely, at my neck. Still disoriented, I didn’t get it right away. Then, slowly, my free hand reached up to the side of my throat and lightly touched the wound Lissa had made earlier.
When I pulled my fingers back, I saw slick, dark blood on my skin. Embarrassed, I shook my hair so that it fell forward around my face. It was thick and long and completely covered my neck. I’d grown it out for precisely this reason.
The guy’s dark eyes lingered on the now-covered bite a moment longer and then met mine. I returned his look defiantly and quickly jerked out of his hold. He let me go, though I knew he could have restrained me all night if he’d wanted. Fighting the nauseating dizziness, I backed toward Lissa again, bracing myself for another attack. Suddenly, her hand caught hold of mine. “Rose,” she said quietly. “Don’t.”
Her words had no effect on me at first, but calming thoughts gradually began to settle in my mind, coming across through the bond. It wasn’t exactly compulsion—she wouldn’t use that on me—but it was effectual, as was the fact that we were hopelessly outnumbered and outclassed. Even I knew this would be pointless. The tension left my body, and I sagged in defeat.
Sensing my resignation, the man stepped forward, turning his attention to Lissa. His face was calm. He swept her a bow and managed to look graceful doing it, which surprised me considering his height. “My name is Dimitri Belikov,” he said. I could hear a faint Russian accent. “I’ve come to take you back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, Princess.”
What People are Saying About This
This story is no ordinary vampire tale. Mead has done her homework on Romanian folklore and Orthodox Catholic saints, and she uses it to weave a unique and mesmerizing mystery with a whodunit ending that even the most skilled detectives will not predict. With social angst that every teenager can appreciate and sexual tension that leaves Stephanie Meyer's Twilight looking like a children's book, this little gem is sure to be a hit.—VOYA
Mead’s absorbing, debut YA novel, the first in a new series, blends intricately detailed fantasy with a contemporary setting, teen-relevant issues, and a diverse…cast of supporting characters. Occasional steamy sex and a scattering of vulgar language demand mature readers, but teens able to handle the edgy elements will speed through this vamp story and anticipate the next installment.—Booklist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am a 28 year old woman reading this young adult series. I picked it up at the local Walmart one day because I was bored... I didn't expect much so I was very pleasantly surprised! Yeah, a lot of teen books are described as "goody two shoes" or whatever. The thing I like about them is that I can enjoy the characters and plot without the adult content. For an adult who wants to escape, I say it's perfect. Rose--the main character--and her inner struggle with her feelings for instructor, Dimitri and stirring emotions about wanting to go forge her OWN way kept me pretty hooked. I read all three of the available books in a WEEK. Well written, romantic and emotional. If you liked the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer I think you will actually like this better. :)
I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.
Vampire Academy is a great book filled with twist and turns in the plot that will leave you in sunspense till the last word. A great book for teens that enjoy fictions. A good book for a rainy, stormy, or boring day. An amazing book not only with romance but action and a bit of humor.Excellentlly written book with a fanasty that we all wish we were a part of in some ways.
kudous to richelle mead.
While I loved the characters of Rose and Lissa (I've always liked the name Vasilisa from Ukrainian/Russian folklore), it took me a few chapters to get into this one. It's written well enough and it's got a great hook for the beginning, but I'm a stickler for Vampire tradition. Mead has created her own world of vampires, something I've seen a lot of YA authors do when it comes to the undead, and while that is not necessarily a bad thing, for me it delays my interest in the story. After a few chapters, I was hooked and fully emerged in the world Mead had created with Vampire Academy: There are two types of vampires--Moroi are mortal vampires and wield the earth's magic elements (fire, water, air, earth). Strigoi are immortal undead. They've gone to the dark side and lost their magic but gained strength and ferocity. They're basically the traditional vampire but they now carry an uncontrollable desire to drink from the Moroi. Then we also have dhampirs. While half-breeds aren't a new concept, having them as guardians that devote their lives to protecting the Moroi, is (I hate ending a sentence with the word "is" but for today, I'll deal). Rose is a novice guardian and she's fully devoted to protecting Lissa, her best friend. In an effort to protect Lissa, from what Rose doesn't fully understand, she takes her away form the academy. The book begins with their return to St. Vladimir's Academy. They're back within the well guarded confines of the school, but danger may be even closer than it was on the outside. Like I said, I thought it was well written. Mead is a very talented story teller and not once did the book feel dull. There's romance, secrets, scandal and vampires. Oh! And big sexy Russian vampires! Ya lublu, tebya, Dimitri Belikov. What's not to love? I recommend this series to all teen vampire fans.
After reading the Twilight Series and the Sookie Stackhouse series, I needed something to fill my time. I honestly never thought I would enjoy this book b/c it looked like it should be for a younger crowd. I was wrong, this book is FANTASTIC! Great characters that you can definitely identify with and become a fan of. Had plenty of suspense and forbidden attraction...loved it!
Vampire is a good book to read if you like vampires and romance. The main character is strong female and it is a good point of view to write from. It is an easy read and once you start reading it is hard to put down. I bought the first book and I was lucky I also bought the second one because I had to continue reading to see what happens next or else I would have gone crazy. For those of you who liked Twilight and are vampire fans, this is a really good book to read.
It grabbed me from the beginning and didn't let go! I found the characters and the storyline very entertaining. Before I had finished the book, I purchased the next two in the series.
This book, is like no other! There somthing about the books that makes you feel love, affection, jealousy, and fear for the charictors. This book pulls you in, right from the first page! I finished this book within one setting. What can i say? I couldnt put it down. This book is a MUST READ for anyone who loves romance and heart-breaking twists, oh, and dont forget: Vampires too!! look out Twilight, theres a new book in town, and its working its way up to the top!
This was one great serise. Yes this one wasn't as good as the others, but the serise in genral, WOW! Never before did I ever think that I would find a serise better than Twilight, but here it is. And don't even get me started on the SMEXY RUSSIAN. Forbiden love, a choice between the love of her life or her best friend. This will have you begging for more. So READ IT!
To be honest I was a little skeptical when I first picked it up. The only reason I bought the book was because Twilight was over and I needed a new vampire book to read. I mean, it took me about six trips to Barnes and Nobles to actually buy it but once I did I couldn't put it down. The main character is independent and funny, and her best friend seems timid and shy. The story was an overall good read. There was mystery and romance, action and humor. To be honest it was better than twilight, while Bella is weak and dependent, Rose is the exact opposite, independent and strong. Great Book!
I will admitt that the very begining of this did bore me a little. It was slightly hard to read it because of that. But after you do get into it, I found this book to be very well done. It was exciting, had a little bit of romance but what amazed me the most was the friendship between Rose and Lissa. Having such a close bound with someone you really care for is what most people ever really want. I loved it. I do have to say that I find it immature that people have to put there review in all caps. After all if you didn't like it that's all you have to say. Don't freak out about it. It was just a book. If you didn't like it then move on....
My friend recommended it to me and I have been addicted ever since. I read the first 4 books of the series in about four days. I hardly slept because I couldn't put the book down.
i love this series. i've read all the books that i can, and can't wait(though it's the day school starts) for the 25th of this month. i also can't wait for Spirit Bound, the 5th book in the series, coming May 18, 2010. so far away! oh well, can always reread the books til that day.
I love the whole idea of the teacher and student relationship. It creates suspense. Dimitri is amazing. Rose and Lissa are great characters. It shows how Rose matures over the period when she's with Dimitri. Overall I can just say I love this whole serious. And I'm ecstatic for Spirit Bound (May 18,2010)!!!!
i have read all the books and i fell in love with all them. I can't wait for blood promise to come out!!
I got this book the year it came out...why i'm writing this now I don't know..... Anyway I love it! I think it was good, but isn't it getting old...? You know the whole 'Vampires going to a specile school...for vampires...' I'm just saying.... Anyway...the whole series is sooooo good, but I should say that I cryed SOOOOO HARD at the end of the book 3! :( If you go to Richelle Mead's web site you can see the cover for the next book, Blood Promise!!! I wonder who that is on the cover... Read this series! You wouldn't be dissaponted!
i am an avid reader, and i couldn't put this book down.. it took me two days to read it, and i had to go out and buy the sequel. it was even better that the first. the third one was incredible! it left you wanting more. i am so excited for the fourth book of the series to come out! i applaud Richelle Mead for her incredible work.
I, like so many others, have been completely swept in to this vampire obsession that seems to be taking bookstores by storm! I thought the story was engaging, as I could hardly put it down. I especially liked the authors way of drawing me in by revealing the 'whole picture' in increments because it really kept my interest.
Fans of the teen vampire rage should definately add this to their libraries, especially if they enjoyed the "House of Night" series by P.C. and Kristin Cast. If you don't mind a bit more romance, I definately recommend the "Nightcreature" series by Lori Handeland. It deals more in werewolves, but is a great read, nonetheless! Be sure to start with "Blue Moon".
ok guys, so i read the summary on the back of this book about a year ago, and instantly thought it would be lame so decided to not persue it. but then recently i saw a friend of mine who is also a major twilight fan like me, and i asked her if it was really actually good, or if it was just something to read to pass the time. and she told me to not even read the back summary which i have to say makes the book look horrible. im sorry, but anyways i read it and just like everyone else says, it pulled me right into its complex story line and had me finish it in 3 days. READ IT!!!! i promise it will make u run to the store to buy the second one as soon as u finish.
I loved this book. i just picked up because not to long ago i read the twilight series and it also was about vampires. Anyway i read it and fell head over heels in love with dimitri. The book isn't just about love though, it also has adventure and excitment. I can't wait for the next vampire acadamy book coming out in April. I recommend this book to everyone.
So, VA, where to start, I ponder as I write this review. Okay, how about before reading this. I been hearing non stop, well over the years actually and with the upcoming movie, how good the series is. Me loving my vampires, I for whatever reason, as always with books I really want to read but skip, didn't read this sooner. Anyway, then a co worker of mine, being a fan of the series, shows me pics from the upcoming movie, telling me why I should finally read the series. And let's just say, I'm kicking myself for not reading this sooner. Now for actual review of said book. Going into this, I tried to not think about the hype, the upcoming movie and well how awesome this is. Though I did hear the first book while good was more building up the story. And it does, but still had some moments where I rolled my eyes, turning the page, anticipating what'll happen next, and facepalmed. Especially with Rose. Oh Rose, Roza, Hathaway! Our MC, I like. Becoming one of my new favorite MC's next to Blue Sargent from Raven Boys. While I like her, at at times thought, her heart is in the right place, but she can be a little too overprotective with Lissa. Especially concerning Christian Ozera. And times when as Dimitri mentioned, may need some self control training. But like she didn't think what others thought, even if their were rumors going about. Thank goodness she had Lissa but others, like Mason, Dimitri, etc. Even the sisterly friendship Lissa and Rose had was adorable and kind of sweet. Speaking of which there were also some adorable moments, with Lissa and Christian, and then Rose and Dimitri. The writing was especially good, the descriptions and backstory were also good, as the pacing. Yeah not much action except near the end, what with high school drama and what not, but I still found myself liking it, regardless. Now I can't wait for the movie and want to get started on the rest of the series, hearing that it gets even better and we meet some new characters.
This series was amazing! Rose is quite possibly the best, strongest, funniest female lead I've ever encountered. Her POV was entertaining, the writing was gripping, and the storyline addictive. You will not regret picking this one up!
I was very happy with the main character's loyalty and comebacks.I had just one problem with her and that would be how she seemed to be the jealous type. I felt most of the characters were well developed but some were not. I also thought a bit more of explanations would be nice.
This was one of the best vampire books i have ever read. I'd have to say it was better than Twilight.
This book was amazing i give my props to RICHELLE MEAD When I read this book i was astonished This book was really nice How rose what risk any thing for her best friend Lisa Even if that means she cant be with the one she REALLY TRUELY LOVES Thatz a true friend She would do any thing 2 keep her friends safe Even by taking her awwway from school This Book YOU WILL LOVE just as I