review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
From Goodreads: 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.
Nancy’s Take: This second installment in this series hit all the right notes for me, and I enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed Bloodlines (review here).
In Bloodlines, Sydney’s eyes were opening to the fact that maybe the Alchemists were not as wonderful as they seemed, and that maybe vampires and magic were not the worst evils in the world. In this book, Sydney’s status has risen in the Alchemists due to her “devotion” to duty, but she feels guilty because she feels she’s been deceptive (the Alchemists believe she is stoically enduring her assignment guarding repulsive vampires, but she actually likes her charges). Her thoughts would be considered treasonous, but since she saw firsthand how the Alchemists treat those who “sympathize” with vampires, she keeps her thoughts hidden.
Dimitri and Sonya are working on finding out how to change Strigoi back to normal with blood and spirit magic, and Sydney is terrified to give them a blood sample because she doesn’t want to know what they will find. What if she has magical powers? That would not do for an Alchemist – yet she has worked a spell (which is against Alchemist doctrine) and is beginning to relax her thinking on the subject. While reading a spell book she thinks, ”… they were all so wrong and yet … so useful.”
Again, there is some humor in the fact that her social skills are stunted; she acquires a boyfriend who is just as analytical as she is and is quite clinical about the whole relationship. There are some funny bits when Jill’s bond with Adrian colors her interactions with a clueless Sydney.
Adrian - hot badboy vampire with a quick wit – yah, he’s definitely got chemestry with Sydney, even though she is analytical to the max and rigidly regimented. Her need for order in her world spills over to her borderline anorexic diet, her perfect grades and her khaki clothing. Her rapport with Adrian grows - she supports him and encourages him, and even champions him to his overbearing father. She kids with him about betting if he quits smoking she’ll eat a bowl of gelato; so when she buys them slushes after a rough meeting with Adrian’s father and even drinks it, you know it’s more than friendship.
The adventure is quite good, and the extreme fanaticism of the bad guys parallels the Alchemists – and the point is not lost on Sydney. I can’t wait to see what the next book holds – more Adrian and Sydney please! Yep. True love is slushies.