Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Title: The Golden Lily
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill

Release Date: June 12, 2012
My Rating: 5 stars

Pages: 418

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?" - Goodreads

Warning: May contain some spoilers to Bloodlines.

Before I review this book, I need to be completely honest- I was prepared to give The Golden Lily 3 stars. I've been reading Richelle Mead since her Vampire Academy series, and I have to say, that each book started to bore me more and more. Eventually, I read Bloodlines and felt forced to give it three stars just because of the boredom. But I stuck with the series, out of loyalty to Richelle Mead, 
and I'm glad I did.

Sydney Sage finally has a normal life. Or as normal as it could be because Sydney is an Alchemist. A member of a group of people who stand united to protect the peace between vampires and humans. To do this, Sydney has to keep Jill, the sister of the vampire princess, safe. No matter what the cost. Despite this, Sydney likes her life. For the first time, she's making friends, going to school, and even getting a boyfriend. As Sydney gets closer to her vampire coworkers, she begins to question the very foundation that the Alchemists stand on. Because are all vampires truly bad? These philosophical thoughts have to be pushed aside, however, when a mysterious group of people emerge in Palm Springs. Unfortunately, whether she likes it or not, Sydney is right in the thick of everything.

One of the main reasons, I enjoyed The Golden Lily, was how much the characters grew. Sydney actually calmed down a bit. She began to have fun, mostly because of Adrian's influence. The opposite happened to Adrian. He became more responsible and started to take more initiative. Jill started to realize her responsibilities as the vampire princess's sister and didn't act as troublesome. Also, a new character, Brayden, was introduced. Although I could see Brayden's value to the story, he just wasn't a good boyfriend to Sydney. Finally, the dhampir (part vampire and human)characters, Eddies and Dimitri were as kick- ass as ever.

The writing, when coupled with the plot was stunning. Richelle Mead outdid herself this time. The Golden Lily started with a bang and ended with a boom. Although there were a couple small hiccups in the plot pace, it didn't change my opinion on the book at all. Everything was written in such a manner that I was sucked into the story from the very beginning.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoyed the previous works of Richelle Mead. If you haven't read her ya books yet then go back and read them. You don't want to miss out on her series. If you like vampires, then definitely look into this book. Even if you don't like vampires, there are vampire haters in this book too. So get your hands on this book!

Memorable Quotes:

“Adrian, I'm on a date. Why are you here? On my car?”
―    Richelle Mead, The Golden Lily

“You made your own jean shorts...with a butter knife?”
―     Richelle Mead, The Golden Lily

“Nice blouse, Sage,” Adrian told me, deadpan. “It realy brings out the khaki in your pants.”
―   Richelle Mead, The Golden Lily

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