The Indigo Spell: review

Title: The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3)
Author: Richelle Mead
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Release Date:
February 12th, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Age Group: YA
Source: HC from publisher

Hooray–my status with Richelle Mead goes from “it’s complicated” back to “in a relationship” again! *throws confetti* This review is spoiler-free even if you haven’t read any of the other books Bloodlines or VA books.

Vampire Academy is one of my favorite YA series and I’m usually a big fan of this author’s, but I’ve had middling reactions to her books across all genres since Spirit Bound and Iron-Crowned. I am happy to report that the magic is back again for this latest installment of the Bloodlines series, which follows the problems that Alchemist Sydney Sage encounters as she tries to protect Jill, the spare to the vampire throne.

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead picks up a few weeks after the events of The Golden Lily, and Sydney is learning to how to cast spells with Ms. Terwilliger. Eventually she goes in search of the mysterious Marcus Finch, an ex-alchemist who apparently betrayed them, but who may hold the key to secrets that Sydney is trying to uncover about the only way of life she’s ever known.

Things I thoroughly enjoyed: 

— The overarching story about the Alchemists’ magical tattoos. The idea that a special indigo ink might stop a particular aspect of the tattoo’s power is really interesting and well-done.

— The physicality of Sydney using magic. I always loved that part of Mead’s Dark Swan series, and there are shades of that descriptive writing here in the hum of energy and use of incantations.

— The southern California settings which I obviously have a soft spot for. (Plus I think the bunny-themed bed and breakfast might’ve been inspired by this crazy Bunny Museum in Pasadena!)

— There is NO love triangle...yet.

— The mystery behind Ms. Terwilliger’s missing sister Veronica is pretty intriguing–she’s not the first evil woman rumored to steal the youth and beauty from young girls, but that idea is always fun to me.

— We don’t see a lot of Jill, thank goodness! She drives me bananas.

— Adrian seems like Adrian again. After being such a mopefest in the last two books, he’s back to being so witty and charming that your pants may have disappeared before you’ve even noticed.

Sydney doesn’t irritate me as much in this book. There are also some reasons suggested for why she might be so very obedient.

— There is finally–finally!–some Sydrian chemistry. I never bought the attraction between them, and I’m still not 100% into this relationship, but there are a few scenes that definitely show a spark between them. Although I’m still not sure she really gets how awesome he is.

— There is pie. Lots and lots of pie.

Quibbles? 

I don’t really have any, other than that Sydney’s still not my favorite heroine. I like her much more than I thought possible, but I just think Richelle Mead is better at writing kickass heroines. I felt this way about Seth in her Succubus series, too–both he and Syd come off as more wimpy and tiresome to me rather than reserved and brainy.

But Sydney’s finally starting to become interesting, or the story is becoming better suited to the things she might actually be good at, with less time spent on all the things that showcase her annoying traits. The plot in this book is much more engaging than in the previous two, and it’s a relief that the author isn’t relying as much on Rose and Dimitri appearances to transition things through.

So in closing–if you enjoyed Bloodlines from the very beginning, you’re going to go nuts over this book! But if you’ve had mixed reactions to the series thus far, you may just find that this one is better suited to your taste. I’m grateful that a copy of The Indigo Spell landed on my doorstep unexpectedly, because I really enjoyed it–and I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment.

But really…Adrian can touch my aura anytime.

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