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|“||If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her. I'll throw myself in front of you.||”|
St. Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school – it's a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi vampire princess. They've been on the run, but now they're being dragged back to St. Vladimir's – the very place where they're most in danger.
Guardian-in-training, Rosemarie "Rose" Hathaway, and royal-Moroi-princess, Vasilisa "Lissa" Dragomir, are forced back to their school, St. Vladimir's Academy, after running away two years ago. Upon their return, Guardian Dimitri Belikov, the leader of the guardians sent to track them down, is assigned to be Lissa's guardian. He offers to mentor Rose in extra classes, as he feels that she has potential and by working hard she can make up for the years she has lost. He also believes that Rose can be the ideal guardian for Lissa due to a rare, one-sided bond to Lissa which allows her to tap into the latter's emotions, thoughts and most importantly, her whereabouts. Rose agrees, conceding to the reality that this is the only way she will even have a chance to be appointed, on graduation, as Lissa's guardian.
Though they quickly fall into Academy life, they discover that Lissa has lost her social place among the elite Moroi, a consequence of Rose and Lissa running away. They decide to keep company with Lissa's "cousin," Natalie Dashkov, who is the daughter of the frail and dying Victor Dashkov. On the very first day back, they find that another Moroi student, Mia Rinaldi, is dating Lissa's ex-boyfriend, Aaron, and that she holds a grudge against Lissa. By default, she also dislikes Rose. Mia uses every opportunity to taunt Lissa, and is in turn insulted and threatened by Rose.
Lissa befriends Christian Ozera, a well-known Moroi who is negatively thought of due to his parents Lucas and Moira's reputation of becoming Strigoi willingly; this sparks worry from Rose who believes he is heading down the same path. It is also implied that Rose is jealous due to Lissa's interest in him, but Rose in turn starts falling for Dimitri. Things proceed to get worse after Lissa finds dead animals in her room and threatening letters written in blood. As a result, Lissa becomes depressed and engages in self-harm. It is also revealed that although Lissa still hasn't specialised in any of the four elements, she has a remarkable ability to heal, previously witnessed by Rose and Sonya Karp. They find out that Lissa has affinity for spirit, a rare element with negative side effects after use. This incident, coupled with her increasing depression, was what had caused Rose to run away with Lissa.
After Mia convinces Jesse and Ralf to spread the rumour that Rose slept with both of them and let them take her blood, Rose is regarded with a sense of horror. As revenge, Lissa uses compulsion to work her way back into her old group of friends, convincing them not to talk to Mia anymore. She eventually succeeds in winning Aaron back. Lissa also uses compulsion to convince people that Jesse and Ralf are lying. Rose later discovers from her friend, Mason, that Mia is from a very low class family and uses it against her.
During Sunday service, Rose hears that the saint, St. Vladimir, could heal people like Lissa and suffered from some form of depression. He was protected by his loyal guardian, the "shadow-kissed" Anna with whom he shared a bond. On returning from a shopping trip with Lissa, Natalie and Victor, Rose has an accident; when she wakes up, she is stunned to see that has made a miraculous recovery but quickly deduces that Lissa used spirit to heal her. She reaches into her bond and discovers that Lissa is lying in the attic of the church, bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. Her reporting Lissa's dangerous behaviour causes a fracture in their friendship. Lissa stops talking to Rose, believing she betrayed her, and so Rose loses all popularity she had gained.
Somehow discovering Lissa's depression, Mia tells everybody; this causes Rose to punch her and break her nose. Detained by teachers and guardians, Rose is unable to follow Lissa as she runs away in dismay. She reaches through the bond while confined to her room and finds that Christian is with her. He's knocked unconscious and Lissa is kidnapped by several guardians. Rose goes to tell Dimitri, but instead forgets upon seeing him and they end up almost making love. Dimitri takes a necklace from her: the one she received as a present from Victor. Rose suddenly remembers that Lissa is in danger when he throws it out the window. It is discovered that Victor infused it with a lust charm, causing them to act on their existing attraction.
Through the bond, Rose is able to lead a rescue party to Lissa's aid. She's forced to stay in the car whilst they go to storm the cabin. Rose sees Victor admit to Lissa that Natalie, acting upon his instruction, put the animals in her room and he intends to use her to heal him, as he is on the brink of death. He tells her that the bond she shares with Rose is because Rose died, but Lissa brought her back.
Rose discovers that Christian has stowed away in the car in an attempt to rescue Lissa himself. They run towards the cabin as Lissa compels a guard to stay silent as she escapes. Rose and Christian are confronted by psi-hounds and Christian's mauled to the brink of death. Lissa, unable to find the strength to heal him, is forced to drink Rose's blood and then is able to save him, upon doing so, realising she loves him.
Later, when Rose visits a locked up Victor, he confesses all about the lust charm and tells her that Dimitri lied when he said he felt nothing for her. Rose is confronted by Natalie, now Strigoi, who turned Strigoi in order to save Victor from his cell. Dimitri arrives and stakes her.
As Christian and Lissa begin dating and Mia regains her social status, Rose confronts Dimitri, demanding to know why he lied about his feelings. He tells her that he does love her but they can't be together, both because of the age difference and the fact that they will both be Lissa's guardians one day and must devote their attention to her; or else he would save Rose before her.
The book has been translated into Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
- Brazil: Academia de Vampiros: O beijo das sombras (Engl. Vampire Academy: The Kiss of Shadows) – publ.: 2009
- Bulgaria: Академия за вампири (Engl. Vampire Academy) – publ.: November 20, 2009
- Croatia: Vampirska akademija: Sestre po krvi – publ.: November 2010
- Czech Republic: Vampýrská akademie – publ.: 2009
- Denmark: Vampyr-akademiet: Frygtens Skole – publ.: June 10, 2010
- Estonia: Vampiiride Akadeemia – publ.: September 8, 2010
- France: Sœurs de Sang (Engl. Blood Sisters) – publ.: October 8, 2010
- Germany: Blutsschwestern (Engl. Blood Sisters) – publ.: January 15, 2009
- Greece: Vampire Academy – publ.: November 2009
- Hungary: Vámpírakadémia (Engl. Vampire Academy) – publ.: 2009
- Indonesia: Vampire Academy – publ.: April 2010
- Italy: L'Accademia dei Vampiri (Engl. The Academy of Vampires) – publ.: November 4, 2009
- Israel: האקדמיה לערפדים (Engl. The Academy for Vampires)
- Lithuania: Vampyrų akademija – publ.: December 2010
- Macedonia: Академија за Вампири - publ.: March 2012
- Netherlands: Academicus Vampyrus (Engl. Vampire Academy) – publ.: October 8, 2010
- Poland: Akademia Wampirów (Engl. Vampire Academy) – publ.: February 10, 2010
- Portugal: Academia de Vampiros (Engl. Vampire Academy) – publ.: 2009
- Romania: Academia vampirilor – publ.: 2009
- Russia: Aкадмия Bампиров: Охотники и жертвы (Engl. Vampire Academy)
- Serbia: Vampirska akademija – publ.: 2010
- Slovenia: Vampirska akademija (Engl. Vampire Academy) – publ.: November 19, 2009
- Spain: Vampire Academy – publ.: April 1, 2009
- Sweden: Törst (Engl. Thirst) – publ.: August 10, 2009
- Turkey: Vampir Akademisi (Engl. Vampire Academy) – publ.: June 2009
Film rights to the series were optioned to Preger Entertainment in June 2010. As of July, Don Murphy (Transformers) has signed on as producer. On December 17, 2012, Don Murphy announced that screenwriter Dan Waters (Heathers) had written the script. On December 19, 2012, it was announced that Dan's brother Mark Waters (Mean Girls) will direct the movie. On February 1 it was announced Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry and Danila Kozlovski have been cast as Rose, Lissa and Dimitri respectively. The title of the movie has also been changed to Blood Sisters. The movie was released on February 7th, 2014.
The first book was released as a graphic novel on the 23rd of August, 2011. It was adapted by Leigh Dragoon and illustrated by Emma Vieceli. Frostbite was released on April 26, 2012 in graphic novel format, and Vieceli is currently working on adapting Shadow Kiss.
- The cursive Vampire Academy font used on the new covers is Voluta ScriptTM Regular, which is a commercial font.
- Richelle Mead's original title for the book was Kissed by Shadows.
- This is the first book in the vampire academy series.
- Lissa and Christian get together in this book.
- Eddie Castile is introduced in this book. He will play a major role from Frostbite and onwards.