Oh. My. Sydrian.
I debated for awhile whether my review of the new Bloodlines book should be spoiler free or not. It was a tough decision because I hate to isolate new readers with spoilers but at the same time, the things that happen in Silver Shadows need to be discussed. So in that case….
I will be discussing spoilers from Silver Shadows and the Bloodlines series. Please stop reading if you don’t want to be spoiled.
Silver Shadows picks up a few months after the Alchemists take Sydney prisoner. Things are exactly what you’d expect them to be. Sydney is being tortured, both physically and mentally, by the Alchemists. Adrian is off the wagon, moping around but still trying to figure out a way to save Sydney. The situation takes a slight turn for the better when Adrian’s mother shows up in Palm Springs to take Adrian back home to Court. At Court, he hopes to convince Queen Lissa to order a mission to find Sydney.
As for Sydney, a new part of her “re-education” begins as she is out of her solitary cell and given a shower, a dorm with a roommate, and classes. Of course with these classes comes classmates, who also are being punished and rehabilitated into vampire-hating alchemists. Sydney remains amazingly resilient in the face of the continiuous torments from the Alchemists.
It’s for the first part of the novel that the situation moves, albeit slowly. Touted as the most romantic book of the series so far, that first half will have you scratching your head, wondering when all that romance will be happening?
Be patient, dear Sydrian fans, because once we hit that second half, the pace jacks up to full-speed, the stakes get ridiculously higher and your love for Sydney and Adrian will blast past the roof.
Eventually, Sydney and Adrian figure out a way to get her out of the Alchemists’ lair. This includes the help of several people, including Marcus (and his merry men), Carly (Sydney’s sister), the newly re-educated and deeply apologetic Keith. Once all the clues are pieced together, Adrian comes to save the day. At that point, Sydney has been victim to some intense torture, especially since she was forced into confessing to the Alchemists about her magic use.
From that point, they are on the run. Going from Death Valley to other small towns, crashing into tour buses and narrowly evading the Alchemist’s clutches. Eventually they end up in Las Vegas, and Sydney discovers a quick plan that involves seeking sanctuary in a Moroi-run hotel. It works, but Sydney can’t be seen because the Moroi don’t have any jurisdiction to protect her, a mirror of what Lissa had said earlier to Adrian when he asked for her help. This sparks an idea—a hell of an idea—in Adrian’s mind.
“Sydney Katherine Sage,” he said, his green eyes full of love and earnestness. “Would you do a brooding, deadbeat Moroi the honor of being his wife?”
They’re in Vegas, they’re in love and on the run. Adrian’s people just proved that they are a legitimate source of protection. A proposal shouldn’t have felt THAT shocking. But Adrian’s proposal to marry Sydney floored me. I suppose, like Sydney, I had envisioned them getting married in the long run, not anytime soon. Also, I do find teenage marriage/weddings incredibly cheesy, so I was surprised that the author had the characters going down this route. My first impulse was to criticize it, but honestly is there a better solution for them right at that moment? They’re stuck inside a Vegas hotel, where Sydney isn’t exactly protected. After what Lissa had said earlier, it pretty much confirms that Moroi would have to protect her if she was Mrs. Ivashkov. Despite her exhausted and stressed state, Sydney sees the sense in Adrian’s plan and agrees to marry him.
She mourns the loss of her fantasy wedding, so Adrian, being the utterly romantic vampire fella we know, gives Sydney the best wedding he can under two hours. It includes getting his aunt’s (the former queen Tatiana) ruby cuff links pawned and turned into an engagement ring and ruby encrusted wedding bands (HINT HINT). The two race to the alter, get married and then run a breathless race across Vegas as the Alchemists find and chase after them. Thanks to Jill’s wedding present, a helicopter with dhampir guardians are waiting on a rooftop to take Adrian and Sydney out of danger.
Also waiting on the rooftop is a team of Alchemists. Sheridan, the alchemist in charge, takes Adrian at gunpoint. Anguished, afraid and mad, Sydney uses her magical power to create a line of fire. The inferno grows closer to the alchemists as she demands them to release Adrian and let him go. Eventually, almost at the end of her own power supply, the Alchemists yield, letting Adrian and Sydney go onto the helicopter and fly away.
The news of their marriage at Court is surprising. First, they don’t believe them nor think the union is sincere. Adrian, in a deeply sincere speech, expresses his love for Sydney, which validates their marriage first in Rose’s and his mother’s eyes and then in Lissa’s, who agrees to protect Sydney and not give her back to the Alchemists. The Alchemists don’t like to be trumped by vampires and pull a big and entirely unexpected power move: they kidnap Jill. Without Jill, Lissa cannot keep the throne and we’re left with the mystery of Jill’s kidnapping, the secret of that kidnapping itself, and now Adrian and Sydney dealing with married life.
Silver Shadows worked mostly as a set-up for The Ruby Circle. Sydney and Adrian are MARRIED. That’s some deep stuff right there, and you know it’s not going to be the typical newlywed bliss. On top of Jill being missing, it’s not going to be an easy time for them. I think that’s a reason why I’m so stunned by this marriage. I figured when they married it would be a “happily ever after” in Italy. Not a rushed one that they can barely enjoy afterwards. It’s going to be stressful for them, which will end up being the true test of their relationship. All the stuff they have yet to confess to each other, Adrian is still hearing his aunt in his head and hasn’t divulged about all the time he had spent with spirit-user Nina, while Sydney is still holding back on exactly what the Alchemists had put her through in re-education.
Silver Shadows was shorter than expected, and with all the major moments that went down, I’m anticipating The Ruby Circle, the last Bloodlines book, to be a doozy. There’s going to be a ton of talking, action, and God knows what else Richelle Mead has in store. In short, if the past five Bloodlines books have anything to say about it, The Ruby Circle is going to be epic.
So how are feeling about Silver Shadows? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments.
Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead is available wherever books are sold.
Publisher: Razorbill (July 2014)
Length: 416 pages (Hardcover)
Series: Bloodlines – Book 5
Source: Hardcover, 1st Edition (Provided by publisher)
Genre: Young Adult, Vampires, Magic, Romance, Mystery
Completed: July 2014