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Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Bloodlines #2

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Title: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Razorbill (12th June 2012)
Blurb:

WILL LOVE LOSE HER EVERYTHING SHE KNOWS?

SYDNEY IS AN ALCHEMIST.
SHE PROTECTS VAMPIRE SECRETS -
AND HUMAN LIVES.

In hiding at a Californian boarding school, Sydney’s life has become irrevocably intertwined with Jill Dragomir, the vampire Moroi princess she has been tasked with protecting. She has grown close to those in Jill’s circle – and to someone in particular. Someone that forces her to question everything the alchemists believe in. Someone forbidden.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world – her new world – apart, Sydeny’s loyalties are tested more than ever. Should she trust the alchemists – or her heart?

Forbidden temptation lies behind the iron gates . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Review:

The Golden Lily is the second book in Richelle Mead’s brilliant Bloodlines series (you can find my review here), a spin-off from her amazing Vampire Academy. The Golden Lily follows and is narrated by Sydney Sage, an Alchemist in charge of keeping Jill Dragomir safe and hidden.

The Golden Lily opens after a couple of months after the events of Bloodlines. The opening chapter is a really interesting chapter for many reasons. I found it interesting because of what it hints at about the Alchemist organisation. In fact, what the whole book has to say about the Alchemists is very interesting. Apart from Sydney, the Alchemists don’t get a lot of page time in this book but they are very definitely there, haunting the background.

The Golden Lily is a brilliant read. Once I allowed myself the time to sit and read it, I devoured it in huge chunks. Sydney is a compelling narrator and I enjoyed reading her perspective on romantic relationships. I really enjoy the mix of brilliance and – well, not stupidity but – obtuseness in her. Sydney’s great with facts – with things she can control – but relationships – even just between friends – don’t really make sense to her. I think this is perhaps why I like her as a character so much.

The plot of The Golden Lily takes a while to really build. Most of the book is focused on the interpersonal relationships between Sydney and her Moroi friends, and whilst I really enjoyed that I was looking forward to the action too. Despite this, the major plot of the book is really compelling. There were a couple of twists I didn’t see coming, and I made a couple of wrong guesses which I liked – I enjoy it when a book’s twists can surprise me and still be believable.

As with Bloodlines, The Golden Lilyis exactly the right length. I also loved the fact that the main story is contained within the book. Mead also left some interesting plot thread untouched which I’m hoping will be explored in book 3, but the book felt complete enough that I wasn’t left disappointed that some of my questions were left unanswered. The final chapter of the book is intense, though I guessed what the outcome would be.

If you’re a fan of Urban Fantasy then you should definitely check this book out. For a book centred around vampires, it’s a refreshing change from the usual suspects in the genre. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on book 3, unfortunately there’s a “bit” of a wait on my hands.

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