Picking up where Bloodlines left off, Sydney is holding onto her role of Alchemist to keep the rest of the world from finding out about the existence of vampires (known as Moroi and Strigoi). While being praised by her elders, she is struggling to maintain a neutral relationship with those who have now become her friends. In trying to stay distant, she starts dating Brayden, a guy who can match her in intelligence and interests and yet Sydney distinctly notices the lack of a spark between the otherwise perfect couple. Her resistance to the magical world is pushed to its limits when she’s forced to face some inhibitions and undeniable facts to save one of them.
To be honest, it took me a bit of digging through my memory to remember what had happened in the first book. I couldn’t remember who was Moroi, Strigoi or Dhampir and while I like that Mead didn’t do a full-on recap of the previous book, it still took a few chapters to fully get re-immersed into this world. There were some moments early on that I’m sure were a set-up for the next book, so I didn’t quite get the relevance of it but it was definitely around the midway point that really picked up speed for me.
You could often see where the interactions with characters was hinting at, and while sometimes it might have been really obvious, it didn’t necessarily fully detract from it either. It was a nice nod to the readers that we were in on something that the protagonist wasn’t. Which leads me to the ridiculous swoon-worthy build-up of a love interest. By far, my favourite scenes from the book revolved around the tension between these two. Oh goodness, how many times I wanted to smack Sydney upside the head for her oblivious and stubborn ways.
Similar to the first book in the series, The Golden Lily has a satisfying build to an action-packed showdown. The (frustrating!) ending will leave you hanging and desperate for the third book, The Indigo Spell (due out in Feb 2013). A great follow-up to the successful first book!
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5 stars)
Available: June 12, 2012
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Golden Lily is the sequel to Bloodlines, of which I reviewed last year.