“Blood Promise” by Richelle Mead

Books are getting low. So yes, I will be reviewing ENTIRE series. I’m sorry.

When I started this series it was fun, standard typical vampire YA. Interesting ideas, relatively interesting characters, decent writing, interesting plot.

…But then, the ick happened.

Grooming. Statutory Rape. Under-age Sex. Teacher – Student relations. Pick your terminology.

If they had kept it a harmless crush, or dancing around a bit, fine. But the moment Rose entered an actual sexual relationship with Dimitri it got a little too ick for me. When she was put under his care she was about 16? He is 7 years her senior. They trained together, and when she was closer to 17, they started sleeping together. It is wrong on many levels. Too many stories are coming out about men using their power (managers, bossed, mentors, etc) to manipulate and assault the younger people coming into that industry. It’s sexual assault no matter how you frame it but this book romanticizes it.

At the end of the last book …


Dimitri was turned into a Strigoi – which is a type of vampire that feeds on other vampires. Basically, what people like rose and Dimitri are trained to hunt to the keep the Moroi (true Vampires) safe. Dhampirs and Moroi can willingly turn into Strigoi, or they can be forced into it. The ones that are turned forcefully usually let it know amongst their other Guardians that they want to be executed if it ever happened to them. That is the case with this book. Dimitri let it be known to Rose that he would rather be dead.

And thus, this book starts with Rose completely bailing out of school and abandoning Lisa to look for Dimitri to kill him. I have so many issues with this book, I feel like such a jack-ass since I relatively enjoy these books. I’ll just point form the things that made me mad before I prattle on about the actual plot.

  1. Rose doesn’t know where Dimitri is, she is acting on a hunch that sends her to RUSSIA. She also refuses to tell anyone where she is so they can’t find her and stop her.

2. She left right before her graduating, ending her potential career as a Guardian. Unless she pretends to be human and joins their world, her options are basically Mercenary or Prostitute.

3. She abandoned Lissa. The girl she has known most of her life, who literally raised her from the dead and bonded the two of them together. The girl she had originally ran from the school with to protect.

4. She’s 17 turning 18. She’s a child.

5. She went without a plan, just a general idea, to the other end of the world. To kill a guy that was already stronger than her, and now has Strigoi strength.

6. She met Dimitri’s family and they thought their relationship was wonderful and they introduced her to another Shadow-Kissed couple that are married and years apart. Romanticizing this type of relationship is damaging to younger audiences. When the hot 20-something starts hitting on them they think it’s true love and books like this make it seem okay. Yes, my husband and I are 6 years apart, but I met him when I was 27! We make jokes about the age gap when we were younger and if I hadn’t been in my late 20s, it would have been gross.

Rose gets attacked by some Strigoi and because of her ramblings when she was unconscious, she was brought to Dimitri’s family. From there she is introduced to his mother and sisters, as well as his Grandmother, and a strange non-royal Moroi named Abe.

The story gets more into the Shadow-Kissed and spirit user thing, but every decision Rose made was just bad and really just highlighted that she’s a snotty brat who is always used to getting her way.

I do enjoy the series, and I won’t let this book turn me sour for the rest of them. But if you are reading this book, just be aware that it’s not aging well.

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