The story seems to be predominantly about two characters, Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir who share an unusual bond. Rose is a Dhampir, which is the child of a vampire (moroi in the book) and a human and in the book Dhampir’s are often the guardians of moroi. Lissa is a moroi and not only that but moroi ‘royalty’. The ‘bad guys’ in the book are the Strigoi who are ‘undead’ vampires, whereas the moroi are born vampires.
Yes, there is some teenage romance/angst in the book, but on the whole, the story is more involved than that and I found it quite enjoyable. Lissa is not your normal ‘run of the mill’ moroi and Rose is not your normal ‘run of the mill’ dhampir and their bond is one that isn’t often seen in their culture. They are at the Vampire Academy to study and learn. For Rose its how to be a guardian and for Lissa, its about how to be a moroi and all that it entails. The fact that Lissa is ‘unusual’ is obviously a problem as there are those that will want to abuse her gift and that is just what happens in this book and I’m sure will continue to happen throughout the series of books.
The characters are interesting and not too ‘flaky’ and there is enough intrigue in it to keep me interested. There are a lot of moral/ethical issues which come up in the book as well and I think that is good and fits in with the story well. I must confess, that I didn’t find it that well written in some ways but the story line intrigued me enough to read it anyway and as I have the other books in the series, I will continue to read them.
Without giving away too much of the story, I was fascinated by the similarity of certain aspects of the story to existing mythological/religious stories and even to things within the ‘real vampyre community’. The teen brigade will definitely enjoy it and if adults want some light vampire reading that isn’t just plain teen romance, they will probably enjoy it too.