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The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)

The Golden Lily

(Bloodlines #2)

Written by: Richelle Mead
Pages: 418

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?

The much-anticipated, by me at least, sequel to “Bloodlines” is at long last out. I was so excited I snagged this book and actually purchased it just so I wouldn’t have to wait to read it! Desperate much? You betcha!

This series spins off of Mead’s Vampire Academy series. I really liked the world that Mead created and the two types of vampires. However, I was glad to see the Vampire Academy draw to a close. When I discovered she continued writing in the world but centered around the far more interesting alchemists, I wanted to dance.

The premise: It’s today. Vampires are not “out of the coffin” unlike the more common trend in supernatural literature of late. That’s kind of nice. There are two different types of vampires, ones that are a little more human and non-automatically evil, the Moroi and ones that are everything you ever thought about creepy evil vampires, the Strigoi.

Blah blah, typical vampire lit fodder of vampire politics.

Now the alchemists? They’re a secret society and yes they find their origins in the ancient alchemists from the dark ages. They love knowledge and chemistry that borders on the magical. However, they’ve become a religious cult of sorts and they despise vampires, thinking them unnatural. Alchemists, however, work alongside the Moroi they dislike to attempt to deal with the Strigoi menace.  However, never do the Alchemists let down their guard and they warn against forming too close a bond to the vampires.

Most blindly follow this, but meet young Sydney. She’s seen a lot and there seems to be a lot of truly finding herself and defining herself in this novel. If I had to, I’d say hers is a true coming of age story. She begins to question what she was brought up to believe, questions orders, and wonders if perhaps there’s better ways. It’s hard to go against things so ingrained in her and you see her personal turmoil. Will the ends justify the means? Are the Alchemists the good force they proclaim to be?

Sydney dates for the first time. Yet she quickly discovers that an attraction of minds does not necessarily mean an attraction of the heart. She deals with a mystery, she uncovers an even more secret society than her own, she discovers troubling conspiracies that appear more truth than paranoia based.

I find myself intrigued as she continues her journey. I’m curious what is next for her. I can’t wait for the next book.

I loved this latest installment and I think this series is far better than the Vampire Academy series, which I enjoyed. When books continually make you happy and you see growth, that’s a great feeling for a reader.

–Lady O