5 of 5 stars to ‘The indigo spell’ by Richelle Mead

The indigo spell

Multiple storylines

Alchemist Sydney Sage has her hands full.

She has to keep the whereabouts of the Moroi princess Jill a secret, and ensure that the humans don’t suspect there are vampires in their school. This little group that Sydney is responsible for, has become a tight knit family, but they tend to have their mishaps and politics, and Sydney is the one who has to clean up the fallout each time. Then there’s the radical warrior group who wants to destroy the Moroi, and the liberal off-shoot Tempest group that wants Sydney to forsake her Alchemist roots. To add to the mix, Sydney’s teacher is a witch who insists on teaching her to harness her innate magical ability, regardless of Sydney’s abhorrence of magic. There’s also a crazy witch on the loose, which Sydney has to stop before she sucks the life out of more innocent girls.

To top it all off, there’s Adrian, the Moroi spirit user who has scandalously declared his love for Sydney, who makes her question everything she’s been taught by the Alchemists and whom she can’t quite get off her mind…

Sydney Sage is unlike any character I’ve ever met. Fiercely independent, logical, intelligent and beautiful, she captures your heart in a way the typical damsel in distress just can’t. Adrian truly understands the importance of her independence, and while protective and romantic, doesn’t crowd her. He respects and admires her autonomy, but he’s always there for her. I love the witty banter and sexy interaction between Sydney and Adrian.

The magic in this novel has been taken up to another level. I particularly enjoyed the fantasy elements and spells as Sydney hones her magical talent. There’s a whole lot of storylines unravelling in this novel, but Sydney juggles them expertly. Can’t wait to unfold the next chapter!

5 of 5 stars to ‘A Shade of Blood’ by Bella Forrest

Shade of blood

Addictive

No human has ever left the Shade alive. Now, after weeks of captivity on the sunless vampire island, Sofia is given the choice: stay, and remain with her beloved Derek Novak as his human slave; or return to her life with Ben and have some chance of normality. Can she live with the choice she must make?

Book 2 continues the series exactly where book 1 left off. If there’s one thing that jars me a little when reading this series, it’s that there are no clearly defined beginnings and endings to each of the novels. Each book seems far too short and ends abruptly, leaving you hanging, wondering what is next. Sheer genius of Bella Forrest, I think. I know that as readers, we like tidy little packages with all the ends neatly ribboned off, but when you’re reading a series, there has to be a reason to move on to the next book, and Bella Forrest certainly knows how to provide that. So, I’ve made peace with this series by viewing it as one long book that has been broken down into smaller chunks. And it’s one of those fast-paced series you have to read from cover to cover!

Book two featured a greater variety of character’s POV. I particularly enjoyed this, since it gave depth to many of the characters that I felt was missing in book 1. Strangely enough, I relished Lukas’ POV, it was just fresh and unusual to see things from the POV of the villain.

The emotional intensity from the first book was heightened in this one. I felt that Derek’s ‘fall’ following Sofia’s decision made him more ‘human’ and ‘inhuman’ at the same time. The chemistry and intensity between Sofia and Derek remained intact and there was some lovely character development all round, including for Ben.

This is definitely an addictive series.