The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead

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Book: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)

Author: Richelle Mead

Published: June 12, 2012

Hardcover, 418 pages

Read October 2012

B.O.S.SF Review: 4.5 stars

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*****

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?
*****
I recently reread The Golden Lily to get ready for the highly anticipated The Indigo Spell.  I enjoyed the Golden Lily much more the second time around.  The story picks up right where Bloodlines left off.
I love Sydney and Adrian… I think I like them more than Rose and Dimitri.  Sydney is hilarious, intelligent, and vulnerable.  The way that she struggles between the way that she was brought up and her new friends (and crush) makes for a good storyline.  Adrian is one of my favorite book characters.  He’s goofy, clever, but much deeper than he leads on.  He cares about his friends more than anything, and he is scared to try to succeed because he thinks he will fail.  The only person that he knows that sees him for who he is, is Sydney… but of course she was raised to believe all vampires are evil creatures.  And there were times I wanted to yell at her!  Tell her to just follow her heart.
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The side characters and subplots are excellent in The Golden Lily as well – the Eddie, Jill, Angeline dynamic is full of laughs and an interesting love triangle.  I’ve been a fan of Eddie since the Vampire Academy series – he takes his job seriously and is an honest and sweet guy.  Angeline’s antics made me laugh.  Adjusting to life outside of the Keepers and to the rigorous academic schedule of the Palm Springs prep school is tough, but it’s fun to see her find her own way.  I would like Jill to come into her character more.  She’s tall, beautiful, and young.  I hope that she is able to contribute more in future books.
All of the great characters could make up a book in itself, but there are a few major underlying plots, all that deal with Sydney having to choose between how she was raised to believe and what she is learning on her own.  One that carried over from Bloodlines is learning more about the Strigoi and why former Strigoi could not be turned back into them.  Each Moroi has a special power, and  a rare power is Spirit.  The Spirit users are working on finding out more about Strigoi…. the bad vampires.  This starts to make Sydney uncomfortable when they ask for her assistance.  Sydney’s slightly looney teacher, Ms. Terwilliger, is “forcing” Sydney to learn magic.  She claims that Sydney has an innate skill and that she has great potential with magic.  Lastly, there are some vampire hunters that are looking for Sonya Karp.
The plot is full of action and twists with humor and a GREAT love story.  It’s one of my favorite series, and I can’t wait to read on 🙂

 

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