Title: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)
Author: Richelle Mead
Release Date: June 12th, 2012
Source: Borrowed ARC
My Rating: 5/5
This is one of the hardest reviews I've had to write. How can I properly describe the tug on my heart when I think about The Golden Lily? The smile that wants to form on my lips? Can I really explain why this book makes me completely giddy and happy? I certainly hope I can, but I will say this: it was everything I wanted and so much more.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 been counting down the days until The Golden Lily was released since turning the last page of Bloodlines. It was the perfect spin-off series and I couldn't wait until I got to continue the story. Luckily, my fellow Ottawa blogger Emilie from Emilie's Book World received an ARC that she was willing to loan me. I read it obsessively!
Richelle Mead has a way with stories. All the elements from the characters to the plot to the intrigue etc., are woven together with precision and dedication. This isn't just a bunch of words thrown on a page, it's a carefully crafted world that hits no false note. Something I think Mead has perfected in The Golden Lily is character development. Every single character has their own unique and distinct personality. The major characters feel like they're your friends and the minor ones have a presence all their own. Mead makes you committed to the characters. She makes you have an emotional investment in each and every one. Even the villains!
Speaking of characters, I have loved Sydney Sage since she popped onto the page in Blood Promise. I think she's just a fantastic character, with many different layers to her. She is so witty and intelligent; a woman to look up to. The banter and charisma between her Adrian was one of the best parts of the book! And Adrian. Oh, Adrian. I have always been a hardcore Team Dimitri fan (seriously, I have a shirt that says "Belikov" on the back) but Adrian has won his own place in my heart. I loved getting to see the softer, scarred side of him that he always hides. It made me love him even more. I also was really happy to have Dimitri back in the story (*cheers really loudly*). Although he wasn't a main character, it was great to have his stoic, sweet self.
The plot itself, although easy to guess, kept my eyes glued to the page. I desperately needed to see what would happen. I feel like the over-arching plot line of the series has been introduced, which makes me really excited for the next few novels. I am really interested to see how it will all tie together.
Overall, I love love loved this book. It made my emotions soar, and kept a smile permanently glued to my face. Still whenever I think about it, my heart gives a little squeeze and all I want to do is pick it up again. This was one of my favorite Richelle Mead books, and considering she's one of my favorite authors, that's saying a lot. Read. This. Book. You will fall in love with it.
- Ciara who is lost at midnight
Find this book: Amazon | Goodreads | Richelle Mead's website