by Richelle Mead
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 and the gang are back in The Golden Lily, the second installment in Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series. Adrian, Jill and Eddie – return with a few friends. Dmitri Belikov (yes, that Dmitri) and Sonya Karp (another former Strigoi) join the “family” in Palm Springs to do research on the possible effects of spirit and how it might be used to eradicate the threat of the Strigoi. There’s also a new girl in the mix – Angeline, a dhampir with few social graces.
I am a such a huge fan of Richelle Mead. Her characters feel so real and genuine. They’re usually far from perfect but they’re likable you really want to root for them.
In The Golden Lily, Mead continues to peel back the layers of both Adrian and Sydney. She shows us where they come from and some of the forces that shaped each of them. I know a lot of people don’t like Sydney very much but I can actually relate to her. Her position in the group isn’t easy and the Alchemist attitude of fear and prejudice of magic is a hard one to break. But it’s clear that she cares about her ragtag family and she takes a lot of risks to protect them. She’s also pretty funny when she relaxes a little and is an extremely loyal friend.
Of course we can’t forget Adrian. I think I fall for him a little more with each book. In The Golden Lily we get to see a much more vulnerable side to Adrian. He lets Sydney see parts of him that no one else sees. And while he still has self-destructive tendencies at times, he’s really coming into his own. He is slowly evolving into the man I think we and Sydney believe he is. And that’s someone who is smart, loyal, dependable and who loves to get under Sydney’s skin.
I think Adrian and Sydney have great chemistry together, even if Sydney is a bit clueless most of the time. And yes, there is KISSING in this book. Finally! Of course it comes with a killer cliffhanger ending, but I’ll take what I can get.
Though Sydney and Adrian were my favorite part of the book, it was also nice to see everyone again, especially Dmitri. Jill, who had tendency to be sort of whiny, wasn’t so bad in this one. Of course there’s a mystery to solve, one that leaves more questions than answers. Answers which I am hoping that Mead answers in the next two books.
Definitely loved this one. Things are really heating up and I cannot wait to read The Indigo Spell! Speaking of which, I think I shall go read it right now…