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 guardian 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 life is about saving others, who will save you?
Throughout this entire series, I became ensnared within the writing style of Richelle Mead; and completely trapped within her creative vampire lore. She created a world where there are three types of vampires; the Moroi (full-fledged vampires who live similar to humans within their own society), dhampirs (Guardians and protectors of the Mori) and finally the Strigoi (vampires who have chosen to be evil and kill for senseless reasons). Richelle's intricate, twisting story line over the entire six books kept me desperately wanting more after each book I finished. Although this book is filled with plenty of action I did find the pacing a little slow, and I felt that their quest was a little too easy -- things seemed to be handed to them without much of a struggle. But beyond those few little things I loved every moment of this book.
Rose truly grows as an individual throughout this book, she still fights ruthlessly for what she believes in, but she learns that there is always a cost when it involves the people that surround her. Her relationship with Adrian becomes even more complicated when she goes on the run with Dimitri after her escape from prison. Sitting idle is just not possible for Rose, he personality requires constant action and although she is required to lay low, she goes on the hunt for someone that could help Vasilia gain her proper place back at court. Spending time together reminds Dimitri just how much he cared for 'Roza' (Russian pet name for Rose), and how much he STILL cares for her. After changing back into a dhampir, Dimitri believed he was unworthy of anyone's love and pushed Rose away; but fighting by her side again makes him see the beauty in life and the gives him the ability to forgive himself. He is determined not to waste his second chance, only Rose is now with Adrian -- although he longs to be the man at her side. Fighting to clear Rose's name at court, Vasilisa is surrounded by intrigue and danger when she claims her right to become a candidate for the throne after the death of the Queen. Earning support from surprising peers and commoners alike, Lissa begins to take the trials seriously as their plan to simply gain more time to find the real murderer turns into an authentic . There is a real "Who Done It?" vibe to this book, and Ricelle kept me guessing until the very end. This is a wonderful end to the series, although I am sad to say goodbye to most of the characters, but I am looking forward to the first book in the spin-off series, Bloodlines.