Richelle Mead, The Vampire Academy and Bloodlines

The Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead have been a favourite of mine since I picked up Shadow Kiss from my local bookstore – completely at random – back in 2010. I was intrigued by the book, but it took me a few more years to start tracking down all the titles in the series. It was part of a voracious (and sadly, depression fuelled) readathon I was engaging in at the time – I also read through the Beautiful Creatures series and the entire Vampire Diaries lot around the same time, to name a few.

This series is also what prompted this new blog. I (started and) finished reading The Ruby Circle, #6 in the Bloodlines series today, presumably bringing the entire saga to an end. A five year long journey, more or less to the date.

Here’s a brief overview of the two series, which will be followed by a more detailed book by book review. I’ll try to stay as discreet as possible, but just in case, here’s a

SPOILER WARNING!!!

Series Name: Vampire Academy and Bloodlines

Author: Mead, Richelle

Publication Info: GIY

Genre: YA Fantasy

The Universe: The books follow a secret vampire underworld, wherein one finds three distinct races – the Moroi, the Strigoi and the Dhampirs. The Moroi are what are supposed to be the ‘good vampires’ – elemental magic users living in their own civilization complete with an elected monarchy and twelve noble families to choose the monarch from. Moroi are born naturally, and used to intermingle with humans once upon a time. The Strigoi are the ‘bad vampires’ – the stereotypical undead creatures of the night, bloodthirsty and incapable of emotion or sentiment. They have no access to magic, but unlike the Moroi, they’re immortal. Said immortality comes, of course, with superhuman strength, senses and reflexes. The Dhampirs originated as the offspring of Moroi and human pairings, but in modern times, the Moroi have retreated from human contact and keep to themselves.

Summary by List

Easy Access Reproduction Chart: [Yup, this stuff is kind of important]

  • Moroi + Moroi = Moroi
  • Moroi + Human = Dhampir
  • Moroi + Dhampir = Dhampir
  • Dhampir + Dhampir = No Offspring (Sterile Pairing)
  • Dhampir + Human = ?? (Never addressed in the books, as far as I can recall. I’m assuming the result is the same as a Dhampir – Dhampir pairing).

Types of Strigoi:

  1. The Forcibly Awakened – Applicable to humans, dhampirs and moroi. Where someone is completely drained by a Strigoi, and then in turn fed some of that Strigoi’s blood.
  2. The Voluntarily Awakened – Applicable only to Moroi, as humans and dhampirs aren’t capable of blood drinking – where a Moroi chooses to take the life of someone they’re feeding off by draining them completely.

 Primary Organizations and Groups:

  1. The Moroi Government:
    The Government consists of a council of royals headed by a monarch – King or Queen. The sitting members of the council are the eldest members of the twelve royal families, and the King or Queen is elected from one of these families by said Council. The moroi living all over the world submit to the laws of the Moroi government along with those of their respective nations.
  2. The Guardians:
    Dhampirs who train to fight Strigoi and protect Moroi from their menace.
  3. Dhampir Communities:
    Towns and settlements where dhampirs who aren’t interested in being guardians live. These communities are primarily made up of women and children, and generally have a bad reputation due to the Moroi men who tend to visit looking for easy sex. Women from these communities are often derogatorily referred to as ‘blood whores’ due to the willingness of some to allow the moroi to drink from them during sex, thus breaking one of the greatest taboos of vampire – dhampir society.
  4. The Strigoi:
    By nature solitary, the Strigoi on occasion form loose organizations, usually crime rings and attack forces. They have also been known to consort with humans who are willing to serve them in exchange for the promise of being turned. Their relationships are always based on primal dominance and physical strength.
  5. The Keepers:
    Since the majority of Moroi take great pains to hide their existence from humans, human-Moroi relationships have become taboo. The Keepers are a group of Moroi, dhampirs and humans who live far away from any semblence of civilization, and follow no such taboo. They refer to civilized Moroi as Tainted, and to Strigoi as the Lost.
  6. The Alchemists:
    An organization of humans who used to be – you guessed it – alchemists in the Middle Ages before they discovered vampires and magic. Deeply religious, they take it to be their holy duty to keep the existence of vampires – unnatural creatures of the night – secret from the rest of humanity.
  7. The Warriors of Light:
    An offshoot of the Alchemists who believe that all vampires should be destroyed. These guys pretty much give the Strigoi a run for their money.
  8. Witches:
    Female human magic users. It is unknown whether there are any male witches.

Magic: The Moroi have access to elemental magic, with each Moroi specializing in either fire, water, air or earth. A fifth – and much rarer – elemental magic called Spirit shows resurgence at the beginning of the series.

Main Characters: [Just a list to help me figure out who features on the main ‘Characters’ post that I’ll be doing.]

  1. Rose Hathaway
  2. Vasilisa Dragomir
  3. Dimitri Belikov
  4. Christian Ozera
  5. Adrian Ivashkov
  6. Sydney Sage
  7. Eddie Castile
  8. Sonya Karp
  9. Abe Mazur
  10. Jaclyn Terwilliger
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