Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Series: Bloodlines #2

the golden lily -richelle meadSydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. Alchemists 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. Formorly 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 her 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 Braydon, 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?

3 Drink Me Potions

Book 2 in the spin-off series, Bloodlines, from Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy, continued the pace of what was set in Bloodlines. There was definitely more romance in it. Come on, that Brayden guy that Sydney tried “dating” was hilarious. Sydney’s charm lies in her sweet ability to remember the most random things in the world, but his similar ability to do that was just downright annoying. In a funny way.

With a forbidden romance looming ahead for Sydney down the road, the main focus was the building plot of….insert dramatic music here. The so-called vampire hunters that were postulated from the previous book by a dear old, yet slightly crazy, Moroi. There was also the amazing appearances in this series with Dimitri (from Vampire Academy, of course) and Sonya Karp (also, an interesting person from that series). It’s like watching a show and having cameo appearances of some favourite characters, albeit not the most important people, from the original show. It’s definitely a nice trick to draw in readers who loved them from before. Also, kind of ruins a little of what happens in that series, but ah well. Minor sacrifice to pay. So, it’s preferable to finish reading some of the earlier books in Vampire Academy.

I digress. The pace was set nicely, as usual. It wasn’t as unpredictable. I guessed the “twist” a mile away, even from book 1. The characters are all still their crazy usual self, with the addition of a new dhampir, Angeline. She’s even more whack than Jill, Eddie, Adrian and Sydney put together–well, maybe minus Adrian. He’s kinda whack when he’s high on Spirit using, which is the element that he controls. I just love that Mead makes all the main characters so essential and…just loveable. Yeah, they’re imperfect and have the craziest quirks, but that’s what makes them real and distinguishable from each other. Flat, boring characters drive me insane.

Although there was some action in this installment, I guess being part of a rather longer series limits the amount of epic actions that each one can have. I was sad to see that there really was no closure. Maybe just more questions about Alchemists and their ways.

Before I end this review, I just have to go back to the romance, ’cause you know, a good romance is hard to find and love. From book 1, I wasn’t immediately sure who was the particular love interest for Sydney as…well, there was no romance for her in it. With this second installment, I love that Mead took the time to make a plausible connection between Sydney and Adrian, who was still hung up on his ex-girlfriend at the time of their initial meeting. It wasn’t love at first sight. But with the building attraction simmering just underneath the surface whenever they hung out, it made the wait worth it to see two completely different people complement each other just so well. I truly look forward to seeing how this crazy romance is gonna turn out.

Overall Recommendation:
Another interesting installment in the world of Alchemists, Moroi and dhampirs, Richelle Mead gives more tidbits to the crazy things this series has to offer. From protecting a princess Moroi to attending to their love affairs, Sydney has too much on her plate. Action abounds and intrigue is at its highest as she continues to navigate human high school all the while trying to maintain her Alchemist ways. With the same loveable characters from before, witty dialogue and a forbidden romance makes the plot a definite read for those who loved the world the author has created with these 2 series. Another recommendation, although I hope there would be more action and closure next time.

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