Table of Contents
Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide
Published by the Penguin Group
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Copyright © 2011 Richelle Mead All rights reserved
ISBN : 978-1-101-56566-7
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PART ONE: BOOK RECAPS
The idea for
was first conceived back in 2006. I was already working on two adult series and really wanted to do something for young adults. Since my first two series dealt with demons and fairies respectively, I thought I’d give vampires a try in order to be different—little knowing what a phenomenon they’d become in the next year! I knew from some college courses that a lot of the best vampire mythology could be found in Eastern Europe, so I went digging around the stories from that region and eventually discovered Moroi, Strigoi, and dhampirs. Really, all I had to work with was a snippet from that myth, but I was able to build an entire culture and history for my books surrounding those three races and their interactions with each other.
The idea of a young woman in love with her instructor was a story I’d wanted to do for some time. Rose’s character and personality were, in some ways, inspired by one of my adult characters: Eugenie from the Dark Swan series. Eugenie’s another action heroine who’s not afraid to get in a fight, but she’s a twenty-something woman who has already come to terms with who she is and who she wants to be. I began to wonder what it’d be like to write about a younger character, one who was kickass and not afraid to stand up for her beliefs but who was still growing, finding her identity, and also learning what it means to control her fighter impulses. I was fascinated by the idea of that journey. Rose and her fierce devotion to her friends were the results of my experiment, and she soon developed into the vivid and unique character we love today.
First line:LOST AND FOUND
I felt her fear before I heard her screams.
In the middle of the night, two years after running away from their boarding school, Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir have been found . . . and there’s no escaping
Where are they going? Back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, the last place they want to return to. They’d run away to escape a looming threat that had put their lives at risk, and returning could mean they’ll have to face those dangers head-on.
The majority of the students at St. Vlad’s are Moroi—peaceful, living vampires who follow a nocturnal schedule. Even though sunlight doesn’t kill them, they’re still stronger at night. All Moroi have abilities in elemental magic—earth, fire, air, or water—but in their teens, they will begin to specialize in one of the four. Also enrolled at the school are dhampirs—those who are half Moroi and half human. Dhampirs train to become the bodyguards of the Moroi after graduation, guarding them against the evil, undead Strigoi. Rose is a dhampir who’s been unofficially protecting her best friend, Lissa, a Moroi, while they’ve been out on their own. Keeping Lissa safe is Rose’s number-one goal. That they’ve been found means Rose has failed—and she’s damn mad about that.
Rose might be tough, but she stands no chance against the ten guardians the school has sent to find them, especially the one who seems to be in charge: Dimitri Belikov. The attractive guardian stops her easily. Rose is ready to fight hard to protect Lissa but lacks the skill to go head-to-head with someone as strong and experienced as Dimitri. Rose quickly learns that Dimitri’s nobody to mess with—the proof is marked right on his skin.
He leaned forward to pick up something, revealing six tiny symbols tattooed on the back of his neck:
marks. They looked like two streaks of jagged lightning crossing in an
symbol. One for each Strigoi he’d killed. Above them was a twisting line, sort of like a snake, that marked him as a guardian. The promise mark.
badass. Too bad he’s the one dragging them back to St. Vlad’s. Anyone else, Rose might be able to handle.
Through their psychic bond, Rose senses Lissa’s terror about going back to the school. The bond was created after the car accident that killed Lissa’s parents and brother Andre when the girls were fifteen. It only works one way, though. Rose can sense Lissa’s thoughts and feelings, but Lissa can’t do the same.
The car accident left Lissa as the only remaining member of the Dragomir family, and therefore her continuing survival is vital to her race. The Dragomirs are one of the twelve royal Moroi families—important and influential families that rule the rest of the Moroi and from which the Moroi king or queen is chosen.
Rose wishes she could help ease the fear her best friend feels about being discovered and captured, but there’s nothing she can do. They’re headed back to St. Vlad’s whether they like it or not.
At the school, Headmistress Kirova calls an uncomfortable meeting to decide the girls’ fates. Unsurprisingly, the rebellious and outspoken Rose is blamed for convincing Lissa to run away from the safety of the Academy and putting her life in danger all this time, but that’s not the truth. Rose took Lissa away in order
protect her, but she can’t tell anyone that. Trust is not something Rose hands out easily.
Joining them in the meeting is Victor Dashkov, gravely ill with Sandovsky’s syndrome, a terminal illness that afflicts Moroi. He is also from one of the royal Moroi families and had promised Lissa’s father that he’d watch out for her. He’s like an uncle to Lissa. When Dimitri reveals to those present at this meeting that the girls share a rare psychic bond—which he noticed during their capture—it’s a secret that Rose doesn’t want anyone else to know about.
Victor shows great interest in what a bond like this could mean.
“That is a gift,” murmured Victor from his corner. “A rare and wonderful thing.”
“The best guardians always had that bond,” added Dimitri. “In the stories.”
Kirova’s outrage returned. “Stories that are centuries old,” she exclaimed. “Surely you aren’t suggesting we let her stay at the Academy after everything she’s done?”
He shrugged. “She might be wild and disrespectful, but if she has potential—”
“Wild and disrespectful?” I interrupted. “Who the hell are you anyway? Outsourced help?”
Actually, some might just say the Russian’s a good judge of character. But other than that, he’s also Lissa’s sanctioned guardian now and, as such, he is invested in the Dragomir princess’s safety.
As a novice guardian herself, Rose is way behind in her classes, which puts her at a major disadvantage compared to other students in her senior class. A bit reluctantly, Dimitri agrees to tutor Rose before and after regular classes to help her catch up. Rose doesn’t exactly like this guy—well, not
, anyway—but she needs to stay in school in order to keep Lissa safe. And this? Well, this might be the only way she can do that. However, if she steps out of line just
, she’s out of there—and for the immediate future she’s basically on house arrest, grounded from doing anything fun or social except going to class and training with Dimitri. Looks like she’s going to have to rein in those “wild and disrespectful” ways if she wants to stay out of trouble.