Rose escapes from jail with the help of her friends, because if she didn’t, she would probably have been murdered for “killing” Queen Tatiana. Rose, Dimitri and Sydney go off to find Lissa’s half-sibling, while Lissa, Christian and Adrian try to find Tatiana’s murderer. The Dashkov brothers are being annoying for a while, but Rose murders Victor and is very sad about it until she and Dimitri get back together and it’s all wonderful. Oh, and the big reveals? Turns out that Jill is actually Lissa’s sibling, and Tasha is actually Tatiana’s murderer! The book ends with Lissa being crowned Queen. This is the book in a nutshell. It’s too damn long to explain “in short”. Sorry.
What went down
- The book starts with Rose in her prison cell being bored as hell. She’s in there because they suspect she killed Queen Tatiana. When Rose spies on Lissa, she sees that statues outside the church blow up during Queen Tatiana’s funeral and there is chaos everywhere.
- Because of the chaos, Mikhail (the guard who loves Rose crazy-ass teacher), Eddie, Adrian, Abe and Dimitri are able to break Rose out of jail. Turns out they set up the statues blowing up and Lissa knew about it too.
- Dimitri, who the other guards still don’t trust, and Rose escape in a car and drive for a long time to meet Sydney, who apparently also helped Rose escape. Everyone loves Rose, it is known.
- Dimitri, Sydney and Rose travel to West Virginia, where Dimitri and Sydney decided to stay hidden until their friends are able to clear Rose’s name. Rose, of course, does not want to sit still and insists to help their friends. She tries to escape and fails, because Dimitri knows her so well, because they are OTP.
- Rose tells Dimitri and Sydney what she learned just before she got thrown into jail: that Lissa has a half-sibling that could make sure she got a voice in court.
- They go to the Keepers to stay safe for a while. The Keepers are a mix of humans, dhampirs and Moroi. Some guy proposes to Rose, and it’s all fun, but weird. These people are basically a bunch of hippies.
- Then they find out that the only person who can help them find Lissa’s sibling is Rose crazy-ass teacher, Sonya Karp. But oh wait, Sonya Karp is a Strigoi. Well then.
- More fun things: the Dashkov brothers (Victor, who once tried to murder Lissa and is a prat, and Robert, who is basically insane) want to know what Rose is up to. For some reason, Rose thinks it’s a good idea to get them involved in their plans, and they all meet up at Sonya Karp’s house.
- Robert Dashkov changes Sonya Karp back to a Moroi! Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Sonya is kind of in shock, because duh. But then she leads them to Lissa’s half-sibling’s house, who is…
- …drum roll please…
- …Jill Manstrano! Jill, who is Rose and Christian’s friend mostly, is a Moroi who is interested in fighting Strigoi. Oh, and she’s also kind of the Eric Dragomir’s secret love child.
- Jill’s annoying parents call the royal guards, who turn up to capture Rose and Dimitri, because well, they’re obviously criminals. Victor and Robert decide to kidnap Jill for funsies, and Rose and Dimitri run. Sonya and Sydney are captured by the guards.
- In a dream, Sonya is able to locate the Dashkov brothers, and she also tells Rose that her and Dimitri’s auras shine brighter than the sun when they’re around each other BECAUSE THEY’RE OTP DAMMIT. I’m not crying, I swear.
- Oh, things are happening at Court as well. Lissa, Christian and Adrian are looking for Tatiana’s murderer and discover that Adrian’s mother, Daniella, might have something to do with it. WHAT?
- Also, Lissa is running for Queen, despite the fact that she’s basically not allowed to. Whatever. It’s awesome anyway. She has to do some tests to prove that’s she’ll be right as queen, and she passes them all.
- Rose and Dimitri find the Dashkov brothers and fight them to get Jill back. Only Rose accidentally kills Victor. Oops?
- Rose kind of loses it afterwards, but then Dimitri comforts her and tells her he loves her and they have sex and all is right in the world again. Rose is technically still with Adrian but oh well, DETAILS.
- Rose, Dimitri, Sonya and Jill go to Court, because they need to get shit done, and Adrian sees Rose and Dimitri kiss and loses it. My heart hurts for him. Poor Adrian. Also, Mikhail and Sonya are the happiest ever because they’re finally reunited.
- Rose then hears from Sydney, still captured by the guards, who Tatiana’s real killer is. Turns out it was someone in the group of Moroi Tatiana was teaching to fight. Wait. Tatiana was actually doing a GOOD thing?
- At the Court, there is a dramatic entrance and Rose tells everyone about Jill, which means Lissa is able to become Queen. THEN she tells everyone who Tatiana’s killer is. Are you ready?
- …wait for it…
- Tasha Ozera! Christian’s aunt, who we all LOVED. What the hell?! Tasha hated Tatiana, and she framed Rose for the murder because she had a thing for Dimitri.
- Tasha doesn’t go quietly. She tries to murder everyone on her way out, also taking Mia hostage. Lissa tries to stop her, but Tasha tries to shoot her, but then Rose gets in front of Lissa and takes the bullet for her. Oh. My. God.
How did it end?
Thank goodness Richelle Mead doesn’t ruin the happily ever after, because they’re able to heal Rose. And then everything is good again: they get to be guardians again, and Rose is Lissa’s guardian and Dimitri is Christian’s, which is perfect because now these two couples can turn life into a giant double date! Rose and Dimitri are finally together!
But Rose and Lissa are apparently no longer bonded, because Rose almost died again but didn’t need Spirit to heal. It’s all a bit confusing, but oh well. Lissa is allowed to be queen. Adrian and Rose break things off, and poor Adrian! But no worries, Bloodlines will apparently bring him Sydney
The book ends with Lissa’s coronation. Rose and Dimitri are watching it together, even though Abe threatens him for a bit, and it’s all wonderful.
Dhampir: Half human, half vampire, Dhampirs usually train to protect Moroi from Strigoi. Also, Dhampirs can’t survive without Moroi, needing them for generation and everything.
Moroi: Vampires who are alive. Which means they can die and everything. They don’t die immediately in sunlight, but it’s no good for them either, which is why they live at night. Moroi do need blood, but they don’t kill for it. Instead, they have feeders, humans who are willing to feed them. Oh, and a Moroi’s bite is described as something like an orgasm, basically. Oh well. (Also, Moroi are ruled by a queen and have seven royal families.)
Strigoi: Vampires who are dead. Also known as EVIL. Moroi become Strigoi when they a) kill someone on purpose, or b) are fed Strigoi blood. (Correct me if I’m mistaken, but I think that was the second thing.) Strigoi can’t go out in the sunlight, and also, they don’t have magic. They ARE very strong, which is a problem sometimes.
Blood-whore: Dhampir women who, instead of becoming guardians, decide to live in a group and raise their children. The accusing term ‘blood-whore’ is used because some of these women are known to let Moroi bite them while having sex. Which is basically a no-go in Moroi land.
Alchemist: Humans working together with Moroi and Dhampirs to keep vampire a secret. Alchemists have a golden tattoo on their face that prevents them from ever talking to humans about vampires. Alchemists are very religious and very scared of vampires.