Richelle Mead is best known for her fictional series titled Vampire Academy and its spinoff, Bloodlines. All of Mead’s book are fantasy novels with elements of the supernatural. She published her first book in 2017. Over the next two years, she would go on to publish another six books, marking her steep rise as an up-and-coming author.


Vampire Academy: Shadow Kiss is the third installment of the Vampire Academy series.

Half human, half vampire, Rosemarie Hathaway is a soon-to-be-eighteen-year-old girl who has sworn to protect her best friend, Vasilisa Dragomir. Vasilisa, also referred to as Lisa, is also the last of her family, and hence carries the heavy burden of carrying the family legacy.

Rose’s life’s no picnic, either. She falls for her instructor, Dmitri, and now they dance around each other. Their relationship is constantly haunted by the fact that they can never be together as long as they are safeguarding Lisa’s life. However, Rose has a secret that even she isn’t aware of. After the events of the previous two books, Rose now must face a new set of problems, though they may come with their own rewards.


Rose is a feisty girl whose tender heart is finally revealed to the readers. As the protagonist, she undergoes the kind of character development that every coming-of-age teenager can relate to.

After the major twist in the previous book, Frostbite, Rose earns a reputation that begins to get in the way of her happiness. As always, Dmitri tries to come to her rescue, only this time it is Adrian, another royal Moroi introduced in Frostbite, who comes through for her.

Adrian is mysterious. His intentions come to light slowly, which makes the plot even more mysterious. Lisa, on the other hand, stands at the center of the political relations between the royals. The realistic depiction of politics and its dynamics in the book are truly commendable. Add to it the element of magic, and the plot becomes even more promising. Lisa and Adrian learn to control their spirits while Christian trains to be a fighter with his fire magic.

As past events get rehashed, Rose begins to wonder if she is starting to lose her mind. Even the readers cannot help thinking that the protagonist has lost it. Meanwhile, the ever-lurking Strigoi get stronger, taking advantage of a weakness no one knew existed.


The book slows down a little to let readers in on the moments between Rose and Dmitri. This could have been more elaborate, for their relationship serves as the basis of Rose’s story. The running theme of Shadow Kiss actually turns out to be flawed from the perspective of the first two books, much to the readers’ dismay.


“No,” Dimitri interrupted gently. He moved his face toward mine, our foreheads nearly touching. “It won’t happen to you. You’re too strong. You’ll fight it, just like you did this time.”

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you just defended Christian’s honor. Isn’t he a pain in the ass?”
“Yes, he is. But for the next 6 weeks he’s MY pain in the ass.”

“Are you sleepwalking?’ A voice asked behind me.
“I was testing dorm security,” I said. “It sucks.”


Ameya Score:

All in all, Shadow Kiss is a riveting read and certainly a book that cannot be missed for its final twist.

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