Sonya Tanner (née Karp) is a spirit-using Moroi who teaches at St. Vladimir's Academy. She saw Lissa heal the raven, and told her she must never heal again. Shortly before she was taken away, she told Rose that she was shadow-kissed and it was up to her to protect Lissa. She cannot cope with the side effects of her power and turns voluntarily into a Strigoi in order to lose her gift. Her lover Mikhail Tanner, a guardian, chases her in order to kill her.
Sonya's parents had both big families, so Sonya has a lot of cousins. When her cousin Emily Mastrano had her child Jill with Eric Dragomir, a trust fund was arranged for the baby, and when Sonya turned eighteen, she was listed as next-of-kind-contact. At some point she became involved with Mikhail Tanner, an academy guardian.
She appears in a flashback during Vampire Academy when Lissa healed a dead raven. She tells her not to do that, and warns Rose that the guardians will take Lissa away if they find out what she can do. On the trip to Missoula it is mentioned that she chose to become Strigoi, which scares Lissa. Rose eventually figures out that Sonya became Strigoi in order to cut herself off from spirit. Shadow-kissed means kissed by the shadows. Rose was kised by the shadows and also Sonya Karp.
In Last Sacrifice, Robert Doru stakes Sonya through the heart with a spirit induced stake, resulting in Sonya returning to her Moroi state. Subsequent to her transformation, she has a hard time realizing what life is about. She is amazed at the sunlight, the flowers in her garden, and all else. She helps the gang find her cousin Emilynnass Jill as a Dragomir. At the end, Sonya is reunited with her lover Mikhail Tanner.
At the end of the events of Bloodlines, Sonya, along with Dimitri Belikov, volunteers to help Alchemists to understand more about the nature of spirit users and how it could be used to prevent people from being turned into a Strigoi.
In the Golden Lily, she and Adrian perform experiments on Eddie and Dimitri to determine the changes a person who has been restored to Strigoi. She tries to convince Sydney to examine her blood, but is rebuffed by both Sydney and Adrian. She is later kidnapped by the Warriors of Light, who think she is a Strigoi, and is rescued by Eddie, Dimitri, Sydney, and the others. She is also engaged to Mikhail, and seems quite happy, commenting that she and Mikhail could "be married anywhere".
Sonya and Mikhail are married, with Rose acting as a bridesmaid. Sydney and Adrian both attend the wedding and congratulate the happy couple.
Sonya has been described as been tall and elegant, with red hair and blue eyes. According to Sydney, she is also more pretty and charming after she is restored back to a Moroi.
Mikhail and Sonya were involved in a long term romantic relationship (a rarity for a Moroi and a dhampir). After Sonya turned Strigoi, Mikhail tried to find her in order to kill her, but failed. When Sonya was restored, she and Mikhail reunited. They are married at a greenhouse in Pennsylvania, and both seem very happy.
Sonya was Rose's and Lissa's teacher at St. Vladimir's. She is the one who warned Rose about Lissa's ability to heal. After she is restored, she observes that Rose and Dimitri have very similar auras. She also helps heal Rose after her spirit induced rage.
Sonya also made Rose one of her bridesmaid's in her wedding, highlighting the strength of their friendship.
Robert Doru was the Spirit user who restored Sonya. The pair had a somewhat hostile relationship, as Robert attempted to use compulsion on Sonya, who retaliated. In spite of this, the two spirit users combined to create an illusion in order to conceal the identities of both himself and his half-brother Victor Dashkov.
Although Sonya only met him after she was restored, they are good friends and colleagues, as they both share the burden of being former Strigoi. Both Sonya and Dimitri are working on experiments to see how restoration effects former Strigoi.
Sonya and Adrian seem to be on good terms with each other, as they greet each other warmly at the end of Bloodlines. However, Adrian was mildly irritated by her talking about her upcoming wedding a lot, and her using his hairbrush. He also became extremely defensive when Sonya tried to pressure Sydney into donating some of her blood for the experiments (because he loves her).
Emily is her cousin, and the two appear to have sister-like relationship, as Emily is thrilled to see Sonya again, and hugs her tightly.
Sydney and Sonya first met while Sonya was still Strigoi, and she threatened to kill all of them (starting with Sydney). Sydney was astonished by Sonya's restoration. It was Sydney who was able to persuade Sonya to show them the way to the house where Lissa's half-sibling lived. During The Golden Lily Sydney eagerly asks Sonya about the spirit experiments. Although they briefly fell out when Sonya kept pressuring Sydney to donate blood for the experiments, they reconciled after Sonya was rescued from the Warriors of Light. She also seemed happy that Sydney was able to attend her wedding, although she seemed confused by what she percieved in both Adrian and Sydney's auras.
It is presumed that Sonya and Jill have a close relationship, as Sonya is close and cousins to Jill's mother Emily.
- Sonya Karp is portrayed by English actress, Claire Foy, in the film Vampire Academy.
- Unlike Lee who loses his Moroi element power, Sonya kept her spirit powers after being returned to her Moroi state.
- A change of Sonya's hair from the book to the film, as her hair is red in the novels while in the film it is dark brown.