The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead is the second Bloodlines book, a series set in the same world as the Vampire Academy books.
I felt that The Golden Lily was tighter and had a bit more depth to it plot-wise than the first book, Bloodlines. A big part of this, I think, was that Meade had the chance to set up some of the characters and situations in the previous book. Sure we already knew most of the main characters in Bloodlines, but the plot was more high-school shenanigans (with a dangerous undertone, of course). In The Golden Lily, I felt like part of an overarching plot was set up and at the end I had a clearer idea of where the series was going (particularly given the title of the next book…).
The characters, especially Sydney, continue to be developed in The Golden Lily. There were some hilarious moments associated with her love interest (a new character) and her coming to terms with the world of dating. Mead also used the opportunity to draw some interesting parallels between Sydney’s love-life and other characters’. It was entertaining watching her struggle with understanding that aspect of people while excelling in all other areas.
Dimitri, central in the Vampire Academy books, plays a role in The Golden Lily and it was fascinating seeing him through someone else’s eyes. In the Vampire Academy books, I couldn’t help empathising with Rose’s feelings for him but Sydney is relatively ambivalent towards him (beyond him being a part of her team) and I enjoyed seeing this different perspective.
I am looking forward to reading the next instalment, The Indigo Spell, which comes out in February 2013. I would recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed Bloodlines or the Vampire Academy books. It’s not as essential to read Bloodlines before reading The Golden Lily as it is with other series, but the series would definitely work better in order. It’s definitely not necessary to read the Vampire Academy series before the Bloodlines books. If you felt a bit meh about Bloodlines, I’d still suggest giving The Golden Lily a go, since I feel it is a stronger book.
4.5 / 5 stars