The Golden Lily
Published 2012 418 pages
Reviewed by Georgia
Summary (from the book jacket)
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. Alchemists 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 shoe 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?
And with that last question you let out a long sigh, you put the book down and go do something else, because it was just that long! Sorry, if I sound cranky, but I always thought that these summaries are supposed to egg the reader on and not make them tired! Besides, this lengthy summary kind of kills the thrill early on. Nevertheless, the book itself is a great read and compensation to the fans!
The Golden Lily is the second of Richele Mead's YA Bloodlines novels (a spin-off from the popular Vampire Academy books) to begin with it focuses primarily on Sydney. This is really good, because she is after all the chief character, so it is always nice to have her in the front row rather than the sidelines. Since I am a big fan of hers, I have to say that with The Golden Lily the readers do get a better insight into her character. Sydney is not a simple person, nor is she a geek. Actually her intelligence and social awkwardness make her likeable. Although her pragmatic approach to life and her ineptitude in various social interactions cause her extra stress, these features –common too many out there in the world– never hinder her from having a real social life, friends and troubles nicely mixed. The reader will get most of it out of her dialogues with Adrian and Brayden. Her interplay with those two is both amusing and emotional.
As far as the story goes, there is “the taming of the plot”. The author has clearly set out a path and she sticks to it. There aren’t any lengthy descriptive narratives nor do we find minor plots in The Golden Lily. There are side stories that only highlight the main one, nicely developed and explained. There is also a concise build up to the dramatic scenes of the book and more depth to the actual plot. Very enjoyable are various hints about future events interspersed in the main narrative. They do make an interesting treasure hunt.
The Golden Lily is a very good story, where drama, adventure, humour and a healthy dose of irony are well-combined and outbalanced. There are some hilarious moments, esp. with Angeline and some scenes where Sydney, if I may say so, kicks ass. Fans will be thrilled and for those who will pick this one up, I believe that they won’t be disappointed.
LoveVampires Review Rating: