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Spirit Bound

Check out our episode here! Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Since we last were with Rose, she has started getting weekly letters from Strigoi Dimitri, full of love and violence and promises of death. She and Lissa have been talking and they kind of have plans to break Victor Dashkov out of prison (if they can find out where it is) in exchange for information about his brother, Robert Doru, a spirit user, about using spirit magic to return a Strigoi to life, which Rose wants to do with Dimitri and which Robert has supposedly done. Lissa has been practicing with charming objects with her spirit magic and it's not going so well. Also in the time between books, Adrian wrote a successful proposal, with or without PowerPoint presentation, and now he and Rose are dating. She's also preparing for her guardian trials, which are starting right now. Both her mom, the badass guardian Janine, and her father, the Moroi Godfather Abe the Zmey, are here to watch. Hey... Abe might know how to break Victor Dashkov out of prison... Oop, it's her turn in the trials. Good luck, Rose!

Rose is amazing in her trials, of course, and receives higher marks than anyone else. She gets her Promise Mark and is now a real, full fledged guardian. After some kissing by Adrian to celebrate her success, but not any more yet because she's not ready and Adrian is a complete gentleman about it because of course he is, they go to a party set up by Abe. Christian and Jill come to congratulate Rose, and Lissa gives them the side eye. She and Christian are still broken up after the Avery thing last book and she's still terribly jealous of Jill even though she's like everybody's kid sister. Tasha, Christian's aunt, asks Rose when she's going to force her nephew and Lissa back together... Eh... It'll happen eventually. Rose talks to her dad about her performance in the trials and finds out that the guardians were way tougher on her than everyone else and she was still the best. Since Abe is essentially a Moroi crime lord, Rose asks him about Victor Dashkov's prison and finds out it moves between locations based on the sun and it is currently in its Alaska location, but exactly where it is and how to get in, he does not know. Well damn.

After graduating and saying goodbye to Jill and briefly meeting her beautiful ballerina mother, Rose and Lissa go to Court. Of course, everyone else who graduated goes too. Adrian invites Rose to dinner to meet his parents, which she's nervous about, but it'll be okay. Before dinner though, Rose and Lissa talk with Mia Rinalde and ask her for help in finding any information about Victor Dashkov's prison, though they don't tell her that, of course. They're going to meet up with her later and probably break into a records room knowing Rose. Dinner with Adrian's family is mostly okay. His dad is a douchebag, but we knew that already from that time in Frostbite where he was being a dick about Moroi fighting alongside their guardians. Now, he's dismissive of Rose, but Adrian's mother, and not-so-surprise guest Aunt Queen Tatiana, are not. They know that Rose is a guardian through and through and won't give up that life to be a housewife, so they're letting Rose and Adrian have their fun while it lasts. Adrian's mom, though, does ask Rose to be gentle with Adrian when the time comes and she has to dump him.

The breaking and entering with Mia goes surprisingly well. Lissa compels a guard to let them pass and Rose enters a records room and finds a file on Tarasov Prison, including floor plans and schedules and other documents, but all the information is five years old. Hopefully that will be good enough. As she's leaving though, she's caught by another guardian, but this is one she vaguely knows, or knows of. This is Mikhail, the guardian who was in love with Sonya Karp, Rose and Lissa's teacher who lost her mind to spirit magic and turned herself Strigoi. Rose explains that she knows a way to return a Strigoi to life and that if Mikhail loves Sonya, he'll help her. He agrees but doesn't believe that what Rose has planned will work.

The next day, Rose and the rest of the newly graduated guardians from all over, not just St. Vladimir's, go to a banquet where they can meet Royals and other Moroi seeking guardians. Rose hopes she'll get to guard Lissa, of course, but there are some others interested in her as well, namely Tasha Ozera. Tasha knows that Rose would rather guard Lissa, but if the Queen has her way, which she probably will because she's the Queen, there will be others assigned to the Dragomir princess. Speaking of the Queen, she offers Lissa a trip to tour the campus of Lehigh University where she will be attending classes soon and even invites Rose too. Wow! They agree to go, but chances are, they won't actually be around for that trip, what with them planning to break Victor Dashkov out of prison soon, like... in the next day or two. They sneak away from Court that night for the airport. Rose, Lissa and Rose's friend Eddie are hiding in the trunk of Mikhail's car and then, those three are off to Alaska.

They arrive and make real plans to get inside the prison. Rose and Eddie scope it out and they decide that the only way in is through the front doors. Lissa makes charms to compel everyone into believing that they are human feeders and that Eddie is a non-descript guardian. The feeder documents they had were out of date as they knew, but they manage to get inside anyway. Lissa and Rose are taken through the prison to where the feeders are kept and Lissa compels the guard there to arrange a feeding for Victor. When he gets there, he recognizes Rose and she tells him that she's there to break him out and he has to do everything she says. First thing? To fight her! Now! This causes confusion amongst the guards who come to help only to be knocked out by Rose. Through extreme amounts of compulsion, they make it through the prison, passing through the mental ward where Lissa feels other spirit-users being kept, get to the office where Eddie is waiting, and then make it outside. They were of course spotted and there are guards chasing after them, but they lose them in a high speed car chase.

Victor Dashkov tells them that his brother lives outside of Las Vegas, so they charter a plane using Adrian's credit card and Lissa's trust fund and soon enough, they arrive. They get a hotel room and while they're planning to meet with Robert, Adrian shows up! They were using his credit card, so of course he can track its uses. Rose is upset, but not as upset as Adrian who pieces it together that she's still trying to save Dimitri. They meet up with Robert in a restaurant and learn that a Spirit user must stake the Strigoi with a spirit-infused stake to return them to their former self, and this happens without a shadow kissed bond. Adrian doesn't believe it, but it seems everyone else does. They decide to go back to the room to discuss further, but on their way, they encounter three Strigoi...

...And one of them is Dimitri. Lissa, Adrian, Victor and Robert run while Rose and Eddie kill Dimitri's two henchmen Strigoi with no trouble. As Eddie tries to kill Dimitri, Rose foils the attack and ushers Eddie outside, saying they need to find and protect the Moroi. Eddie is furious, and Rose exclaims that she loves Dimitri and now they have a chance to save him. Eddie says she LOVED him, but he's gone now, that everything Robert said was a lie and that they should have killed Dimitri because now, who knows how many humans he's going to kill since they let him go free. That's the exact opposite of anything Rose has ever been taught and she told herself that if she encountered Dimitri again before learning about what Robert did, then she would kill him. Nope. We all knew that would never happen, Rose. She uses her spirit bond to find Lissa and she does, but it's just her and Adrian. Victor Dashkov and Robert have vanished.

They go to a Moroi casino and book a flight back to Court, but they won't be able to leave until the next day. Adrian and Rose talk to a bartender about the prison break and learn and/or suggest that it was an inside job and that Victor paid a guard to help him escape. The bartender knew Lissa's dad, saw him in the casino all the time with various ladies and dancers and feels bad that his daughter was attacked by Victor. Rose hates the rumors of Lissa's dad being a womanizer, but she lets that go. Time passes and she and Adrian meet back up with Eddie and Lissa and then they head back to Court. Rose and Eddie get into a lot of trouble, Lissa and Adrian practically none. Rose and Eddie are punished with menial tasks and while shoveling dirt one day, Christian approaches them. He knows that they were the ones to break Victor out of prison and wants to know why. Rose pretends they didn't, but Eddie, still mad at Rose, tells him the truth. Christian immediately goes to see Lissa and asks her if she really thinks she could stake a Strigoi. She meekly says no, and so, despite them being broken up, he offers to teach her, which means going with her to visit Lehigh University. That's perfect since Rose can't go anymore. Lissa's angry, but not really, because she obviously still loves Christian and he obviously still loves her too.

While they're away at the campus, they practice fighting and staking, but get caught by Lissa's guardians, who, instead of punishing them, offer to help. Rose is angry at this but what can she do? Nothing. She's busy filing paperwork. While she's doing that, Mikhail comes in and she tells him what she learned. She realizes that he's being punished, too, which is why he's working here instead of out guarding someone, just like her. She can see how desperately he wants to bring Sonya, Ms. Karp, back to life, but then she is summoned by the Queen. She is taken to a council meeting with the Royal Court and led by Queen Tatiana. There are some others there watching, and among them, Tasha and Adrian. Rose is asked about all the Strigoi she's killed and if she killed them by herself. Mostly she has. She killed at least seven in Russia, but really, that is a low, low estimate. It seems like Tatiana is pleased with Rose and this information, but then the council is adjourned and she leaves with Adrian. Just as they're about to sit down to a meal, she's taken back to her tedious punishment work in the file room. Is the Queen judging her in front of others to show that she's capable of guarding Lissa?!

On her college trip, Lissa and Christian are still practicing staking and their guardians actually help. They can't even manage to stake through pillows, so it's really not looking good for Lissa to stake Strigoi Dimitri. They, plus Priscilla Voda, the Queen's best friend and stand-in on this trip, plus all their guardians go out to dinner for Lissa's eighteenth birthday and on their way through the parking lot, they're attacked. Strigoi are everywhere and they kill all the guardians and Priscilla. As they are about to die, Lissa and Christian grasp hands, thankful that they are here with each other at the end. Christian lights up a ball of fire as their last defense, but... the end doesn't come. Strigoi Dimitri does. And he takes them as bait for Rose.

One of the guardians didn't die and called for help, so the entire Court springs into action just as Rose does thanks to the bond. They all head for the abandoned warehouse where Lissa and Christian are being held. Normally there are never rescue missions when the Strigoi take someone, we learned this at the end of book three, but since Lissa is the last of her line, everyone wants to help. Dimitri talks directly to Rose through Lissa because he knows she's watching. He knows she's coming. She is, with at least 40 other guardians.

They arrive and there's a huge battle. Rose leads a team into the heart of the warehouse where Lissa, Christian and Dimitri are. Guardians and Strigoi are fighting all over the place, but Rose heads straight for Dimitri. He taunts her, says she'll never be able to kill him, but he brought Lissa here and she would do absolutely anything for her best friend. And it seems as though Lissa would do anything for Rose, too, because she has Christian burn away their restraints and she pulls out the spirit-charmed stake she's kept hidden from everyone, including Rose. Compelling Rose to stay away, Lissa and Christian work together to stake Dimitri. Christian sets him on fire and Lissa shoves her stake in. It takes several tries for her to get it right, but with Dimitri on fire, he can't fight back. A blinding white light radiates from Lissa and fills the room and the bond between her and Rose is completely dulled, almost non-existent. When the light fades, Rose can see Lissa holding Dimitri's head in her lap and stroking his hair. His face is no longer pale and his eyes are no longer red. Dimitri is not a Strigoi anymore.

They get back to Court, but no one is really sure what is going on with Dimitri despite Lissa, Christian and Rose telling everyone that he is no longer Strigoi. They have put him in a cell and no one is allowed in. Adrian healed most of Lissa's burns and the next day, Rose tries to see Dimitri but the guardians on duty won't let her in. She goes to see Lissa instead, sure that she'll be able to go with her to see Dimitri, but no. Dimitri asked specifically to see Lissa, and specifically NOT to see Rose. Lissa goes to see him and of course Rose tags along on the inside. Dimitri is definitely Dimitri again, only... sad. He can't bring himself to see Rose after all the terrible things he did to her, to everyone. Lissa assures him that Rose loves him and forgives him, but no. He can't see her. Rose is crushed at this and goes back to her room to cry, but she's still following Lissa, who leaves Dimitri and heads toward the hospital and runs into Christian. He tells her that she's beautiful and was amazing, and that Adrian was amazing too at healing her, but they're still not back together. When Rose is finally sobbing by herself, Adrian comes by her room. They talk about how Rose must feel with Dimitri being back and Adrian is very understanding. Rose told him when they were making these plans that even if Dimitri came back, that didn't mean that she and Adrian would break up. But... now that it's actually real? He understands. He's jealous, but he understands. Then he invites her to a party. Huh? Now's not the time for parties!

Okay, so it's not really a party, but there are fancy dresses and masks involved. It's a Death Watch. Adrian has stolen secret passwords to get Rose and some of their "less-important" friends in. The old Royal families gather together in this, to paraphrase Christian, half-assed funeral/devil summoning. It's their way of showing respect to the dhampirs that died. Rose chastises Christian for this comment. Those guardians died for him, died for all of them, and it's wild to think that the Royal Moroi care enough to do this sort of thing for dhampirs, though Priscilla Voda did die, too, and she was important to the Queen. Anyway, the ceremony is pretty much over so they all stand around talking. Mia joins them, making Lissa jealous. She and Christian aren't back together yet and even though he's definitely only got eyes for her, Lissa can't help but think that any of Christian's female friends are taking her place. Mia asks about Dimitri, but before anyone can say anything other than "yes, he's alive," Rose gets busted for being there. She's escorted out, but the Queen says it's a good thing that she was there to see how much they value dhampirs. Maybe Queen Tatiana isn't so terrible after all.

On her way back to her room, Rose runs into Mikhail. He's been looking for her and says he's got a friend on Dimitri-duty and they'll be able to sneak in to see him. Mikhail is just as excited to see him as Rose because he desperately wants to be able to restore Sonya Karp, too. When Rose talks to Dimitri, he says he doesn't want to see her because of all the terrible things he's done. She says she loves him and that doesn't matter, but oh, it matters to him. She doesn't care though. She went through so much to save him and, while he's thankful, it was Lissa who did it. Oh no. Rose taught Lissa how to do it. She found out everything she needed to know to bring him back! It was her! And she loves him! Why can't he understand?! But wait. He asks about her being in a relationship with Adrian. She reluctantly says she is. He says that Adrian is better than anyone gives him credit for. He'll be good for her. Plus, being Strigoi changed him. He doesn't love anyone anymore, especially her (cough, lie, cough). He calls for guards to take her away and Mikhail leads her out, telling her not to resist. She made good progress today and surely she knows Dimitri would have been different after being brought back to life. He's right. Just gotta take it slow, Rose. She goes back to her room to sleep.

She's awakened the next day to a pounding on her door. Adrian is there, ushering her to hurry. The council has decided on whatever it was that they were deciding upon when Rose was brought in to testify. And oh, it's not good. By vote, weighted by the Queen whose vote counts more in case of a tie, dhampirs will now graduate at 16. Rose's own testimony swayed many decisions. The council is in an uproar, but as the Queen says, it's law. Rose fights against this, the only one to stand up and say anything. If they're so concerned about dhampirs, then they need to let their best one out of his cell. It's because of Dimitri that she's as good as she is anyway. Then Tatiana threatens Rose with a job teaching at St. Vladimir's instead of guarding anyone, or she can continue filing paperwork. Neither is a good option. Then, Rose has an idea. She says that the decision they made isn't legal because now, the Dragomir line has a member of voting age. Lissa should be on the council now as she has just turned 18. Oh, but that doesn't count either because there have to be at least two living family members for her vote to mean anything. Seriously? Rose is right when she says that law is fucked up and that Queen Tatiana is a sanctimonious bitch who will regret what she's done. She's of course escorted out then, but the guards who remove her aren't upset with her at all.

Ambrose, the male dhampir/possibly the Queen's personal blood whore, meets Rose then and takes her to talk to his aunt who reads tarot cards. Rose was pretty skeptical the first time she had a reading a few books ago, but everything she was told came true. This time, she's told about a journey she has to go on, potentially looking for someone. But who? As they leave the reading, Ambrose says he'll talk to the Queen privately about what's going on and let Rose know anything he can find out. There's really no time to focus on that now. Lissa contacts Rose through the bond to tell her to come, quick. There's something going on with Dimitri, a trial of sorts. He's been brought out onto the sun and is being questioned. The questions are stupid really, can you look directly into the sun, have you noticed your eyes turning red, could you go inside the church? They're the most basic of basic Strigoi issues. Then a guardian asks him to hold a stake and he does, then he offers to let the guardian cut him with it. A Strigoi definitely can't hold a charmed stake and being cut by one burns terribly, but would heal very quickly if he were still Strigoi, which he's not. Rose asks if he will share Strigoi hideouts and plans with the guardians and he says of course, he'll even help if they'll let him. A tiny boy runs up then to ask his own questions. If you're a Strigoi, why don't you have horns? Are you strong? At this, Rose suggests the boy go punch Dimitri, which he does, and Dimitri falls over, comically injured. The boy declares Dimitri is definitely not a Strigoi. Everyone else agrees. He'll still have to be guarded, but he's a dhampir again.

After the trial, Rose is invited to a gathering at 4:00 at Adrian's house by his mother Daniella. Adrian tried to find her earlier, but that was probably when she was having her tarot cards read. While she's talking to Daniella, Rose notices a Moroi staring at her. When she's finished with her chat, she storms over to the guy who gives her a tote bag with a laptop inside and a note. This guy works for Abe and apparently what's in the bag is important and she needs to get to it immediately. She goes back to her room and sets up the laptop. The note said she would receive a call and had instructions on how to get everything set up. She got everything ready and received her call at 7:00 am. It's Sydney, the Alchemist Rose met in Russia. She's working in the US now, in New Orleans, and apparently Abe is the one who made that arrangement for her. She asks if Rose had broken in anywhere recently... Uh... Crap... She doesn't say anything and Sydney continues. An Alchemist facility was broken into and files on Eric Dragomir, Lissa's dead father, were taken. Apparently he had been putting a lot of money into an account in Las Vegas of a woman referred to as Jane Doe. That's... odd, but Rose was not responsible for it. Sydney then kind of chitchats with Rose about her being in Las Vegas, and how it seems logical that, with her being there, that she could have stolen the documents. Also, that guy she was with in Vegas was really cute, for a soul-sucking vampire anyway. The call ends with more questions than were answered. What was going on with Lissa's dad? Who is this woman and why was he secretly giving her money? It's too much for Rose to worry about now, so she goes to sleep.

She wakes the next morning to go tell Lissa everything Sydney said, but she runs into Adrian, who waited for her to show up all night. Oh shit, she forgot all about the gathering at Adrian's. He ignores her apologies and says that since Dimitri's been back, she hasn't cared about their relationship at all. And it's true, but she feels bad about it. She wants them to have something, but it's just like with Mason. Her heart truly isn't in it and it's unfair. She tells him about what Sydney said and asks if he knows anything or has any ideas, but he doesn't. He's too tired from worrying and waiting up for her all night. Rose heads to Lissa's, but realizes it's Sunday along the way and goes to church because she knows Dimitri will be there. They have a heated conversation that ends with him telling her to leave him alone and that his love for her has faded. Harsh.

Rose goes back to her room, sad again, but Adrian comes to visit her later to talk about what he found out about Eric Dragomir. He nonchalantly asked his mom about something he "overheard in Vegas" about him hiding money. She wouldn't have anything bad said about a Dragomir, but Adrian's father on the other hand says that he probably was paying hush money to a mistress. Hmm... Adrian and Rose talk about their relationship after that. She apologizes and says she really does want to be with him, maybe even loves him a little. He's again so understanding and says that he couldn't avoid her if he tried, what with his addictive personality and all. He even offers to talk to her if she has confusing feelings. Her feelings right now aren't confused at all and she kisses him deeply. They rip each other's clothes off and are about to have sex when Rose realizes they don't have any protection. Then, she offers to let Adrian bite her, and he does, so they still both get something out of the evening. They agree to just try again later, and they fall asleep peacefully in each other's arms.

Rose goes out to breakfast the next day and happens to go to the same little donut place that Dimitri is at with his group of guardians. She tries to ignore him, but one of his guardians asks if she's going to the council meeting today. Yes, she is. There is bound to be more talk about the age decree and about Lissa taking her rightful place on the council. Dimitri didn't know about any of this and gets upset, especially about the age thing. Then the Royal Guard comes in and demands that they come along quietly, right now. Rose immediately guards Dimitri, saying he has done nothing wrong, but it's not Dimitri they want. It's Rose. She's just been arrested for killing Queen Tatiana.

There's a flurry of activity. Adrian, Lissa and Christian are trying to figure out how to help Rose, but Adrian might not be in the clear either. His mother is there, too, and he tells them all that Rose was with him all night, but unless they have someone who can testify that they were both seen when Tatiana was murdered, he's going to be implicated too. Adrian’s mother will just have to get the family's lawyer involved. Adrian says the lawyer will help Rose, too, right? His mother is unsure, but reluctantly agrees. There's a lot of evidence against Rose, what with her threatening the Queen after the council decision and all, but really, calling someone a bitch and telling them they'll be sorry they made a TERRIBLE decision isn't enough to convict someone of murder. Shortly thereafter, Rose is taken to a hearing to decide if they're will be a murder trial or not. They're pushing this through very quickly, but Mikhail, who is taking Rose to her hearing, says that nothing like this has happened with a monarch in a very long time and they will want to get a new king or queen in place quickly to restore order. Sheesh.

The hearing does not go well. Abe strides in before they begin, acting as Rose's lawyer, the lawyer Daniella obtained for her was brushed aside. They have evidence that the queen was murdered between 7:00 and 8:00, a time when no one could verify her whereabouts, and they have Rose's stake, the elegantly designed one she staked Dimitri with in Russia and he sent back to her, and it has her fingerprints on it. Rose says to the judge that all this evidence is very obviously pointing toward her and with everything else she's done in her life, don't they think she'd cover up a murder better than this? They're rushing things through and punishing people who can't defend themselves, just like they did with age law. The council still votes that she be put on trial. Shit. As the hearing is dispersed, someone sneaks up to Rose and puts a note in her hand. Ambrose. The note is from Tatiana, telling Rose that Lissa's place on the council is very important and that she's not the only Dragomir left alive. Eric had an illegitimate child and Rose has to find them, but she has to keep it secret. Abe notices the note but she doesn't tell him what it says. They argue about her being thrown into prison for being a traitor, but Abe says that's not what they do with traitors. They execute them.

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