~ 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.

8709523Sydney 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?

Warning: There are spoilers for both Vampire Academy and Bloodlines in this review. Click the titles to go back and read those reviews!

I loved this book. I really do. I got vampires, vampire hunters, more witchcraft and Alchemists. I love seeing Sydney open up more as a person, and I especially love her beginning to question the Alchemists.

I love Sydney and Adrian’s relationship. They’re very close as friends, and I feel like that’s how the best romantic relationships start. Jill’s growing up, and I love it. She’s fifteen, and while she still has some adorable ramble-y moments, she’s beginning to grow up into a fantastic woman.

I love that Mead didn’t write a romantic relationship between Trey and Sydney, both because of the Alchemists and the Warriors of Light, and because Trey is such a great bro for Sydney. Introducing her to Brayden was a great thing for Sydney, and for us as readers, because having Sydney realize that someone like Brayden wasn’t right for her. He was also unmemorable, as mentioned by the rest of the members of the Melrose ‘family’. I got a kick out of the fact that no one but Trey could remember his name.

Unwarranted advice about dating: After the third date, if your close family can’t remember your date’s name because he’s boring? I don’t recommend another date.

Sonya is probably my favorite minor character in this book. I want more about her. I want to know what she went through because of her use of spirit and lack of medication. I want to know more about her and Mikhail.

I still hate the book covers for this series. Since I’m writing this as a TBT, I don’t mind saying that I hate the book covers for all of these books. I’m going with five stars for this book, because there was nothing that I really disliked in this book. I couldn’t wait for The Indigo Spell to come out after I read this.

You can pick up a copy through Amazon, Indiebound or your other favorite bookseller!

Five stars

Richelle Mead has written over twenty-five novels for teens and adults. She is the author of the international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series and its spinoff series, Bloodlines. Her recent standalone novel, Soundless, draws upon Chinese mythology and history, and her forthcoming series, The Glittering Court, follows the adventures of girls destined for arranged marriages in a fantasy world inspired by colonial America. A lifelong reader, Richelle has always had a particular fascination with mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses to wear on tour. She is a self-professed coffee addict, works in her pajamas, and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is hard at work on her next novel.

I’ve reviewed Vampire Academy as a series, as well as Soundless and The Glittering Court from the same author! Check back on the third Thursday of the next few months for the #TBT reviews for the rest of the Bloodlines series!

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.

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