Editorial Reviews. Review. “With all the magic, vampires, and steamy scenes, you'll be so grateful for this escape ” ronaldweinland.info About the Author. Richelle. Editorial Reviews. Review. “With all the magic, vampires, and steamy scenes, you'll be so # in Teen & Young Adult Sword & Sorcery Fantasy eBooks; # in Teen & Young Adult Fantasy Romance; # in Teen & Young Adult. The epic conclusion to Richelle Mead's bestselling Bloodlines series is now in paperback. Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans.
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No category Subject: No topic. Sydney Sage is 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'mdash;and human lives. After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead'rsquo;s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world.
That phantom made no response as I walked. Around me, midnight had clothed the world in darkness—bedtime for humans, prime time for those of us on a vampiric schedule. The Moroi Court was set up like a university: It was high summer, warm and humid, and there were a fair number of people out and about. Most were too consumed with their own affairs to notice me or realize who I was. Those who did shot me those same curious looks. Even knowing she was a delusion, it was hard not to respond sometimes.
Of course it is. The Ivashkov name has always inspired awe and envy. Even with the intrusive looks, I found I enjoyed my walk. Despite the thickness of the humid air, it felt light and refreshing to me, and I found myself wishing Sydney could be out here too. She needed to be outside later, when the sun was up. That was the time for humans. Being on our schedule was probably just as hard on her as the isolation.
I made a mental note to suggest a walk with her later on. Most slept or stayed in during the day, and Sydney would be less likely to run into anyone if we timed our outing correctly.
The thought cheered me as I popped in another piece of gum and reached the royal palace. The Moroi elected their monarchs from among twelve royal families, and massive portraits of those illustrious figures lined the corridors, illuminated by the light of glittering chandeliers.
People were leaving as I entered, and many of them, too, stopped to stare at me. I ignored them and kept my focus on my real goal, up near the front of the room. Lissa, as I called her, stood ringed by dark-suited dhampir guardians: I summoned a bit of spirit magic in order to view her aura, and she lit up in my vision.
She shone with gold, indicating she was a spirit user like me, but her other colors had dimmed, and there was a tremulous quality to it all, showing she was uneasy. I released the magic as I hurried up to the crowd and waved my hand in her direction, shouting to be heard among the noise. Your majesty! Her guardians parted to let me get close. I could see they were dying to know what we were discussing, but the guardians kept them back, and there was too much noise in the room anyway.
I shrugged. A spark of legitimate amusement flashed in her eyes, so I felt good for at least bringing that about. Her eyes widened, and the smile slipped. You begged me to let you stay here a month ago! You need to call in some special help with special abilities. You came here because the Alchemists were trying to hunt you two down. And now you want to walk right back out there into their clutches? I have enough to worry about without you two getting caught by the Alchemists.
Darling , Aunt Tatiana whispered to me, you were starting to lose it long before this. Anyone wanting to remove Lissa would have simply had to kill Jill and show proof.
Why else would someone have taken Jill? I left Lissa to her admirers and slipped back out through the gawking crowd, as a dark and all-too-familiar mood began to settle on me. Going to Lissa had been an impulse, one that had given me momentary hope. I came to a halt and blinked, barely aware of where I was. A fist struck me from behind, in my lower back, knocking the wind out of me and causing me to stumble forward.
Wesley surged toward me and caught me with a right hook before I could respond. Wesley was traveling with a group because it was the only way he could combat my spirit magic. Wesley had been waiting for a chance to get back at me for past grievances, and now he had it. More kicks followed, from more people than I could keep track of. Their faces swam above me, and I was shocked to recognize a number of them. Some of them were people I knew, had partied with in the past. A blow to my head caused stars to dance before my eyes, momentarily blurring their faces in my vision.
Their taunts blended into an unintelligible cacophony as hit followed upon hit. I curled up in agony, struggling to breathe. Blinking, trying to bring the world back into focus, I just barely saw strong hands rip Wesley away and hurl him against the side of a nearby building. It took a second and then a third of his toadies following suit before they realized something had gone wrong. They backed away like the scared sheep they were, and a familiar face suddenly appeared as Eddie Castile stood over me.
Their numbers were nothing compared to one Eddie, and they knew it. Silence fell, and a moment later, someone else was helping me stand. I glanced back and saw another familiar face, Neil Raymond, slipping his arm through mine. I winced as I put weight on my foot but nodded. Eddie shook his head. We just happened to be on our way to your place with some news. I think. Just unexpected. You and Sydney have a visitor at the front gate. A human visitor. That was unexpected news.
In marrying me and seeking sanc-tuary among the Moroi, Sydney had cut herself off from most of her human contacts. He gave me his devil-may-care smile and still managed to look dashing, despite his bedraggled state. Tell her I really held my own. Usually, guardians only accompanied Moroi out in the world, where Strigoi were a real danger. It was a stroke of good—albeit weird—luck that Eddie and Neil had found him. Eddie was gone, having hurried off to the front gates to escort Ms. Terwilliger to us.
Too bad. And you should still see a doctor after this, just to be safe. He attempted an angelic expression that only strengthened my suspicion that he had no intention of actually following through.
I shook my head, smiling in spite of myself, and then gave him a kiss on the cheek. My husband. Looking at Adrian now, I felt a surge of love well up within me, despite our earlier tension. I could no longer imagine a life without him in it. It was impossible. Inside them, his people wanted to assault him. At least in this suite, we were safe. Most importantly, we were together. A knock at the door saved Adrian from any more chastisement. Daniella opened it, and Eddie appeared in the doorway.
Seeing him almost always brought a smile to my face.
I knew few others with such courage and loyalty. There was always a haunted look about him now, and sometimes I worried whether he was really taking care of himself. But my concerns for Eddie were put on hold when I saw the next person entering our suite.
I sprinted across the room and wrapped her in a big embrace that caught her by surprise. Unlike him, though, she never made me feel bad about myself. She yielded it, allowing for a proper hug. The mingled scents of patchouli and nag champa surrounded her, reminding me of more carefree times, when she and I would huddle together to work on spells.
I felt tears spring to my eyes and quickly stepped back to wipe them away. He grinned at that and introduced Daniella. She was polite but remained a little aloof. The whole concept of magic-using humans was just as weird for Moroi as for Alchemists, but I had to give Daniella credit for trying to come to terms with it all. Terwilliger forward. Or eat? She shook her head as she went with me toward the kitchen.
The others followed, except for Eddie, still awkwardly holding the carrier. Her words made the hairs on my neck rise, but before I could respond, Eddie cleared his throat and lifted the carrier, which I could now see held a cat. Bojangles will be just fine waiting in there while we talk. We all gathered around the kitchen table.
I sat, and Adrian stood behind me, resting his hands on my shoulder.
In my peripheral vision, the rubies and white gold of his wedding band glittered. Terwilliger took the spot opposite me and produced an ornate wooden box from her satchel.
It was covered in a floral design that appeared to have been hand-carved.
I tried all sorts of unlocking spells, common and rare, with no luck. Whoever did this cast something extremely powerful. I spent the last few weeks exhausting my resources and finally took it to Inez. You remember her, of course? Terwilliger looked chagrined.
Inez speculated whoever the box was intended for would be able to open it with little difficulty, and from there, I concluded that you were the recipient. Terwilliger glanced around with a wry look. I regarded the box in a new light, feeling myself fill with both eagerness and trepidation. Terwilliger simply. Daniella complied quickly, but Adrian and the dhampirs obstinately stayed put. Just move back. Terwilliger took out a small pouch and sprinkled a yellow, spicy-smelling powder on the table.
She murmured a Greek incantation, and I felt magic—my kind of magic—burn in the air around us. With the protective spell in place, she nodded encouragingly at me. I rested my fingertips on the lid and took a deep breath. Nothing happened when I lifted it, but that was to be expected. Even if Ms. As I summoned the words of an unlocking spell, the obvious questions nagged at the edges of my mind: Was this really for me?
If so, from whom?
And most importantly, why? I tried the lid again, and this time it lifted easily. Even better, no bomb went off inside. After a moment of hesitation, the guys all crowded forward to see what the box held. Looking down, I saw some folded pieces of paper with a single hair on top. I lifted it carefully, holding it up to the light. It was blond.
I wrinkled my nose at that as I opened up the first piece of paper and tried not to think about how someone would have obtained one of my hairs. The paper turned out to be a flyer for a robot museum in Pittsburgh.
My breath caught, and I looked up sharply. Everyone else looked as bewildered as I felt. The writing was none I recognized. It too was folded and had a sheen to it, like it was from a magazine. At a glance, it appeared to be some sort of travel ad. I opened it up and found myself looking at a picture of a bed-and-breakfast in Palo Alto. Terwilliger stiffened. Ages ago—or at least it felt that way—Jill had briefly done some modeling for a Palm Springs fashion designer.
The picture I now looked at was one that had been done in secret, against my wishes. Jill wore a pair of large, gilt sunglasses and a peacock-colored scarf wrapped around her abundant curly hair. She was gazing off at a cluster of palm trees, and unless someone knew her well, it would be difficult to realize this was her.
In fact, it would be difficult for most people to even recognize she was Moroi. He looked as though he might rip the page away from me. Few things could make him lose his cool and collected nature. Adrian leaned over me and picked up the first page. In Pittsburgh? He turned as though he might walk out the door then and there.
This note is even addressed to me. He set the paper back down. Missing for almost a month. But as Ms. Terwilliger had speculated: Was it too late? What had happened while this box sat around?
Adrian, you know that. He sighed. We could try to sneak out. His eyebrows rose. A moment later, I amended that. If I go out there, I risk more because the Alchemists are looking for me. No one sees me here around Court, but they do see you every once in a while for feeder visits.
But if people still see you. Adrian grimaced. He took a few moments to answer. I can come and go freely from Court. Neil, would you? I made it sound like a request, a favor even, but knew there was nothing on earth Eddie would rather do right now than search for Jill. I met his eyes again, wishing I could tell him so much. I was worried. I loved him so much that I just wanted him to be safe.
I hoped he knew all of that. All I could do now, with so many witnesses, was nod in agreement. Terwilliger regarded us all with dry amusement. She shot me a smile. After she told me, silence fell in the room. We all stared at her, dumbfounded, until Adrian finally spoke. I smiled and drew him to me. His expression darkened. But this particular life. Maybe some space is a good thing. I nodded and rested my head on his chest, listening to the steady rhythm of his heartbeat.
Every moment I had now with Adrian was a precious gift, but reveling in that, turning my back on Jill. He brought his lips down to mine in a long, exquisite kiss, the kind that sent heat all the way to my fingers and toes and made me very conscious of the fact that there was a bed behind us.
I pulled back before we accidentally got distracted. We kissed again and returned to the others. There were still a lot of issues to deal with—the biggest one being his continued flirtation with spirit. Meanwhile, Ms. Terwilliger had already made herself busy converting our kitchen into a spell workshop. Bottles and bags of components were set out on the table, and she was busily boiling water on the stove.
She sprinkled something into it, and the steam soon took on the fragrance of star anise. Would you measure two teaspoons of that beetroot powder for me? It was easy, momentarily, to feel like I had slipped back into those old days together. I still practiced but rarely cast anything of this magnitude here at Court. The spell she had in mind to make my escape work required both of us and a few hours of labor.
Adrian and the others tried to distract themselves as best they could, and Eddie left once to grab an overnight bag, since none of us knew exactly what would happen in Pittsburgh.
Jill , I hoped silently. Please just let us get to that robot museum and find Jill there selling tickets. Around four in the morning, Ms. Terwilliger and I completed our work. The final one in the process was mine, however, and as the end neared, I began to question just what I was about to do. I started to carry the potion over to where Ms.
Terwilliger was setting up a mirror. A new worry fell over me. No one had an answer for that right away until Ms. In the living room, Ms.
She now hauled the pet carrier over to it and opened the door.
A white cat with tabby patches—Mr. Also, how did Dmitri know so much about dhampir communes unless he'd gone there himself and taken advantage of the dhampir women? With his track record of shagging schoolgirls I wouldn't put it past him. Alicia was a cookie cutter villain and there was never any doubt she would end up defeated.
Also, the witches never really added anything relevant to the VA world. I've realised the sole purpose they were included in the first place wasn't to add to the world or for a thrilling plot. No, it was just so that Sydney would have powers, so she could properly be involved in the action scenes and actually be able to hold her own when it came to the bad guys.
It was yet more lazy writing. Oh that's right, it was also to get Nina the other woman out of the way and to give speshul snowflakes Dimtri and Rose a snowflake baby. They were the most entertaining characters out of the lot. Ugh, please. I refuse to believe Dmitri not knowing exactly who his dad was. There was barely any hint of it apart from her casually mentioning it once or twice. Her imprisonment and torture was obviously only done for some cheap drama and angst.
If anything Adrian was the one who acted like he'd gone through major trauma, it didn't help that Sydney kept molly coddling him, she practically changed his nappies, fed him and burped him, their relationship was so off putting. The VA world was so backwards and had so many issues, there was potential to address those and for the protagonists to really fight for progression and equal rights and something that mattered outside of themselves instead of essentially fighting for teen love.
Instead all they did was make half-arsed attempts at change or make no attempts whatsoever or ignore it entirely. The moroi possibly being able to fight and defend themselves, and re-education possibly-kind-of stopping one day was nowhere near good enough. It doesn't matter if they grew up being told they were, they still had minds of their own and were living in the modern world where millions had fought for equal rights for decades.
Surely, some influential and forward thinking dhampirs would have wanted the same equality and fought for it by now? Surely, most of them wouldn't want their kids putting their lives on the line to save a bunch of spoilt moroi.
Hardly any parents would want their children dying to protect them, why would moroi be any different even if their kids are dhampirs? Why didn't Lissa or the moroi demand they stop that? Sure, the Alchemists were their own organisation but the moroi must have had some say or power in the way they ran things since their job was directly related to them.
It was like they all just got on with their own lives and happily abandoned and ignored all the fucked up things that needed to be addressed. Sydney making one deal with the Alchemists wasn't nearly enough, she could have fought harder and longer or she could have helped from a distance.
Her living it up with Adrian whilst her little sister was at the mercy of the sadistic Alchemists was quite disgusting. I didn't want her to be playing happy families, I wanted her to be out there fighting and taking down the Alchemists and making a change, instead her ending was totally insulting and uninspired. I expected Sydney well pre-AdrianDatingSydney to do far greater things.