I was actually pleasantly surprised with this book. I haven't read the previous one in about a year and just started in on this one. Normally when I do that with a series, I get a little confused. This one seemed to remind me of what had already happened without boring me with excruciating details.
There were quite a few things that made me not want to put this book down. The action was descriptive enough to give a good word picture without having to skip paragraphs of drawn out scenes. The drama in the storyline seemed legitimate for the circumstances and kept me guessing. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, a nice twist proved me complete wrong (a nice change for me with a YA series).
I felt like I reconnected with the characters after so long. I actually cared what was going on. What would happen to Rose next? Is Lissa going to keep getting stronger or go crazy? How are all of these love stories going to be resolved?
All in all, probably one of the better YA books I’ve read in a while. Obviously, it’s not perfect; I did have to read some things twice to understand what was going on. However, I am glad that I read the first four books to get to this one.
SUMMARY: SPOILERS AHEAD!
Rose passes her trials and becomes an actual guardian, and then the chaos begins. Dimitri is determined to find and kill her. She is obsessed with the idea of returning his soul. Then she holds Lissa to her promise to help save him. So after a jail break, freeing the man that tried to kill Lissa, they find that there is a possibility; Lissa must charm a stake with spirit and stake Dimitri herself. This is accomplished eventually. Dimitri returns to his former self claiming that he no longer loves Rose, and he is incapable of such. Since no one has ever been returned to normal after becoming a strigoi, Dimitri is imprisoned until they can find out what to do with him
The counsel passes a law making dhampir graduate at 16 rather than 18. Rose is outraged and states as much in front of everyone. Then the Queen is murdered. Of course, Rose is their prime suspect (as the evidence was planted to make it look that way). However, the Queen wrote a letter to Rose before she died explaining that their was another in Lissa’s family (an illegitimate half-sibling) that would enable her to join the counsel (because to be a “family” you have to have at least 2 members). The Queen thinks Rose is the only one that will be able to Bring this to light, but how will that be possible with her locked up, on trial, and perhaps eventually executed?