REVIEW by Jena: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead (@RichelleMead)
Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students–children of the wealthy and powerful–carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.
The first thingy I want to say is that the synopsis for this book is incredibly misleading so dont pay any attention to it. If anything, it sounds more like a synopsis for the first book in the series.
So The Golden Lily is the 2nd book in the Bloodlines series, a spinoff of Richelle Mead’s hitVampireAcademyseries. I will be honest, I was never going to bother with this series. I read through all of theVampireAcademybooks and when I heard about Bloodlines, I honestly figured it would suck. Not because I felt that Richelle Mead was a bad writer. Not at all. My feelings were because theVampireAcademyhad run it’s course and it was time to wrap it up. I couldn’t understand where else the story of this world could have gone while not being wrapped around Rose and Dimitri (can you tell I love them???).
After much consideration, I decided to give it a shot. Bloodlines was a pleasant enough surprise that I spent the last few months chomping at the bit just waiting for The Golden Lily to come out. And I was NOT disappointed.
My biggest gripe with Bloodlines was that the book had a very slow start because the author decided to rehash and reintroduce every character involved. It took me a while to get into the book because of that and I found it a bit frustrating. The Golden Lily does not have that problem at all. Right from the start, this book takes off. The story is written in such a way that it’s an understood thing – if you’re reading The Golden Lily, you’ve already read Bloodlines. In that sense, it’s definitely not a stand alone novel. You’ll want to read book one before proceeding on to this title.
The Golden Lily surrounds the same cast as Bloodlines – Sydney Sage, Adrian Ivashkov, Jill Mastrano-Dragomir, Eddie Castile, etc etc. By “etc etc”, I’m talking Dimitri Belikov. However, as much as he stole the show in the Vampire Academy series, he is not the star of this series by any stretch of the imagination. He’s still a great character but the supporting cast member that steals the show in this series is most definitelyAdrian. The book is told from the point of view of Sydney Sage butAdrianis, by far, my absolute favorite character out of the cast.
We got to know him pretty well in the VA series and I don’t think a better male character could have been picked to cross over to the Bloodlines series. First and foremost, he’s hilarious. Straight up. He has a way of literally making me laugh out loud while reading his dialog. Sarcasm is his weapon of choice and I adore him for it. His brand of humor works so well withSydney’s character as well. The author has written some very well placed and well played out banter between the two of them that makes these friends a riot to read.
The story line of this installment in the series took an unexpected turn for me but one I am glad the author ventured off on. I don’t want to get into any detail about it because it will blow a major plot line but let’s just throw out a cliché: “all is not what it seems”. That fits perfectly. You’ll love it.
Here’s a little snippit from my review of Bloodlines that I want to touch on in regards to The Golden Lily:
Sydney is still Sydney too. She’s had to face the music with the alchemists following her actions in Last Sacrifice and she’s still not 100% trusted in this series. Sydney kind of reminds me of Clint Eastwood in Gran Turino. The Vampire Academy series and Bloodlines both have present parallels to racism. Sydney is like the racist who suddenly sees the object of their hate in a new light. When Sydney and Rose met up in the Vampire Academy series, the seed was planted. Sydney was given the opportunity to see that the beliefs she was raised with (both vampires and Dhampirs are creatures created in, by and of evil) are not 100% accurate. Mixed in with the mystery of day that makes up the majority of the Bloodlines plot, Sydney is going through inner turmoil – struggling between the result of years of brainwashing and budding friends ships with Adrian, Jill, Eddie and a few other Moroi and Dhampirs.
As with Bloodlines, The Golden Lily continues to touch on this parallel between their fictional world and racism in the real world. The inner turmoil thatSydneydealt with in book one over whether or not her hatred of their race is right is still present in book two. There are a lot of questions raised in her mind and the mystery of the day in The Golden Lily does nothing but drive that point home. Who is really The Big Bad? She was raised with a certain belief system and her friendships (among other things in The Golden Lily) are making her question whether or not those beliefs are flat-out wrong. Again, I found myself admiringSydneyfor the way she handles things and while reading the book, I had my fingers crossed the whole time that she’d continue to grow on that path. Obviously, I am not going to tell you how it turned out because that would be cheating.
My only issue with The Golden Lily was I found it a little predictable. In previous books in these two series, the author would present a mystery. Somewhere during the course of the story line, the answer would be staring you in the face but it would be written in such a way that you never realized it was the answer until the big reveal at the end. This time around, she dangles the answer in plain site, as always, but then touches on it again and again and by the third time of it being brought up, you know what the answer is. The problem with that? It’s only about half way through the book. I feel that kind of takes the fun out of the mystery. Even though I knew where the story was going, the book is still entertaining enough that I was still excited to finish it.
Overall, I am going to give The Golden Lily 4 stars! It was a wonderful read. And, as with Bloodlines, the last three sentences of this book have you DYING to know where the story goes after and leaves you sadly disappointed when you realize that you have to wait. This is not a bad thing at all! I, for one, will be stalking the author’s website waiting for the announcement of the next release.