The Golden Lily: Bloodlines, Book 2

Book review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Golden Lily: Bloodlines, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Engaging Bloodlines sequel explores romance, friendship.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Sydney is a genius who loves to discuss academic topics whenever she can. She admits that she usually has to dumb things down for people or risk putting them off. Among her conversation topics: the importance of wind power, the roles of ancient Greek women (particularly the hetaerae courtesans), how to drive a car with manual transmission, and the differences between vintage and contemporary Mustangs.

Positive Messages

Most of the messages revolve around questioning prejudice and discriminatory ideals, discovering that romance is more than the logical decision to date someone just like you, and the tension between doing what you're told vs. what you believe is right.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sydney is an admirable character. She's incredibly smart, generous, and self-sacrificing. Even though she believes in her mission, she questions the narrow-minded, prejudicial rules the Alchemists hold dear. She goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to her charges, whom she begins to consider her friends. Adrian is the classic "bad boy with a heart of gold." Underneath his cocky, aloof exterior, he really does care about Sydney, his art, and his difficult relationship with his parents. He even confronts Sydney about her body issues and encourages her to eat more.


There's bloody hand-to-hand combat, sword-wielding, and gun and wooden club use in a couple of climactic scenes. An entire group of vampire-slayer Warriors tries to execute a vampire. People are injured, but no one is killed. Unlike the first book, there are no disturbing deaths -- just a frantic fight scene.


More romance than in Bloodlines, but still not much compared with other paranormal books. Sydney experiences her first romantic relationship, including a rather underwhelming couple of kisses as well as some hand holding and hugging. Throughout the book, Sydney flirts with vampire Adrian and has fluttery feelings toward him. Sydney wears a gauzy Greek-style costume that leaves a few guys hot and bothered. Angeline makes initially unwanted overtures toward Eddie.


A couple of uses of "s--t," "bulls--t," "ass," and "a--hole."


Car-loving Sydney discusses her Subaru Outback and two Mustangs that impress her: a new one and a classic.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Due to his ability to connect with others' spirits, Adrian (who's 21) often drinks to excess to dull the paranormal connection. Sonya is drugged while she's held hostage by a group of vampire-slaying vigilantes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Golden Lily is the second installment in author Richelle Mead's best-selling Vampire Academy spin-off, Bloodlines. Featuring Sydney Sage, a smart and self-sacrificing heroine, this sequel has a bit more romance (flirting, dating and a few kisses, one of which is passionate) than its predecessor but still not nearly the swoon-worthy levels seen in similar YA books. The language is pretty standard for teen lit (a few uses of "s--t" and "a--hole" and their variations), and the violence is revolves around a couple of scenes that include a kidnapping and a brawl where guns, clubs, knives, and even magical spells are used. Like the first book, The Golden Lily follows a strong and unapolegetically intellectual female protagonist.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written by[email protected] December 23, 2012


I think that its aboslutely fine for 11 and up! Because my daughter ( Vanessa) Is Kinda of obsessed with vampire books and alot of them were innappropiate but t... Continue reading
Adult Written bysofiagrace1234 December 23, 2012

A very exciting read for 11 and up!

I think this story is perfect for maybe an 11 year old and a 12 year old would get a kick out of this book so i would say 11 and up is the most appropriate for... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old September 27, 2017
I rated it as for kids twelve and up, but it would probably be fine for a ten or eleven-year-old. It continues the plot of the first book, and the protagonist i... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bysamantha10184 January 6, 2014


Very exciting! I love her books! There is one kissing part, otherwise the book is clean. It talks about smoking and involves how it is bad for you along with al... Continue reading

What's the story?

Picking up soon after Bloodlines let off, THE GOLDEN LILY finds 18-year-old Alchemist Sydney Sage continuing her undercover assignment to protect Jill Dragomir, the Moroi vampire queen's younger sister who's hiding at a Palm Springs boarding school. Trey, Sydney's one pal at school, sets her up with his coffee-shop colleague Brayden, a genius she timidly starts to date. Meanwhile, Adrian gets closer to Sydney, who can't figure out why she prefers spending time with him more than her new boyfriend. As Sydney keeps questioning her emotional involvement with the vampires and half-vampires she's just supposed to be guarding, an enigmatic group kidnaps a vampire in her midst.

Is it any good?

Readers familiar with multi-book series know that not all installments are equally compelling -- yet this sequel is even more interesting than the original. A character study of Sydney, the intellectual and brave protagonist with an endearing streak of social awkwardness, The Golden Lily not only hilariously explores her baby steps into a first dating relationship but also delves into interesting subplots about a mysterious order of vampire slayers, the frosty relationship between teens and parents (human and non-human), and the use of magic to ward against (or at times aid) paranormal creatures.

Readers patiently waiting for romance are rewarded with a sizzling chemistry between Sydney and the irresistibly charming vamp, Adrian Ishakov. While Sydney questions ambivalent feelings toward her genius "boyfriend," it's obvious to everyone around her that she and Adrian are ridiculously into each other. Author Richelle Mead does an excellent job of examining how sometimes the smartest girls are also the most naive when it comes to understanding their love lives. This is no Twilight: The character development (so far) comes before the swoon-worthy scenes, and that's a good thing. But for those who care, there's one knee-weakening kiss that's definitely worth the wait.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the continuing popularity of paranormal adventures. Do you think the Twilight movies and the Vampire Diaries TV show are responsible for all of these teen-targeted paranormal franchises?

  • Do you prefer slow-burning, friends-to-more romances, like the buildup between Sydney and Adrian, or fiery, love-at-first-sight romance? Is the author downplaying the romance in this series?

  • What distinguishes this series from the Vampire Academy franchise? How is Sydney a different protagonist from Rose? Do you think Rose will eventually make an appearance?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy and romance

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