In Vampire Academy (novel), guardian in training Rosemarie "Rose" Hathaway and Moroi princess Vasilisa "Lissa" Dragomir are brought back to their school, St. Vladimir's Academy, after running away two years previously. Upon their return, Guardian Dimitri Belikov, who was the leader of the team of guardians sent to retrieve the two, is assigned to be Lissa's guardian and offers to mentor Rose in her guardian training. He believes Rose can be an excellent guardian to Lissa due to the presence of a rare one-sided psychic bond to Lissa, which allows her to know the latter's thoughts, emotions, and whereabouts. Rose agrees, knowing this is the only way she will be allowed to remain, and on graduation, be Lissa's guardian. When Lissa becomes depressed she engages in self-mutilation. It is revealed that she has a miraculous ability to heal others. Lissa becomes friends with an outcast Moroi classmate, Christian Ozera. Rose reaches through her bond while confined to her room to find that Lissa is being kidnapped. She sneaks out of her room to tell Dimitri that Lissa has been kidnapped, but they are distracted by a lust charm planted by Victor Dashkov, close uncle-figure of Lissa and father of Natalie Dashkov, Lissa's and Rose's friend. After Dimitri disposes of the charm, Rose directs a convoy to the kidnapper's hideout, with Christian stowing away during the ride. The school guardians are able to rescue Lissa from the man she has called "Uncle" all her life, Victor, and she heals Christian when he is fatally injured during the struggle. Lissa adopts him as her boyfriend after that. Dimitri reveals that he has feelings for Rose but cannot have a relationship with her because of their age difference, and also because he worries that he won't be able to guard Lissa if she is near him. This is where the first book, Vampire Academy, ends.
The story continues in Frostbite with Rose and Dimitri traveling to meet Arthur Schoenberg for Rose's Qualifier Exam. Once they arrive at the home of the Moroi family he protects, they discover a bloody massacre of the entire family and their guardians, including Arthur. To keep the students at St. Vladimir's Academy safe, a ski trip to a lodge owned by a wealthy Moroi family is required right after Christmas. During her stay at the lodge, Rose meets a royal Moroi named Adrian Ivashkov, who flirts with her every time he sees her. During Adrian's pool party, Mason, his friend Eddie, and Mia begin voicing their opinions about hunting Strigoi. After a heated argument with Dimitri, Rose tells Mason confidential information about the possible whereabouts of the Strigoi's hideouts. Using Rose's information, Mia, Mason, and Eddie sneak out of the ski lodge and travel to Spokane, Washington, to hunt down the Strigoi themselves. Rose discovers their plan, and she and Christian follow to stop them. When they find the group, they are ambushed by Strigoi, who hold them captive for days. Rose eventually comes up with a plan to escape, and they all manage to get out of the house into the protection of the light, except Rose. Mason returns and attempts to help Rose, but his neck gets snapped, killing him instantly. Rose defeats the Strigoi in a rage over his death. Once back at St. Vladimir's, Rose receives two molnija marks for her Strigoi kills. Dimitri also tells her that his heart is with Rose and will never leave her.
Shadow Kiss begins with Rose preparing for the Qualifying Exam with the rest of the novices. Christian is approached by Jesse Zeklos to join a secret "club" he and Ralf have started, though Christian turns them down. Rose becomes suspicious, and tries to learn more about this club, which she later learns is called "Mână". Rose goes to meet with Queen Tatiana. She insists that Rose call off her "engagement" to Adrian. Tatiana then reveals that she has been planning a marriage between Adrian and Lissa. Lissa is approached by Jesse and Ralf to join Mână, and she accepts their invitation as a chance to spy on them, without Rose's knowing. Lissa is led into the woods and attacked by Jesse and the other magic users. Rose senses something is wrong and runs to Lissa's aid. She beats Lissa's attackers and Lissa tortures Jesse using Spirit. Rose realizes that whenever Lissa uses Spirit, dark emotions fill Lissa, which caused her to self-harm in the first book, and tells Lissa to let the dark emotion flow through their connection and into Rose. Lissa obeys, and Rose suddenly begins beating Jesse fiercely. Alberta and Dimitri appear, and Alberta has several guards take Jesse away, while ordering Dimitri to handle Rose, who is still in a manic state. After Dimitri comforts Rose, they sleep together in a cabin on the edge of the campus. When they start to go back to the school, they are attacked by a Strigoi. Dimitri sends Rose back to the school to warn the guardians. The guardians give Rose a stake and send her back to her dormitory, but she sneaks out to go after Christian. She and Christian combine their skills to destroy Strigoi. Dimitri is attacked and Rose later finds out that his body wasn't found. The ghost of Mason, who has been seen by Rose throughout the book, reveals that Dimitri was not killed, but was made Strigoi. Rose decides to leave the Academy to go after Dimitri and kill him. She decides to go to Siberia, believing Dimitri would go there first.
In Blood Promise, Rose meets an Alchemist named Sydney and they travel to Siberia, where she eventually finds Dimitri’s family...and meets Abe Mazur, a Moroi mobster. She eventually leaves after a falling out with Dimitri's sister Viktoria. She then travels to Novosibirsk to hunt and interrogate Strigoi in the hopes of finding Dimitri. When she does meet him, he takes her hostage and refuses to kill her. Instead, he says he will keep her until she decides to turn Strigoi to be with him. All the while, Rose keeps checking up with Lissa back at St. Vladimir's through the bond. Avery, a secret Spirit user, has been using compulsion to control Lissa. During a visit to Lissa's mind, Rose gets pushed out by Avery. Rose eventually manages to escape, grabbing a stake on the way out. Dimitri catches up with her, and they battle on a bridge, where Rose plunges her stake into his chest. Exhausted, Rose ends up at the home of an Alchemist friend of Sydney's, and Abe is there too. When she wakes up, she realizes Lissa is in danger with Avery, who wants to kill Lissa and then heal her back so that Lissa would be "shadow-kissed" and bonded to Avery. With help from Oksana, Rose manages to guide Lissa and Adrian through the fight against Avery and her brother, Reed, and Avery's guardian Simon. Abe gets her a plane ticket home. Back at St. Vladimir's, Rose reunites with Lissa and shares what happened to her in Russia. After agreeing to re-enroll in school to graduate, Rose goes back to her normal life at St. Vladmir's. However, she soon receives a package from Russia, enclosed with the stake she used on Dimitri, and a note from him saying he was not really staked properly, and is still alive, waiting for Rose to finish school to find him. Rose realizes that with Dimitri still a Strigoi, she has a chance to restore him to his former life.
Spirit Bound begins with Rose passing her final exams. She plots with Lissa and Eddie to break Victor Dashkov out of his high security vampire prison. Once they succeed, Victor agrees to lead them to his brother, Robert, a reclusive spirit user who is rumored to have once returned a Strigoi to their original state. Robert tells them that the Spirit user must infuse a stake with Spirit and kill the Strigoi on its own. Lissa and Christian are kidnapped by Dimitri as bait for Rose. Rose leads a group of guardians to his hiding place and fights her way over to him. She is about to kill him when Christian encircles him in a ring of fire, while Lissa stakes him. Dimitri is restored as a Dhampir. He pushes Rose away, saying that he is no longer able to love. Rose turns to Adrian for comfort. The next morning at breakfast, Rose and Dimitri run into each other. In the middle of the discussion, a group of Guardians surround Rose, and Dimitri instinctively fights to protect her, but she calms him down. The Guardians announce her that Queen Tatiana has been found murdered with Rose's stake and she is to come with them.
Last Sacrifice starts with Rose being broken out of prison. Dimitri and Rose go to West Virginia with Sydney and decide to find Lissa's half-sibling. The only person with the information they need in an old teacher, Sonya Karp, who is now a Strigoi. Victor and Robert join them and Robert stakes Sonya, turning her back into a Moroi. Rose then takes Sonya to find Lissa's half-sibling. They discover it is Jill Mastrano, an old friend from the academy. Victor and Robert kidnap her. Meanwhile Lissa is put in the running for Queen. Rose, Dimitri and Sonya find Victor and Robert and get Jill back, but Rose accidentally kills Victor during a fight. Dimitri comforts her and they confess their love for one another. It is revealed that Tasha murdered the Queen as she disliked her policies, and framed Rose because she was jealous of her relationship with Dimitri. Tasha shoots Rose while attempting to escape. When she recovers, she is no longer bonded with Lissa. The series ends with Lissa becoming Queen and Dimitri and Rose together.