Title: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)
Author: Richelle Mead
Version Read: paperback (library)
Publication Date: June 12th, 2012
Categories: paranormal, urban-fantasy, vampires, young-adult
Summary (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 Golden Lily was pretty interesting as well. There was a lot more information about the history of the alchemists in this one, and on a whole I enjoyed it more than the first one, which was not a bad book anyway.
Sydney is starting to learn that not everything the Alchemists have taught her, or tell her during her enquiries is quite truthful. Or, perhaps not as complete as it should be. Especially when it comes to the vampire hunters that Clarence was talking about. She is starting to question herself and some of her beliefs.
We learn more about the Strigoi in this books as well, especially from Sonya, who allowed herself to be turned into one at one stage in her life, which she regretted deeply. The research into whether or not a so-called ‘saved’ Moroi can be changed back into a Strigoi was an interesting sub-plot to the novel as well. Sydney’s reactions to the magic use were maybe a little over-reactive, but given the way she was raised, they were understandable.
I don’t especially like the Alchemists. As I said in my review of Bloodlines, they are more like a cult than anything else. But the Warriors that we meet in this book are about 100 times worse. Even the Alchemists don’t really like to admit that these guys came from their original group.
Some interesting things are revealed about some of our favourites in The Golden Lily. Adrian is learning to be mostly responsible, Jill is learning she has to grow up faster than her human friends will have to, Eddie is learning a little bit of tolerance towards Angeline and Sydney is learning that she doesn’t need to be so reserved and uptight to still do her job correctly.
I will be looking forward to reading The Indigo Spell.