Women Crush Wednesday: Sydney Sage


Although Bloodlines, the spin off to the Vampire Academy series, wasn’t as great as the original series of books it was still pretty fantastic. The heroine of the novels is Sydney Sage, an Alchemist whose sole task is to make sure other humans like herself never find out about the world of vampires. Of course that’s easier said than done.

At first meeting Sydney didn’t seem like an important character, much less one I could like. She first appeared in Blood Promise, the fourth book in the Vampire Academy series, and was deadly afraid of Rose Hathaway and all the other dhamphirs and vampires.

However, what was great about the Bloodlines series is we got to see a whole other side to Sydney and see her grow into a person I could actually like. It turns out Sydney is in fact a very brave person who goes above and beyond to help her older sister who was hurt by someone in the Alchemist community. Sydney’s also fiercely loyal, which is difficult because her loyalty is trapped between the Alchemists and her friends, the dhampirs and vampires she’s supposed to fear.

More than anything, though, what makes Sydney a wonderful character is her ability to empathize with other people. She doesn’t shy away when someone is going through something difficult. She forces herself to stay by their side and does everything in her power to help them even when they don’t want to help themselves. It’s this compassion that often puts her into trouble with her father, a fellow Alchemist, but it’s also what makes Sydney one of my favorite characters.

Besides all this, she’s also beautiful although she often struggles to see this herself. Always comparing herself to the vampires and dhampirs she’s often surrounded by Sydney struggles to feel her body is good enough just the way it is. Thankfully, there’s a certain vampire who’s determined to make her feel beautiful every single day.

‘[Sydney], you are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen walking this earth. And you don’t even know it. You have no clue how beautiful you are or how brightly you shine.’ – The Golden Lily

Book Review: The Ruby Circle


*This book is a part of my POPSUGAR 2015 Reading Challenge*

Book synopsis from Amazon:

The epic conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series is finally here…

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—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’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.

*This review will contain spoilers*


First of all I want to thank Richelle Mead for a wonderful two series worth of books. I’ve been following these characters for years now and it’ll be hard to let them go. Actually I’ll probably just reread the books forever and never really let them go. Really though, this has been a wild ride, and I hope Mead means it when she says this won’t be the last we see of these characters.

As far as conclusions to a series go this was phenomenal. Using the kidnapping of Jill as an excellent plot device Mead brought back so many characters and elements of both the Vampire Academy series and the Bloodlines series that I was floored. We got the return of the evil witch, Alicia, Dimitri and Rose joined Adriana and Sydney on a road trip where we learn Dimitri and Adrian are actually cousins, and the Warriors were brought back as well.

The one loose end I wish was tied up was the cure to Strigoi-ism (?). We know Sonya is still working on it but there was only one cure made for Neil and then nothing. That would seriously change the world for the vamps. Besides that I think Mead wrapped everything up perfectly.

The plot itself in this book was also great, albeit predictable. The most shocking things about the novel was Neil and Olive’s son, Declan, and the reveal of Dimitri and Adrian’s familial relations. Otherwise it was obvious early on that it was Alicia that took Jill, although I didn’t expect the Warriors to come into play. Additionally, although I wanted Neil to take care of Declan, I could tell by the way Adrian suddenly became so good with kids that Adrian and Sydney would probably become Declan’s parents.

Speaking of Declan, although I liked that Mead has now provided a way for Rose and Dimitri to actually have kids if they choose to do so, I think it’s a bit of stretch. To suggest that spirit somehow allows dhampirs to now produce seems unlikely. However, this is a series about vampires, witches, and everything in between so everything is already unlikely, therefore I just have to take Mead’s word for it that this is possible.

I would have liked to see more of Declan and know just how special he really is. Will he have some spirit powers or is he just a regular dhampir child? Maybe there’ll be another series surrounding Declan and everyone else’s kids? Please?


Moving on, I also wish we got to see Angeline. She’s the one character that was missing and I wanted to hear her sass one last time. She would’ve provided a lot of comic relief, although I think Adrian may have provided enough.

What I loved most about this book was really the relationship between Adrian and Sydney. Even though they struggled, mainly because of Adrian’s spirit use, they were able to work through their issues and support each other no matter what. It was interesting seeing them as husband and wife but it worked well too. Then seeing them become parents was icing on the cake.

I also really liked that Mead brought Rose and Dimitri into the epilogue, as well, allowing us to see that they would be married too … at least some day, maybe when Rose is 30. Mead wrapped up the Bloodlines series but it also felt like she was ending the Vampire Academy series too and that was really cool. Well done.

Favorite Line:

“Sydney,” Adrian interrupted, cupping my face in his hands. “Never, ever think like that. I don’t regret anything we’ve faced. Being with you is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, the one perfect decision I’ve made in a lifetime of fumbling and poor judgment. I’d go through it all again to be by your side. Never doubt that. Never doubt how I feel about you.”

Stars: 5 out of 5. Such a great book and end to a wonderful series.

Borrow or Buy: Are you kidding? Buy this. Put it on your bookshelf and then reread it always. Buy the whole series while you’re at it.

Other Reviews

The Young Folks

Mostly Book Obsessed

Two Chicks On Books

The Best Silver Shadows Reactions

Having read Silver Shadows a little whiles back I am so excited to have so many people to fangirl with. This book was my favorite in the series so far and I’m so glad so many people loved it as much as I did. Here’s some of the best reactions to the book I’ve seen so far. Obviously, beware the spoilers.

Many fans were ecstatic.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.39.09 PM

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.51.05 PM

Many were in tears

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.41.49 PM

Others just can’t let go

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 7.43.29 PM

Some were angry (but in the “How could you write this awesome book and then leave me hanging?” way)


Others learned a few things

And a few just didn’t know how to feel

If you haven’t read this book yet, what are you waiting for? It’s a good one. Also make sure to check out my review of the book and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Book Review: Silver Shadows

8709524 Synopsis from Amazon:

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—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am absolutely in love with this series and the Vampire Academy series. Richelle Mead has this great skill of writing these strong, determined female characters that you always want to root for.

I’ve loved every book in this series so far and this one is no exception.

For anyone that has no clue what this series is about here’s some helpful terms:

  • Alchemist – a human who’s sole purpose is to hide the fact that vampires exist from humans; they have very strict and seemingly religious beliefs and although they work with vamps they by no way approve of them or even like them
  • Moroi – these are the more human like vampires; they’re essential the good vamps; they can live and walk around in the daylight just like humans although it does make them very tired and weary and they do still need to drink blood
  • Strigoi – the evil vamps; these are the vampires you here about in scary stories; they burn in the sun and have red eyes and will kill vamps or humans with no remorse (they don’t have a soul)
  • Dhampir – originally the product of humans and vamps getting together, however they cannot reproduce on their own and if a dhampir gets with a vampire it still just makes another dhampir; they don’t drink blood but have more super human abilities than regular humans; they act as body guards to the Moroi

The main character in this series is Sydney, an Alchemist, who used to drink the Alchemist kool-aid but has since learned that they’re a little excessive in their believes. She’s very cool with vamps and dhampirs now and has even fallen in love with one named Adrian.

In Silver Shadows Adrian and Sydney have been separated after the Alchemists kidnap Sydney and send her into reeducation. While Sydney attempts to cling on to her sanity, humanity, and love for Adrian and her other Moroi and dhampir friends, Adrian struggles with keeping his spirit magic in check and not completely losing his mind.

Keeping this review spoiler free I won’t give away too much. What I will say is this book is filled with love, drama, unexpected surprises, some of our favorite characters from Vampire Academy, and adventure with plenty of action.

The love between Adrian and Sydney is still very evident despite them being apart. I found it both inspiring and cute to read. Behind their love however are these very serious issues that they have to face. Besides the fact that Sydney is locked up she has to face the fact that if she does get free it comes at the cost of officially leaving behind everything she once believed and her family, possibly for good. Meanwhile Adrian is forced to face the darkness of spirit and has to make the hard decision between running from spirit or using it to find the love of his life.

Besides Adrian and Sydney all our other favorites including Jill, Eddie, Trey, Angeline, and Marcus show up and we also meet some new characters.

I greatly enjoyed this book and if I had the time I probably would’ve read it all in one sitting. The novel shifts between Adrian and Sydney point of views giving the reader so much to experience because they’re both going through so much. Also from chapter to chapter there’s so many mysteries that need be solved or crises that arise and it just makes you want to keep reading because you want to know what in the world are they going to do next?

Truthfully I’m a little sad I read this one early sense now I have to wait just a little longer for the final book in the series, The Ruby Circle (release date: February 10, 2015), to come out. And trust me you’ll be anxiously awaiting the sequel as well when you get to the end of this book (I have a love/hate relationship with cliff hangers). Still it was totally worth it and I’ll probably be rereading this book until February anyway.

Definitely a must read of the summer. Between all the funny quips, romance, action, adventures, and drama this book will have you on the edge of your seat all the way through. Or if you’re like me laughing (or crying) on the subway.

Favorite Line: Let me just say it was very hard to a) find one quote to use and b) find one that was spoiler free. Therefore I won’t say who said this line although if you’ve read the other books I think you can guess.

“I expected to see the most beautiful woman in the world, to feel my heart skip a beat in her presence, and to want to carry her off to bed for a night neither of us will forget. So to answer your question, I got exactly what I expected.”

Stars: 5 out of 5. I can’t say anymore how much I loved this book. I think it’s pretty obvious at this point.

Borrow or Buy: BUY!!! You will need to reread this. I guarantee you.