Rose Hathaway has been diligent when it comes to catching up on her studies—even when she disagrees with what she's being taught—because of her obligation towards her best friend and Moroi princess, Lissa, to become her guardian once they both graduate. Now the time has come for Rose to prove herself in the last stage of her training, and she's more than ready. But a fresh encounter with an old enemy and strange appearances on the St. Vladimir’s campus keep tripping her up. All of these are pointing to impending danger, and only Rose can save them if she can make sense of the clues in time.
Richelle Mead's third book in the Vampire Academy series is full of the same pulse-pounding, breathless, and smart action and excitement that made the first two popular. Rose continues to be her sarcastically witty, clever, and hot-headed self, and these self assured qualities are what really continue to make the series appealing. Mead's innovative vampire world continues to be intriguing as she offers a few more glimpses into the background and politics of the Moroi's government and their royal court.
Mead skillfully builds up sense of foreboding and some electrifying anticipation as Rose discovers many things about herself—from magical abilities to emotions she's buried deep down—which culminates in a terrifying and suspenseful battle in which readers will be satisfied to find that Rose manages perfectly. But Mead isn't soft and refuses to leave readers with a happy conclusion, instead finishing off with a major twist (that is maybe slightly predictable) that will leave readers breathlessly demanding a sequel.