Summary: 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. In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next. Forging her own way is harder than Sydney ever dreamed. Maybe by turning off her brain-and following her heart-she’ll be able to finally figure out where she belongs.
Oh. My. God…
Well, hello, dears.
But seriously, I think I’m dying right now. I just finished reading The Indigo Spell, which is the third book in the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. All I can say is wow…
I honestly can’t contain my feelings about this book. Amanda’s been with me the entire time I’ve been reading it and I lost count of how many dirty looks she gave me because I was laughing too loud, or crying too loud or just overall being wicked loud. I’ve been waiting for Indigo Spell to come out since I read the Golden Lily (Book 2) and I was waiting for the Golden Lily to come out since I’d read Bloodlines (Book 1). This is a series that will literally keep you up at night because either you want to read the ones you have, or you’re waiting for the ones you don’t have. I just most of an hour going through Richelle Mead’s website and blog trying to find information about the fourth book. It’s called the Fiery Heart and comes out November 19th! Can you say, birthday present to me? I can.
Anyway. Sorry. So, I obviously haven’t written a review on the first two books but, knowing me, I’ll probably include little bits about them in here. Which means: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS HAVING TO DO WITH BLOODLINES AND THE GOLDEN LILY! If you haven’t read the first two books, then you should probably stop reading this.
First off, if you’ve read Mead’s Vampire Academy Series (which chronologically takes place first), then you already know who Sydney Sage is. Well, actually, you know who Adrian, Jill, Eddie, and bunch of the other characters are too. In result of Sydney’s actions in the previous series, she’s given the assignment of protecting Moroi Princess, Jill Mastrano Dragomir, while she’s in hiding. Alchemists hate all vampires. Their main target is Strigoi, and they work with the Moroi and Dhampir out of necessity but Alchemists still believe they are all inherently evil. After working with Rose, (read the Vampire Academy books if you’re confused) Sydney’s view of the Moroi and Dhampir changes. She realizes they’re not necessarily bad and she gains a respect for them that does not fit into what the Alchemists believe. She keeps these feelings to herself, since to do otherwise would subject her to the Alchemists’ obnoxiously strict rules and punishments.
During the Bloodlines books, Sydney has to work in close proximity to Jill and Adrian, both Moroi, and Eddie and Angeline, both Dhampir. In a short amount of time, Sydney starts caring about all of them and, in Adrian’s case, a lot more than caring. I absolutely loved seeing Sydney push aside the fears and prejudices that the Alchemists had drilled into her since birth. She feels like she’s betraying them for thinking and feeling the things she does, but it doesn’t take long for her to realize that some of the Alchemist teachings are wrong. For pretty much the first time in her life, Sydney stops blindly following the Alchemists and listens to what her brain and heart are telling her. It’s a HUGE transition for her and getting to experience that with her is enlightening.
She also begins to discover secrets that the Alchemists want to remain hidden to an alarming degree. She digs into these secrets a lot more in The Indigo Spell than in the first two books. She lies, she goes behind her superiors backs, is involved romantically with a vampire, breaks into a top-secret facility to steal secure files, works with an ex-alchemist traitor, and practices magic (another taboo for Alchemists). As Sydney gets deeper and deeper into these secrets, she’s more at risk to be caught. For Alchemists, this means “re-education”. The best way I can define this is: oh, we’re going to torture you until you believe our beliefs again. Despite the fact that Sydney’s been raised and trained her entire life to believe what the Alchemists teach, she knows a lot of what they do is wrong and she doesn’t hesitate (well, not very much) to try to fix things.
Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Angeline are hiding at a prep-school in southern California and probably the funniest twist, and, for Sydney, the most surprising, is when she finds out her history teacher is a witch. And, even better: Sydney’s a witch, too. This goes against everything the Alchemists taught her and Sydney tries to escape any involvement. Unfortunately for Sydney, and hilariously for us, her teacher, Ms. Terwilliger, is persistent. She tricks and coerces Sydney into learning magic and, finally, at some point during Indigo Spell, Sydney accepts that she has magic and that she’s good at it. I also really enjoyed this transition for her because she tries so hard not to be a part of it, but her insatiable curiosity gets the better of her and she’s drawn in.
And, FUCKING FINALLY. Now, I’m going to talk about my absolute favorite part of these books. Ready for it? Drum roll, please.
Adrian Ivashkov. Cue swooning. Yes, it’s necessary. I’m really not usually the swooning type. I make exceptions for certain male characters in books. And Adrian, without question, is one of those exceptions. He’s a Moroi spirit user which means he’s heading towards going insane. Yes, I know that doesn’t sound terribly attractive. Each spirit user has different ways of dealing with the effects that spirit has on them. Adrian’s vices are drinking and smoking. Sydney helps him get away from those a little bit by encouraging him to instead take art classes, something he’s passionate about. Adrian falls in love with Sydney and, although her feelings toward him are anything but platonic, she denies them because everyone, Alchemists and vampires alike, frown upon human-vampire relationships. Now, in this most recent book, Sydney FINALLY accepts her feelings. I am beyond ecstatic. Sydney and Adrian are perfect for each other. He helps her to be more outgoing and rethink many of the narrow-minded ideas she’s always had and she helps him to be more serious and rethink the frivolous way he’s lived his life. They balance each other so well and I love watching them interact and challenge each other.
Okay, I think I’m going to wrap this up because Word is telling me this is over a thousand words long… It was unintentional, I promise. I like these books more than the Vampire Academy books. That’s not to say they weren’t phenomenal, though. If you haven’t read this series, I recommend it more than probably anything else I’ve written about. They’re funny and sweet and heartbreaking and there’s nothing about them that I don’t love. I hope you all fall in love with them as well.
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