[Spoilers! Sorry!] Having returned from her failed trip to Russia, Rose finds herself back at St. Vladimir's Academy with one last test before graduation. Taking her final trials is bitter sweet without Dimitri to stand by her. She tries to put him out of her mind, but his love letters/death threats are a constant reminder that once she steps outside the schools safety wards, Dimitri will be on the hunt to kill her.
Rose is not ready to give up on Dimitri yet though. She and her friends come up with a crazy plan to get their enemy Victor Dashkov to lead her to his brother, the only known person to bring a Strigoi back to life. Getting the information on how to do it is hard enough, but the trick will be to capture Dimitri and change him before he kills her.
In addition to the Dimitri drama, the Court is swarming with political intrigue. This political storyline has been threading through all of the books, but it really culminates toward the end of Spirit Bound, indicating big changes in Moroi and dhampir society will be coming up in the final book of the series. Rose's relationship with the Queen flucuates between outward dislike and a certain respect. While Queen Tatiana is a small character, Mead does a great job with making her multi-dimensional.
And then there is Adrian... I feel sorry for the guy. Rose is trying to give him a fair chance at a relationship, but you just know she belongs with Dimitri. He's a great guy and a very interesting character, but I can't help my impatience when I think of Rose wasting her time with him.
We get to see more of Abe and Sydney in this book also, which is nice. I can't help but like Abe and really hope to see more of him in the last book. Mead did a great job of incorporating the best of both of Rose's parents into her.
Overall, I give Spirit Bound...
Plot – 5 bookmarks
Character Development – 5 bookmarks (The change in Dimitri is dramatic and heartbreaking. I'm not just talking about his Strigoi traits either.)
Love Story – 3 1/2 bookmarks (He's a good guy, but Adrian needs to go find someone else.)
Fight Scenes – 5 bookmarks (Lissa gets a chance to show off a bit in this one!)
Political Intrigue – 5 bookmarks
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Rose (Sophia Bush), Lissa (Blake Lively), Dimitri (Ben Barnes), Christian (Michael Steger), Jenna Boyd (Mia), Ed Westwick (Adrian), Tinsel Korey (Tasha), Josh Hutcherson (Eddie), Nick Verreos (Abe), Emily Browning (Sydney), Susan Sullivan (Queen Tatiana), John Slattery (Nathan Ivashkov), Diane Lane (Daniella Ivashkov)