Em: The Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead – REVIEW

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
Release Date: December 7th, 2010
Razorbill, 594 Pages
Sub-genre: Paranormal
Source: Gifted from Sash
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Vampire Academy #6

They come first.

My vision was growing dimmer, the blackness and ghosts closing in. I swore it was like I could hear Robert whispering in my ear: The world of the dead won’t give you up a second time. Just before the light completely vanished, I saw Dimitri’s face join Lissa’s. I wanted to smile. I decided then that if the two people I loved most were safe, I could leave this world.

The dead could finally have me.

Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardians to come.

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose – for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.

But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back…and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your whole life is about saving others, who will save you?

It took me a while to stop smiling like an idiot at the last page of the book. One word: INCREDIBLE.

The characters:
You love some and you hate some but sometimes you can’t help but feel a little of both towards others. Adrian is endearing because he is so dedicated to Rose even though she puts him through the gauntlet of a love triangle, but there is only one person that Rose will ever really love – and that’s Dimitri. Lissa becomes an unbelievably strong character and her boyfriend Christian takes the snarkiness down many, many notches and becomes Lissa’s rock, especially when Rose is up to no good. There are many other supporting characters that I cannot say enough positive things about. But if there’s one thing for sure, it’s the camaraderie that these young adults feel towards each other. The all-entrusting love that they offer truly rivals the crew from Harry Potter. [Yeah, I said it.]

The Setting:
Everywhere the characters went, there was never a lack of detail in the description of the scenes on the author’s part. I could easily see the images of their surroundings play through my head like I was watching a movie in high-definition. Whether it was Russia, Alaska, Montana, or Las Vegas, the details and beautiful descriptions were not something I was at a loss for.

The Plot:
From start to finish–the author SERIOUSLY had an ingenious and creative way for our lovably adventurous troublemakers [insert: rebels] to get into and out of trouble. The love of Dimitri and Rose was too strong to be stopped by spirit, death, or worse, un-death. Setting out to kill the love of your life that was unwillingly turned Strigoi is no small feat, but finding a way to bring him back to you–regardless of the consequences, is truly amazing. With the support and help of many friends, Rose attempts the unthinkable…the impossible. But how is she supposed to win when Dimitri’s demons and guilt for what he did while he was Strigoi threatens to destroy their relationship? The only thing she CAN do…love him unconditionally.

The Ending:
Wow – just..*sigh*. I could NOT have been happier about the way that Mead decided to wrap up the series. I will try not to spoil it but pretty much everyone ends up happy and the Moroi-dhampir world will never be the same – for the better. I could have not hoped for a better way to sum up all of the trials and hardships that the characters endured, but when I asked – at what cost? Well the cost was great, but the result was far greater than anyone [except the author, of course] could have imagined.

I know a lot of people that read YA love the teen angst [I am among them], but to see a YA series that shows the meaning of true, unconditional, unstoppable love is something that I find to be the main reason that I enjoyed this series so much. So to any of you that are tired of the campy, angsty, shallow tales of starcrossed vampire/non-vampire lovers make sure you pick up this series so you can experience a whole new world of vampires, love, and traditions that will redefine the vampiric society we have all become too accustomed to.

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