Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, Book 3)
By Richelle Mead
Genre: Young Adult
Published 2008, Razor Bill Books
Paperback, 443 pages
Rose knows it is forbidden to love another guardian. Her best friend, Lissa - the last Dragomir princess - must always come first. Unfortunately, when it comes to gorgeous Dimitri Belikov, some rules are meant to be broken...This book took a much more central focus of the relationship between Rose and Dimitri, as well as Rose's own unique abilities, thanks to her bond with Lissa. This book delved more into what harnessing the elements could do in practical terms, which I have been very curious about. In some ways, I feel like Mead is holding back in terms of telling the reader all the ways that Spirit can be used, but that is writer's privilege. My favorite part of the books is always Rose's relationship with Dimitri, so much so that I feel everything that she feels, laugh when she laughs, etc. Without spoiling the ending, I can definitely say I felt just as much as she did at the end.
Then a strange darkness begins to grow in Rose's mind, and ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing nearer to the Academy's iron gates. The immortal undead are closing in, and they want vengeance for the lives Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle to rival her worst nightmares, Rose will have to choose between life, love, and the two people who matter most... but will her choice mean that only one can survive?
It is interesting to see the effect that Rose and Lissa are collectively having on the political and social structures of this world that Mead has constructed. Unwritten rules that previously were unquestioned are now being broken repeatedly - and not just by Rose. Other Moroi are trying to wield compulsion, male Dhampirs are refusing to become guardians, Moroi are learning to wield their abilities offensively and train under guardians, and so on. Lissa falls under many exceptions, being the only Dragomir, which ironically puts Rose even more in the spotlight of society and allows her to be a catalyst for change.
The Cover: Another generic face meant to tell the reader what Rose is supposed to look like. Aside from the fact that the hairs by her mouth bug me so much I want to edit them off the cover, I have to wonder how popular does a series have to be to get the non-generic covers?
First Line: "His fingertips slid along my back, applying hardly any pressure, yet sending shock waves over my flesh."
With an opening line like this I simply must keep reading, especially since with this series the romantic encounters are few and far between.
Favorite Quote: "Those who have to ask if faith is true are opening up a discussion they may not be ready for."
Read For: Pages Read Challenge, 101 Fantasy Challenge
*I received this book free of charge from the publisher as part of a prize package from random draw.*