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The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

The Indigo Spell
by Richelle Mead

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3)

By: Richelle Mead

Release Date: February 12, 2013

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: 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.

 

Review:

February has been an amazing month for fans of Richelle Mead and Vampire Academy. On the first, we got news per Deadline that the long awaited movie, now titled Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, is finally moving forward, with Mark Waters of Mean Girls fame directing a script by his brother Daniel Waters of Heathers fame. In addition to that unexpected good news, for everyone who hasn’t been watching their calendars in eager anticipation, the subject of this review, The Indigo Spell, releases on the 12 AND Richelle confirmed via her blog that she just finished writing the next book, The Fiery Heart, due to be released later this year as well.

There’s a reason why there are so few authors whose books I anticipate as eagerly as Richelle Mead’s. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the kind of guy for whom an author can do no wrong, but after Vampire Academy, its sequels, Bloodlines, The Golden Lily, and now The Indigo Spell, I really mean it when I said in my review of The Golden Lily that Mead’s proven herself again and again and earned my trust because hers are books that just keep getting better and better. I wouldn’t get carried away and say they’re worthy of winning any major literary prizes, but they certainly are the gold standard of the paranormal genre simply because Mead’s mastered the formula for writing the perfect balance of character and plot.

Oh, and it also helps that I’m a huge fan of Sydney Sage. Have been since the first Bloodlines – sure she can be described as naïve and sheltered, but I for one love how Mead writes her character because it’s that combination of earnesty and quirkiness that makes Syndey so cute and fun to read about. And after The Golden Lily, I think I love her a million times more – I certainly respect her a million times more, because no matter how awful that ending feels, for me, it’s perfect, it’s one of the best lines I’ve ever read because it says everything about Syndey’s character in just two sentences:

In my chest, my own heart was breaking. On my cheek, the lily reminded me who I was.

Yeah, she’s questioning the purpose of the Alchemists, her purpose, but at the same time, it’s all she’s ever known, so while her heart is pushing her one way, the lily is pulling her another. So the first question in The Indigo Spell is where she goes from here, after making what has to be one of the hardest decisions anyone’s ever had to make, and surprisingly, Mead goes for light and fun – let’s just say Syndey and Adrian fans will be very happy within a few chapters – instead of intentionally angsty. But I swear, it totally works, because Sydney’s not the kind of person who second guesses the wisdom of her decisions from an emotional point of view, she’s way too practical for that, and besides, it’s way more fun to read about two people dealing with a rough patch by working around it as friends than moping around like what happens in it seems like every single other paranormal out there ever.

The flip side of the coin is of course Adrian. Obviously he knows, or at least suspects, why Sydney did what she did, so even if he’s hurt, he’s good about it, and that’s why I like him way more than the million other guy characters who’ll degenerate into jealous jerks. I do think Adrian will make a way bigger impression on a lot of people than he did for me, especially in a particular scene in which the title of the next book is mentioned (yes the words ‘fiery heart’ appear in this!!) not only because this is definitely the most Adrian and Sydney centric of all the books by far, but also because they work well together, although while I appreciate this is of course a book focusing on Adrian and Sydney, I do kind of miss seeing as much of Eddie, Jill, Angeline, and Trey as I had in the past. It’s not a huge deal, but like I mentioned in my review of The Golden Lily, one of the strengths of Vampire Academy and now Bloodlines is the richness of the characters – even the minor characters feel fully fleshed out to the point there’s always someone to root for, or as I called it, don’t like Rose and Dmitri, there’s always Lissa and Christian – so while Rose and Dmitri make their obligatory cameo with Lissa and Christian this time at Mikhail and Sonya’s wedding, I could’ve used more Eddie, Jill, and Trey. Angeline, not so much.

The plot itself is a tough one because Mead’s actually juggling two separate storylines, one with Sydney delving more into the Alchemist conspiracy and the Alchemist’s connections to the Warriors of Light, the vampire slayers introduced in the last book, and the other with Sydney exploring more of her witchy magic and having to confront her mentor Ms. Terwilliger’s evil magic draining sister. Although the two are connected, Sydney for example starts to stray from Alchemist teachings as she starts to embrace her magical affinity and later uses her magical training to infiltrate the Alchemists, the evil sister feels more like a self contained ‘A plot’ that starts and ends this book while the Alchemist conspiracy is more of the ongoing ‘B plot’ that’ll be continued in next sequel. Sure, there is one hanging thread left over concerning the identity of the magic draining witch, which I have to say while predicted I still feel is much better done than the Warriors of Light arc from the last book, but I guess I just got more closure from the witch storyline than the conspiracy storyline. As for the mysterious Marcus Finch, I have to say Penguin’s marketing campaign really overhyped the character, while he certainly presents Sydney with a third path – not with the Alchemists and not with Adrian, he’s just sort of there as a character and pretty much as effective as Brayden was in the last book.

In fact, Marcus is such a nonissue that the ending here could’ve worked just as well as for the last book in the series and it still would’ve left me satisfied, at least where Sydney and Adrian are concerned. I’m still going to rush out (er go online) and preorder The Fiery Heart though because Mead absolutely knows exactly which buttons to press and which characters to introduce to leave me hanging and anxious to know what’ll happen next to Sydney and the rest of the gang.
Go to Mitch’s review on Goodreads.

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  1. February 14, 2013 at 5:56 am

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