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Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Golden Lily
Richelle Mead

Series: Bloodlines #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Hardback: 352 Pages
Publication: June 12, 2012
by Razorbill


Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?


I love the Bloodlines series so very much. I've been waiting to read the sequels to Bloodlines because I loved the book so much and didn't want to have to wait for the next installments, but I just recently purchased the Vampire Academy series and have been in a VA love mood . . . and I couldn't resist. I decided to purchase the Bloodlines books while I was at it.

And now I'm dying from Adrian-Sydney love overflow.

Which is unusual because I usually read books more for the plot than the romance factor. In Bloodlines, however, I find myself wanting to see Sydney and Adrian together more often than I think about the other various subplots stirring. I just love seeing the two together. They are by far two of the most compelling characters in the VA world, and I find myself relating more to them than Rose and Dimitri. I feel like R&D are like heroes that we can look up to and admire. Though R&D have their own insecurities and vulnerabilities, Sydney and Adrian are more down-to-earth and relatable. I love how comfortable they are with each other and see a lot of potential for them to fill in much-needed roles in each other's lives.

The Golden Lily expands on plotlines that emerged in Bloodlines. We see more of Sydney adapting to her new social life and high school customs (as well as her vampire friends), more witchcraft, and more intrigue in the vampire world. Not to mention her learning about romance. (Teeheehee.) I'm especially interested in seeing how the witchcraft element plays a role in later installments. I would've been totally fine if it hadn't come out, but now it has, I want to see how it factors into the larger VA world. It was cool to see that one thing I'd predicted (hint: related to Trey) came true in here, though it was disappointing that it wasn't explored more. Which brings me to my next point.

My only problem is that there is a lot going on in this novel what with Sydney dealing with problems on so many fronts. This means that characters come and go a lot of the time without any apparent pattern to it. This wasn't enough to disrupt my enjoyment of the story, but it was noticeable. Another, smaller thing is. . . with Vampire Academy, I could see where the titles were coming from, but it's harder for me to tell why the Bloodlines books are called what they are. Anyone have a theory on why this book is called The Golden Lily? For some reason, the cover made me think that Zoe was going to make an appearance in this book with a lily tattoo, but that doesn't happen here.

Overall, this is another fantastic edition to the Bloodlines series. As always, Richelle Mead's writing kept me entranced from start to finish. . . and left me with a nasty hook at the end that has me feeling all sorts of things. Okay, I've already read The Indigo Spell (because I couldn't stop reading long enough to write a review—I couldn't NOT read it after that ending) and am looking forward to reading The Fiery Heart as soon as my copy arrives. I've heard such great things about it!

Additional Information
  1. Bloodlines
  2. The Golden Lily
  3. The Indigo Spell
  4. The Fiery Heart
  5. Silver Shadows
  6. The Ruby Circle
Similar Books
  • Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
  • Kissing
  • Violence

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