Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead


The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series

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.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

Bloodlines was one of my favourite books of last year; Sydney's self-control makes her a fascinating heroine. I was interested to see how she would react as she grows closer to the Moroi and continues to question the Alchemists teachings. In book two we're straight back into the action at Amberwood Prep. Sydney has a great deal to cope with already. Angeline is suspended, Jill has a designer determined to get her to model for a nationwide campaign, Ms Terwilliger is continuing to attempt to teach Sydney magic and then of course there's Adrian. Aside from all of this Sonya (the ex-Strigoi Moroi) is being followed by strange people and then threatened.

This odd and sinister group form the basis of the plot. Apart from following Sonya and Sydney around they make veiled threats. Soon it becomes apparent that they have a very definite and terrifying agenda. Golden Lily is as action packed as book one but it's the character development that grabbed my attention. I touched briefly on Sydney's eating disorder in my last review and it becomes more obvious to those around her now that she's started to make friends. She's still trying to compare her body image with that of Jill - a naturally tall and thin Moroi. Her obsession with diet drinks and deserts are highlighted but it's her fledgling relationship with Brayden that starts to make her realise that perhaps her relationship with food and body image is skewed. As an aside, I loved that no one could get Brayden's name right throughout.

As ever, the most fascinating person for me is Adrian - magnetic, perplexing, infuriating Adrian. He was always my favourite character in the Vampire Academy books and I'm loving how important his role is in this new series. His emotions mostly ruled by spirit he struggles not to self medicate himself with alcohol. Now he's linked with Jill he tries his hardest not to get too intoxicated. He's also found a new passion with his art and obviously is drawn to Sydney. As I read, willing them together, I loved seeing how much he's grown emotionally. There's a touching scene where he meets his father who clearly hates him. I defy anyone not to want Adrian to conquer his demons after reading it.

Sydney also has an interesting journey. Initially resistant to magic that seems to reside in her blood she starts to relax and the story progresses and some of her Alchemist inhibitions are broken down in this book. However, she stays true to her cautious nature and I found her as intriguing as ever. I have high hopes for the next book after an explosive closing scene!

1 comment:

Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

I' have this one and I'm not sure why I've yet to read it? I adore Adrian and I look forward to getting back into this world!