Sydney’s blood is special. That’s because she’s 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. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists. And now with her allegiences in question, her future is on the line.
When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.
The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside – and within – the school grounds. Now that they’re in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.
I honestly struggled getting into this book. As much as I loved The Vampire Academy and was sad to see it end, the idea of another series actually didn’t interest me. I had found Sydney to be boring, stiff and uninteresting in her appearances in Rose’s story.
But after my friend devoured the book and told me to get back into it, I realized I stopped just short of where it got interesting.
You have to read about half way through before it gets interesting, but the story is certainly worth it. Assigned to protect the newest Vampire royal and the only member of Queen Lissa’s family, Jill Dragomir, Sydney struggles with accepting the close proximity she must keep with Lissa, Adrian and Eddie. Her strong beliefs in all vampires being evil is instilled so deeply, she physically shies away from them.
She’s extremely studious and logical, which leads to many boring moments in which she practically salivates about returning to school. But her Alchemist training helps her when she discovers someone is supplying magic-infused ink, much like the ink used in the Alchemist tattoos, to a local tattoo parlor. She’s also forced to uncover who is killing local girls and making it look as if it’s a vampire.
The mysteries seem a bit mundane, but the first allows you a glimpse into the fireball of personality within Sydney as she must confront her sister’s rapist and her fellow alchemist. Also, they serve as a means to an end in regards to helping her to accept Jill, Eddie and even Adrian. Although she’s still hesitant to be around them and feeding times are extremely uncomfortable for her, it helps her to relax a bit and maintain the facade that she’s related to them.
Still not as excited for this series as I was for Vampire Academy, but considering this is a companion series, it’s pretty good and worth checking out.