I'm a big fan of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series and the spinoff, Bloodlines, but the Golden Lily had a couple of issues that kept me from absolutely loving the book. Sydney Sage is an Alchemist who has been sent by the leaders of her group to protect Moroi Princess Jill Dragomir. She is sent to live with Jill at a boarding school located in Palm Springs, Ca. Among those with Sydney are Eddie Castile, Adrian Ivashkov, Angeline Dawes, Dimitri Belikov and Sonya Karp. My first issue stems with putting Dimitri into the book when he's obviously a foil for Adrian to work out those issues that he has stemming from his feelings for Rose. Other than giving something for Adrian to rail at, or at least having a reasonable excuse to feel bitter, putting him into the story didn't really do much to advance or add to the storyline in a big way. Secondly, the character Angeline Dawes is weak in just about every way possible. Another dhampire tasked with the job of protecting Jill Dragomir, I cringed everytime she hit the page. She comes across as immature, whiny, not respectful of her job or duties to protect the princess and it's Sydney that has to save her bacon time & time again. Having Dimitri & Sonya defer to Sydney's judgment when Angeline's ability to do her job correctly is called into question to me, rings false and reeks of being incredibly unlikely.The plot point of Sydney herself being the key to possibly preventing one from becoming a strigoi isn't really introduced into the story until close til about 2/3 into the the book. The possibility of her abilities(maybe characteristics is a better word, I dunno) are discussed beforehand but subsequently nothing is done until then.. ( and for good reasons, I'm not denying this at all) and then it felt rather rushed. The way the story ends, well, I'm not a fan. She wraps it up very well, and I wouldn't call it a cliffhanger per se, but it leaves you rather unsatisfied in a way. (And that's all I'm going to say!) She's not the first author, nor the last to do this, but it's not something I enjoy. Because at the end, I feel a little manipulated. So, in short, (congrats if you made it this far!) she spins a good story, but it is definitely not without its flaws.