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Book Review: The Bloodlines Series By Richelle Mead

The Bloodlines Series:

Includes: Bloodlines, The Golden Lily, The Indigo Spell, The Fiery Heart, The Ruby Circle, and Silver Shadows

Written by: Richelle Mead

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. An entertaining read!

Synopsis: A spin-off of Mead's Vampire Academy series. The books follow alchemist Sydney Sage, a studious, resourceful coffee-addicted blonde as she tries to stay one step ahead of her enemies. After getting too close to Rose Hathaway, the Dhampir heroine of the first series, Sydney finds herself in hot water with her alchemist bosses (humans who help keep the vampire world a secret). Though she's being closely monitored, they entrust her with the dangerous and vital task of being part of the cover-up plan to keep Princess Jillian Dragomir (Queen Vasilisa's recently discovered little sister) safe from the Moroi rebels who want to assassinate her and dethrone the teenage queen. The series subsequentially follows Sydney on her task to do what's asked of her- until mysterious circumstances, new friends, nefarious enemies, and her changing views on vampires alters the course of her life and heart forever.


What I Liked:

  • Strong character development- all of the characters were believable and well-thought out. I particularly loved the romantic relationships that carried the narrative throughout the series.

  • Sydney was a fantastic heroine! Intelligent, resourceful, relatable- everyone knows a friend who is just like her.

  • All the supernatural elements involved were fun to read about! If you're a fan of the supernatural, example: vampires, witches, vampire hunters, demons, magic, alchemy, etc., then you'll love this series too.

  • If you love romance, you'll love this series! The relationship between Sydney and Adrian was undoubtedly the best part. Their sassy banter, ride-or-die trust in each other, and high stakes love affair is exactly the type of thing that keeps a YA fan's heart beating.

  • The synopsis is a little a good way. I expected there to be more of a continuous struggle between Sydney and the rebels trying to assassinate Jill- that never happened. Instead the danger revolved around Sydney's personal choices and Jill was hardly ever the target. I didn't mind because it opened the door to lots of interesting supernatural subplots but I did feel like in retrospect I didn't get what I signed up for.

What I didn't like:

  • The overall episodic nature of the series. My biggest dislike is when books read as though each book is an individual adventure or "episode". I had this problem with the show Merlin, and I have the same issue here. Each book felt divided from the others which in my personal opinion made it feel a bit choppy and not as fluid as the first series.

  • The pacing was off in between books. I felt like the first three books were slower than the last three and that the true action didn't pick up until the fourth book. I also felt the ending was rushed and given a "and they all lived happily ever" spin that I didn't necessarily find realistic.

  • The length of the series felt unnecessary. Taking into account all that happens, I felt that because of the pacing issues that the series would have been better if it were shorter (by about two books). The majority of the story's focus was on the development of Sydney and Adrian's relationship, which was done well, but because of that I felt the rest of the story's substance was thrown in as a haphazard buffer to carry said relationship forward.


I would give this book 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. If you want a bit of light reading, loved the first series Vampire Academy, and want a well-developed supernatural love story then this is a series you'll probably enjoy. However I did feel like the writing was weaker compared to Mead's other series, so this wouldn't be the first one I'd recommend to readers new to her work.

Check Them Out For Yourself:

For the full series bundle, click the image below.

The first book in Richelle Mead's New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series

When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive--this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.

Read more here!

The thrilling second installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series--and a #1 New York Times Bestseller--now in paperback

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.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California—tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age-old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

Read more here!

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 aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch—a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood—or else she might be next.

Read more here!

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.

Read more here!

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 Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

Read more here!

The epic conclusion to Richelle Mead’s bestselling Bloodlines series is now in paperback.... 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. Their forbidden romance exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, she and Adrian become enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world and alter their lives forever. Don’t miss their unforgettable final chapter... They will be tested, but LOVE WILL CONQUER ALL.

Read more here!

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