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Gripping saga

A Vampire Academy: Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead.   | Photo Credit: scanned in chennai

Shadow Kiss ,the third book in Richelle Mead's A Vampire Academy saga, pursues and encompasses Rosemarie Hathway's battle between life and love. It deepens Rose's maturation as a friend, guardian and person.

Deep connection

In this world, the Moroi are the mortal vampires who specialise in one of the four elements — earth, water, fire or air. The Strigoi, their counterparts, are immortal and evil. Rose, the protagonist, is a 17-year-old Dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) who is training at St. Vladmir's Academy to become her best friend, Lissa Dragomir's guardian. Lissa, a Moroi princess with the power to heal, had unknowingly brought back Rose from the dead which developed a deeper and psychic bond between them and caused them to be ‘shadow-kissed', thereby allowing Rose to continually sense Lissa's actions, slide into her head and have a connection with the land of the dead or more simply sense when a Strigoi is near.

The plot of the book begins with the field experience wherein the Dhampirs undergo a six week training period after which they will be eligible to officially guard the Moroi in the real world. Understandably, Rose is expected to be Lissa's guardian outside, but a twist lands Rose with Christian, Lissa's boyfriend and Eddie, a novice guardian is assigned to Lissa.

After the tragic death of Mason, a close friend, during the Strigoi attacks at Spokane, Rose begins to have alleged hallucinations as she blamed herself for his death. She begins to ‘sight' Mason's ghost at crucial moments leading to many tricky situations. Initially, Rose is confused at the sightings but soon learns that Mason is trying to communicate something. Later, Rose learns that these appearances are because the Academy's protection against the Strigoi is weak in spite of regular reinforcements.

Relationships

The book however mainly concentrates on the relationship between Rose and her mentor Dimitri. Rose is aware of the fact that protecting the Moroi always comes first and that a relationship with Dimitri is out of bounds. Yet, her feelings towards Dimitri are on a high. Their love is intense though they try their best denying it.

It soon reaches a point where they finally confess their feelings for each other. There also instances where Rose has a slight inkling of how she could never do the things Lissa did. She would always have to be a guardian and serve in the shadows. But she soon realises that this is what she was made to do and her feelings towards Lissa overshadow these thoughts. The ending is what made the book worth a read and so I would not like to disclose the surprise element. Completely unexpected, the last hundred pages proved to be an exciting, gripping read that keeps you wanting more.

Title: A Vampire Academy – Shadow Kiss

Author: Richelle Mead

Publisher: Penguin

Price: £6.99

ANJALI ADLAKHA, XII, Sacred Heart Matriculation Higher Secondary School


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Printable version | Nov 22, 2021 8:33:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/Gripping-saga/article16364693.ece

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