What a range of emotions this book put me through!
This book again has a more New Adult feel than a younger YA feel.
If you haven't read the first two books in this series (Vampire Academy and Frostbite) don't read the rest of this review until you have because of minor spoilers...
In Shadow Kiss we see Rose getting ready to go through the Field Experience of St Vladimir's Academy, where Guardian's in training become Guardians for 6 weeks to give them experience for how the job is. Rose thinks she'll be paired with Lissa, her best friend and thought to be real charge but she gets paired with someone unexpected. She fights this to begin with, like the Rose Hathaway from the previous books would but she comes to accept her role as someone else's guardian instead.
The main characters go to the Moroi court to vouch that the lead villain from the first book, Victor Dashkov should go to jail for hurting Lissa and turning his daughter Strigoi. There at the court Rose and Lissa see a fortune teller like person. She tells Dimitri, who comes in looking for Rose and Lissa that he'll lose what's most important to him. Also here Rose experiences visions and pain like never before. It's revealed why in the book.
One night (night and day are reversed at St Vladimir's as Moroi can't be out in the sun), there is a Strigoi invasion. This happens just after Rose and Dimitri (Rose's forbidden love) are together. I thought the juxtapositioning of emotions was true to how Rose or indeed anyone in this sort of situation would act. From one moment being completely blissed out, in love to being worried and scared for everyone you care about. I thought the author wrote those scenes well. Some of the Moroi and other Guardians are captured at this point. Rose uses her shadow kissed visions to see where the Strigoi are. Rose, Dimitri, Rose's mother, other teachers, and other Guardian's go to find what's happened to their friends and colleagues.
When they get to the Strigoi hide out (Strigoi can't be in sunlight either) they go in. They face battles and fights and they do rescue some of their friends. Rose loses something that's very important to her though...she makes the decision to leave St Vladimir's against everyone's wishes to find what she's lost...what will she do if/when she finds it though?
I thought this book had lots of elements to it. More so than I've read in a long time. While I enjoyed them I thought that the story could have perhaps been more focused on one or two of the main elements leaving the overall book less scattered. I laughed in this book again though, and I experienced all of the dramatic and surprising turns this book had. I gave this book a 4.5/4.75 stars because of the scattered feeling I got. Otherwise it would have been a 5 star read.
I look forward to reading Blood Promise next...