Sunday 26 January 2014

The Golden Lily and The Indigo Spell mini-reviews

The Golden Lily
Richelle Mead
June 12th 2012

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 was really excited about reading The Golden Lily after being surprised at how much I enjoyed Bloodlines, but I was left kind of disappointed by it, really. It was fine, but it didn't really live up to Bloodlines I think.

While I still liked Sydney in this book, I feel like she wasn't really given as much of an opportunity to stand out than she deserves. Really, the book just didn't go anywhere and didn't do any of the characters justice. There were some really great moments between Sydney and Adrian again, but there wasn't really much of a plot outside of their sexual tension, which is a little annoying to me but if you are reading mainly for Adrian then you probably won't be as disappointed as I was. It just really felt like the first half of the book was all just 'Sydney goes on a date!' (not with Adrian, just to establish that) and then like, one third from the end, they remembered they should actually add some plot to this book and it just didn't work that well for me personally. I did still enjoy it, because I devoured it in same way I devour all of Richelle Mead's books (seriously, even if I don't like what's going on I cannot put them down), but it just wasn't my favourite book of the series.

(Sorry that the blurb is so long I couldn't find a shorter one and now it makes my review look reallllly mini by comaprision, but hey.)

The Indigo Spell
Richelle Mead
February 12th 2013

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." 
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

After not being that keen on The Golden Lily, I wasn't as excited about The Indigo Spell, but it surprised me and I think it was much better than it's predecessor. I just think that overall it was a much better story and there was a really good balance between the romantic tension and the main plot.

I really enjoyed the fact that there was a lot more about the magic side of Sydney's character in The Indigo Spell and her getting more used to using it because that's one of my favourite things about these books. Also it was just a lot better with the whole Alchemist business being brought in to the story a lot more than in The Golden Lily, and I am really curious to see where that's going to go. Like, after the ending of this book, I really can't see it going well. Plus I always enjoy reading about Adrian because let's face it he's pretty great. Though I still prefer snarky Adrian to serious romantic Adrian, but that's just me. I will say, though, that I was kind of sad about the fact that it felt like Jill and Eddie and Angeline were in The Indigo Spell a lot less than the other two because I love them all, and I felt like the whole Marcus Finch business went nowhere (though I am glad it didn't turn into a love triangle). And Wolf! The crazy self-defense instructor from the last book was back in it which made me extremely happy. I love him a little bit.

So yeah, I liked The Indigo Spell more than The Golden Lily, and I'm pretty excited to find out where this series goes even if I don't love it in the same way that I love Vampire Academy. 

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