Monday, July 9, 2012

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

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?

THOUGHTS:

In true Richelle Mead fashion, The Golden Lily is a tale woven with intriguing plot twists and character development. In this book, Mead delves deeper into Sydney's mindset and her struggle to remain true to her Alchemist roots and the same time to herself; Adrian's desire to be a better person; and ultimately, the progress between the two's relationship. Simultaneously, the readers are also introduced to the existence of vampire hunters and their ties to the Alchemists, and their penultimate plan against the Strigoi and Moroi unfolds. Furthermore, the mystery of the effect of spirit on Strigoi deepens, as a discovery concerning Sydney challenges her previous beliefs and self-notions to the breaking point.

I honestly love how Mead portrays Sydney - cool, sassy and confident when it comes to things she knows, yet horribly awkward as ever during social situations. Her thoughts during her dates with Brayden were incredibly entertaining, and I really can't help but smile whenever Sydney attempted to help Jill and Eddie (sometimes making the situation inadvertently worse). Sydney's naivety was also perfectly portrayed - it wasn't overdone to the point wherein you just want to punch Sydney in the jaw for not noticing what was in front of her, but rather, you can only roll your eyes good-naturedly and just go along for the ride. Everything felt and experienced by Sydney in this books only signals that she still has a lot more to overcome in the next books - with regards to the alchemists and Adrian both - and I can't wait to find out what else Mead has in store for her.

I'm still a bit weary towards Jill, but she has grown on me a little since reading this book. She came upon the realization that she really was no ordinary Moroi, that she had a duty to fulfill, and that not everyone can cater to her whims. She matured a lot, and started being more vocal about her thoughts and feelings, especially regarding Micah and Eddie. I still can't help but wish that at least part of the books were in her point of view though - I'd really love to see more of what Adrian is thinking, and how Jill is dealing with being shadow-kissed.

Oh gosh, Adrian. I don't know where to begin. I've been a huge fan of him since the Vampire Academy series, but it's just impossible to not fall in love with after reading this book! I love how protective he is of Sydney, how he is just doing his utmost best to be a better person, how he seems to be finally moving on from Rose and getting over his hatred of Dimitri, and that soliloquy of his during the last part of the book? OHMYGOD. I literally had to stop myself from squealing out load. His words were just raw, heartfelt... and real. Amongst all the characters, Adrian is definitely the one who has grown a lot since Last Sacrifice, and everything he went through throughout the past seven books (VA included) tore at my heart. Let me get this out - if Adrian doesn't get a happy ending, I will hate Richelle Mead! (Okay, not really, but you get what I mean.)

I can't wait until the next book!

Rating: 5 Stars

3 comments:

  1. I've read so many *rave* reviews about this series, it's just impossible not to feel excited!!! And I'm so curious to know more about Adrain ;) Going to place my order like, right now :D Awesome review, you writing always convinces me!

    -Alicia
    bookaworld.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll enjoy this series for sure, Alicia! :)

      Thank you so much for the compliment!

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    2. You will love it. Richelle Mead writes a great book. Trust me...I've read every one.

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