Rose Hathaway has been framed for the murder of the Moroi Queen, Tatiana Ivashkov. She has damning evidence against her – the Queen was murdered with Rose’s own stake after Rose threatened her before the entire Moroi Royal Court. Set for trial and a definite execution, she relies on her father, the shady Abe Mazur, to get her out. He manages to buy more time for his investigation by enabling her to escape from jail, with the help of her friends, and her current and former boyfriends, Adrian Ivashkov and Dimitri Belikov, the Dhampir who was forced to turn into a Strigoi and then returned to his Dhampir form by Lissa, a Spirit user and Rose’s best friend. Dimitri runs away with her, because he is the one already under suspicion, and clears her other friends. They meet up with Sydney Sage, a friend of Rose who is an Alchemist, people working to keep the supernatural world secret. They go to a remote location to hide while Abe clears Rose’s name, but she isn’t content to just sit and wait. She tells them the letter she received – a letter by Tatiana herself, telling Rose that Lissa has an illegitimate family member somewhere. This crucial information means that Lissa can run in the election for the next Queen, which wouldn’t have been possible without other family members.
When Adrian visits Rose during a Spirit dream, she tells him that they should nominate Lissa as a candidate, certain that the shock in their world will slow down the hunt for herself. She is right, the people are furious. They feel that she is only eighteen, linked to the previous’ Queen killer and her Spirit magic makes her unstable. Lissa starts doing the tests, and she does them remarkably well, gaining support as she goes further. For her, it is a promise to keep her family’s name high where it belongs, and a matter of pride, but to the Moroi she is a valid and loved candidate.
When Rose causes a scene at the motel she is hiding with Dimitri and Sydney, they are forced to leave their location. They head to a secret community, the Keepers that is composed of humans, Moroi and Dhampirs who are very primitive. There Rose gets another follower and has to make it clear she isn’t interested. While there, they realize that the only person who might know of Lissa’s illegitimate family member is Sonya Karp, Rose and Lissa’s old teacher who turned into a Strigoi to get away from her Spirit induced insanity. Dimitri uses his old connections to find out where she is living, and they go to find her. They are soon joined by Victor Dashkov and his half-brother Robert Doru, a crazy Spirit user. They turn Sonya back into a Moroi, and she is able to help them track down Lissa’s family.
Rose is shocked when it turns out that Jill Mastrano, a younger Moroi and one of her friends is Lissa’s half-sister. Jill agrees to head to court and openly admit it, but she is kidnapped by Victor and Robert, and the Guardians storm the Mastrano’s house after Victor tipped them off.
They hunt Victor, Robert and Jill down, and Rose kills Victor. She is terrified that she is going crazy from her bond with Lissa, and it takes a while to calm her down. She and Dimitri sleep together afterwards and head to court to take Jill in. Adrian realizes that Rose cheated on him and things are very awkward, but he is still kind towards Jill.
Rose, Dimitri and Lissa enters Court, where Lissa is one of two candidates left for the Monarchy. She declares Lissa has a sister, meaning she can be Queen if she gets voted in. Rose reveals herself, and tells the Court the evidence clearing her name – how Tasha Ozera framed her after killing the Queen, how Tasha hated the Queen and Rose as well, because Dimitri had only ever loved Rose and not her. Tasha is furious and denies it, but it is obvious that she is guilty. She tries to shoot Lissa, but Rose does one last heroic deed and just in front of her best friend, and getting critically injured.
Days later, Rose wakes up and discovers that 1) she’s alive 2) Lissa is Queen and 3) when she was shot and her body repaired itself, the bond she had with Lissa disappeared. She is reunited with the love of her life Dimitri, and her best friend is not only safe, but the ruler of their world.
I enjoyed the last book in the series, even though it felt like I had to run a marathon to get through it. Last Sacrifice manages to tie up loose ends, finish off the appropriate people stories and leaves a few things untouched that gets picked up in the sister series, Bloodlines.
Once again, Rose is her single minded self. It is unfair to claim she is selfish, because she offers up so much of her time to protect her closest friend. She can rather be perceived as someone who only cares what happens to the people she loves the most – Lissa and Dimitri. I felt very sorry for Adrian at the end. He is already fragile of mind and then instead of dumping him when she knows it won’t work, she strings him along with false promises and then cheats of him. Not very nice.
Lissa was much more enjoyable in the last book. She finally found pride and a little backbone, which is a huge improvement from the fragile thing we met in Vampire Academy.
The series Vampire Academy is in my opinion something worth reading if you like YA fiction. It is better than most material out there, original and exciting.
Have you read the series? What did you think?