The Golden Lily || Richelle Mead || Paranormal || 418 pages || Razorbill || 4.39 on Goodreads
Summary from Goodreads:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
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?
Ah, The Golden Lily. I don’t know why but it took me longer than expected to get through it, not because the pace was necessarily slow, although yes, there wasn’t much action involved except for the climax at the end, but because there wasn’t any major motivator for me to keep going with the book. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it but I keep thinking it’s similar to Vampire Academy in the way that the last four books are going to be better than the first two. And yet I loved the characters, the discoveries we made and the general direction of where this series is going. A solid 4 stars is what I’m giving this novel.
From the first fifty pages I knew that Sydney’s voice was different and I really liked that change. It seemed that her point of view has become more lighthearted and less, well, boring. I really started to appreciate how dorky and even adorable Sydney can be because, although she still isn’t quite there with the understanding of normal social behavior in a high school, she is learning and it made me laugh as she’s challenged with a more high school typical situations.
Which is another thing on it’s own. I thought that the book was much funnier and more the sort of writing we had with Vampire Academy. Not quite there yet because I still think on the humor scale, the first series is miles in front, but I think this book definitely got me laughing more than Bloodlines and if Adrian’s point of view ever came into the books, the series would grow funnier and funnier.
This was the book that really made me like Sydney as a character. She definitely developed since the last book in terms of not letting others push her around and sticking up for what she thinks is right. Her fears are still there, the magic, the compulsion etc. but because she has a very strong sense of right and wrong, she will not be bullied into things she doesn’t want to do. It kind of starts to show her arc as a character and I’m hoping her character really develops in that way.
And now for some random spoiler-ish thoughts
Like I already said, I loved Sydney and how she’s growing. Her involvement in magic has really taken a turn that I wasn’t expecting so soon nor so sudden. When she was talking about the charms, she said, “I had time to make all of them.” Woah. The book didn’t make me love Dimitri any better. He had some nerve talking to Adrian the way he did especially towards the beginning of the book . I know a lot of people absolutely adore him but I’m not one of them. Although I did love him as a Strigoi. I really hope Rose will turn up in the future because I miss her humor so much. The fact that everyone has to be with someone or have an obvious interest in being in a relationship also kind of bothers me. Aren’t their lives complicated enough without the 46842 love triangles?