7th December 2010, Razorbill
608 pages, Paperback
Young Adult, Children's
Vampires (yup, they are a huge part of the story), family ties, royal politics, tragedy, death, drama, things go BOOM!, occasional strong language, moderate to strong adult relationships (not often), lots of fighting, friendships made, mended and broken, treachery, tissues needed throughout the book.
Summary from Penguin
This is the shortest summary ever! Penguin are giving nothing away. I can tell you that even the blurb on the book doesn't give much away. Rose is in huge trouble, what with being accused of killing the queen. People don't care if she's innocent - they need someone to blame. They have another monarch to choose, so she can just stay in her cell. She does stay in it...not forever though. I'm not giving away anything, other than the friendships forged throughout the series come in handy now, and that some firm friendships seem lost too. There's so much tension throughout the book because Rose has to evade capture: death is staring her in the face. Worse, Lissa blocks her out of her life for quite a bit. And she can't help Lissa with the monarch trials (which are simply the AWESOMEST trials ever (almost as awesome as the guardian trials). I was so proud of Lissa - she shows how strong and courageous she can be on her own. I think Lissa grows a lot of backbone and stands on her own two feet in this book. She also demonstrates the cunning she has to try and put things right for Rose, and everyone else. Plus the outfits Lissa gets to wear are pretty cool, as are a few of the locations Rose visits. Lissa's use of Spirit shines in this book - I loved hearing of what it could do, and how this could affect Lissa's (and other spirit users') future.
What is interesting is that as well as the Strigoi and the Alchemists, Rose bumps into another group of vampires, whose community hopefully will be in other books. All I will say about Rose's relationship with Adrian and Dimitri is that there are developments. I think that the way the story heads is realistic. Realism (for me) has been present throughout this series, and this is why I relate so much to Rose and Lissa. Life is never a bed of roses, and Rose gets an awful lot of thorns, but this makes her more believable to me. I love her interactions with her father and mother. I love how her friends can read her actions so well - it shows how much they care about her (for they pay a lot of attention). I sincerely love this series, I'm delighted there is going to be another and I hope that maybe there might be films (I haven't checked this out online either! If you know anything, please let me know - my head is usually stuck in a book rather than checking out film news)
Huge smile on my face from the ending - it's what I wanted and promises of more fun to come. There is going to be a spin off series, which isn't based around Rose but will include Rose. I'm desperately hoping it will be in Lissa's view (I haven't looked online to see if there are any clues about this). There were heaps of twists and turns here, although a few were pretty obvious but very welcome.
Check out Richelle's website.
Be sure to have read the other books in the series (links to follow soon)
Suggestions for other reads: One thing which did click into place on reading this book, was how much Rose reminds me of Maria V Snyder's Yelena in the Study series (Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study). Rose and Dimitri's relationship (how they are both good fighters, and know what the other is thinking so don't need instructions on how to take an enemy down) is similar to Yelena and Valek's. Make sure you check them out for a good read :)