I love Richelle Mead. Her Vampire Academy series is my second-favorite fantasy series (only Harry Potter beats it), and I own every one of her young adult novels. (That currently amounts to eight.)
So I guess it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that I loved The Golden Lily.
Mind you, I didn’t love it as much as her other books. There was something lacking in The Golden Lily that I always looked forward to in her other YA novels: the element of surprise. Richelle Mead had always managed to catch me off guard countless times in her Vampire Academy series and a few times in Bloodlines. But I never felt that jolt of surprise when reading The Golden Lily.
I might be giving away a spoiler right now, but honestly I don’t think it matters too much if I do. But the thing is, The Golden Lily involves vampire hunters. Cool, huh? I loved how Richelle Mead managed to address another of those “vampire myths” in this book, so I was pretty happy with the plotline. But, unlike the characters in the novel, I knew vampire hunters was real in the world of Moroi, Strigoi, and dhampirs. With Clarence’s warnings about how he was being hunted by vampire hunters in the past, I could tell. Because coincidences don’t happen in books.
The plotline would have been perfect if only it included that Richelle Mead-esque element of surprise.
On the other hand, I adored the characters. Sydney’s view of vampires has really changed, to the point that she actually likes them. In the Vampire Academy series, we never had that as a problem because Rose was half-vampire herself, but it’s interesting to see Sydney change. She’s still that know-it-all Alchemist, but she’s becoming a tolerant-of-vampires know-it-all Alchemist.
And Adrian. Oh, sigh. Poor, poor Adrian.
The romance in this novel definitely made up for the lack in Bloodlines. Sydney’s caught in a bit of a love triangle, though she doesn’t know it herself. Brayden or Adrian? Of course, she has to be with Adrian (I love them together!), but they still have that pesky issue of human vs. vampire. Sigh. And of course, I wasn’t a big fan of Brayden. He’s annoyingly smart. (Never thought I’d call someone that, hmm.)
The romance was also upped in the supporting characters. Jill is dating Micah, while Angeline (newly recruited former Keeper) tries to get Eddie’s attention. But Eddie longs for Jill. Quite a big circle here, hmm?
That ending made me want to cry. Because it is a cliffhanger for two of the romances in this novel. Urghh.
The Golden Lily was absolutely enchanting and did not lack in action or romance. A masterpiece–but it did fall short of my expectations, because, after all, it’s a Richelle Mead book. And Richelle Mead books simply must be perfect.
Source: Hardcover bought by reviewer