Friday 25 January 2013

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Title: Spirit Bound
Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 978-0-141-33187-4
Pages: 479
Series: Vampire Academy #5
Type: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Purchased

Rose has been outrunning death since she swore to protect her best friend Lissa and has now returned to St. Vladimir's after failing in her quest in Russia. Refocused on placing Lissa first no matter what, Rose is now distracted by taunts from her former love as he hunts her down. Dimitri wants Rose to join him or die, but when the possibility of a cure arises Rose is soon questioning what cost she is willing to pay.

This is the fifth book in the Vampire Academy series (after Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss and Blood Promise) which is a series I really recommend reading in order. After the twist at the end of the previous book, I jumped straight into this to see what would happen next. The storyline is well written and cleverly plotted, building the tension to a dramatic ending although at times this did feel like it was setting up the finale of the series rather than being a story in it's own right. Several storylines are left unconcluded which is disappointing, particularly in Eddie's case.

The book starts off at St. Vladimir's as Rose completes her final trials in her guardianship training, and then moves to the Court which gives a nice change of pace. Vampire politics take an even larger role as defense tactics are argued, including moroi learning to fight and dhampir rights being questioned. I was unexpectedly fascinated by this, particularly when arguments were made to force all dhampirs to serve as guardians regardless of their choices and even their age.

Rose and Lissa have been reunited but their bond has been tested by their time apart, most easily shown by Lissa's new habit of keeping secrets from Rose which is a total reversal from their roles at the start of the series. Together they are trying to find a way to save Dimitri and Rose is soon put in the position of having to decide what she is willing to risk losing in order to save him.

This is lower on romance than the previous installments which is a shame given that Rose has agreed to give a relationship with Adrian a go. Adrian is one of my favourite characters and I was hoping for more scenes between them rather than their romance taking a backseat to Rose and Dimitri's past. Rose puts their budding romance at risk as she takes more and more extreme action in hopes of finding a cure.

All in all, this was a fun read and I'm looking forward to Last Sacrifice.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 9/10
Enjoyment: 9/10
Cover: 7/10

Overall: 43/50

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