The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2) by Richelle Mead

Title: The Golden Lily
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: June, 12, 2012
Pages: 418, Hardcover
Rating: 4 stars

Summary 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?

When I found out Richelle Mead was writing a spinoff of the Vampire Academy series, I was ecstatic.  I loved the series and was so happy to get another 6 books written in this world. But I didn't fall in love with Bloodlines nearly as much as I had with Vampire Academy. I think a big part of this had to do with the switch from Rose to Sydney as the main character. Rose is rebellious and confident and so full of life, whereas, Sydney is more reserved and refined, and well, a little dull. Even though I still enjoyed Bloodlines (a solid 3 star rating), it just didn't compare to the thrill I got from Rose's story and POV.

The Golden Lily is a step in the right direction. I don't know if I will ever like Sydney as much as Rose (there's not many female leads that I like as much as Rose period) but I found her more endearing in this book. Sydney begins questioning everything she's been taught to believe by the Alchemists as she spends more time with the Moroi and dhampirs. She loosens up a bit and I think this makes her more likable. We also get to enjoy more of her quirks and eccentricities - her intellect, her whit, her complete social/romantic ineptitude - and all around she's a bit more exciting than in the first book. We get to endure her first relationship and she also dabbles more in the magic that her teacher introduced to her. I'm exited to see how the latter will be used in the later books. We also get to see her and Adrian get closer *swoon* and I admire her ability to keep up with him in snarky comments. Definite plus for entertainment value. Did I mention I LOVE ADRIAN? He's still his usual drinking/smoking/sarcastic/i-don't-give-a-damn self but it's not who he is anymore as much as who people expect him to be. We continually get to see the softer/caring/more vulnerable side of him, especially when it comes to Sydney. I'll admit I like bad boy, cocky, and rebellious Adrian better but I believe this side of him works when were dealing with Syndey rather than Rose (and I'll take what I can get).

As usual, Richelle Mead's writing just rocks. I swear she could make the dullest of events sound interesting if she wanted to. Her characters are so distinct and she has them interact so well. None of her books are without some humor and silliness but she still packs all the heavy emotions and themes in there too - love, anger, self-doubt, duty. I liked the mystery/developments in this novel more so than Bloodlines. I mean, were talking VAMPIRE HUNTERS!! Consistent with Richelle Mead's other books, we get good-pacing, a steady unveiling of pieces to the puzzle, a nice set up for the third book, plot twists, and adventure. She never disappoints.

Overall, The Golden Lily was better than Bloodlines, but still not as good as Vampire Academy. A lot of this resides in Sydney, who I've already noticed big improvements in. I seriously think each book will keep getting better and that this is a series to stick with. Richelle Mead has already set up so much, that I can't wait to see what she has in store. 


  1. Good review! I agree that The Golden Lily wasn't as good as Vamp Academy but its getting really, really good and I'm psyched for the next book :)

  2. This is one series and author i really need to try..i feel so left i just arrived on the planet or something..awesome review!

    Micky Johnson (Seattle Divorce Lawyer)


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