In this sequel to Bloodlines, Alchemist Sydney Sage begins to start questioning her beliefs about vampires and her own people. She begins to grow closer to Jill, Eddie, and Adrian–all people that she would normally fear and avoid. She falls into a relationship with a boy who is her intellectual match, but finds herself being drawn to someone else–someone she cannot allow herself to fall for. Sydney struggles between following the archaic beliefs of her people, or following her heart, and her loyalty is constantly being put to the test.
I liked this book better than I liked Bloodlines, but I will admit that after going back and reading the entire Vampire Academy series, I reread Bloodlines and enjoyed it much more. While it’s not necessary to read Vampire Academy before Bloodlines, I would definitely recommend it because I was able to understand more about the relationships between some characters that had been developed in Vampire Academy. That being said, I still liked The Golden Lily better than the first book, mainly because Sydney became a much more likeable character. She finally began to ease up a bit, and even though she is still socially awkward she seemed to have more of a personality.
Sydney starts dating a boy named Brayden in this book, and he is basically the male version of herself. He is very smart and she is able to have academic conversations with him, but there is no spark whatsoever. Plus, Sydney is always having to run out on him to deal with Moroi issues, so the relationship only gets more awkward. And while she’s trying to force herself to fall for Brayden, she finds herself drawn to Adrian, who, as a Moroi, is forbidden to her.
Adrian was one of my favorite characters from Vampire Academy and I’m so glad that he is such a big focus of this story. We get to see so much more of him in this book and we get to discover the many facets of his personality, from his vulnerability when meeting with his father to his protectiveness of Sydney when she feels threatened. His relationship with Sydney grows so much in this book–she helps him with his family issues, “teaches” him to drive a stick shift, and takes a self defense course with him. Their back and forth banter is really cute also, and I love the way they have helped each other to grow.
There was also a great side plot surrounding Jill and Eddie. Eddie was another character that I loved from Vampire Academy and I was happy to see that he wasn’t punished too harshly after the events that occurred with Rose. He is fiercely protective of Jill to the point where it becomes obvious how he feels about her, even if Jill herself is oblivious. Jill was a little bit annoying in Bloodlines–she kept whining about not being able to be a model and she didn’t realize how everyone was sacrificing so much to protect her. She was a little bit better in this book and it seems like she is maturing and is a little bit less naive.
Overall, The Golden Lily was a great sequel to Bloodlines. The characters showed a lot of growth, Sydney herself was much more likeable, and we got to see a lot more of Adrian. I’m very excited to see what happens next!
The Golden Lily was released on June 12, 2012 and is the second book in the Bloodlines series. The third book, The Indigo Spell, is available now and the fourth, The Fiery Heart, will be released on November 19, 2013.