Series: Bloodlines #4
Published by Razorbill on November 19, 2013
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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 Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .
But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.
Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.
I’m a huge Richelle Mead fan. I’ve loved all of her series’ – Vampire Academy, Georgina Kincaid, Bloodlines, and Dark Swan – so it should come as no surprise that I absolutely loved this book. The writing, the plot, the characters, Sydrian – everything about this book had me dying to read it. And, though it had a few hiccups, it definitely didn’t dissapoint!
Sydney has come such a long way since since we were first introduced to her. To be honest, it’s been so long since I read the Vampire Academy books, I had kind of forgot who Sydney was when I first picked up Bloodlines. It slowly came back to me, though and now I’m at a point where I’d love to re-read Blood Promise and Bloodlines just to see what she was like then versus now. She’s always been a very strong, independent and capable character, but she’s really come into her own and become even stronger. She thinks for herself and she’s a very logical, practical person. She doesn’t do anything without thinking about the potential consequences and she almost always has a Plan B on hand, just in case. Her predicament at the end of The Fiery Heart was horrible and sad and terrifying, but I know Sydney is strong and she’ll get through it.
When we first met Adrian in Vampire Academy, he was… very different… than he is now. Because I shipped Rose and Dimitri, above and beyond all else, he was an obstacle to that and, therefore, I didn’t appreciate him as much as I should have. Yet I’ve always adored him. There was always a small part of me that wanted him and Rose together, just so Adrian wouldn’t have his heart broken. And then Sydney came along. And the rest is history. As much as Sydney has changed, I think Adrian has grown the most of any character in this series. It took a long time, but his personality has done a complete 180. He deserves happiness, so my heart broke into a million pieces for him at the end of The Fiery Heart. Adrian is strong and he’s already survived so much… I know he’ll survive this; I just hope he doesn’t fall into his old, bad habits between now and then.
As I’ve already briefly mentioned, I adore Sydrian (Sydney + Adrian = Sydrian, in case you didn’t know). Honestly, with so many fictional couples out there, you’d think it would be hard to narrow down my favorite. But I’m 98% sure my OTP is Sydrian. They’re complete opposites, yet they complement each other so perfectly, they’re like two side of the same coin, yin and yang, PB and J… Okay, I’m getting ridiculous now.. But hopefully you get the picture! I’m sure Sydrian will prevail in the end. Because, well… There’s no other option. They MUST prevail or my feels will be broken.
I wanted to like Zoe. I really did. I kept hoping she would change, just as Sydney kept hoping. It seemed like it might happen a few times, but then something would drag Zoe back into the claws of the Alchemists. And, of course, in the end… Ugh, I can’t even talk about it cause I’ll end up punching something. Zoe was such a brat… Grrr! I still have my fingers crossed she’ll come to her senses between the beginning of Silver Shadows and the end of The Ruby Circle, but I’m not getting my hopes up. And let’s not even talk about Sydney and Zoe’s father.. Not even going there.. Nope.
Of course, I adore the whole Palm Springs crew – Jill, Angeline, Eddie, Ms. Terwilliger, Trey, even Neil. Richelle Mead is amazing at creating well-rounded and beloved secondary and tertiary characters. And I LOVED seeing Rose, Dimitri, Lissa and Sonya. The Vampire Academy books were one of my first Post-Twilight Vampire Book Reads and they’re very close to my heart. Also, I read Mead’s Georgina Kincaid series first and loved it beyond words, so of course I jumped on board when she wrote a YA vampire book! The characters of Vampire Academy will always have a place in my heart and I love seeing them again in Bloodlines. I have no idea what I’ll do once I finish Bloodlines and we’re done with this incredible world Mead has created.. I’ll cry a lot, I think.
Unfortunately (and this is rare for me when reading a Richelle Mead book, so this is difficult for me..) I did have some issues with this book. First of all, it started off really slow. Like, painfully slow. I had a hard time getting into it. I don’t think it needed to be as long as it was, either. I also felt like it had Second Book Syndrome.. Except, well, it’s book four of the series. But it just kind of felt like filler to me, like it was only meant to bridge the gap from The Indigo Spell to Silver Shadows. I’m also VERY conflicted with the dual POV. On the one hand, I LOVED seeing inside Adrian’s head. I heart him so much, it was fun seeing things from his perspective. On the other hand, some of his chapters – more so in the beginning than the end – felt boring and unnecessary. It truly pains me to say that because, again, I heart Adrian and I ship Sydrian. But.. Just telling it like it is :(
The ending was pretty epic, though I’m not as shocked as some people were. I remember when The Fiery Heart first came out, I couldn’t read it right away but everyone who did was shocked and outraged and freaking out about the “major cliffhanger.” Everyone told me not to read The Fiery Heart until I had Silver Shadows in hand, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the cliffhanger. While the ending was crazy and very insane, I kind of saw it coming from a mile away, so I was prepared for it – at least, a little prepared. Though I was never spoiled on the ending, I just had this feeling that things were moving towards that conclusion, especially with how hard-core people freaked out. It had been hinted at enough times throughout the series and with how The Indigo Spell ended, I just had a sneaking suspicion that it was coming sooner rather than later. So though I’m still upset and dying to see how Sydney and Adrian get out of this mess, it didn’t destroy my feels as much as I thought it would.
Overall, I loved, loved, loved The Fiery Heart. Again, I adore Richelle Mead and everything she writes, so how could I not? Though the book felt slow and filler-ish, I still enjoyed the plot and being back in the VA/Bloodlines world. I love these characters more than anything; they feel so alive to me, I just want to see them get their happy ending already! I’m very excited to get to Silver Shadows, though I’m scared to read The Ruby Circle… *Gulps!* As for recommending this book.. Um, duh! I would highly recommend EVERY book that Richelle Mead HAS written and every book she WILL write. Period. End of story.