5 of 5 stars to ‘The Golden lily’ by Richelle Mead

The golden lily

Polar opposites

As an Alchemist, Sydney Sage has grown up believing that that the Moroi vampires, while tolerated in the course of business, are to be avoided as much as possible. Afterall, they are less than human. But Sydney doesn’t have much choice. She’s been assigned to protect and monitor a Moroi princess, who has been placed in hiding along with her group of half vampire guards. The more time Sydney spends with her charges, the more she begins to question what she has been taught about the Moroi. She finds herself enjoying the company of her new ‘family’, especially the brash, spoilt magic-wielder Adrian…

I think I enjoyed this second installment even more than the first. The characters of Sydney and Adrian are so unlike your typical heroes. Sydney is a perfectionist. She’s intelligent and weighs the consequences of each action carefully. Even something as emotive as a first date has her researching options and possible outcomes. Adrian is her polar opposite. He’s brash, spontaneous, and emotionally driven. Motivated by art and pleasure, Adrian wields the most powerful of Moroi magic, Spirit – something Sydney has been taught to fear – something that does not belong in the human world. The interaction between these two totally opposite characters is humorous and charming to witness. Unlikely as it seems, they really ‘get’ and bring out the softer, stronger sides of one another.

I love that Sydney doesn’t just give in to her burgeoning attraction to Adrian, even though readers are aching for the two of them to get together. This makes her character that much stronger and more believable, as does Adrian’s pride that often gets in the way. I’m dying to find out what happens next!

5 of 5 stars to ‘Under different stars’ by Amy Bartol

Under different stars

What a fantastic fantasy world!

Kricket Hollowell has spent her entire life running from the Chicago foster care system. She’s no stranger to abuse and so she’s determined to stay clear of the system for the next few months until she turns eighteen and is free to make her own choices.
Trey Allairis was been sent to earth on a mission to bring Kricket home, but he never expected her fiery independent streak, or the hidden talents that would make the trip from earth to Ethar treacherous as hell, and full of nail-biting adventure.
Kyon knows the true value of Kricket, and is determined to claim her as his own. He’ll chase her across worlds to possess her talents because he knows that in the war to come, Kricket Hollowell will be the most valuable asset.

Under different stars starts with a bang. Amy Bartol throws her heroine straight into the action, and the character of Kricket responds with enthusiasm. She is feisty, independent and street-wise. This is one character who can truly ‘drive’ a novel! Every word of dialogue, every action and reaction is so adventurous, witty and passionate, you cannot help but fall in love with Kricket.
Admittedly, the sentence construction in the first part of the novel could have used a little more work, but the moment Trey and Kricket arrived in Ethar, none of that mattered. The fantasy world Bartol has created is nothing short of epic. What details! What imagination! From the prehistoric creatures to the Etharian rotations and societal tiers, this is a beautifully constructed, believable, fascinating world.
Romance, action, adventure, danger – this novel has it all and I can’t wait to find out more about how Trey and Kricket plan to realign the stars!