Book Two of the Bloodlines Series (therefore contains spoilers for the previous book)
Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.
I was super excited to start this book and I can gladly say I wasn't disappointed! The Golden Lily was a beautiful and heartbreaking follow up to Bloodlines. Having loved the Vampire Academy, Bloodlines was a little bit of a disappointment but when I got into the Golden Lily, I was relieved to see that Mead still had her touch.
This book mainly focused on the relationship between the characters, from romance to friendships and a little bit of a dating experiment for Sydney. Full of humour and laughs, The Golden Lily was a easy and fun read. Adrian was still his charming self, witty and somewhat dark, he made the book a very enjoyable journey. Jill has greatly matured from the first book, now understanding her responsibilities better and starting to deal with her troubles like the adult she is becoming. Eddie was still his charming and serious self, making us love him for his dedication and willingness to help wherever help was needed. Dimitri's return was a great bonus to the book, but he wasn't too actively involved, helping us to learn to love Adrian more and more.
The plot wasn't exactly exciting seeing as the first two thirds were mainly romance and some family drama, but I absolutely loved this part of the book and it was these light, romantic parts that made me love it more than the first one. Although it was enjoyable reading about the romance, I missed the exciting and action filled plots Mead previously wrote, hence why I didn't find this book as outstanding as Vampire Academy.
I loved seeing Sydney deal with the problems of being an Alchemist who had some 'unapproved' relationships with vampires. She still has a long way to go before she fully understands and accepts who she is and what she can do, but this book was a nice start to her journey. One thing that always bothered me was Sydney's lack of ability to see what's staring her in the face. Just like Bloodlines, she was clueless when it was obvious to the reader what is happening and what people's intentions and reasons are. No character is perfect, but for me, Sydney's imperfection in her character is a bit of an annoying one. However I hope she can learn to become a bit more clear sighted, as the smart and quick to learn girl she is portrayed as, I have hope that she will overcome this and the future books will be better.
Overall, I very much liked the character development in this story. Not much plot, but very good characters. Mead is building up to a final mystery, leaving us clues in the books written so far. Her writing style is still as good as always, making the book flow nicely and easy to read. So far, I like the characters in the VA better but I think when all six books are written, Mead could make us fall in love with her new characters as much as her old ones. I can't wait for The Indigo Spell and I hope this series will become better and better.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars