Book Series Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Hello, Hello!! Today is a new day on Read By Tiffany because I’m writing my first ever series review. ❤️ The Vampire Academy series was one of the first books that got me into reading, and I adore the characters, the plot, and the writing with all my heart!

I wouldn’t say that this is an A++ perfect series without fault because there is some problematic content (such as the main romantic relationship being student-teacher), but this series was integral in developing my love for books. ✨ More importantly, it sets the stage for the Bloodlines sequel books which is arguably my favorite series of all-time(!!)


PUBLISHED BY Razorbill (Penguin Random House) from Aug 16th 2007 to Dec 7th 2010

GENRE: Fantasy


Book One Summary

Only a true best friend can protect you from your immortal enemies . . .

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . . .

Content/Trigger Warnings: Student-Teacher Relationship, On-page Death, Murder, Dead Parents, Sex, Betrayal, Depression, Alcoholism, Bullying, Murdered Animals, Cutting, Addiction

The Vampire Academy series is set in a world where there are both good vampires and bad vampires. 🌙 The good vampires, or Moroi, are mortal and can harness elemental magic AKA fire, earth, water, and air. The bad vampires, or Strigoi, are immortal violent beings who live off of Moroi and human blood. 

Rosemary Hathaway, our main protagonist, is a dhampir, or half-human, half-vampire. Like most dhampirs, she has dedicated her life to becoming a guardian, training to protect her best friend, Princess Lissa Dragomir, the last of her royal line.  

Two years before, Lissa’s family and Rose were in a fatal car accident that left Lissa’s parents and brother dead. While Rose also technically died, Lissa brought her friend back from the dead, discovering that Lissa specializes in previously unknown element–Spirit. Rose and Lissa become bonded through Spirit bond, allowing Rose to see Lissa’s thoughts and understand her feelings. 

Throughout the series, we follow their journey in discovering the power of this new elemental magic while also navigating the troubles of high school at St. Vladimir’s Academy, falling in love with bad boys and unattainable men, surviving deadly political discourse, and kicking Strigoi vampire butt. 

“The greatest and most powerful revolutions often start very quietly, hidden in the shadows. Remember that.”

Richelle Mead’s writing is honestly one of my favorites. ✏️ It’s so easy to read and hilarious, yet her characters are incredibly complex. I love how she crafted such an intriguing paranormal world intertwined with our own. She does a great job of foreshadowing events in future books without giving too much away, and there’s truly never a dull moment in her stories!

My only dislike of her writing is that she recaps the plot from the previous books in the next one so when you’re marathoning through the entire series, it feels a little repetitive. However, during the publication timeline when it takes a year for each book to be released, I can completely understand why the recaps remain included. 

Now, her characters…I LOVE THEM ALL(!!) Rose Hathaway is my fierce female role model. ❤️ She starts off the series as a little *too* headstrong, but over time, we see her mature and grow into her responsible guardian role. She has such a passion to protect Lissa and her friends, and she becomes such a talented warrior and a true force to be reckoned with. 

“If your eyes weren’t open, you wouldn’t know the difference between dreaming and waking.”

Lissa is Rose’s complement in every way: a regal princess, a light in the darkness, and a compassionate heart. Lissa also undergoes a transformative journey as she overcomes her traumatic past, gains confidence in herself and her powers, and learns how to use her position of privilege to advocate for others. 

Similarly, the male characters are also incredibly complex, lovable, and dedicated. We have Dimitri Belikov, our Russian god-like dhampir, who learns to open his heart to those around him. Adrian Ivashkov, my FAVORITE brooding bad boy artist, who gains confidence in his self-worth. Christian Ozera, who overcomes others’ prejudice against him for his parents’ actions.

“You are so beautiful, it hurts sometimes.”

As much as the series focuses on romance, a main theme of the books is the friendship between Rose and Lissa. They learn to overcome the toughest of circumstances together, trusting in each other’s actions and drawing on each other’s strengths. Throughout the series, we challenge the stereotypical girl-on-girl hate and drama and see how it evolves into greater friendships and understanding. 

Parts of this series definitely is the trashy romantic vampire romance novel that you think it is, but it’s also incredibly complex and explores so many serious topics from addiction and mental health to political situations that mimic real life. All of these issues are shown in such a humanized way because we see how it impacts the character’s daily lives and decisions. 

The main reason why I love this series so much is because it sets the stage for the sequel series: Bloodlines, which stars my favorite character ever, Sydney Sage, and is arguably one of my favorite series of all-time. We develop on the conflicts and world set up in the Vampire Academy series, and it just gets 10x more exciting and fun.

“Bound by Love, But sworn to Kill…”

I’m glad that this series was given the chance to become a movie, but truthfully, I wish they took a more serious approach rather than the Mean Girls meets Twilight perspective. Even though we’re way past the vampire-phase in the book community, I hope you still give this series (or at least the Bloodlines series) a chance because I’d love to hear all your thoughts!

Have you read the Vampire Academy series?

What were your thoughts?

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26 thoughts on “Book Series Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

  1. Vampire Academy is one of my FAVORITE series so I loved this post. Everything about it just sucked me in from the very beginning and I complexly agree with Bloodlines being amazing as well. Adrian is my true baby but I love Rose as well. Ugggh you have such great taste


    1. Ahh I’m so glad!! I loved this series so much, and Bloodlines is probably my most favorite. 💖 You have great taste too 😉


  2. I’ve partially read Vampire Academy series. I’ve only read like the first two if I remember correctly, but been meaning to read the rest. I’m not a huge fan of them, but I’m really wanting to get into the Bloodlines series.


    1. Ooo I still really enjoyed the rest of the VA books, but Bloodlines is definitely my favorite. I really hope you can pick it up sometime!! 💖 I know that the VA books in general are very dependent on the people. For example, I love it but Alexandra (TwirlingPages) doesn’t like it 🙈


      1. I read the first few books, but honestly I still haven’t too much appeal to it. It’s probably a book I should have read when I went though my vampire stage in middle school.


    1. Ooo okay if you’re looking to get into vampire books, this is a super popular one! Let me know if you pick it up 💖


    1. Ahhh you totally should!! I just finished rereading both series, and AGHHH I love the characters and plot so much! I wish Richelle Mead could continue the universe ❤️


  3. This is a fantastic review, Tiffany! I’ve only read the first book of VA and Bloodlines series (I know) and I did enjoyed them, but I never continued them. I don’t even know why. Sounds like the perfect time to continue as the writing is very easy to read and the books gave some cozy feelings for some reason haha.


    1. Aww thank you, Tasya!! The books definitely are such a comfort read for me. Whenever I’m in a slump or feeling down, these are usually the first books I turn to ❤️ If you pick it up again, please let me know your thoughts~


  4. I’ve only read the first three books of the series (ended up getting spoiled for the ending by my friend haha) but it was so much fun! I really wish they could have done a series approach to the books because it would have been so much fun.


    1. OH NO!! I’m so sorry that you were spoiled!! I agree. I would’ve loved to see it continue as a series. Hopefully, she’ll continue the universe 💖


  5. Okay but yes Vampire Academy was also one of the series that really got me into reading and it’s so great to see people talk about it! Yeah the movie wasn’t great but I love Zoey Deutch? And you’re so right about the discussion of issues and complex characters, like yes it is a trashy vampire romance at times but elsewhere it’s quite serious and that’s what I love about it.


    1. Ahh I know!! I really liked Zoey and thought she made it super fun. I wish Richelle Mead could write more books about this world ❤️


  6. I loved this series SO much and I’ve definitely reread it a decent amount of times and still love going back to it. Totally agree with you about the movie, I’m still sad that it flopped because I would have loved to see more. Also… I never read the follow-up series about Sydney… do I need to??? Awesome series review! Loved reading your thoughts on one of my fav series.


    1. OMG PLEASE READ BLOODLINES!! I love it so much more than VA (well I love both a ton but I relate to Sydney a lot more as a main character, and I personally think Adrian is so much more funny and swoony than Dimitri 🙈)


  7. Aaaaah Tiffany I DIDN’T KNOW YOU LOVED TVA AND BLOODLINES OMG!!! I loved TVA back in the day but I agree that Bloodlines is my favourite out of the two. I do wish we got to see more of Lissa and Christian in the books though, and confession time I really did not like Rose x Dimitri being a thing until the last book where I was like well you may as well get together now xD (I wanted Rose to date Mase but well…we don’t talk about what happened to Mase since I nearly didn’t finish reading the series because of that, even now it hurts *sniffs*)

    I remember seeing the move for TVA and I liked it, it’s an enjoyable film but I feel like it may have worked a lot better as a TV series to allow for more character development…although I’d rather see Bloodlines as a TV series than TVA hehe. Adrian is just *swoons*


    1. CLO THIS IS LIKE TOP 3 FAVORITE SERIES!! OOF MASON NOOOOOO I think I was always Team Dimitri out of all the guys Rose liked, but Mason was so so sweet!!

      I really really really need Richelle Mead to publish another series based in this world because I need more updates on these characters 😭💖


  8. I LOVED the Vampire Academy! I started with the movie and then went to the first book – that was given to me for a birthday. Unfortunately, it was given to me in Portuguese, and the publisher here had decided to stop translating the series, so I had to get to them in English. I even accidentally (or not so accidentally) spoiled myself because I missed it so much, and even so, I read them and I was so, so happy. I meant to get to the Bloodlines series right after, but that didn’t happen XD I’ll have to fix that! Great review, Tiffany! 😀


    1. Ahhh I’m so so glad that you like this series too!! and OH NO i’m sorry that you were spoiled for it too 😭 I honestly really love this series and the Bloodlines series so so much ❤️


      1. Don’t be sorry, I totally spoiled myself on purpose! XD I just wanted to get *more* of it!! When I do read the Bloodlines series, I’ll get back to you 😀


  9. Vampire Academy has had such a big impact on my life as well! It brought me back in the reading game and it’s the reason why I am such a big reader today, therefore it’s the reason I started to share reviews and to blog. I really want to re-read them soon 😀


    1. Aww I’m so glad that you love it so much too!! You definitely should reread it again. I had so much fun seeing all the amazing characters!! I love them SO MUCH 😍


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