M.'s Reviews > The Golden Lily

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
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's review
Jan 30, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: swoon-worthy-heroes, torture-ending, lame-love-triangle, ya-pnr
Read from June 12 to 13, 2012


The Golden Lily was probably the most romantic book Richelle has written to date. The story picked up some time later the events of Bloodlines. I didn't know exactly how much time elapsed because it wasn't elaborated but I had the feeling it was just a couple of weeks. Since the book has many characters with different story lines it's easier to write this review by character.

Sydney: She was truly amazing and I'm growing to like her more and more. She struggled between her feelings towards her vampire friends and the duties and morals drilled into her heard by the Alchemists. Yes, she was still somewhat racist but I could see the character growth. But again, all of Richelle's heroines were racists with the exception of Georgina. But surprisingly the racism in Sydney is not as blatant as it was in Eugenie and Rose. I just hope Richelle doesn't deteriorate her later.

Adrian: What can I say? He was the most romantic, thoughtful, and swoon-worthy hero Richelle has managed to bring to life. Seriously, I don't know how anyone who read this book can continue to think Dimitri is the shit. He pales in comparison to Adrian. Everything that Adrian did for Sydney without her knowing and that final scene. OMG! I was hyperventilating in that scene. It was so wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time. Way to torture us poor readers, Richelle!

Jill: Thankfully Jill had a very minor role in the Golden Lilly. She was sort of dating Micah but by the end of Golden Lily she started to noticed Eddie. Too bad that by then Eddie had decided to give Angeline a chance. Oh, yeah. It seems YA is not YA if there isn't some type of love triangle. Gag me.

Eddie: He spent most of the book suffering by watching Jill with Micah but I couldn't bring myself to feel sorry for him. He was the one who pushed those two together. It's clear that Richelle is writing him to be a mini Dimitri.

Angeline: The book could have been much better without her. She was a waste of space in the story. Her presence in it defies logic and it's a major plot hole. Yeah, lets put an untrained, former Keeper to keep Jill safe when there are a bunch of more qualified young guardians out there. I think the only reason Richelle forced her into the story was to create the despicable love triangle and to make Sydney's life a little bit more complicated.

Dimitri: Those who were worried about his presence and sort of hating that we had to put up with him (like me) need not to worry. He was in the background most of the time and thankfully Rose didn't make an appearance. However, he will still be around in book 3 so maybe we will have to endure more Rose eventually. I would be okay with it if someone other than Adrian put her in her place. But that is not going to happen.

There were really no surprises in the Golden Lily. Yep, Trey was a vampire hunter. The relationship between Adrian and Sydney developed like I thought it would. There is a new love triangle between Jill, Eddie, and Angeline. Sydney has affinity to magic. That being said, it makes it really easy to predict the following books.

Sydney is going to learn that the Alchemist are a corrupt group, her faith in them will shatter and she will succumb to her feeling towards Adrian which will result on her being sent to the Re-education center that I suspect consists of torturing the unfortunate souls sent there. She will be saved eventually by Adrian.

Again Richelle is setting herself up for failure. She creates all of these taboos and conflicts that she never addresses.

All in all I'm giving the Golden Lily 4 stars because Sydney and Adrian's relationship deserve it.

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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Brittany 1) How is Rose racist? I'm trying to think back but I'll admit I can't remember anything that hinted that she was racist. Not trying to saying you're wrong, I'm honestly wondering. lol

Second, I personally don't see how Richelle is setting herself up for failure. There's, I believe, 2 more books (at least) that she's going to write to work everything out. But I do agree with most us your review. And the part that I don't, I can see why you think that (like with Angeline and Eddie [I quite like Eddie and feel sorry for him])

message 2: by M. (last edited Jun 15, 2012 05:44AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

M. Rose is racist because she looked down and trashed humans who had open relationships with Moroi. To me that consists of racism. She might not act upon it but we all know how she thinks. You don't remember her reaction to the keepers? She is judging people by their race. It's not only her, the entire world in VA is about Moroi looking down on dhampirs, Alchemists looking down on Moroi and the many taboos those prejudices generate.
Richelle didn't address the main problem in VA which was the basic slavery relationship between Moroi and dhampirs. The problems continued. yes she gave Rose and Dimitri their HEA but the dhampirs remain nothing but glorified slaves. If you gonna hint at a problem I would like to see some resolution by the end of the series.
Now she is just adding a new set of serious issues that probably will be set aside because they are too big to be dealt within 4 books especially since most of them will be dedicated to the romance side of it. That is what I meant by setting herself up for failure.
I know that I am probably focusing too much on the background of the story and to most readers a HEA is all that matters. I just dissect everything and I really hate unfair societies not being dealt with in books. It's already frustrating enough to have it in real life.
I liked Eddie but he pissed me off when he decided push Jill to Micah.
I am glad you asked me about my opinions instead of trashing my review, lol. You just see it too often here on Goodreads. I still enjoyed the book a lot. Adrian and Sydney are so perfect together and Richelle did a great job building their relationship.

Brittany I'll admit, when I read VA, I never noticed it but now that you mention it, I can see it. If you think about it, the only way Moroi's would let Dhampirs go is if they man up and start using their magic defensively (like how Christian does it). But unlike the few that do use their magic (or want to) the majority of them are being babies about it.

If I was Moroi, I'd feel like a child all the time, having to have someone protect me 24/7. It's not always bad for someone to have your back, but shouldn't you at least try to help? I mean they could ease into letting Dhampirs go by doing what Rose and Christian did in Shadow Kiss (him burn them while she staked) then slowly teach Moroi how to do it themselves (combine using their magic and learning to stake for themselves.)

And with the Eddie thing, I can see where he's coming from, sort of. He wants Jill to be happy but since he doesn't think of himself worthy, he's pushing her into another man's arms. Maybe hurting himself that way is him trying to push his feelings away, though it hasn't really been working.

I loved how she's building their relationship too. I'm not always a fan of characters professing their love for each other in a matter of three days. Def. when the person beliefs go against what they're feeling, like Sydney. Every time I read a scene between just the two of them (like after the lunch with his father, her dress for the Halloween dance, and of course the whole last chapter) I was practically swooning, just the way they act around each other when alone.

P.S. if this doesn't make much sense, sorry. I only had about 2 hours of sleep so my mind's a little unfocused at the moment. lol.

message 4: by M. (new) - rated it 4 stars

M. No, it makes perfect sense. I hope I made sense in my prior post because I wrote it at 2 in the morning.
I think the Moroi don't want to help because they feel so superior that they don't want to dirty their hands with defense. It is really silly and stupid.
I once read a review of VA stating that the entire society hierarchy didn't make any sense. If the dhampirs are the physically stronger race then it would make more sense if the roles were reversed. Dhampirs on top and forcing Moroi to make more Dhampirs. If you look at world history, indeed the powerful nations are the ones with stronger offense and defense mechanism which applies to the dhampirs. They could also leave the Moroi behind and blend with humans. So yeah, there is a big flaw in the world Richelle created but I think that it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. She knows how to keep readers engaged.

Brittany No, you made sense also.

And I could see why some would think that the Dhampirs could overpower the Moroi and reverse the situations, it would technically be smart for dhampirs to do that, but how can you really force the Moroi to have children with Dhampirs (or humans for that matter) if they don't want to? The only way I can think of is rape and how many Dhampirs are out there that could really do that? I don't think many, though they can mate with humans (willingly) which would give them an edge.

And also, it's how they were raised. I mean look at Dimitri and Eddie for example, I could never see them try to overpower the Moroi to be superior. They focus on their job and they would never think of betraying them. And the dhampirs that did try to, the moroi's would use dhampirs like Dimitri and Eddie to banish the ones that want to overpower them. But I def. agree that it doesn't really matter since the story's entertaining and keeping readers engaged. Think about how different VA would be if they tried to overpower Moroi. lol

message 6: by M. (new) - rated it 4 stars

M. I actually wished there was a dhampir revolution at the end of VA. Lets face it, a Moroi, no matter how well intentioned, will never be able to change much. I think the will to modify things must come from the oppressed class. Think French Revolution, lol. So I got really frustrated that Rose and Dimitri didn't have a wake up call of sorts, you know. I was hoping for that since Richelle kept circling around the issue throughout the books.
I thought about if the roles were reversed since I read that review and it would be easy enough to convince Moroi to have dhampir children. If they want the protection from Strigoi that dhampirs provide then I'm sure a lot of Moroi would be willing to do it.
But there shouldn't be this social gap between the two races since they both depend on each other for survival. They should be on equal terms.
So I was hoping that she would address the matter in Bloodlines but she is veering in another direction altogether.

Brittany Yeah, with Bloodlines they are far away from all the Morois and dhampirs so she really can't have revolution. She def. could have made it happen or at least have it start in VA. She could have made Lissa, Rose, Eddie, Christian make noise about that issue.

Though maybe she didn't because most readers might not have thought about it that way, it being racism. I didn't think about it until I read your review. She could have thought "why bring it up since not everyone saw it that way." You know what I mean? I don't know how to explain it. lol

message 8: by M. (last edited Jun 15, 2012 06:36PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

M. Yes, like I said, I think the majority of readers were only focusing on the love story and then on the murder.
I guess it was hard to see what was going on was racism because those 'races' were fictional and they were mostly white.

message 9: by Leona (last edited Jun 18, 2012 09:45AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Leona "I think the Moroi don't want to help because they feel so superior that they don't want to dirty their hands with defense"

If I remember correctly, the Moroi stopped using their power as much as possible (including for defense) because they felt it was morally wrong. I'm not justifying the inequalities in the Moroi-Dhampir relationship, but their society didn't develop the way it did for no reason. I suspect something cataclysmic (or near cataclysmic) must have happened to make the Moroi disavow magic use and rely on the dhampirs for protection.

eta: Regarding Rose as a racist....

I'm not a Rose hater (or Rose-fan), but I found her reaction to the Keepers to be sort of baffling as well. I don't know if I would call it racist, but I do think it was bigoted. Rose was a complex character. She had alot of good qualities as well as some that I found strikingly annoying. So, while I felt ambivalent about her overall I think she was probably realistic in terms of the mixture of good/bad. Having said that, if I didn't find other things about the VA storyline (plot, other characters) more captivating than Rose, I would not have finished the series. IOW, my love for the series was not rooted in how I felt about Rose as a character. OTOH, in the Bloodlines series I am as firmly attached to both Sydney and Adrian (flaws and all) as I am to the other story elements.

message 10: by M. (new) - rated it 4 stars

M. Leona wrote: ""I think the Moroi don't want to help because they feel so superior that they don't want to dirty their hands with defense"

If I remember correctly, the Moroi stopped using their power as much as ..."

I feel the same way, if it were only for Rose I wouldn't have finished VA. I am way more invested in Sydney and Adrian.

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