Series: Bloodlines #2
Author: Richelle Mead
Pages: 423 (Kindle)
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Purchase: Amazon•TBD (affiliate link)
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. Alchemists 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. Formorly 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 her 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 Braydon, 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 Golden Lily was better than the first book, but I still wasn’t wowed yet. Although it had another ending that kind of blew my mind. This time we’re following Sydney as she continues to keep an eye on Jill while trying to figure out Spirit’s effect on ex-Strigoi. Of course, Sydney doesn’t directly participate in the experiments, but she knows figuring it out will help the Alchemists and the rest of humanity. But then someone comes after her and Sonya, believing she’s Strigoi. Perhaps there’s something to Clarence’s claims of vampire hunters.
I did like The Golden Lily better since we weren’t constantly being bombarded with “reasons” for Sydney and the Alchemists to be involved with vampire politics. They just are, and let’s move on. Plus, this Strigoi business does affect everyone. Is Spirit the key or is there something special about Sydney? The latter really makes her queasy, but the more time she spends with the Moroi and her History teacher, the less she can deny that there’s something to it. Although she does continue to deny and deny and deny. Sydney is a smart girl, and she breathes facts and logic. Well, fact and logic are pointing to there be something unique about her!
I don’t really have much to say about The Golden Lily. I really enjoyed the continued world building. There’s more out there than just vampires and Alchemists. It was also fun to see Sydney navigate the world of dating. She really sucks at it, but I found her dates really cute and at times cringe-worthy (in a good way). Adrian continues to be awesome, and although that last chapter is a bit rushed, I’m eager for the tension that this revelation will bring to the rest of the series.