Title: The Golden Lily
Author: Richelle Mead
Publication Year: 2012
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: E-book version purchased from Kobo Books
From the cover:
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?
I really liked the direction that the series took with this book. For starters, I enjoyed getting to see a bit more of the Alchemist structure, when Sydney went to one of the centres to attend services. Also, though, I was a bit shocked – but in a good way! – when Sydney started studying magic. It was unexpected, and started to shift her opinions on so many things.
The Golden Lily was, for me, the defining moment when I decided that the Bloodlines spin-off series might be as good as the Vampire Academy series books. The characters really start to have some chemistry together here, and everyone’s starting to get more comfortable with Sydney as a friend (and sort of den mother) than as an Alchemist.