Author: Richelle Mead
Date started reading: June 18, 2012
Date finished reading: June 20, 2012
Publish date: June 2012
Number of pages: 400
Official summary: "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?" (http://www.richellemead.com)
Official book trailer:
How I obtained the book: Pre-ordered for $14.60 through Barnes & Noble
My pre-reading commentary:
- It seems like I've been waiting forever for this book, even though technically it's only been since February when I read "Bloodlines."
- Two days after this book was released, the title of the third book in the series was revealed -- "The Indigo Spell." I don't like the sound of it and I don't like the logo. I think the coloring bugs me, but I suppose I'll live with it. At least the next book will be coming out in February and it's not a year or more away. It does really bug me that some editions of "The Golden Lily" came with the first chapter of "The Indigo Spell" included. Mine did not. It's not really fair that some people didn't get it. I had no clue that when I ordered the book from Barnes & Noble that I wouldn't be getting the same book as the people who bought it at Walmart.
My post-reading commentary:
- I really was never the biggest fan of Adrian in the "Vampire Academy" series, but he has become a very intriguing character in every way in this series. He's taken on his own larger-than-life-but-still-vulnerable personality. His character growth is the best and biggest by far of all the VA/Bloodlines characters that Richelle Mead has created.
- Sydney's food obsession is bordering on completely annoying. She's nearly anorexic, obsessing over every calorie she intakes and being jealous of other girls. I know that's common among teenagers so it's important to tackle that kind of issue, but I don't think Mead has done anything yet to say that Sydney's behaviors are unhealthy.
- Along with her food (or rather anti-food) issues, Sydney is obsessed with drinking coffee. She intakes more coffee than anything else. That's also a negative aspect of the series. It worries me that some readers may read the books and think it's ok to eat next-to-nothing but drink tons and tons of coffee.
- I miss Rose. I think Rose being the main focus of the VA books was a much better idea than Sydney being the focus of this series. Rose is a much stronger, much more intriguing character than Sydney. Yes, Sydney has her charms and an interesting depth, but her attitude towards things bugs me so much. I want more books from Rose's perspective or at least that include her more than this series has so far.
- I loved Dimitri from the first moment he appeared in the first VA book. This is the eighth book he's been included in. I didn't think it was possible, but his role in "The Golden Lily" made me love him even more. If only he existed in real life... ah, that would be total perfection.
- I wasn't surprised that the vampire hunters mentioned in book #1 turned out to be real in this book. I think it was supposed to be a surprise, but it didn't shock me in one bit. I was also not surprised that there was more to Trey's story than just being a classmate/friend. He seemed a little off to me in the first book. Other people I've read reviews from were upset that Trey turned out to be not as great as he was first portrayed.
- I do like Adrian and Sydney as a potential couple. Mead said before the first book came out that the romantic element of this series was going to "sneak up" on readers. I have no idea why she said that. It was obvious they were the pairing that was going to come about from the beginning of the first book. There were so many great "Sydrian" moments in this book. They bring out the best in each other. They challenge each other. If Sydney wasn't so stubborn and annoying, they would get together and be a good pair, but she hurt him a lot in the end of the book.
- Speaking of hurting Adrian... It almost seems like Mead loves to put Adrian through situations where he gets hurt. He fell in love with Rose who broke his heart. He's falling for Sydney and she hurt him. His parents are horrible to him. I feel bad for him. I don't blame the "Team Adrian" fans who want to punch Mead for making him hurt so bad. I'm totally "Team Dimitri" but even I support the other team's feelings on this matter.
- "When you spent most of your days living among vampires and half vampires, ferrying them to get blood, and keeping their existence secret from the rest of the world ... well, it kind of gave you a unique perspective on life. ... My life was a constant struggle to hold back my terror of the unexplainable and try desperately to find a way to explain it." ~ Sydney
- "I couldn't stand disorder." ~ Sydney
- "It made me question who the real monsters were." ~ Sydney about Keith and the Alchemists
- "You Alchemists pull your strings and think you control everything. You delude yourselves. You control nothing. You are nothing." ~ Liam
- "That's how (Dimitri) was, a lost remnant of chivalry in the modern world, ever-ready to help others." ~ Sydney
- "You worry as much as me. I didn't think that was possible." ~ Dimitri to Sydney
- "Rose always joked about your 'Zen Master Wisdom.' Am I getting a taste of it? If so, I can see why she was helpless against your charms." ~ Sydney
"I think so. If you ask her, she'll claim it was the staking and decapitation. But I'm sure it was the Zen wisdom that won her in the end." ~ Dimitri
- "I'd spent the weekend caught up in the epic battle to save humanity, and now jean shorts?" ~ Sydney
- "My family had a cat back in Utah that I was pretty sure was more responsible than Angeline." ~ Sydney
- "I don't believe in soul mates. It's statistically unreasonable that there's only one ideal person for everyone in the world." ~ Sydney
- "If I was so amazing, then why was I always so unsure if I was doing the right thing?" ~ Sydney
- "Adrian's stamp on the apartment was like light chasing away the gruesome shadows of the past." ~ Sydney
- "I'm actually conducting a side experiment on how cigarettes and gin increase charisma. As you might guess, the results are looking very promising." ~ Adrian
- "Vampire magic always made my skin crawl. Vampires, creatures who needed blood, were bad enough. But being able to manipulate the world with magic? Even worse." ~ Sydney
- "Nothing's ever as harmless as it seems." ~ Sonya
- "Magic was not for humans to use. We had no right to manipulate the world like that." ~ Sydney
- "Maybe I couldn't reveal Alchemist secrets to my friends, but it was nice to know they at least knew my coffee preferences backwards and forwards." ~ Sydney
- "(Adrian) wasn't like anyone I knew. In fact, I was fairly certain there was no one in the entire world quite like Adrian Ivashkov." ~ Sydney
- "I'm already caught up in one epic battle of good versus evil. I don't need another." ~ Sydney to Ms. Terwilliger
- "There was no 'me' in Alchemy." ~ Sydney
- "Leave it to Adrian to work up even the most easygoing people." ~ Sydney
- "Most people seem to think everything he does is magic." ~ Adrian about Dimitri
- "I find prostitutes vastly important." ~ Adrian
- "We all screw up. Everyone makes mistakes. ... You don't cut off people you love for mistakes like that." ~ Adrian to his father about his mother
- "Ah, those two. In a fight, they're lethal. Around each other, they melt." ~ Sonya about Rose and Dimitri
- "I'd seen (Dimitri) fight before, but it never got old. He was captivating. He never stopped moving. Every action was graceful and lethal. He was a dancer of death." ~ Sydney
- "You're always the voice of reason. Just try listening to yourself once in a while." ~ Adrian
- "Do you know what it's like to feel something's eating away at your mind? ... If you can't trust your own mind, what can you trust?" ~ Adrian
- "Let me ask you something. Which is scarier: walking into a den of crazy, murdering humans or being with safe -- though kind of wacky -- vampires and half vampires? I know the hang-up you Alchemists have with us, but is the loyalty to your own race so strong that, I don't know, that the people themselves don't matter?" ~ Adrian
"I'd take the vampires. Loyalty to one's kind can only go so far." ~ Sydney
- "For the last month or so, everyone in my life had gone on and on about how responsible I was, how diligent, how exemplary. I'd been called a lot of things. But never, ever, had I been called irresponsible. And I kind of liked it." ~ Sydney
- "You're in an awfully good mood. Was there a sale at Khakis-R-Us?" ~ Adrian to Sydney
- "Not every breakup is a tragedy." ~ Adrian
- "Here's some tough love: you will never, ever have (Jill's) body. Ever. It's impossible. She's Moroi. You're human. That's biology. You have a great one, one that most humans would kill for -- and you'd look even better if you put on a little weight. Five pounds would be a good start. Hide the ribs. Get a bigger bra size." ~ Adrian to Sydney
- "I'm the king of unhealthy habits." ~ Adrian
- "You're not a victim. You're not a captive to that lily. You can be what you want. You can choose what you want." ~ Adrian to Sydney
- “No, you will listen. For once, you’re going to hear something that doesn’t fit into your neat, compartmentalized world of order and logic and reason. Because this isn’t reasonable. If you’re terrified, believe me - this scares the hell out of me, too. You asked about Rose? I tried to be a better person for her - but it was to impress her, to get her to want me. But when I’m around you, I want to be better because… well, because it feels right. Because I want to. You make me want to become something greater than myself. I want to excel. You inspire me in every act, every word, every glance. I look at you, and you’re like… like light made into flesh. I said it on Halloween and meant every word: you are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen walking this earth. And you don’t even know it. You have no clue how beautiful you are or how brightly you shine.” ~ Adrian to Sydney
Buy on Amazon.com: The Golden Lily: A Bloodlines Novel