Warning: Spoilers for the series. Stay away if you haven’t read the previous five!
There is always a lot of expectation when the final book of a beloved series comes out. Ends need tied up, and tasks need to feel like they are completed, or we the reader are left hanging. And of course we can’t say goodbye to the characters, unless we know they will be well-taken care of. Luckily, there were no such problems awaiting the reader in Last Sacrifice, book six in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series.
This was a highly-anticipated book. Each subsequent sequel has been desired more than the last, verified by Mead’s outrageously successful book sales. I know I started feeling that way about her books at the end of book 3, with Dimitri’s unfortunate accident. And seeing him in book five broke my heart, right along with Rose. But in this book, he is slowly coming back to himself, step by step, and Rose is there to help him along, even if he doesn’t want her to all the time.
I love Rose. She is one of my favorite female protagonists in more recent YA fiction. There are a lot of females who try to be strong, and in their own way are, but not like Rose. The girl can seriously kick ass, and in Last Sacrifice she doesn’t disappoint. But besides the stints of Rose fighting Strigoi (or other Dhampirs, depending on the situation), there was so much other excellent stuff going on, both with Rose and in general, that I couldn’t put it down. I literally read until 4am and fell asleep with the book open on my pillow, to rise and finish it the following morning. Because Mead is just that good. She gets inside the characters so well, that I felt like I was truly living within Rose’s skin. Not to discount Lissa, whose head we are also in, thanks to their connection. And that happens a lot in this book, because Rose is on the run, with help from various friends (and enemies) from previous encounters.
At the end of book five Rose was accused of killing the queen, and at the beginning of this book we find out the trial date has been moved up, so that there really won’t be any time for Rose’s friends to find the proof they need to help clear her name of the murder. So she escapes, and though ninety percent of the book she isn’t in court, because of her connection with Lissa we’re able to follow along with all of the investigations and the elections for the new queen. Oh, did I mention that Lissa is running for the seat? It’s only as a distraction, since she has no family (so she thinks!) to help actually elect her, but the controversy of it all is buying more time to help Rose. Plus, we can’t forget about the note that Ambrose slipped Rose at the end of book five. The information on it provides a pivotal plotline that blends seamlessly within all the other turmoil happening around our main characters.
I know, as far as reviews go, perhaps this is a bit convoluted. But to say more is to give way too much away, and if you love this series, I can’t do that to you. It is worth discovering how Mead ties everything up in the end. There are some surprises, some things that were expected, and some ends that are left a little loose, but overall it was a breathless ride on the coaster of YA vampire fiction. I truly hope you enjoy it.