A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Indigo Spell is the third installment in Richelle Mead's best-selling Bloodlines series. After building up the chemistry between protagonist Sydney Sage and her vampire love interest, Adrian, Mead lets the spark fly, and romance takes the spotlight. There are several passionate kissing scenes and two all-out makeout sessions. The language is pretty mild compared with other teen books, but there are a few instances of "s--t" and "a--hole." So far, this is the series' least violent novel; there's suspense, action, and a magic-based fight, but no one actually dies. This series continues to explore issues of discrimination, questioning authority, and finding true love.
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What's the story?
At the end of The Golden Lily, Alchemist prodigy Sydney Sage and Moroi vampire Adrian Ivashkov finally gave into their feelings for each other in one climactic kiss. INDIGO SPELL explores the aftermath of the "monumental kiss": Sydney knows that a future with Adrian is forbidden, but the more she resists, the more she realizes how much and how often she needs him. Convinced at first that what she feels is lust and not love, Sydney throws herself into investigating Marcus Finch, a rebel ex-Alchemist on the run from the organization. As she deals with the secrets Marcus reveals about the Alchemists, Sydney must also contend with a dangerous witch who might be targeting her.
Is it any good?
Readers patiently waiting for the Sydney and Adrian relationship to finally move forward are duly rewarded with the most romantic installment in the Bloodlines series to date. The charming, artistic Adrian is everpresent in the story, and he perfectly balances Sydney's high-strung, type-A tendencies. That said, Mead's focus on the star-crossed lovers comes at the expense of secondary characters Jill, Angeline, Eddie, and Trey; there's considerably less about them here than in the first two novels, but it's clear they will feature more prominently in upcoming stories.
Although there's action and intrigue -- particularly about the former Alchemists who want to "break" the ceremonial tattoo that bonds them to the order -- this book is mostly about Sydney's character development. An Alchemist trained to regard vampires with a healthy dose of revulsion, Sydney knows that her blossoming and at times overwhelming feelings for Adrian go against everything she's been taught -- as does her newfound proficiency with magic. Faced with so many life-altering decisions, Sydney is a compelling protagonist you can't help but root for, even when she's exasperating. Mead is an author who knows how to keep you interested in her universe of characters, and it's already obvious the fourth book will be a game-changer.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss the ongoing popularity of paranormal teen romances. Why do you think these multiple-installment series are so much trendier than stand-alone books?
Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series is being made into a movie. Do you think Bloodlines would also make a good film prospect?
After waiting two novels for the chemistry to build up between Sydney and Adrian, the author finally ups the romance here. Do you think the love story adds to plot development?
- Author: Richelle Mead
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Razorbill
- Publication date: February 12, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 401
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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