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Bloodlines    by Richelle Mead order for
by Richelle Mead
Order:  USA  Can
Razorbill, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Sidney Sage, an alchemist, is in trouble for her past association with Rose Hathaway in the Vampire Academy series. Her father is already training her little sister Zoe to take her place as a alchemist and she still may be sent to a brain washing session for alchemists who get too close to vampires. The job of the alchemist is to keep humans from finding out about vampires. Alchemists consider vampires to be unnatural and vile, but it is their job to keep humans safe and from knowing that such creatures exist.

Sidney manages to save Zoe from being sent on her first assignment for the Alchemists, although Zoe doesn't see this as a favor. The assignment is to protect a live vampire, the Moroi princess Jill Dragomir. Jill is hiding from members of court intent on murdering her. Her hiding place is a private high school in Palm Springs because Palm Springs is an unlikely hiding place for vampires. Sidney's cover is to be her sister and roommate.

The job itself should have been easy since no one at court would know Jill's location. The Strigoi, the dead vampires who feast on both humans and live vampires, are unlikely to be in Palm Springs. Things are immediately complicated by Keith Darnell, the alchemist posted in Palm Springs. He will run the assignment and he requested Zoe instead of Sydney.

The characters in this Vampire Academy series spinoff won't be new to readers of that series. Following the adventures of an alchemist will allow the books to take place away from the academy. Sydney's character is very much like Rose Hathaway whom she admires.

This type of spinoff is as good as it gets when a series ends. Readers can keep up with the characters they loved in the original series and get to know other characters whose lives touched theirs in earlier books.

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