Rose and Lissa are like most teenage girls. They like boys, like to shop at the mall, and feel misunderstood. The only difference is that they are vampires. Lissa is a Moroi princess, a member of the vampire royalty, while Rose is a dhampir guardian who has sworn to protect Lissa even to death. Two years ago, they ran away from St. Vladimir's Academy, a private school for the Moroi and Dhampir races, for reasons that only Rose fully knows.
Now, the school's guardians have caught up with them and want to bring them back to the academy against their will. The halls of St. Vladimir's are filled with the same things they have always been: snotty Moroi, secrets, clan loyalties, and a deathly fear of the Striogoi: vampires who have become immortal and seek to destroy all of the royal family.
As a punishment for running away, Rose has to train every second that she is not in class. Her mentor is Dimitri, a stoic, handsome guardian whom she finds to be ever increasingly attractive. While Rose is training to become deadly to the Strigoi, Lissa is discovering how to be a royal without losing who she is inside. And why does someone keep planting dead animals in Lissa's path? Is someone out to get Lissa, and if they are, can Rose truly protect her friend?
This book was better than I expected. At first, I felt Rose was just an angst-ridden teenager just complaining about everything. But after awhile, the characters began to take on more depth. Rose and Lissa have a deep bond that goes beyond friendship. The scandals that takes place in the halls of St. Vlad's will keep vampire book lovers thoroughly entertained. There is some sexual content. Not too heavy, but vampires are sexual by nature, so this was expected. There are also levels of vampire sins so it was interesting to read about what this society found to be unspeakable. By the end of the book, you will be rooting for Rose.