Thursday, June 21, 2012

Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines 2)

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)

Pages: 432
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: 12/06/2012
Publisher: Penguin, Razor bill

Sent to me from the publisher.
The Second Book in the 'Bloodlines' series

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?


Before I start going on and on about how great this book and/or series is I would like you to know that I am biased. I'm biased, because I decided a long time ago that Richelle Mead's writing was awesome, And once I've formed an opinion like that it makes it very hard for me to find flaws with the book in question. 'The Golden Lily' was so good that I read it pretty quickly and failed to take mental notes along the way, because I was so interested in what was going to happen next...

When I read 'The Golden Lily' I felt a little disoriented by the amount of time that "passed" in the character's world. I didn't realise that 'Bloodlines' was only about a month in the Richelle Mead world. It was strange reading 'The Golden Lily', because I seemed to think that time in the novel was moving much slower than it actually was. When I read one of the later chapters a character talks about something happening "3 months ago" and all I can think is "Really? that was only three months ago?". And, then I finish the book and I think "Well, I guess it can't have taken up too much time in their world. I read most of it in one day..."

The thing that's really cool about Mead's world is her ability to expand on it. It feels as if the possibilities are endless and that she could just keep writing more and more spin-off series, because there always seems to be room for more characters, more places, more rules, more mythology... In 'The Golden Lily' we are introduced to a whole new group of individuals and possibilities. I especially like how the characters too, are surprised by this and had thought it to be impossible. There's nothing cooler than a bunch of crazy-vampires and half -vampires thinking that something is impossible.

Like I was hoping, 'The Golden Lily' explores a lot of the relationship possibilities. I like that the relationships weren't all instant and fairytale. There were a lot of problems in the relationships and I thought it was interesting to see how the characters dealt with it. There was a girl dating a guy she wasn't attracted to, forbidden love, unrequited love and bad timing.

I still think Sydney is my favourite  character in the series, but she did get on my nerves a few times. She's still trying to figure out what's wrong and what's right as far as her beliefs go, And, there is a lot of pressure put on her to both follow/break the rules she is supposed to live by, by different characters. This is just like peer pressure in the real world. It was interesting to see how her beliefs affected her ability to socialise and help others in the story. Sydney seemed a little bit more adjusted to the vampires and the modern world, as she knew more about how to treat people and how to "dumb herself down" when necessary. She was still terribly naive when people were trying to hint at her and sometimes I think she secretly knew (even though the novel was in first person) about some of the things that were eventuating, but wanted to pretend otherwise, because it would have been against her religion/alchemist rules. At one point I wanted to just smack her and tell her to wake up to herself. "Leave the alchemists!" I wanted to yell.

In this novel Mead proved why I was team Adrian! Swoon... I thought he was really starting to grow up a bit (finally) and that he was really caring and accepting of some of the characters (sometimes surprisingly). Don't get worried though! He didn't grow up too much. He was still very funny at times.

Overall, 5/5 stars and a favourite. I don't really know what else to say. I couldn't really find any faults, except for Sydney being difficult (not listening to me), but I think she's a love-to-love, love-to-hate character. If you have not read anything by Richelle Mead I definitely recommend you give it a go! I can't wait to find out what happens next! Yes, that's right! It's going to be insanity all over again, until the next book comes out...

Vampire Academy Series:

Bloodlines- Spin off series:
2. The Golden Lily (This Review)

Your Favourite Blogger,


Nikki said...

Oh this book! I agree with your review. Richelle Mead is just fantastic. And The Golden Lily is just amazing. So totally loved it. Great review! And Adrian...yup...swoon.

Rachel @ Unforgettable Books said...

Love love love your review! And Sydrian! I love how there is so MUCH extravagant things to discover in Meads world too!!!!!!
New follower! Nice to meet you!

Erin W. said...

This book . . . gosh I have so much love for Sydrian! And that ending . . . it was what I always wanted and yet the author had to then crush my happiness into little, little pieces. haha. Anyway great review!

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

I read and reviewed The Golden Lily this week too! So far in Mead's YA books, Sydney is probably my favorite female character. I just love her imperfections, and that she struggles to form her own opinions, even though some very close-minded ideals had been planted in her brain since day one.

Stopped by from the Saturday Situation!