I feel as if I should begin this review by explaining that I was (and still am!) a major fan of the Vampire Academy series. But, when it came to the love triangle between Rose, Dimitri and Adrian there was no contest. I was a Dimitri fan all the way! I liked Adrian, but the relationship between him and Rose was just irritating. Adrian could never stand up against Dimitri and win, not in my eyes. So, when I found out that Richelle Mead was doing a spin off series, while excited to still get to continue with this world she's created, I was quite wary. And then I found out Sydney, Jill, Eddie and Adrian were going to be at the center of this series. Now I'm even more wary! Sydney? Really? Of all of the characters in the Vampire Academy books she was one of the most forgettable and unlikeable. When Bloodlines (Book #1) was released I didn't run out and grab my copy. It wasn't until a friend that loved Vampire Academy as much as I did told me "You have to read it!" that I finally broke down and bought the audiobook. While I still found Sydney pretty unlikeable and Jill's constant whining drove me crazy...there was Adrian. Oh so heartbroken, Adrian. I really loved Bloodlines! And thus began my addiction to another Richelle Mead series.
So, what did I think of The Golden Lily? It was AMAZING!! There are just so many things right about this book! First of all let me say that Sydney totally redeemed herself in my eyes. Yes, she's still an alchemist with all of the alchemists' negative feelings towards all things "unnatural". But she is slowly but surely changing her way of thinking. She's realizing that there are humans that are just plain evil, that some Moroi and Dhampirs make great and loyal friends, that magic can be used for good and that maybe the Alchemists are (gasp!) wrong! Jill does a lot of growing up in The Golden Lily. She's come to realize that the entire reason they are in hiding is to protect her and that as the last remaining relative to the Queen it's her duty to stay safe so that the crown is secure, even if that means putting her personal life in the background. She resigns herself to this fact even though it's not always what she wants. I've always been a fan of Eddie, even back in the Vampire Academy books. He's a loyal friends, an amazing fighter and he'd risk his life to keep the people around him safe. I love how the relationship between him and Sydney has developed into a true brother/sister bond. He confides in her when he wouldn't to anyone else. They've come to like and respect each other, and I think that's a big reason for Sydney's attitude changes. And then we have Adrian. The changes in him from the beginning of Bloodlines to the end of The Golden Lily are so profound, it's absolutely amazing. I liked him in the Vampire Academy books, I grew to love him in Bloodlines, but in the Golden Lily I began to respect him. He is an amazing character and I am so excited to see where he goes in the future. This book is without a doubt my favorite from BOTH the Vampire Academy and the Bloodlines series. I cannot gush enough about just how much I loved it!
I listened to the audiobook and the narrator, Emily Shaffer, did a great job! I'm a huge audiobook fan and I love it when I find an amazing narrator to add to my favorites list.
5 Stars * * * * *