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Our leading lady Rose is one feisty chick. She might be a dhmapir, but that doesn't stop her from speaking her mind to the Morois, royals, or even her teachers. She's headstrong, stubborn, and sassy, through and through.
In fact it's her spirited nature that gets her into so much trouble. While it's true that Rose took Lissa away from St. Vladimir's Academy and risked her own neck to protect her friend from a magic neither of them understands, she's also got a wild streak. She can be found mouthing off, fighting back, and throwing punches everywhere she goes. The girl is known for tossing a hermit crab and a gerbil together to fight or beating up anyone who looks at her sideways.
We like a fighter, but even Rose admits she's a little hasty to act sometimes. She tells us: "I was the one who took action, who made sure things happened—sometimes recklessly so" (1.56). Part of growing up is discovering who you are, and for Rose, she's a wild smart aleck who knows her way around the booze. It's important for us to see Rose as her irresponsible self in the first half of the novel so we comprehend just how much she is growing up in the second half. In fact, you can measure her coming of age by how reckless she acts.
Lissa and Rose have a bond that everyone marvels at. Sure, some of it comes down to the cool psychic bond they share, but some of it stems from a place of a strong friendship. These girls have each other's backs, for sure. Rose is willing to make a lot of sacrifices to keep her friend safe, and let's just say Lissa gives up a bunch of herself (literally) to heal Rose too.
Yet we also get a glimpse of the kind of pressure Rose is under to keep Lissa safe all the time. Right from the beginning, we're told that Lissa has "complete faith that I would take care of everything, that we would be safe. Like always, I hoped I was worthy of that kind of trust" (1.41). Hmm… is it just us, or does it sound like Rose isn't so sure she can handle it?
Of course we have faith in our dhampir, but sometimes she doesn't have faith in herself. She's honest with us that she doesn't know if she can handle being Lissa's guardian all the time. We'll be honest, too—it's a lot of work for Rose to do, especially when she's seventeen and wants to be out having fun. Still, Rose is committed to protecting her BFF at all costs, even if she's not sure yet if she can handle it.
We can't help but swoon over a hunk like Dimitri, but we also can't help but ask: is this thing between Rose and Dimitri really true love, or just some passionate lust? Oh, man. That's a big question. One that we also ask about the famous Romeo and Juliet, mind you. Let's check out both sides—the negative and the positive—and let you decide.
Rose is initially drawn to Dimitri because he's utterly beautiful. He helps her out by giving her extra training sessions before and after school, and he's really mysterious… all the time. He's almost impossible to read, though he repeatedly tells her she needs to work harder to be a guardian. When she finally confronts him about her feelings, he tells her it wouldn't be wise for them to get together since they're both supposed to guard Lissa at all costs.
Or, to put it his way: "If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her. I'll throw myself in front of you" (24.35). You could argue that Rose's interest in Dimitri escalates to love too quickly to be believable, or that it's just a schoolgirl crush—that's certainly what Victor makes of it anyway.
When was the last time that love was explainable? Have you ever met someone and just had that inexplicable connection right away—that weird zest, that baffling spark, the mystifying fireworks? Have you ever been struck by how Mister/Miss New Guy/Girl in Your Life seems perfectly tailored for you and only you? Have you ever gotten the butterflies for no good reason over someone? Ever gotten the wind knocked out of you, or been afraid you might just suddenly die if you can't see the New Guy/Girl again, and soon?
It's chemistry, folks. Some sort of connection has zapped both Rose and Dimitri in a spine-tingling type of way—and the whole point is that they shouldn't be together, but they love each other anyway. He's seven years older, and another guardian, so by all accounts, it's a bad idea for the two of them to get together. So why would they bother flirting and hooking-up if it wasn't love then? Besides, Rose is used to making out with hunky guys like Jesse, but she's never felt the way she feels about Dimitri before.
So what do you think, is it true love?