by Richelle Mead
As Syndey’s work draws her closer to Jill, Eddie, and even Adrain, she begins to wonder if her beliefs about Moroi and dhampirs are all wrong. Are Moroi really evil as she was raised to believe? Worse, as praise rains down upon Sydney from the Alchemist leadership, she wonders if she deserves it. If the leadership really knew how close Sydney was getting to the Moroi, would her supervisors continue to applaud her, or would they send her away to Reeducation Camp and “adjust” her changing values?
Book two has a new expertly-woven mystery to be solved at the Amberwood Prep (in typical Mead fashion), but with additional character development deftly inserted between the action. Romantically speaking, things begin to heat up between Sydney and a forbidden Moroi (who shall not be named here) causing Sydney to examine her previously held beliefs. Could she be falling for a Moroi? And, if she is, would falling for a Moroi be ethical? This book also reveals Sydney’s physical disadvantages. Unlike Eddie, Jill’s guardian, or Rose Hathaway, being human makes Sydney powerless to fight against the vicious Strigoi who are after Jill. Yet, it seems Sydney has another skill that may serve to protect her from the Strigoi, but is it ethical to use those skills? While the novel clearly serves as a bridge in the series, it does not feel like one. Needed backstory is natural, as are the moral dilemmas the characters face, and none of those elements detract from the action. I’ve already ordered book 3, The Indigo Spell, and am hoping to find it in my mailbox tonight (since it was released yesterday). Happy reading fellow Mead-followers!