Monday, February 25, 2013

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead: review

Goodreads rating: 4.44
Hardcover, 418 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Razorbill
Series: Bloodlines #2
Source: Bought, signed

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?

Holy crap guys this was so good!!! I'd heard that there was going to be a lot more romance in this one than with Bloodlines, but I could have never guessed all the emotions and feels I was going to get from Adrian and stoic Sydney. But obviously other things are happening. Angeline, another dhampir, has joined their little group and should be taking some of the responsibility off of Sydney when it comes to taking care of Jill. But Angeline is getting into her own trouble. She's from the coven of wild dhampirs that we met in the VA books, so she's already a little out there, and apparently has the hots for Eddie. Eddie isn't really interested in her, partly because she's trying too hard (no guy likes that, ladies, just as tip), but mostly because Eddie is in love with Jill. But Jill and Micah and kind of going out even though Jill knows she's not supposed to. Yeah, the relationships are super complicated. I never liked Angeline. I don't know why. I think it's because I want to see Eddie and Jill together. And, by getting in trouble all the time, she was taking Sydney away from things and nearly blowing their cover. Their cover is also in danger when they all start falling for each other, especially when Adrian starts going out with that really super boring guy (Brayden, Brandon, something like that. I just can't remember because Adrian always called him something different every time) and she starts falling for Adrian.

So Sydney and Adrian are really on their way to becoming the Sydrian we all want. The great thing about Richelle Mead's books is that it's not just about the guy, but it's about these two really complex characters getting together. I think I'd forgotten that when it happened with Dmitri and Rose, but The Golden Lily brought those feelings back with a vengeance (in a good way!). Adrian keeps finding reasons to hang out with Sydney. He even buys an old car (I'm pretty sure it's a 60's Mustang, but I'm not sure) and totally pretends he doesn't know how to drive stick so that Sydney will take the time to teach him. At first, it's hard having Dmitri there all the time. Adrian always seems to be fighting with whatever Dmitri says, but of course Mr. Belikov is as calm as ever. I definitely missed his character and how fiercely he always fought, but at the same time, it's hard seeing him through Sydney's eyes because she's not attracted to him at all. It was all about Adrian this time, and as he started falling more for Sydney, he also stopped fighting with Dmitri so much. She really is changing him. One of the funniest things that happened in the book is that, through the weird spirit link that Adrian and Jill have, his thoughts about Sydney would come through sometimes, and so Jill would be looking at Sydney with such admiration and tell her how amazing she is. And you knew that that's what was happening so it was just priceless. And I loved seeing Sydney let down her walls around him, and so see Adrian actually trying.

So, the vampire hunters turn out to kind of be a thing. I can't say much more than that, but someone from the school actually belongs to this weird organization, and now that Sydney is on better terms with the Alchemists, she can get a better backing when it comes to telling them the truth about what's happening in Palm Springs. I just love all of these characters. Sydney is obviously starting to branch out, and the ways of the Alchemists don't really seem as clear to her since she's been hanging out with the Dhampir's and Moroi. Also, we find out that there's a way to prevent the Moroi from becoming Strigoi. Which is a big thing! But Sydney's blood is special too, and the last Strigoi that tried to drink her blood said it tasted terrible. So what is Sydney, then? Well, we still don't know, and she already felt weird enough giving up one vial of blood for an experiment. Luckily, Adrian is standing up for Sydney, but he's also getting dangerously enticing, and the romantic tension sort of builds to a point. Let's just say that there's some kissing. I actually used one of the kissing scenes in my meme Tempt Me Thursday a while ago. So, yeah, it kind of stuck with me. I know eventually Syndey will give in, but, as usual in Mead's novels, there needs to be much more heartbreak before that can happen. I was just happy to see Sydney become a little less stubborn (though she's still totally naive, which is hilarious), and to let her guard down enough to actually let someone in. I'm so glad the third one is out already! But I have to wait until I go back home to get it... Anyway, this was an amazing second installment, even better than Bloodlines!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the awesome review. I haven't read anything in this series and you're making me realize that I should.


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