Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

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?
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist assigned to protect Jill Dragomir, a Moroi princess. Because of the happenings
in Bloodlines Sydney is now a praised examplary Alchemist. However, the higher Alchemists don't know the half of it. Sydney has developed a friendship with vampires, Adrian in particular... While struggling with her feelings and loyalty she also discovers a dangerous secret: vampire hunters may not be a legend after all.

The Golden Lily was a perfect, though somewhat predictable, sequel to the Bloodlines series. In Bloodlines the focus was on the Alchemists and about Sydney settling with her new 'siblings'. While there's more to learn about the Alchemists, magic and even vampire hunters in The Golden Lily, the focus is on Sydney's personality and her relationships with characters around her. Suspense, action, drama and mostly romance. It was all there. Because the novel has several entwined story lines, there was enough speed in the story. Slightly more action than in the previous book., though it might not be as much as some want. However, trusting Richelle Mead, I do think there's plenty of it in the coming books: She is a master at writing dialogue and developing characters.

"Too bad you got so bogged down in books. You've got the spirit of a warrior." Sydney is a great heroine, because she simply isn't your typical heroine. She is not exceptionally beautiful or self-confident or generally badass. She is smart and has an innocence and sincerity that you can't help but admire. I was glad to see her change thoughout this book. While she still has a bit of the Alchemist rigidity about vampires, she has started to see her companions as friends. She realises all too well she should keep her distance and should hate them, but she knows she can't.
"You need me? You yell. You want to leave? We go. I'll get you out of here, no matter what." Adrian. How I love Adrian. Ever since the VA series we've known him as an irresponsible spoiled party boy. Now, we actually see the real Adrian. He is very smart, loyal, talented and he just needs someone to believe in him. Someone like Sydney. We also get a closer look on Adrian's past, his family, which explains a lot about him and his behaviour.

"Adrian, I'm on a date. Why are you here? On my car?"
Ah, their is such tension between Sydney and Adrian. Their relationship is interesting, both Sydney and Adrian unpredictable. They are complete opposites, yet they complement each other perfectly. I am very curious to find out more about these two, especially with the Alchemist prejudice about vampires and relationships with them...

I was happy to see other characters develop too. Eddie, who is so kind and loyal. He pushes his own feelings for Jill aside, while trying to keep Angeline off his back. Jill, who shows she is maturing. She begins to take her position as the Queen's sister and realises she can't have a relationship with a human.

I must warn you: The Golden Lily ends with a terrible cliffhanger leaving the reader desperate for more. With amazing characters and intriguing developments the Bloodlines series is a series you should watch out for!

My rating of this book

E-book copy.

Other links
Find this book on Goodreads
Visit Richelle Mead's website here


  1. I've read the first book, but have not been reading this yet. Have this book standing in my bookshelf. Love your review:)

    1. Thank you.
      Have fun reading The Golden Lily! You might want to make sure you have easy access to The Indigo Spell after you finish it. (;

  2. I got so annoyed at the other series and I still feel that

  3. How could that be, B? I love the VA-series, what I have read of it so far, that is.

    I am a bit afraid of spoilers, Sylke so I do not dare to read your review.

    1. I'm sorry about that Blodeuedd. VA seems to be one of those series where people either love it or loathe it.

      Mari, I always try to keep my reviews free from too many spoilers, but I agree it may be wisest to avoid it. Better safe than sorry. Have fun reading The Golden Lily!

  4. I love the Bloodlines series as well. I just finished The Indigo Spell yesterday, and it was excellent!

    Great review :)


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