(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?
The Short Story? - It ain't no Vampire Academy but it's getting there! I'm finding myself to overcome my disapproval for Sydrian and actually starting to well, like them together! The plot could have done with a little more action but I feel like it was a solid book and it definitely contributed to the series as a whole. Loved the character development and as always, Mead's writing is like liquid gold! Definitely not a waste of time and I can't wait to see where Sydney and her gang are headed to next!
The Long Story? - A little bit of a back story, I am strongly against the idea of Sydney and Adrian. I feel like the fact that Adrian is moving on is disrespectful to the idea of him and Rose together, it kinda cheapens the previous romance - THE romance that I was pining for and I don't like that. After reading The Golden Lily I feel like I understand the chemistry between Sydney and Adrian a little better which means I not as against them together, I guess I AM warming up to this romance! In terms of the plot for this novel, it definitely wasn't as strong as Bloodlines, in parts I even found it a little boring. Quite slow and there wasn't even a body count! I respect that Mead probably wrote The Golden Lily is as a stepping stone between Bloodlines and The Indigo Spell and it was more of a characterisation book and that was probably a good idea in terms of me warming up to Sydrian but doesn't do much for the plot itself. That said, things do happen in the book that might shock but I just found it s tad bit predictable. Like I said, it ain't no Vampire Academy but it's getting there!
I feel like the focal point of The Golden Lily rests in it's character development category which was something that I really enjoyed. I loved the experience of growing closer to the characters but also getting a feel of the chemistry between Sydney and Adrian which I found a little lacking in Bloodlines. I was never a big fan of Sydney, she was the type of girl I would avoid, she just worries too much and she's so organised and beyond her years! She's kinda a socially awkward bean. However I did grow to admire her in this novel and the small changes in her really make a huge differences. She's a little more chilled now which makes her a little more human! Adrian is Adrian and if you know me, you know I love Adrian to BITS. He's just charming and the complete opposite of Sydney but somehow together they work. Also its' more of a blooming romance at the moment, they're not "official" but it's plainly obvious that they're SOOOOO into each other! Loved the Dimtri cameos and everyone else was brilliant too!
I wanted to keep this review a little vague because it's not a first in the series and I don't want to ruin it for anyone of you who are looking to read Bloodlines and The Golden Lily. In a nutshell, I was looking for a little more in the plot department but I got everything I wanted from the characterisation department so it wasn't too bad! On top of that I can see an epic romance in the making and being one of my favourite authors of all time I'm sure Mead has something spectacular planned for us all for The Indigo Spell!
What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck