Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Book Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Title: The Golden Lily

Author: Richelle Mead

Series: Bloodlines #2

Publisher: Razorbill

How obtained: ebook

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 had always liked Sydney even in the original Vampire Academy series. She always had that sort of cold, all business and no nonsense exterior but inside you knew she really did have a heart and a special love for cars. It was just the way she was brought up that made her like who she was. It was also nice to see the world of moroi and dhampirs from the eyes of a human, albeit a very special one. I know, I know Bloodlines is the first book in this series and I'm planning to write a review for that one as soon as I re-read it. The Golden Lily is much more fresh in my mind.

As we dive back into this book, we learn that Sydney saves Keith from another round of re-education courtesy of the Alchemists. We also learn that Adrian is really trying to be productive and trying to pretend like our badass, hot Dimitri isn't there. You didn't need to be a genius to know that seeing Dimitri was like throwing a punch in Adrian's gut but Sydney tries her best to get his mind off of this. Keith was not the last of their troubles though, apparently the claim of there being "vampire hunters" isn't as far off as it seemed (and that is where I stop. Got to read to find out! :]). Richelle really put the relationship between Sydney and  Adrian to a shimmer and then plays around with the heat setting a few times.

I love Sydney because she's so real. She worries about her weight all the time even though she's probably skinny and beautiful by human standards. In The Golden Lily she really starts to find the confidence within herself and trusts her own decisions. She starts to question her beliefs of whether or not Moroi and Dhampirs are really the evil creatures of the nights but she has to be careful because the Alchemists are still keeping an eye on her.

It broke my heart because we see Adrian pull himself together and face his father but watch as his father hurts him. I'm so glad Sydney is there to rescue him with a sugary icy drink!!

Remember what I mentioned about heat settings? Richelle throws in Brayden who seems like the perfect match for Sydney but honestly we all know who that is right?? ;] I think this side relationship helps Sydney realize even further what real feelings for another feel like.


Oh my god. I felt like this was a serious roller coaster at the end. In no way it lacked for action. Richelle  Mead just has that special power to draw you into her world and completely captivate you from beginning to end. All I just have to say is that its heart wrenching and that you'll love Sydney and Adrian even more.

I give The Golden Lily a 9.5/10. One of my favorite paranormal YA fiction books/series by far. You have to pick this up if you haven't already and you should definitely look forward to The Indigo Spell. I have a feeling things are going to be A LOT more interesting and complicated. :]

Read up a storm :]