Modern Fantasy · Review · Young Adult

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

On the Cover: Rose and a myterious person (could be Dimitri or Adrian)

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead is the fifth book in the Vampire Academy series. I’m really sorry, but this will have spoilers. I try to avoid spoilers. This is just how it worked out. The synopsis on the inside cover says:

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Siberia, Dimitri’s birthplace, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s – and to her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. It’s graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives outside of the academy’s cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri. He’s out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance, and now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won’t join him, he won’t rest until he has silenced her . . . forever.

But Rose can’t forget what she learned on her journey – whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose’s prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what – and who – matters most to her. And in the end, is tru love really worth the price?

There is no prologue. We start with Rose just before the trials that she must take to graduate from St. Vladimir’s. She received her weekly death threat from Dimitri, this time telling her she will easily pass those trials. In the end, she does pass the trials. She comes to learn that her trial was harder than everyone else’s because they knew it would be too easy for her. They gave her a trial that the test administrators didn’t know how to get out of. Both of her parents, Janine Hathaway and Abe Mazur, came to see her. I wish I could have heard what Abe said to Adrian about what he would do to him if he hurt Rose. It apparently went into great detail. Lissa also graduates.

They all go to Court, except Jill. Rose and Lissa decide that they need to bust their enemy, Victor Dashkov, out of Varasov, one of the Moroi/Dhampir prisons. They succeed with some unexpected help from Eddie and Mikhail. Victor leads them to his brother, Robert Doru, so they can learn whether it’s possible for Strigoi to be returned to the state they were in before being awakened. While they are at that hotel, Dimitri attacks them. He nearly kills Rose again, awakening is no longer an option for her (she doesn’t want to be awakened). Eddie saves her, but Rose stops him from killing Dimitri. Dimitri leaves her with the threat that he will be back and she can’t hide from him. He also killed a lot of humans after Rose and Eddie escaped with the Moroi.

Lissa charms a silver stake with spirit and learns how to stake Strigoi. Dimitri attacks and captures Lissa and Christian (Rose wasn’t there to protect her–stupid filing) to use them to bait Rose. She does immediately come after them, but she comes with back-up. He almost kills her again, but she almost kills him. Lissa, with Christian’s help, stakes Dimitri with her stake (charmed with five elements instead of four). A blinding white light flashes and Dimitri is a dhampir again–one that is crying in Lissa’s lap. All of them are hauled off to Court.

Dimitri is locked up because people are unsure of his species status (Strigoi or dhampir). It takes a lot of work to even let him stay in guest housing with some guardians on him at all times. To Rose’s dismay, Dimitri is very harsh and clear about not wanting to be near Rose. It hurts her. She gets some sympathy from her boyfriend, Adrian. He gives her an ultimatum: really put effort into their relationship, or they’re through. She agrees. She almost has sex with him, but ruins the moment by remembering condoms. She doesn’t need condoms with dhampirs, but she does need them with Moroi. This was kind of funny. When she let Adrian drink from her while sexually aroused, I was pretty sure she was doing it for the wrong reasons. She finally confronts Dimitri about his avoiding her.

Next thing we know, the queen is dead. Can you guess who the number one suspect is? Rose Hathaway. She had been arguing with the queen and showing her dislike for what the queen was doing. One of the main things she disliked was the new age law for dhampirs. Rose had said that Tatiana wouldn’t like the consequences of threatening Rose, which was taken to mean that murder was on the table (by the guardians after the assassination). There’s also the fact that Rose’s stake was in Queen Tatiana’s chest (characteristic geometric etching at the base). There was more circumstantial evidence than other evidence. She also lets her father be her defense lawyer. She has to go make one of those speeches that says: if I did that, I would have done it differently. That definitely didn’t help her case. If I was in her position, though, I probably would have done the same thing, even though I know that would have been stupid. The result of the hearing reminds me of My Cousin Vinny. It was when Vinny was explaining how there would have never been a different result of the hearing. “There is no way this is not going to trial!”

I was absorbed into the book. The chapters involving Dimitri, when he was a Strigoi, were ones I had to re-read a few times, because they were so horrific and surprising. It’s one of those things you can’t get out of your head. Please read this if you have already gotten interested in the series. You may feel free to read this if you haven’t gotten into the series, but you won’t have the benefit of having a prologue in this book to help catch you up.

Genres: Young Adult, Adventure, Romance, Fantasy

Stars (out of 5): *****


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