Rose Hathaway 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...
But since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn’t been feeling right. Something dark has begun to grow in her mind, and ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing nearer to the Academy’s iron gates. And now that Lissa and Rose’s sworn enemy, Victor Dashkov, is on trial for his freedom, tensions in the Moroi world are higher than ever.
Lying to Lissa about Dimitri is one thing but suddenly there’s way more than friendship at stake. The immortal undead are on the prowl, and they want vengeance for the lives that Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle to rival her worst nightmare, 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?
WARNING! MAY INCLUDE SPOILERS FOR FIRST TWO BOOKS IN SERIES! IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THIS SERIES, PLEASE CHECK OUT MY REVIEWS FOR VAMPIRE ACADEMY AND FROSTBITE.
While I enjoyed the first two books in this series, Shadow Kiss is where my obsession starts! This third book takes the world of the Moroi, Strigoi, and dhampirs and throws it into the upper echelons of awesomeness!!
In terms of plot, this book deals with a lot of drama and conflict. There is the direct aftereffects of the Strigoi attack that left Mason, Rose's fellow guardian-in-training, dead as well as the trial for Victor Dashkov from his actions in Vampire Academy. This book seemed much darker than the previous ones and went along with the fact that Rose, Lissa, and the others were really starting to understand the dangers associated with their world.
Rose continues to grow into becoming a full-fledged guardian, but her efforts seem to be hampered by some new developments. She begins seeing ghosts (specifically Mason) as well as dealing with some school-related issues. Some readers may be turned off by the fact that Rose appears a little whinier than in previous installments. From my viewpoint, she has gone through major trauma and isn't dealing with it well. On top of that, she continues to try to put Lissa and her need first which takes its toll on her body and her mind.
The Dimitri/Rose relationships grows much deeper in Shadow Kiss. He understands and accepts what she's going through and acts as a confidante for her. Her tantrums do not deter him, like other characters, and the depths of his feelings for her are on full display. I absolutely adore this couple so I will say that ending (!) completely floored me and had me reaching for the tissues.
Another intriguing relationship readers see in this book is between Rose and Christian. They are forced to hang out with each other and so begin to see how similar they really are. This friendship is a lot of fun to watch develop especially with all the snark and sarcasm floating around. Adrian continues to make me laugh and I will admit that, while I don't see him being a viable candidate for Rose's affections, I would love to see him in a real relationship. I really liked getting to see more of Eddie and can't wait to watch his development. Lissa, who is not one of my favorite characters, gets a little annoying in this book (especially with some of her actions at the end), but I see this as a realistic portrayal of what can happen to teenage friendship as people mature.
This is definitely the book that made me a Vampire Academy fangirl! I love how the author isn't afraid to put her characters in difficult situations and I can't wait to see what happens next!
Rating: 5 Stars
1. Vampire Academy
3. Shadow Kiss
4. Blood Promise
5. Spirit Bound
6. Last Sacrifice
2. The Golden Lily (To Be Released 2012)