Review: The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

February 15, 2013 4 - 4.5 Stars, Boarding School, Paranormal, Richelle Mead, Vampires 0 ★★★★

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines # 3
Published by Razorbill on February 12, 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 401
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood.

The Indigo Spell picks up very shortly after the end of The Golden Lily. Sydney is given a mysterious assignment that involves using her magical powers, something we all know she looooves. She’s given the barest amount of information, but with some prodding, Sydney learns that she’s in a bit of a catch-22. Taking on this assignment could be very dangerous. However, NOT acting could prove much worse (this is a spoiler-y part, albeit a very early one, so I won’t go any deeper. Suffice to say, it is downright sinister.)

Because Sydney is not content with just one potentially deadly mission, she decides to multitask and seek out former alchemist, Marcus Finch. She believes he can tell her secrets of the Alchemists and how to escape the bind that keeps her trapped in their service for life. As we know, Sydney’s developing relationships with vampires, the monsters whom she is supposed to hate, make her question the beliefs of the majority of her kind.

When I first heard Richelle Mead was going to spin off Sydney, I thought, “Huh, why? She’s so BORING!” But I’ve grown to really like Sydney, and even more so in The Indigo Spell. She is a living, breathing human now, not just a machine.

And Adrian…ah, Adrian. Now that he has professed his feelings for Sydney, he seems to pop up everywhere. Sydney professes annoyance, but we all know better. Adrian has grown so much, and he is now easy to view as a believable, desirable love prospect, and just perfect for Sydney. I know she knows it, too; she just needs her walls broken down, and Adrian is more than willing to try and try some more. There’s a forbidden Romeo and Juliet quality to their relationship that makes it even more compelling.

The story, which I have avoided discussing, is exciting and intense. Mead has a great talent for writing these kinds of scenes. Mead also loves to throw in a last-minute twist regarding her villain(s). Typically, I can see it coming from a mile away, but I’m pleased to say this one took me by surprise.

I loved Sydney’s final scene with Adrian, and the last couple of pages feature a surprise visitor to Sydney’s room that left me smiling because it promises some awkward (in a good way, I hope) complications for Sydney in the sequel.

I recommend reading the full Bloodlines series before picking up The Indigo Spell. But if you insist, an early wedding scene gives a brief introduction to important characters and their backgrounds.

Questions for Readers:

1)  How do you feel about the Sydrian romance?  Do you buy them as a couple?
2) Were you as surprised by the villain twist as I was?

Please reply without spoilers, or prominently note “SPOILER” at the beginning of your comment.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on these topics or any others!

Review posted at Goodreads and Amazon


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