Mead Weaves Toils and Troubles in the Best Ways: Review of ‘The Indigo Spell’ (Bloodlines, #3)

Cynthia Ayala ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer


Syndey Sage is an Alchemist, an order of humans who works with Moroi Vampires to keep humans safe and the Vampire’s secret. It started out as an easy assignment, but now her emotions have gotten in the way of her clear headed thinking. But as clear headed as she is, even she knows when she is being lied to and manipulated–a thought that pushes her to toward the charming and handsome Marcus Finch, a former Alchemist who is now on their wanted list. But in the dark, a vengeful witch is rising, and she has set her gaze on Sydney and her forbidden magic. The stakes are rising, and for Sydney, more than just her life is at stake.

Richelle Mead does it again with her novel The Indigo Spell, the third novel in her Bloodlines series. Published on Feb. 2, 2013 by Razorbill, the novel delves into the urban and dark fantasy genres by bringing magic, vampires and alchemists together in an amazing novel for young adult and mature audiences.

Sydney Sage is the main protagonist in the latest novel and Mead has done a great job of building her character from her growth to her dynamic with other characters. Her internal dialogue that continues to build the inside plot and tension throughout the novel is also a big success. Her character has gone from overly controlling to accepting things for what they are and trying to deal with the lies her teachers have continued to tell her.

Now this has a very large impact on the stories, two interwoven plot lines, because it forces her character to grow and do things she would have never done before, and for readers and fans of her character, this is a big break for her. As her character grows and evolves, completely different than she was when she was first introduced in Vampire Academy series, she effects the readers to the change, allowing them to understand her world and the complex pressures that have been placed on her. For instance, in the last novel, she had been practicing magic, using it when it is most useful. This is a pivotal moment in this novel when she discovers that a character, a witch, is hunting her for her magic and Sage learns that she has to trust her magic, trust in herself and her instinct to save those around her.

All of that affects the two plots in a major way by making it interesting to read about witches and magic and alchemists, aspects that lives within the realm of the unexplored. The selling point of the novel goes beyond the interesting characterization that builds off of the Vampire Academy, but rather the Alchemist organization and the belief system that Sydney grew up with. Each novel brings to light her dark desires that contradict everything she has been taught, and this is insightful because it allows readers to relate to her character on the level that everyone has to face a sort of prejudice in their lives, but what helps society evolve is the acceptance of feelings, the connectivity that strengthens the community and allows for a social evolution. Whether or not Mead intended that deeper meaning to be ingrained in her writing, it lies there nevertheless, between each line, each desire and every act that takes place in the novel, and that is what makes it worth reading.

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