Shadow Kiss - Richelle Mead
There's no denying it, I loved this third book in the series (probably best of all) and I finished it with all kinds of feelings and thoughts running through my head. The ending leaves the reader on such a cliffhanger and the fact that I am constantly being warned against reading book 4 just makes it all the worse. I want to know what happens... damn it, I NEED to know what happens. Can that possibly be it? Is there really no more hope for Rose and Dimitri?

I've come too far not to try out Blood Promise and, who knows, maybe I'll actually like it. There's too much I must find out for me to give up on this series just yet.

Forgetting about the next book for a second, Shadow Kiss just ticked all the right boxes for me. I really like the mix of vampire politics amidst the love and heartbreak. Even though vampire issues might not exactly be relevant in our society, you can understand a lot of what lies behind it. For example, Rose has been brought up her entire life believing that Moroi "come first" and should always be protected, even to the point of laying her life down for them. Dhampirs, like Rose, are little other than instruments to ensure the safety of Moroi royalty. But this book starts to question why Dhampirs should sacrifice their lives and choices in order to serve a race that largely finds them expendable. And then, even within the Moroi ranks, there is a great deal of inequality with regards to which Moroi receive protection.

There's a political statement going on here somewhere under the surface and I like it. Today's society might not have Moroi/Dhampir issues but battles for equality and class issues are still very relevant. I just wanted to mention this now in my fear that this will be my final overly positive review in the Vampire Academy series. I hope not, but taking Rose away from the setting I've come to love... well, let's just say, so many things can go wrong from here. My negative mind is already seeing the numerous things that could make Blood Promise a chore to read.