There are spoilers! Beware! This review was originally posted on acreads.blogspot.com!
It took me almost an entire year to bring myself to read Blood Promise... I know, I know. But after the events of Shadow Kiss, I knew that Rose was going to go on some big, giant quest that separated her from the world that she knows and, ugh... After Dimitri was turned into a Strigoi, I just couldn't handle the emotional stress of what was surely to come.
But, alas, I have finally finished Blood Promise and... eh... it was a 3/5 star-er for me. The synopsis that I included above is pretty adequate: Blood Promise picks up almost immediately after the events of Shadow Kiss (Dimitri and Rose finally well, you know..., a giant pack of Strigoi attack the Academy, Dimitri is turned, and Rose decides to go on a suicide mission to free Dimitri from the undead). Rose has been in Russia for some time (a few weeks to a month?), attempting to track down local Moroi and hopefully find her way to Dimitri to finish him off. Rose periodically checks in on Lissa via their connection and, other than some "dream visits" from Adrian, those are the only updates that we get about the gang still at St. Vladimir's. For the most part, Rose is on her own. After a series of events (omitted to limit the spoiler count), Rose finally finds herself with Dimitri, who gives her the choice between death or immortality as a Strigoi to rule along side with him as the leaders of a large clan.
In my opinion, Blood Promise functioned as a turning point for the entire series. The catastrophic Strigoi attack not only changes the Moroi/Dhampir view of their world but forces the main characters to, well, grow up. Each character realizes that they're not as safe as they thought they were and the strategic Strigoi attack hints that there is a much bigger and darker problem looming on the horizon (this last part is strictly me guessing). While a lot happens in Blood Promise to usher the plot line of the series forward, it also serves as a major character development book. The Rose that we knew from the first three books was immature in a lot of ways - stubborn, selfish, didn't fully think things through... But she emerges from Blood Promise as an older, wiser and much more mature young woman. How could she not? She gave up her entire world to hunt down the only guy she has ever had feelings for.
All of that being said, this book was just okay for me for a multitude of reasons. First, I simply didn't want the story to go in the direction that it needed to. The relationship between Dimitri and Rose was finally starting to get good, the craziness revolving around Lissa's spirit magic was finally under control... The dust had just settled... and then Shadow Kiss happened and everything was ripped away from me. I simply was not in the mood for an epic journey and that is basically what Rose embarks on. Secondly, the book is just so dang long. A lot happens and I'll give Richelle Mead that... but there were certain points of the story that felt stretched out and this made it difficult for me to retain my interest. Lastly, there is no freaking conclusion! I'm not going to go into too much detail... but I hoped that Blood Promise would wrap certain things up so that the characters could move on and move forward... but does that happen? Nope, not at all. Instead, I have to read another two books to figure out how everything ends!
Will I read Spirit Bound? Of course. I've already started *grumble grumble*. I just hope that I like this book better than Blood Promise. We'll see, I guess!