We recently started in on Richelle Mead’s spin-off series, Bloodlines, which follows with up her Vampire Academy series character Sydney Sage, the Alchemist who assists Rose in Russia while she is looking for her Strigoi-turned lover Dimitri.
Upon first meeting Sage in Vampire Academy, we found her to be an intriguing, if somewhat uptight, character who showed a lot of in-depth knowledge on vampires, despite her closed-mindedness. In Bloodlines we learn Sydney’s viewpoints and perceptions are shaped by the deep-set views of her family and the Alchemist community and we get to see her grow into a more open-minded person, despite her fears of shunning and persecution from her family and friends in the Alchemist community. What’s interesting about this novel is how closely it touches on the fear surrounding prejudice — as the reader, we know that there is nothing inherently wrong with Moroi or dhampirs, but we see how physically and emotionally frightened Sydney is by some of these beings, especially when they perform magic, even though the magic is never used with the intent of harm.
Overall, the story was a bit slow-moving, with the majority of the plot action coming at the end, but because the characters were so interesting and because we get to see Sydney grow so much, the story becomes much more character-driven which is a different pace than the majority of the plot-driven Vampire Academy titles.
Also interesting about Sydney’s character was learning about her dealings with Abe, with whom she made a deal to have Keith, her sister’s rapist, hurt by having his eye cut out. It’s quite a vicious punishment — for quite a vicious crime, no doubt — but interesting that Sydney, such a compassionate character, had such a violent reaction.
We definitely recommend you c heck it out!0