by Richelle Mead
Rose stands accused of murdering the queen of the Moroi, and only has weeks before she must face her possible execution. On the run for her life, she seeks shelter with an odd group of Moroi, Dhampir and humans who live in West Virginia and who inter-marry and live by the old ways of the Moroi. These people can keep Rose safe. But when she hears there may be a secret Dragomir sibling, will the promise of answers cause Rose to compromise her safety yet again?
I’ve been a fan of this series since book one when I had the pleasure of meeting quirky, bull-headed, impulsive and exasperating, Rose Hathaway and her dear sweet best friend Vasilisa Dragomir. Why do I continue to read on? The same reason I loved this sixth book in the series. First off, I’ve grown to love the characters and am highly invested in what happens to them—even Rose, who I sometimes want to strangle. She’s all the things I am not—thin, physically fit, sexy, a warrior, decisive to a fault, and dating the hottest guy around. Note: I am not talking about Dimitri Belikov either, although there is some delicious conflict in this novel between Rose, Adrian, and Dimitri. Despite all of those things I envy about her, I adore her! Rose is her trademark self in this novel, jumping into highly dangerous situations in order to discover the mysterious possible hidden sibling of her BFF Lisa Dragomir; Lisa has lost her place on the royal council since council members must have living relatives, and a sibling could help her and the Moroi kingdom—since Lisa might then be eligible to become queen. And let’s face it, with the increasing danger from Strigoi, the kingdom could use a gentle-hearted and courageous queen like Lisa—but I digress. Rose, worried more about empowering Lisa than her own possible death by execution, displays her typical bravery, and readers will love her for it. A new/previously introduced character has a bigger role in this novel, Sydney Sage, who introduces Rose to the Keepers, a group of “backwoods” Moroi, Dhampir and humans who live together in peace while keeping the old ways of the ancient Moroi. I’d like to see more of this group, frankly, because I found them primitive, yet insightful. The mystery of the queen’s killer takes precedence in the novel, and while I sort of suspected who the killer might be early on, I still enjoyed the character development and the kick-butt battles along the way. Hats off to Richelle Mead for another VA hit!