Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead is the third of six books in the Vampire Academy series. In it Rose Hathaway must deal with the consequences of the events of Frostbite and learns more about the bond between Lissa Dragomir and her and the effects of being shadow kissed. Her relationship with instructor Dimitri develops, but then tragedy strikes.
Having read the entire Vampire Academy series now I consider Shadow Kiss as kind of a transition book in the way that Goblet of Fire is a major turning point for Harry in the Harry Potter series. Up to and including Shadow Kiss Rose’s main preoccupations other than protecting Lissa are more normal teen concerns; her crush on Dimitri, getting enough good grades to pass class, not getting into trouble with the teachers, future career options, dealing with class bullies. After the events of Shadow Kiss, she takes responsibility for herself and goes off into the adult world, with more adult cares and preoccupations. The scope also expands to include the whole of Moroi society including the Court.
What I liked
Character development. Both Rose and Lissa continue to develop in interesting ways. I liked how their knowledge of spirit increased, even though it was fairly obvious to the reader that Rose’s bad temper was due to spirit’s influence long before the characters realised it. I also finally was able to believe that Rose’s love for Dimitri was more than just a crush.
Learning more about Moroi culture. We visit the Moroi court and start to learn more about its politics which will be more important later in the series.
Holy crap ending. That ending really is a game changer.
What I didn’t like
I really didn’t like where Mead went with the character of Ambrose. It just emphasised my frustration at the limited choices available to dhampirs.
Spoilers. For those of you reading the ebook version, be aware. There is a preview of the companion series Bloodlines at the end of the books. Do NOT read this if you want to remain spoiler free about Rose and Lissa’s ultimate fate.
I continue to love the series though and gave Shadow Kiss 5 stars out of five.
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