DISCLAIMER: BEFORE I BEGIN THIS POST, DO TAKE NOTE THAT THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! BOTH FROM THE PLOT/STORY AND QUOTES - IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT IF YOU READ THIS BEFORE READING THE NOVEL - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
I do not own the Vampire Academy series nor any of Mead's work, but I would definitely love to own Adrian Ivashkov ;)
Last Sacrifice, the last novel from the International Bestselling Series by the amazing author, Richelle Mead. I never believed that a year and a few days ago, I had never heard of the Vampire Academy series and thankfully, I am incredibly grateful and honoured to have been introduced to this book series.
This novel begins with the heroine, Rosemarie "Rose" Hathaway explaining on why she disliked zoos and cages as well as complaining to the guards on when her trial* was going to begin. After talking to herself in her mind, she decided to go into her best-friend's mind, Princess Vasilisa "Lissa" Dragomir who was trying to help prove Rose's innocence, however, she was disturbed by someone on her end. It was her father, Ibrahim "Abe" Mazur, who was known as zmey in Russia (meaning 'serpent') and was also being Rose's lawyer, despite having no prior education to becoming a lawyer. Abe explains to Rose that the trial has been moved until a fortnight - which is rare because they can usually take months or even years until they have been trialled - as well as the now deceased Queen's funeral taking place that week. Rose is incredibly worried that in two weeks she could be dead, because if you are have been found guilty of murdering a monarch, you are executed not sent to prison. Abe explains Dimitri Belikov** is depressed before giving Rose a book and a few magazines before leaving.
*At the end of Spirit Bound, the 5th book, Rose was accused for murdering Queen Tatiana and now has to go on trial.
**In Spirit Bound, Lissa had restored Dimitri from being Strigoi and before Rose was arrested for being accused of the murder of the Queen, Dimitri was going to protect Rose from the Guardians.
After Abe left, Rose read a letter which was written by now deceased Queen Tatiana Ivashkov:
If you're reading this, then something terrible has happened. You probably hate me, and I don't blame you. I can only ask that you trust that what I did with the age decree was better for your people than what others had planned. There are some Moroi who want to force all dhampirs into service, whether they want it or not, by using compulsion. The age decree has slowed that faction down.
However, I write to you with a secret you must put right, and it is a secret you must share with as few as possible. Vasilisa needs her spot on the Council, and it can be done. She is not the last Dragomir. Another lives, the illegitimate child of Eric Dragomir. I know nothing else, but if you can find this son or daughter, you will give Vasilisa the power she deserves. No matter your faults and dangerous temperament, you are the only one I feel can take on this task. Waste no time in fulfilling it.
- Tatiana Ivashkov
-- When I had read that ^ letter the first time in Spirit Bound, I thought it was actually from Adrian's mother not great-aunt; I will explain later at the end of the book
Since Rose is connected to the "Spirit World/Life after death before moving on" because of being Shadow-Kissed, she let go of her "barriers" to the spirits to call the spirit* of Queen Tatiana to confirm whether she had or had not written the above letter to her. After a non-versation since the Queen cannot actually talk, the Queen slowly nodded to "say" that she had in fact, wrote the note to Rose.
*When they have been murdered 'violently or young' - the Queen had been staked therefore "violently" - the deceased usually are in the middle of life and death between 3-40 days after their death.
After putting her mental barriers up to keep the spirits away with a headache, Rose decided to go into Lissa's mind. Lissa was dress shopping for a dress for the Queen's funeral with Rose's boyfriend, Adrian Ivashkov who was a royal and the great-nephew of the deceased Queen, who was drunk*. During this time, Lissa's boyfriend, Christian Ozera - another royal, however his family had been shunned because his parents have changed themselves into Strigoi so they could live for an eternity - and his aunt, Natasha "Tasha" Ozera.
*Adrian was a Spirit user who had used alcohol and cigarettes as his way of blocking out his magic since Spirit users eventually go crazy (all explained over the past 5 books); since Rose has the bond with Lissa, Rose is able to "take away" the madness from her instead of Lissa turning to alcohol, cigarettes or medication.
"You guys are shopping?" he [Christian] asked, glancing from Lissa to Adrian. "Getting in a little girl time?"
"Hey, you'd benefit from a wardrobe change," said Adrian. "Besides, I bet you'd look great in a halter top."
Christian and Tasha explain to the three on how Dimitri has been confined to his room as well as knowing private information that the Queen - when she was alive - had believed Dimitri wasn't Strigoi as well as getting various Moroi to practice how to learn how to protect themselves. Rose then gets out of Lissa's mind and begins to focus on what is happening before reminding herself of the past tarot card reading with Rhona which was just before being arrested for murdering the Queen.
Wrongful imprisonment. Accusations. Slander. Damn. I was really starting to hate those cards.
Rose complains a bit, thinks about Dimitri and giving her own advice before going to bed. However, not long into her sleep, she wakes up to know that her bond with Lissa is gone. Rose is very worried and curious to know why this has happened, but realises that Lissa is alive and purposely blocking Rose from "seeing" Lissa's mind. She then decides to go back to sleep, hoping that when she wakes up, she would have the bond again. Rose was right when she woke up - the bond was back - and it was also the day when the funeral of Queen Tatiana. Long story short... Lissa is at the funeral, the Queen is wearing purple in the coffin (with a good make-up job, which Rose thought) and also wondered whether people had come to the funeral to see the Queen or Lissa because of bringing Dimitri back from being Strigoi - which had never happened before except for one time... However, while the funeral was taking place - moving the coffin to the cemetery via walking - the statues of the past Kings and Queens began to blow up.
Rose was incredibly surprised and freaking out, noticing everyone else on Lissa's "end" were also worried. Rose, however, realised that Lissa was very calm, as if it was planned. On Rose's "end", which she had to change back to, her friend Eddie and Mikhail*. Both men got Rose out of the cell - as well as knocking out the Guards/Guardians watching Rose. They explained that it was "C4" which had caused the statues to blow up before Rose was seeing Dimitri in front of her. Eddie, Mikhail and Dimitri all quickly explain that they were letting her get out before realising that Adrian had helped the now-knocked-out-Guards/Guardians with his Spirit abilities so they wouldn't notice Dimitri, before Adrian himself was standing in the doorway in front of the gang. Dimitri explains to Rose that if she is on the run, it will make her look guilty of murdering the Queen, however Rose accepts that fact.
*Before Last Sacrifice started, Mead explained how the books outside the US, Mikhail was known as Tomas Sanders - the boyfriend of the Strigoi/past teacher of St. Vladimir's Academy, Sonya Karp.
While they all emerge from the "prison" towards the garage, Adrian and Rose talk:
"Well, thank you." ...
Adrian shot a sidelong glance. "Yeah, well, I'm supposed to be crazy, right?" A flash of affection shone in his eyes. "And there isn't much I wouldn't do for you. The stupider, the better."
THIS IS THE QUOTE FROM THE FIRST QUOTE TEASER
After dealing with three Guardians in the garage, they all went to a Honda Civic, where Abe stood next to. He explained that even he couldn't get Rose out of this, so even if she ran looking guilty, it wouldn't matter because everyone thought she was guilty because of the murder.
"Ah, my daughter," he said. "Eighteen, and already you've been accused of murder, aided felons, and acquired a death count higher than most guardians will ever see." He paused. "I couldn't be prouder."
After saying her goodbyes, Dimitri and Rose began to take off through a "new gate" which was from C4 attained by Abe, being disappointed that she didn't get to say goodbye to Lissa in person. Dimitri explains that he chose a Honda Civic because it was common as well as that he is hiding Rose because Lissa asked him to, as well as the fact they would eventually be abandoning their car. Rose becomes annoyed that she wasn't informed of how she was being broken out of "jail", however, Dimitri explains that if Rose knew, her personality and attitude would change which would be picked up by the Guards/Guardians.
Dimitri explains to Rose about how they have to meet at 'Westland Cinema' and if they hadn't met up with each other in thirty minutes to call a number which he gives to Rose. Before she knew it, they were out of the car and trying to get through the shopping centre without causing anyone to notice because eventually Guardians would be in there trying to find the two. She buys a hat (to disguise her noticeable hair) before going out to the carpark which was in between the Cinema and the shopping centre, however, Rose comes across a Guardian which walking through the carpark. They both battle - Rose notices that the Guardian has a gun which she thought made them "cheaters" before knocking the Guardian unconscious. When Rose arrives outside the Cinema, she begins to worry where Dimitri is. However, seconds later, he arrives in a car which he stole before driving to a McDonalds, where they meet Sydney*. Rose and Dimitri get into Sydney's car before driving off, away from the population. Sydney had explained, after Rose's questions, that it was Abe, who had asked her to look after Rose after leaving "jail" to make sure she was safe.
*Sydney was introduced in Blood Promise when she met Rose in Russia because she was leaving Strigoi bodies around. Sydney is an alchemist who believe that Moroi/Dhampirs/Strigoi are all evil creatures of the dead.
Inside the bag, I found two giant orders of fries, and three cheeseburgers. She apparently still knew me pretty well.
While they were driving to a motel in West Virginia, Rose found that Sydney had gotten dresses, shirts and shorts for her, which annoyed Rose since she preferred to wear jeans. What shocked Rose was that Sydney was able to get a hold of a duster for Dimitri, which he use to wear on various occasions. When they arrived at the hotel, Rose realised that she would have to be sharing a room with Dimitri while Sydney had a room to herself. When Rose and Dimitri got inside, she began to ask what she could do to help and all Dimitri could say was to be safe. They both argue, fight which Dimitri is lying on top of her so she cannot escape, however, when Rose kissed Dimitri (which he was also kissing back) she punched Dimitri in the face before escaping the hotel room.
"There's a guy chasing me!" I called as I headed out the door.
-- When I had read the quote above, I was in hysterics for a few minutes even though I didn't think that it was that hilarious
That quote is what she said as he chased her out of the lobby, which lead to Rose hiding in the woods nearby the motel which caused Dimitri to lose track of Rose's whereabouts. With a steady walking pace, Rose began to walk north on the road before "checking in" on Lissa. Tasha was with Christian and Lissa, who were discussing about their interrogation which was going to take place any second. A guardian came out of a room before Abe left, since his interrogation was finished before all three walked into the room. In the room, two guardians sat - Guardian Hans and Guardian Alberta, who was an instructor at St. Vladimir's Academy.
"Lovely," growled Hans. "A whole entourage." Christian had insisted on being present when Lissa was questioned, and Tasha had insisted on being present with Christian.
With that, Guardian Hans began to question Lissa on her whereabouts when the explosions took place, Lissa's bond with Rose - which Guardian Alberta explained how it was one way; and how Dimitri was involved with Rose's escape. This eventually lead Lissa to tell both Guardians that Rose and Dimitri were "romantically involved" which didn't surprise Guardian Alberta. After the interrogation, Tasha leaves to go off on her own before Abe comes to speak to Lissa and Christian. They question the possibilities on who may have had access to the Queen the night she was murdered before Lissa remembered Ambrose, who was a dhampir that worked in the Court as a masseuse as well as being involved with the Queen.
Rose had to come back to her body and mind since Dimitri had tackled her to the ground. Dimitri explained how she should've hidden in the town because that was going to be the last place he would check, along with the fact that she couldn't win against Dimitri. Rose agreed with Dimitri because she needed to find the other Dragomir which would allow Lissa to properly become a member of the royal court. She said that she agreed with Dimitri and that he and Sydney were going to help her, which had in fact surprised Dimitri. When they arrived near the motel, they discovered that the Police had arrived, which was because Rose had told the desk clerk about Dimitri chasing him. They both had to walk half a mile out of town before they noticed Sydney's car pulled on the side of the road. Before Rose could explain her plan about Lissa, Sydney decided to drive to Altswood, West Virginia, which apparently had "nothing". After Rose explained to Dimitri and Sydney that Lissa had a brother or sister - which shocked both of them - Rose explained about the letter Queen Tatiana had written as well as meeting her spirit form. Dimitri agreed to help Rose locate the other Dragomir, which Sydney hadn't officially accepted as she was worried what Abe would think before Rose went to check on Lissa again.
-- Before Dimitri was Strigoi, he had been an instructor to Rose as well as a Guardian at St. Vladimir's Academy and was also planned to be one of Lissa's guardians after she graduated, this changed after the Strigoi occurrence as well as the controversy of when Dimitri changed back into a Dhampir
Lissa was in the Ivashkov townhouse, which Adrian usually stayed when he was at the Court. She, Adrian and Christian were discussing how Tasha was pissed off at Christian for not telling her about the exploding statues before they were interrupted by a knock at the door. It was a Moroi guy who looked very awkward explaining that he would come back after noticing Lissa and Christian. Adrian recognised the Moroi as "Joe the Janitor" who had helped by testifying that he hadn't seen him with Rose when his great-aunt was murdered which caused Lissa and Christian to straighten up. Before Joe the Janitor could leave, he explained that everything was set for Adrian's mother. This became curious to Lissa, so she decided to use compulsion on him to get the answers, which was so powerful that Joe was like a puppet on strings*. Joe explained that the money was set which was used to testify that Adrian was with Rose the time of the Queen's murder. Lissa questioned if Adrian's mother also known as Lady Ivashkov was paying him off, Joe declined, saying that he did see Adrian but wasn't sure of the time in which he had seen him. Before they could question Joe, Adrian's mother became to walk into the room which Adrian explained that all three were going to head out and also that Joe wanted to see her.
* At the end of Shadow Kiss (3rd book), Lissa had been tortured by other Moroi at St. Vladimir's to join a club which eventually led Lissa to use her compulsion to the extreme, making one of the Moroi, a royal named Jesse into believing his worst nightmares - which is very similar to Lissa using Joe as a "puppet"
Rose quickly was brought back to the car because of Dimitri asking if everything was okay back there, which Rose knew "back there" was the Court not the backseat. Before Rose could speak again, she realised that the car had stopped and had reached Altswood. When they got out of the car, Sydney questioned Dimitri and Rose on if they were as good at fighting as everyone said, because they had to go on foot towards far up the track. Before they could begin their trek, Rose could see vampire faces everywhere.
That is the end of chapter 8 and I will continue this review after having a sleep. I wish I could do the entire book in one night, let alone one blog post. However, by my obsession to the book series and the long await to read the book, I guess I shouldn't be complaining that I was not doing in-depth reviews on the previous five books which I had read all last week to be "refreshed" and reminded of what had occurred. That wasn't entirely true because my emotions were pretty bumpy after rereading Shadow Kiss.
To any readers of the Vampire Academy series, are you Team Dimitri, Team Adrian, Team Mason, and why?