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4.8 out of 5 stars
Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, Book 4)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2010
I cannot even begin to tell you just how brilliant this book was! There are so many reasons, and it was so different from what we've read so far in the series, and I could just gush forever, but this is a review so it needs some semblance of coherency.

I'll start with the differences. In all the other books, Rose and Lissa have been together, and if not at school - as is the case in Frostbite - they have always been with the students and the school authority figures. Not this time. Rose spends pretty much all of the book in Russia, away from school, away from anyone to reprimand her for breaking any rules - and there are no rules. She's out in the world on her own, with only her training and her own idea of what's sensible to guide her, and it's great to see Rose going about things as she wants and she sees fit. It's refreshing, but also worrying.

This doesn't mean we leave Lissa, Christian and Adrian behind. Rose does look in on Lissa through their bond several times throughout the book, and through it we follow the sub-plot at St. Vladimir's; there is a new head teacher, and with him comes two of his own children, Reed and Avery. And Lissa's erratic behaviour becomes increasingly more worrisome for her friends, for Rose, and for herself. It may seem convenient that we're able to get to this sub-plot through Rose and Lissa's bond, but there is always a reason for Rose to check up on Lissa, rather than just "oh, let's go see what Lissa's up to." It's very well done, and it's great to be able to keep up with both girls.

We meet a fair number of new characters in this book, and it's just awesome! We meet Sydney, and Alchemist, with Alchemists being a group of humans who know all about Moroi, Strigoi and Dhampirs, and has a unique way of "cleaning up" when guardians leave around dead Strigoi bodies. She's very off-ish at first, but I really liked her! She's very resourceful, and also opinionated about all the Vampire Academy races. I like how she's wary of Rose, and doesn't trust her. It's great to have a human's view and opinion. We also meet Dimitri's family in Siberia; Olena, Dimitri's mother; Karolina, Sonya, and Viktoria, Dimitri's sisters; Yeva, Dimitri's grandmother, and Paul, Dimitri's niece. They are everything you would have thought them to be, considering they're related to Dimitri; they're kind, they're caring, and they soon start thinking of Rose as one of their own. I love them! We meet the mysterious and slippery Abe, a non-royal Moroi with a lot of money, who just oozes untrustworthiness. We also meet Oksana, a Moroi, and Mark an ex-guardian, who are a bonded married couple. Oh, how we learn such wonderful things from them about Spirit, things that not even Adrian knows about. It's exciting and wonderful, and I look forward to how things will span out Spirit wise in the next book.

Finally we meet Dimitri-as-Strigoi - as I'm going to refer to him in this review. When I reviewed Shadow Kiss, someone commented on how they didn't like Dimitri based on what they see of him in Blood Promise. I still love Dimitri. Why? Because Dimitri-as-Strigoi is not the Dimitri we all love. He's gone, and as awful as it is, this person left is cold, uncaring and violent, and couldn't be any further from the Dimitri we know. It's not him, and so I can't hate Dimitri. What's also great about this book is that we get flashbacks of times with Dimitri we haven't yet seen. That may have taken place in the books with read, conversations that weren't important at the time, or in between books, and it's great to see these lovely, swet, soft moments between Rose and Dimitri, and see the love between them. It was beautiful.

Blood Promise is a very emotional book, and the time spent with Dimitri - the length of which I will not allude to, long or short - is just heart breaking. Not only do we see Dimitri-as-Strigoi and really dislike him and what's happened to the guy we knew, we also get to see Rose's reaction to him, and it's just so sad. There is also a fair amount of action too; most of the time, Rose is on her own and has no back-up, and she just goes to show her immense skill. It's just fantastic, and her strength to fight when she's so emotionally messed up is incredible.

The book ends on such a cliff-hanger, it's fantastic. It's the kind of cliff-hanger where it gives you an idea of what will happen in the next book, and I can't tell you how excited I am for Spirit Bound! It's going to be just brilliant! It will be even more action and more emotional, by the looks of it. I can't wait for it to be released on 18th May in the UK. Seriously, you need to read this series if you haven't yet started. You have no idea what you're missing out on.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2009
I only started this series because I was really stuck for something to read, and I had enjoyed previous works by Richelle Mead. I was hesitant at first for a couple of reasons; the main one being that it is aimed at YA's, and another being that the description of this new vampire world seemed complicated and even tedious.

Now, 4 books in, I cannot wait for the next installment to come out, because these books are simply AMAZING! If you haven't started them yet, stop reading and go to the first book - I don't want any spoilers to ruin the journey.

Although it is aimed at YA, the subject matters that Mead handles are far from juvenile - the build up of the last 3 books comes to an emotional sort-of climax (still plenty of plot for sequals by the end-thank god!) that had me feeling grief, despair, hope, anger, joy, the list goes on...at one point I was crying so hard I had to stop reading for a few minutes. Not every reader will have the same reaction of course, but Mead has managed to create really realistic characters that we love for themselves, flaws and all.

There isn't really much I can say on the plot without giving stuff away. 'BLOOD PROMISE' starts where book 3 left off: Rose has left the Vampire Academy - and Lissa - to hunt Dimitri, her love and newly turned Strigoi. The main bulk of the book is, obviously, taken up with Rose's hunt and what happens when she eventually finds him. We are given regular updates on Christian, Lissa and Adrian though by Rose's visits into Lissa's mind however, which balances the book out.

I was slightly apprehensive at how Mead was going to handle the hunt-to-the-death between Rose and Dimitri, as it was bound to be emotionally charged and perhaps a not very cheery reading; I was worried that whatever outcome Mead had planned would either be unbelievable because it gave the reader what they wanted, or unrealistic in how the end - what ever that may be - came about.
However, the plot flows smoothly and at no point do you stop and say Hang on, couldn't she have just done/said that and made it all ok?? as sometimes happens to me in other books. We believe all of Rose's actions and emotions because we live them with her; such is the power of this author's writing.

A YA book that adults could definitely enjoy - it handles mature content, and makes you want to read more and more. I can't wait for book 5 - Spirit Bound! If you enjoyed the previous 3 books in the series then you will be bowled over by this one :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2013
St Vladimir's has been attacked and as a result Rose has lost everything she holds dear. She had to choose between Lissa and Dimitri and has now journeyed to Russia to fulfil a promise to Dimitri. As Rose travels she doesn't realise the horrors and revelations in store for her, nor does she realise just how much danger she has left Lissa in and it quickly becomes clear that the risks are greater than ever before.

This is the fourth book in the Vampire Academy series (after Vampire Academy,Frostbite and Shadow Kiss) and if you're new to the series I'd recommend going back and starting with the first book. This review is also likely to contain spoilers for the earlier books.

I was really looking forward to this installment after the dramatic end of the previous book, but I have to say I ended up a little disappointed. The book has a dark and at times dismal feel and is much heavier in subject matter than the previous installments. The storyline is divided between Rose's quest to find Dimitri in Russia and Lissa's school life at St. Vladimir's which means there are two entirely distinct plots at the same time. The plots are well written and both build to dramatic endings, although I felt Rose's dragged at times.

Rose has travelled to Russia in search of Dimitri, essentially in order to kill him. Along the way she is introduced to Sidney and the existence of Alchemists who have existed for hundreds of years to protect humans from vampires (both moroi and strigoi) and their dhampir guardians. Syndey took a lot of getting used to as she is pretty bigoted against non-humans at the start, although I gradually warmed to her and ended up liking her a lot by the end of the book. Rose also meets Dimitri's family and experiences what life is like for dhampir's who choose not to become guardians.

Rose also learns more about spirit users and being shadow kissed and her reunion with Dimitri is dramatic. At times it felt like Rose stayed too long in certain situations and that is where the storyline felt dragged. One thing I loved that I didn't expect to was little flashbacks to Rose and Dimitri at happier times as these helped lighten the overall darkness of the storyline.

Meanwhile back at St. Vladimir's Lissa has befriended new girl Avery on the prompting of the Queen. It's interesting to see her reactions to political manipulation, and also how Lissa chooses to act when Rose isn't around. It quickly becomes clear that rather than being a bad influence, Rose was the only thing helping Lissa make good choices and before long her relationship with Christian is on the rocks and Lissa is putting herself in real danger.

All in all this was an interesting read and I'm looking forward to Spirit Bound.

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 8/10
Cover: 7/10

Overall: 42/50
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2012
Blood Promise is the forth book in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. After the heartbreaking events of Shadow Kiss, Rose has walked away from the academy, her duty and her best friend in an effort to hold up an unspoken promise. Now she's alone in Russia hunting the man she loves. But when she finally finds him, can she do what she promised? It's what he wanted, but he's not dead and he still wants her. She has the chance to finally be with him, for good, without anyone else in the way. Rose meets several people along the way on her journey to find Dimitri, who help or hinder her, but all give her a better look at the world around her and the way some things work. Blood Promise is very different to the first three books in the series, with Rose away from the Academy, Lissa and the rest of the people she trusted. It's the first time we've seen her truly alone and without a safety net. She's in the real world and in a lot more danger than normal. It's much darker than the previous books as well. There is less humour and Rose isn't quite up to her sassy best, but at a realistic level given the circumstances. Rose is dealing with a lot of pain and sadness at the loss of Dimitri and you feel every moment of it, and you can completely understand her desperate desire to believe Dimitri is still the man he always was. Rose does a lot of growing up through Blood Promise. And back at the Academy Lissa is struggling to cope without Rose to lean on for the first time in her life. A real wake up call for her too. There are plenty of twists and turns, and the book is well written, blending the flashbacks and time in someone else's head well with the mostly emotional journey Rose is going through. There was a lot left open at the end leaving me wanting the next book now. But it wasn't the killer ending that Shadow Kiss was. Not a bad thing!
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on 30 April 2014
From previous books, we all know by now that I think Richelle Mead is an amazing author, a Goddess of writing and toying with one's emotions, simply fantastic!!!!

What do I think of Rose, however, that is a question I had to find an answer to, not only what I thought of Rose, but Dimitri and Adrian... Characters that I simply cannot get enough of and characters that are having an impact on me everytime I see their name!!!

Rose, I love her! No other words for it, I adore her, admire her and I've cried mountains for her... She is wonderful, hot headed, irrational and a dam good friend to have. Rose went through emotions that toyed with my heart consistently throughout this book. I cried for her, I shouted for her, yelled at her, rolled my eyes at her but - I loved her, every step of the way I loved her.

Richelle Mead!!! You have taken a character that I burned for, yearned for, craved for and loved for Rose and made me want to hold that silver stake myself!!! I could, of course, use a few lessons first, but by God I would sweat a few pounds to get rid of Dimitri... That's how I feel (at the moment) and I'm not happy about it!!! Adrian, I liked him, I didn't.... I trusted him, I didn't... now? I am all for him!!! Go write that essay to say why you could be Rose's suitor Adrian and do a good job... I'm rooting for you lad!!!!

The book has twisted and turned throughout the pages, throughout the chapters and yet, still, it ended with a shock!!! Rose discovering a few secrets, that sprung tears to my eyes, and then having something handed to her that will twist her future! I am really hoping that my heart can hold out during the next book!!!

I LOVE this series!!!!
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on 17 September 2013
Rose has made the hardest choice of her life and has left her best friend and person she has sworn to protect, to fulfil her promise to hunt down and kill her former lover and teacher, Dimitri, who has been turned into a Strigoi. She has travelled to Russia to find him, and decides the best way to locate him, is to see Dimitri's family. At St Vladimir's, Lissa is missing Rose but at the same time is angry at her for choosing Dimitri over her, however is Lissa's new friend Avery really helping her. With Rose willing to do anything to destroy Dimitri, will she be able to kill the man she loves or will it end up killing her?

Blood Promise is the fourth book in the Vampire Academy series but it is a bit different than the first 3 as it is not really set at the school and it starts of at a slow pace but the middle and end of the book makes up for this. I found it interesting to see the Strigoi world as they seem both very normal and yet evil at the same time and I wish this world was explored a bit more.

Rose is in a really bad place in this book as she has lost both Dimitri and Lissa, and she goes through so much which makes me feel both sorry for her and want to yell at her. However, one thing I missed in this book was the interaction between Rose and Lissa and the rest of the group as just seeing them at St Vladimir's through Rose's head is not the same. However, I did Like Adrian in this book as we get to see a different more caring side of him, not just towards Rose but also Jill and Lissa. Another thing I liked is the complex relationship between Strigoi Dimitri and Rose and their weird love/hate relationship.

While this is one of the weaker Vampire Academy books, Blood Promise is still an excellent book and I can't recommend this series highly enough.
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on 21 April 2012
Wow. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead was nothing like I expected it to be. After the shocking event that happens at the end of Shadow Promise, I was really unsure where this series would go. And because I couldn't picture it in my head, I didn't feel as excited to read this book straight away. Several Vampire Academy fans assured me that despite the very different feel and structure of the novel (Rose and Lissa apart? no Academy? Dimitri as .. AHH! etc.), Blood Promise is still great and now that I've read it, I wholeheartedly agree.

In fact, I think what this book really needed was a different atmosphere and structure to the novel to prevent this series from becoming formulaic. And I really loved Blood Promise. I loved meeting the new characters, finding out more about different aspects of this world from the alchemists to blood-whores and also more about the abilities of spirit users, learning more of Dimitri's personal history and going on this very personal journey of Rose's as she prepares herself to do something really heart-breaking.

Blood Promise begins after the awful battle against Strigoi at the Academy. When Dimitri is turned Strigoi, Rose decides to follow him to Siberia in order to kill him, as Rose knows that's what he would have wanted. But in order to do so, Rose must drop out of the Academy and leave behind her best friend, Lissa. As she travels through Russia and Siberia, Rose meets several interesting new characters - Sydney, the alchemist and Abe, who has been hired by an unknown entity to follow Rose. I absolutely adored meeting both of these new characters and am intrigued to learn and discover more about them.

And at the same time, through Rose and Lissa's spiritual connection, we're also privy to the events that occurred there, mostly involving a new girl who befriends Lissa. But at the heart of Blood Promise is Rose's journey to find Dimitri. I loved how well Rose is taken in by the Belikov family in Siberia, especially Dimitri's grandmother! There's a lot of shared grief here, as both Dimitri's family and Rose start to come to terms with their loss. I love how Rose begins to see her own journey in a different light in relation to the suffering of others.

But of course, this journey has to lead somewhere. And the showdown between Rose and Dimitri was totally unexpected and intense. I was so surprised and caught off-guard by where Richelle Mead took this story. I love how unpredictable this series is, and I look forward, excitedly, to reading the rest of the series!
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on 8 December 2011
**WARNING - Contains Spoilers for Earlier Books in this Series**

NOOOO!!!!!!!!!! I practically threw my kindle across the room when I read the end of the third book. Dimitri can't be Strigoi! This was a major shock and I swear I actually cried when it happened. I did not see this coming, how could you do this Richelle?

Well, after the attack on the school by the Strigoi everything was left turned upside down. During the attack in the last book Christian and Rose teamed up to be a badass killing machine, with his elemental use of fire and her awesomeness they worked together to kill loads of Strigoi. Unfortunately they took some victims with them when they retreated. When a team is put together to rescue the captured, there are more casualties with one in particular - Dimitri.

I thought this book had a much different feel from the previous ones. For one Rose and Lissa spend the majority of the books apart from each other. This does not prevent us from knowing what is happening with Lissa as Rose can still go into Rose's head no matter how far apart they are. To me this felt like the beginning of the end concerning my relationship with Lissa. I know she is a princess and i know there were other influences, but come on!! She treats Christian like crap and does not give a second thought to Rose off on her journey. Boo Lissa!! Hiss! I am sure I am not the only one who feels like a break from Lissa is a good thing for Rose!?!

This book is Rose's journey to find Dimitri and follow through on a promise made to each other. We meet a few new characters on this journey, including Sydney. Now unlike Lissa I think Sydney, the alchemist with the cool tattoo, is awesome! Oh and how can I forget Dimitri's family? It made me wish I was a member of the Belikov family, well kind of... except for the whole blood wh*** thing (lets at least pretend to keep it clean here folks!).

Following on from the last book, there were a number of points where I cried throughout Rose's journey (I should have just read the books with a box of tissues within reaching distance). I don't know what it is about the Vampire Academy books, but I am completely sucked into Rose's emotional state. When she is feeling confused and woozy or when she is upset, so am I. The ending of this book left me on the edge of my seat desperate to know what's going to happen next.
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on 2 August 2011
I was not prepared for this book at all. Putting down this series is IMPOSSIBLE. It is amazing, perfect, and everything you want novels to be. But, be prepared for an emotional roller coaster - more than you have experienced so far with this series.

*** BEWARE SMALL SPOILERS ***

Blood Promise picks up right after the Massacre at the Academy, including Dimitri's turn to becoming a Strigoi. To say that Rose is lost is an understatement. However, she made a promise to Dimitri that she would never let him "live" as a Striogoi. To fulfill this promise she must hunt him down... and kill him. Not know where to start she goes to him homeland, Siberia. There she meets unlikely allies and foes, including Dimitri's family. Rose grows more closer to Dimitri than she ever thought possible.

Blood Promise focuses on Rose's personal internal journey. She struggles with the task that she has set out in front of her: to kill the man she loves. On one hand she knows that Dimitri is no longer Dimitri but something evil, on the other hand she can't help but hold onto that small slither of hope that there is a part of him that is still the man she fell in love with.

While Dimitri himself is physically absent for most of the book, his "presence" is heavily present. And then of course he shows up! To be honest, it was weird seeing Dimitri as a Strigoi. Just like Rose, you know he is Evil and Dead, but at the same time, just like Rose, you can see small aspects that make him Dimitri the Guardian. Of course Rose is unable to kill Dimitri and falls into his Strigoi world, unable to escape.

Again and Again you become sucked into the worlds and characters and plots that Richelle Mead has created. There is something that you cannot put your finger on, that makes this series absolutely amazing!! Rose is a very strong character, both physically and emotionally. I love watching her grow from an immature child to young woman who does the right thing, never giving a second thought otherwise.

Then there are her amazing and complicated relationships and Friendships. Rose leaves Lisa's side in this book for the first time. Both struggle with their last visit together before Rose leaves for Siberia. But both characters find their own path while staying true to their friendship. I'll admit I have never really understood Lisa and why Rose is so dedicated to her, but you get a glimpse into Lisa's life in this novel that helps you understand her a bit more.

Again, if you have not read this book or series, get off your butt and pick up NOW NOW NOW NOW. You will not be disappointed. This is one series you don't want to miss out on!
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Some time ago, a close friend suggested I read the VA series, thinking I'd enjoy it. At the time I thought, YA books? Too much like Harry Potter. Then I discovered Richelle Mead's Succubus series, and decided to give the VA series a try.

What can I say? A real rollercoaster of a series, and I've only just finished the 4th out of 6. When I read Frostbite (book 2) I already had Book 3 (Shadow Kiss) lined up and ready. As soon as I finished ShadowKiss I HAD to start on Blood Promise, and now I have Book 5 sitting ready and waiting.

Back to the review... Now that Rose is away from St Vlad's (the Academy)I was briefly sceptical of how Richelle Mead could maintain the interest levels, but I had no reason to worry. There are fascinating leaps where Rose goes 'into' Lissa's head and sees the world through her eyes - never boring - and Rose learns the damage she did to Lissa in leaving so abruptly. She also sees the imminent danger her best friend is in, which adds a whole new level of anxiety for Rose. There are stunning new characters including Abe (OMG - I never saw that coming - brilliant plotting), Dimiti's lovely family, Mark and Okshana (another Spirit user). And then there's Dimitri. Rose keeps having flashbacks of Dimitri when he was human, of their brief time together and they are tear jerking. The snow angels scene had me filling up with it's beauty.

There were tears aplenty as Rose struggles with the newly Strigoi-turned Dimitri. Her intention was to kill him, the only way to make him rest in peace - but killing the man she loves is harder than even she could believe. I cried. And cried some more. Richelle Mead wrings every possible emotion in this book, I loved it from start to finish. The cliffhanger at the end is unbelievable - I shall start reading Book 5 tonight. And probably Book 6 in 2 or 3 days....
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