I'm really not sure about this series. I have found that I am starting to like the main character, Rose, a little more. The writing is decent and the overall plot is interesting. However, the storyline is too predictable. Maybe Richelle Mead just needs to tone down the foreshadowing (or something else that I just can't put my finger on).
I have decided to keep reading the series, though it is not out of any loyalty, just a desire to finish what I started.
The argument about moroi not using offensive magic seems kind of weak. Like she's just looking for a way to prolong the story for marketing purposes. I'm sure at the end, they'll rise up and beat the big bad. Like I said before: predictable.
The love story is starting to get annoying. Rose's love interest is Dimitri, but you don't really get to know his character to much through the story. I can't really say what I think about him because all I know is that he's a beautiful badass.
It's Mason that you get to know (and I started to like) and then he's killed off. It kind of seems like a cheap way to simplify the story line. Rather than break the guys heart, kill him and have her live with the guilt. It's been done.
Rose is continuing her education at Saint Vladmir's Academy to become a guardian. To continue her training and graduate in six months, she must pass her qualifier. Dimitri takes her on a long car trip to meet Author, who is a renouned guardian. However, when they get to the house where there are supposed to meet him, something is wrong. Dimitri goes inside and tells Rose to wait in the car. Rose, as usual, doesn't listen and starts walking around the house. She finds a silver stake (the typical guardian weapon) in the ground and grabs it. She goes into the house where she finds a dead body. Dimitri tells her that everyone is dead and they call for backup. While talking to Dimitri, Rose realizes that the Bodica house (small royal moroi family) was attacked by strigoi with human help to break the wards.
Upon returning to campus, Rose is informed by her friend Mason that because of the attack, the entire school is going to a ski lodge in Colorado so that families can be together over the holiday break. Rose gets excited and starts flirting with Mason, considering her options since she can't have the one she really wants. She goes on her way to train with Dimitri, who has decided to start training her with a silver stake. Later in the school day, there are guest speakers in her class. One of them is her mother and she can't help but have an attitude, espcially since she had no idea her mother was anywhere near the school. She makes a remark about how her mother only fights for the marks (tattoos on the back of a guardians neck to show how many strigoi they have killed) and is kicked out of class. Dimitri, frustrated with Rose's lack of maturity, takes her to meet Tasha Ozera (Christian's aunt). After seeing the damage that strigoi have done to Tasha's face, Rose understands Dimitri's point.
Rose and Dimitri are back to practicing. At some point, she loses her self control and kisses him. Dimitri also loses his control for a moment and kisses her back. He decides to cancel their lessons for the next few days. Instead, Rose's mom shows up to spar with her. Rose keeps egging her on until her own mother gives her a black eye. Rose goes to talk to Lissa about her frustration, but gets no where as Lissa is too excited about going to make love with Christian. Rose gets to enjoy Christmas with her friends. He mom comes to her room to give her a gift and informs her that Tasha has asked Dimitri to be her guardian. Her mom thinks it's a good match. Rose is infuriated.
The entire school leaves on private jets for the lodge. Rose is trying to convince herself that she can move on and be with Mason. After some daredevil skiing with him, he ends up with a sprained ankle and she makes her way into the lodge alone. She meets Adrian Ivoshkov for the first time and Mia happens to stop by. She ends up spreading rumors about them that get back to Mason, which Rose is able to defuse. Later that night, Rose has a dream where she talks to Adrian.
After a few days at the lodge, there is another attack on another royal moroi family in California, this one much bigger. Rose goes to visit her mom with Lissa to see what is going on. She finds out that Mia's mom was killed in the attack. Dimitri, feeling like he can treat Rose like an adult, ends up telling her about the attack and how they have found that some of the strigoi might be hiding in Spokane. Rose ends up telling Mason, who has already talked about seeking out strigoi to kill them before they can attack again.
Many people start freaking out and a meeting is called. Rose sits there watching moroi argue over the best way to stay safe when Tasha takes the stand. She explains how stupid it is to rely on the guardians with no other defense. She thinks moroi should be allowed to fight back. Most of the moroi are shocked at this idea. Mia and a few other are intrigued. Rose leaves the meeting with Dimitri and they get into an argument about Dimitri leaving for Tasha. He walks away and Adrian approaches Rose, inviting her to a party. He friends approach them and she invites them to come along too. They all accept and go down to a spa below the lodge. Rose accidently gets drunk and Adrian helps her out. Lissa approaches them and realizes something about Adrian.
The next day, Rose receives a box of different perfumes. After sampling them, she keeps one and returns the rest to Adrian's room, where she finds Lissa. Dimitri finds them both there and has them leave. Rose runs into Mason and takes him back to her room. Just as they are getting hot and heavy, she stops the whole thing. She realizes that it isn't fair for her to be with Mason while thinking about Dimitri. He storms off, telling her to figure it out before she keeps leading him on.
Rose finds Lissa, who is angry at Christian. Christian heard about Lissa being in Adrian's room and won't believe what she says about it. Since the love birds aren't talking, Lissa invites Rose to an event she has to go to. Rose begrudgingly agrees. Rose mostly enjoys the event and ends up talking to Adrian again. Her mom comes up to her and pulls her out of the room by her arm. In the hallway, her mother tells her that she is acting like a cheap whore. Rose goes off on her until they are both so frustrated that they go in opposite directions. Rose ends up on an unused balcony and Dimitri follows her out. Rose realizes that she's been selfish and tells him to take the job with Tasha, where he could be happy. She leaves Dimitri behind so that she can go break Mason's heart.
Rose can't find Mason anywhere and starts to ask some of the guardians. She finds out that Mason, Eddy, and Mia all left through the north gate, heading for town. She finds Christian and convinces him to help her get out. However, his compulsion is so bad that Rose has to hit the guard over the head to make their escape. They head into town and find the bus station. They ask the attendant about their friends and she confirms that they started heading to Spokane. Rose and Christian follow.
They find their friends in a mall, looking disappointed. They couldn't find any strigoi in the tunnels. Christian is intrigued by the tunnels and convinces them to take a look. Rose finds a coded list on the wall that she realizes is the royal families, sorted by size and two of them had exes by them. They try to find their way out but are lost on the streets. A white van with tinted windows stops by them and three human come out. The three guardians start fighting, but one of the humans grabs hold of Mia and puts a gun to her head. They have no choice but to go quietly.
They find themselves tied up in a room, guardians on one side and moroi on the other. After a long while of torturous waiting, they finally meet the people behind their capture: two strigoi. One man, Isaiah, and one woman, Elena. Isaiah promises that the dhampirs that they will die. He gives the two moroi a little more of a choice. He says that the first one to kill one of the dhampirs will be spared and the other will be killed. Just to taunt them, he regularly feeds on Eddy. After a few days, Rose communicates that Christian should use fire to get them out. He tells the guards that he's ready to kill Rose. While he makes it look like he's drinking her blood, he melts the plastic flex cuffs that bind her. She is able to take the guards by surprise and knock them out. The head upstairs, Mason dragging Eddy because he's so out of it from all of the bites. They run into the two strigoi and Rose starts fighting Isaiah and shoots Elena. Because of the distraction that Rose has caused, Mason is able to get everyone else out into the safety of the sun.
Isaiah continues to play with Rose until Mason comes back. She yells at him to get out and get help, but he doesn't listen and charges Isaiah. The strigoi instantly breaks his neck and goes back to Rose. Mia appears in the door way, still bathed in sunlight. She explodes an aquarium and uses the water to temporarily drown Isaiah. This gives Rose a chance to stab his heart with a shard of glass, which disables him and gives her a chance for escape. Instead of running for the door, Rose grabs an antique sword off the wall and fights Elena. Rose hits her in the neck and continues to until her head comes off. She goes over to Isaiah and does the same thing. Rose goes over to Mason's body and stays there until the guardians show up. Dimitri leads her away from the scene and takes her back to the lodge. Mia comes to talk to her and Rose expresses her wish that her mom was there. Shortly after, her mom comes to sit with her.
Everyone returns to their respective living places, except Adrian who is now staying at the school to study spirit with Lissa. Mason's funeral is held and Rose receives her molnija marks for the two strigoi she killed. Dimitri tells her that he turned down the job with Tasha because he had to be true to his heart. He kisses Rose.