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Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, Book 4)

Blood Promise - Richelle Mead Read this review at Smash Attack Reads! http://www.smashattackreads.com/2012/01/blood-promise-promised-heartache.htmlSmashtastic Entertainment Quickie: Painfully incredible.Interest in the book: I read the first 3 books with lightning speed, but didn’t pick up book 4 for months. How the hell I did that with the events at the end of book 3 are beyond me, but alas, too many damn books, as usual. I rectified the situation, which is all that matters. :)World-building: I think the world-building is the reason this book is my favorite in the series, thus far. Rose travels outside the confines of school, far, far away to Russia. Rose is introduced to Alchemists and she meets (and falls in love with) Dimitri’s family. Rose interacts with rogue dhampirs (whose who don’t wish to become guardians but still fight strigoi) on her quest, of which I will not spoil for you. Rose also meets people that provide her with information on Spirit and being Shadow-Kissed that she and Lissa have long been searching for. We get an in-depth view to strigoi hierarchy and learn a secret that may forever change this world. The best world-building of the series, me thinks!Characters: Another reason I loved the book so much was the break from Lissa. Yes, she is still part of the story because of her bond with Rose, however, Rose was away from St. Vladimir’s for much of the book, and thus, a break from so much Lissa. I do see some growth in Lissa, however. She has irked me from the beginning, but has always held her head high. I admire that about her.Rose goes a bit off the deep end in this installment. It’s quite understandable given the circumstances. She is bound and determined to see her quest through, however. Dimitri is just heartbreaking. It’s hard to handle him in his current state, yet I never gave up hope on these two, and I continue to hang on to it fiercely.Adrian also stands out in this novel. We start to see some maturity and selfless actions, and it really made me start to adore this guy! I agree with Kelly, who stated that his growth “made him more of a person and less of a two-dimensional party-boy.”Christian is and always will be a favorite of mine. His snark warms my heart. *swoon* He and Lissa experience some serious drama in this book, but I think they need this break from one another. I have no doubt they will be lovey dovey again by the end of the series.Lasting Impressions: This book is a standout in the series. Rose endures a harsh journey, full of heartache and physical danger. The Rose that leaves St. Vladimir Academy is not the same Rose that returns. Her traumatic experiences have ensured that she walk the road of adulthood from this point forward.