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.
The third installment in Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series has Alchemist Sydney fighting for her life and against her love for Adrian, the Moroi (good vampire) boy she denies loving. Not only does Sydney have to deal with her assignment from the Alchemists and the romantic conflict spawned by it, she struggles with the realization that the Alchemists may still be connected to the Warriors and that she has to use the “evil” magic to protect herself.
I let this series go by the wayside because I thought it was either going to get progressively worse or turn into a bad version of the Vampire Academy series (I don’t have a good history with spin-off series). The Indigo Spell was in my library’s Overdrive collection, so I finally decided to borrow it. I fell in love with the series again.
I love the not-easily-predictable plot. Mead’s storytelling is great for reaching the main chunk of climax at 60 or 70 percent into the novel. It may be getting somewhere at 70 percent. By that point, I want to finish the book.
Sydney and Adrian have the most development of all of the characters. They of course grow as people, but so does their romance. No love triangles. Sydney does admit, however, that despite Alchemist laws and beliefs she loves the Moroi. I’m disappointed there wasn’t more involvement with Jill and Eddie in this installment. They seemed flat. There’s overall less vampire involvement in this book than previous with an increase in focus on witches and the inner workings of the Alchemists. Mrs. Terwilliger didn’t develop much either. We only learn that she makes the safety of her apprentices/students a high priority.
Mead does her best to write her books so that her readers will understand what is going on whether they missed a book (or several) or just haven’t read the series in a long time. This does not mean I recommend reading the series out of order because I don’t believe I really would have understood what was happening had I not read the earlier books in the series. There was an error with relationship explanations in the book, although it is not critical to the plot. At location 727 on the Kindle Fire (page 58-59-ish), Mead wrote: “Tatiana, the former Moroi queen, had been Christian’s great-aunt.” If you’ve been following the Vampire Academy series and the Bloodlines series like I have, you know that Tatiana was Adrian’s aunt. Christian’s aunt’s name is Natasha. I’m surprised no one at the publishing house has caught this yet since The Indigo Spell has been out for almost two years–and the edition I read is an ebook, which usually has automatic updating.
Formatting-wise, the ebook was great. It has page numbers! It was an odd transition for me to read the ebook this time because I had only ever read the print editions of Mead’s books.
This is a perfect read for those who are already into the Bloodlines series and/or the Vampire Academy series. It’s an engrossing novel that I didn’t want to put down.
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Romance, Mystery YA
Rating: 4 of 5