Thursday, February 17, 2011

Last Sacrifice review

Last Sacrifice
December 2010

I've been eagerly awaiting the grand finale to this series for a while. Here, we get the final wrap-up for the fates of vampire bodyguard Rose Hathaway and her charge Lissa, the last of the royal Dragomir family. Rose is preparing to stand trial for the murder of the Moroi vampire Queen Tatiana. Naturally, her friends, aided by her somewhat underhanded lawyer father, are willing to break her out of prison, where she is being set up for a certain execution via a kangaroo court.

I will say, I was able to suss out very quickly where exactly the story was going, and that meant, for me, the middle portion of this book really dragged. Rose is working on borrowed time to discover who the real killer is, and to uncover Lissa's illegitimate sibling, which will give her friend the quorum she needs to be politically active on the vampire council.

Rose's adventures lead her to rural West Virginia, where she uncovers an unconventional group of vampires and a maze of secrets and conspiracy. I was not expecting the sibling to be who it turned out to be, and I liked that finding this person does not turn out to be the easy and pat solution to all their problems as they had hoped.

I have been rooting for some kind of dhampir rebellion from the very start of this series. The way the Moroi treat the dhampir as cannon-fodder against the Strigoi seems inexcusable! And yet, despite their shoddy treatment, the dhampir live by the code, "They come first," and willingly take on second-class citizen status. While Lissa is able to advocate for better and more equal consideration of the dhampir, this building block of vampire civilization didn't change much by the story's end, which really disappointed me.

Another thing that really struck me was that for a book about vampires, there is actually very little blood-drinking in this volume. Anyone remember the first book in the series, where Rose must volunteer to give Lissa blood on a fairly regular basis? It's a constant problem, and the vampires typically must rely on drug-addled human "feeders" to keep up with their appetites. There's nothing like that in this volume... if you hadn't read the earlier books in the series, you might not even realize that they needed to drink blood at all.

Rose has been torn between two possible guys for a while; cocky but funny, struggling alcoholic and royal family member Adrian, versus her former instructor, the sexy and brooding Dimitri. By the end of the book, she does make a choice. I liked that it was not a clean or easy break with the guy that she didn't choose to be with... her spurned suitor is angry and rightfully so!

I know a lot of readers are eager to get going on the new spin-off series, Bloodlines, but as for me, this book provided enough closure, and I don't feel the need to return to the world that Mead created. Even though every detail wasn't resolved the way that I had hoped, I was very happy with who Rose chose to be with romantically, and I was happy to see her gain a greater measure of independence from Lissa as well. To her credit, Lissa does display a lot of selflessness, courage and political savvy in this book and I was not surprised by how things worked out for her in the end, either. Fans of the series will appreciate that this book offers a hefty 594 pages of story, and that it answers so many important questions.

I borrowed this book from the library.


  1. I like a decent closing novel to a series. But 594 pages? Wow.

  2. I know! It could have been broken into two books, really.

  3. Really nice review Madigan! I loved this one, but I agree that there were times in the middle when things dragged a bit, I've always been really involved in the Dimitri/Rose storyline, so whenever she flips into Lissa's head my mind tends to wander a bit until she comes back. I was really glad of her romantic choice as well, and I loved that the boy she didn't pick didn't just humbly walk away with a "wish you both the best", I think his reaction was really realistic and I appreciate that:)



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