The Golden Lily – Review // The Golden Sequel (Pun Intended)

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
Book 2 in the Bloodlines series
Genre: YA urban fantasy, paranormal, romance
Pages: 418
Format: paperback
Source: Social Book Co.*
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


* I received a copy of this book to review from Social Book Co. They’re a book retail website, similar to Book Depository. They also have a review program, where you can sign up and choose 5 books you’d be interested in reading and reviewing. If they approve your blog or channel, they’ll send you a book from your list if they have it in stock. In exchange, you just have to read it and post your review by a certain date. You can buy a copy of The Golden Lily here. Doing so will allow me to earn a small commission, but of course, it isn’t required. Also, this isn’t sponsored, I promise. I just think this is really cool. 😉

plot: 20/20
characters: 20/20
setting: 20/20
relationships: 20/20
twists: 20/20

After reading and loving Bloodlines, I was unbelievably eager to dive into this book. I had high expectations for The Golden Lily, and I wasn’t disappointed. All 418 pages of it were fantastic, and I think it’s fair to say this was a golden sequel. 😀 (pun intended)

the plot

The story starts not long after the end of Bloodlines. Sydney traveled to an Alchemist bunker for a very important briefing, and once back in Palm Springs, more drama ensues. This is a Richelle Mead book, though, so was anything else to be expected? Regardless, it was a really fun, intense story from start to finish. There was another mystery to be solved, more romance in question, and a bit of rebellion and doubt on Sydney’s part. Combined, it all makes for a very entertaining, quick read, and that’s what The Golden Lily was for me. 🙂

the characters

I love Sydney just as much as I love Rose. They’re polar opposites, but they’re both strong, independent girls that I admire greatly. Sydney still struggles with many things, mainly whether or not the Alchemists would approve of her actions or if she’s truly the excellent Alchemist others have said she is. But she doesn’t just doubt herself, she doubts them too. She realizes they might not be right about everything, and does a few small things she wouldn’t have done prior to this mission. As small as it was, this arc was interesting to read about, and I’m intrigued how it’ll grow in later novels. I also loved that she was a total nerd and wasn’t afraid to show it. She naturally knew a lot of things and her idea of a fun time was a windmill tour or going to a textile museum. She’s also a huge car fanatic, and there were a couple of points where she was full-on obsessing, and I thought it was amusing. She’s definitely one of the most unique female leads I’ve read about, between that and her social ineptitude. She was a fish out of water in social situations, and I could completely relate to her in that aspect. 🙂

The other characters were great, too. Adrian dealt with a lot in this book, but he got better at handling it, at least slightly, and readers really got to see his caring, protective side appear throughout the story. Jill remained the sweet, innocent girl she always has been, but it was clear she matured significantly. Eddie and Angeline were both very good guardians, though the former was considerably more professional compared to the latter’s wildness. Sonya and Dimitri were both admirably dedicated to their research that they started in Bloodlines, and honestly I was just glad there was a reason for Dimitri to be included. Rose didn’t cameo in this book, sadly, but I can understand why, and there was a brief phone call around halfway through. That satisfied me, and I’ll just be hoping to see her in later novels… and that she gets her happy ending with Dimitri, because they deserve it. XD

the setting

The Golden Lily took place in Palm Springs, like Bloodlines did. I feel like I haven’t read books set in California in a while, so I’ve been enjoying that as I read these books. I’m not sure if the entire series will be in Palm Springs, but I wouldn’t mind if it was. It seemed like a great place, because despite the sweltering heat and desert resemblance, there was greenery and beauty intermixed. There’s also the obvious benefit of an ocean not too far away. Amberwood still had the welcoming, preppy feel it did in the previous book, and I wouldn’t mind attending that school, even if I despise uniforms. Okay, so maybe not the school, but Palm Springs would be awesome. 😛

the relationships

Remember when I was reading Vampire Academy, the longest section in my reviews would almost always be the one where I talked about Rose and Dimitri’s romance? Well, this series will most likely be similar, the exception being I’ll fangirl over Sydney’s love life. XD

So in this book, yes, there’s a love triangle. There’s still a fair amount of flirting and banter between Sydney and Adrian, and I loved it. (No pun intended this time.) But one of Sydney’s friends has a friend, Brayden, and he’s basically her soulmate. They’re both socially inept nerds, and their dates are about as nerdy as they can get. I was happy that Sydney finally found someone that really understood her, and I was surprised I liked Brayden as much as I did. I was also surprised to find myself torn between Adrian and Brayden, because they both complemented Sydney in a different way. I never found the complications irritating or cliché, and in the end, I remained firmly on team Adrian. Although I have to admit, it’ll be interesting to see how that works since they’re posing as siblings. 😉

the twists

One thing I think I have figured out about Richelle’s writing is that the first half of her books tend to be buildup. The book as a whole is still thoroughly entertaining, don’t get me wrong, but the first half seems to be a mix of recapping the previous novel and setting up the scene, so to speak, for everything that will go down in the second half. And the second half doesn’t disappoint, because that’s when her books become seriously absorbing and make you wish you lived in a bubble so you couldn’t be interrupted. I’m not even joking about that, and The Golden Lily was no exception. I had to know who was behind the grand scheme, if *character* was okay, how *event* would be pulled off, and how everyone would handle the latest twist. Richelle’s books are truly addicting. 😀


I’m grateful that Social Book Co. was able to send me a copy of The Golden Lily, and that it didn’t disappoint. It might’ve been off to a slightly slow start, but it ended up being a thrilling read with unbelievably realistic characters, a surprisingly cute love triangle, and an ending that will leave readers eager for more. I know I’ll be reading the third book as soon as I possibly can. 🙂

my rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know! Tell me in the comments! 🙂


I’m off to start The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski. 😀 I hope you all have a fabulous day/night! ❤

Until next time…

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