The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
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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?
Please keep in mind, while there will NOT be spoilers for The Golden Lily in this review, there will most likely be spoilers for Bloodlines. You can read the review for that book here. There also will definitely be spoilers from the Vampire Academy series.
This series just keeps getting better and better. With Golden Lily, you really begin to see the changes that are going through the main character, Sydney, and I think that’s a huge basis for the entire series. The Sydney that we meet in VA is someone who is willing to help out the right people, in that she helps Rose, but she’s also very adamant in her ways. She was raised by the Alchemists. She deals with Moroi because she has to, but she still finds them frightening and unnatural like Strigoi, and she feels the same about dhampirs too. She’s ingrained in this, and she is scared of it as well. I love that in this novel, you start to see the breakdown of that. She is still scared, definitely, but she is learning. Being around two Moroi (Jill and Adrian), and a dhampir (Eddie) really starts effecting some change in her, which really is going to effect the story later.
Plus, Adrian. Oh, Adrian. You can tell even more in this novel how insanely crazy he is about Sydney, and she just doesn’t see it all. I spent this entire book just dying for her to figure out, but I knew she wouldn’t be okay with it. A human and Moroi? No way. Not in Sydney’s life.
But I love the direction the story is going on. It seems like there are different conflicts in each book. In book one, it was Lee and his desire to become a Strigoi again. In book two, it was the Warriors of Light (tiny baby mini spoiler there). Which seems kind of weird, but I don’t think so, not when I’ve read book three. I think that each step in the story is creating a larger picture in the transformation in Sydney’s personality, her views and her beliefs and I think that’s where the story is leading. I think she’s beginning to transform and that her transformation is part of a larger picture. Just a guess there but thats what I’ve been getting and I’m definitely enjoying it. I think a lot more is going to be revealed in the later books and I love that.
I’m not going to lie, the last few pages of the novel were my favorite. I felt a great moment of triumph and then the quick pain of disappointment in a matter of about five pages. It was incredible that it could do that. I finished it at about 3 a.m. and I wanted to keep reading. I wanted to move on to The Indigo Spell SO badly. Just finished that book a couple hours ago (as I’m writing this) and I really enjoyed it as well. The series just keeps getting better and better.
Now I’m off to go read The Fiery Heart, to read more of Sydney and her journey as a closeminded Alchemist to a battle ready girl.
5 out of 5 stars
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