Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

“Blood doesn’t lie …”

SPOILER ALERT! Does contain some information from the final Vampire Academy series book, Last Sacrifice. Beware!

It has been approximately one month since the concluding events of Last Sacrifice. Moroi Queen Vasilisa Dragomir’s hold on the crown is tenuous at best with her new found illegitimate sister Jillian Mastrano Dragomir as her only living family member. If Jill dies, Lissa would no longer be queen under the ancient Moroi laws. When an attack is made on Jill’s life, the decision to place her in hiding is made.

Eighteen-year-old Alchemist Sydney Sage is still feeling the fallout over her involvement with Rose Hathaway’s daring escape from the Moroi Court. Initially blackmailed by Rose’s father, Abe Mazur, Sydney eventually sets aside her distaste for the vampire races and comes to respect Rose for the strong person she is. When Queen Lissa turns to the Alchemists for help in hiding and protecting Jill, Sydney’s younger sister Zoe is their father’s first choice for the assignment. Knowing what kind of life an Alchemist leads, Sydney doesn’t want that for Zoe, who has yet to have cheek tattooed with the Alchemist lily. She talks her way into the assignment and hopefully back into everyone’s good graces again by saying she has experience living among the vampires they all distaste. The Alchemist higher ups agree and Sydney is relieved but Zoe is angry with the outcome. Only when the territory post agent arrives and is furious Sydney is going. She begins to doubt her decision.

Twenty-three-year-old Keith Darnell is in charge of the Palm Springs post where Sydney will be assigned. Keith lived with the Sage family for awhile where Sydney’s father took him under his wing and treated him as the son he never had. But something occurred during that time that Sydney could hold over Keith’s head. Eventually, he relents to allow Sydney on the mission due to pressure from the higher ups but neither is excited to be working together.

Just what is the assignment? Sydney and Jill will be posing as sisters at Amberwood Prep, a human boarding school. Joining them on campus as Sydney’s twin brother will be disgraced guardian, Eddie Castile. Keith will pose as their older brother/pseudo guardian as their “parents” live in South Dakota. One of Sydney’s responsibilities will be to take Jill to see a feeder who is being provided by a Moroi recluse by the name of Clarence Donahue. A loner, Clarence distrusts the Moroi government over the death of his niece by the hands of what he calls vampire hunters. Jill’s identity will be unknown to him. Adrian Ivashkov is also making the journey to be Jill’s moral support and will be living with Clarence. Upon their arrival, Sydney and Keith are surprised to learn Clarence’s college-aged son will be around part of the time.

For Sydney, this assignment is her chance to get back into the good graces of the Alchemists and get the opportunity to experience a formal education, even if she must live with a vampire. But very quickly, things do not go as planned. Just why is Lee suddenly at home with his father? What is the connection Sydney notices between Adrian and Jill? Why is Adrian in Palm Springs? What is going on with Jill that she doesn’t make it through the first day of class? What secret does Sydney know about Keith? And when it comes down to it, can Jill be kept safe?

This book is a definite read for those Vampire Academy and Team Adrian fans. Needless to say, the last four words of Bloodlines will leave you hanging for book two, The Golden Lily due out on June 19, 2012.

Visit Richelle Mead’s website.

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