If you read my previous blog entry about the Vampire Academy books by Richelle Mead, you’ll know I’m a fan. I was very happy to learn that there was indeed a spinoff planned of these books. The Bloodlines Series started with Bloodlines, and continued with The Golden Lily. The Indigo Spell is due out in February of 2013.
You don’t totally have to have read the Vampire Academy books to understand this series, but it certainly helps. Many things are written as though it is implied that the reader has read the previous series.
Bloodlines is basically the story of Alchemist Sydney Sage. If you read the VA books, you’ll recognize her as one of the people who aided Rose in her quest. The story picks up a little while after the VA books leave off, and we are re-united with Sydney, who is somewhat suffering the consequences of her involvement in aiding a fugitive.
She is recruited by the Alchemists to go on a mission to keep Jill Dragomir (Lissa’s half sister) safe from the ones who are trying to kill her. Lissa’s reign as Queen of the Moroi is only valid as long as she has a living relative. Trying to kill a queen is tough work, so the rebels are going after her sister Jill, who is more vulnerable, and in killing her they basically achieve the same thing: removing Lissa from the throne.
So Sydney is posing as Lissa’s sister at a totally human school under complete secrecy. We get to see many others from the VA series as more central characters in this series. Aside from Sydney, we have Eddie and Adrian, and even Sonia and Dmitri play supporting rolls. There is even a cameo appearance near the beginning from Rose herself. Those who read and enjoyed VA will appreciate that.
These books are kind of the same as VA, but very different in some ways too. Our heroine is very different. With Rose, we had a badass, ass kicking, brave, impulsive heroine. Sydney has her own style, and though she is very intelligent, and brave as well, she certainly goes about life more differently and more responsibly.
I liked these books. I will have to wait to pass my full judgment until I read farther into the series, obviously. They move a little slower, and spend a lot of time building up the characters and giving insight into them. Sydney can be extremely frustrating at times as she has literally no dating experience and is completely oblivious to the world of love and dating. As an Alchemist, she also has several prejudices against vampires that have been ingrained in her since she was little. She literally has a physical reaction to the use of magic. She is certainly more tolerant of vampires and damphirs than most of the rest of her kind. She considers them friends and allies, and shares her life with them, above and beyond her mission to protect Jill. But those prejudices are there, and though I hope she shakes them as she continues throughout this series, I imagine that will take some time and will cause much more frustration for the reader as she does. She is already starting to see many things about her kind that are disturbing to her, and making her question the foundation upon which her life has been built.
These books have everything. A bit of action, a bit of magic, some romance, friendship, you name it. Adrian plays a large role, as I loved him in the other books. I didn’t love him for Rose, as I am a huge fan of Dmitri and believe that they are totally right together. But he is still a wonderful and very misunderstood character, and from what I can see, I think he will finally get a chance to really shine in these books.
Overall, if you like this kind of thing, definitely read these. I’m looking forward to the rest. I had heard somewhere I think that there were six planned, but I’m not 100% sure about that. I hope there is, because there are a lot of directions this story can go.
Until the next one… 🙂