4.5 stars, I think! Such a good book, but not a favourite.---The Golden Lily was, of course, amazing. I don't think you need me to tell you that if you're a long time fan of the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series. I've tried to make some notes before writing this review, but as always, expect me to spew out a lot of random thoughts. This is Richelle Mead, after all.I felt that TGL was a little predictable, much like Bloodlines. This isn't a bad thing, because it didn't make me enjoy the book any less than I would have otherwise, but it did get a little frustrating because the characters seemed to pick things up so slowly.Despite the predictability, the plot was fast paced and captivating, much like Richelle Mead's other work. The characters were (almost) perfect, and I could have carried on reading for another two hundred pages because I just love this world and this story so much.There were so many moments that made me squee! I ended up texting a friend of mine at 4am because something happened. She did, of course, mock me, but that's okay!There was also a lot of talk about an arena. I won't say why, when or how, but when this whole thing started, I nearly jumped out of bed to do a happy dance. That's the Spartacus/Ancient Rome fan coming out in me! EEP!As for the main characters, I ADORED Sydney in this book. Her character arc is so perfect already, and I can't wait to see more growth from her throughout the rest of the series. She has come such a long way already, and with four more books coming out in the future, I can't wait to see what else happens to her! I'm loving her inner conflict.Adrian was, by far, my favourite thing about this novel. He is just so flawed, and I love my flawed characters. So flawed. So great. I LOVE HIM.I did have a couple of problems with this book, which meant I rated it as Essential instead of All Time Favourite. The first was Jill. I honestly can't stand the girl. I think she's pathetic, and her jumping from one guy to another gets on my nerves. She also does such stupid things, it made me want to slap her. I know she's only 15, but still.And that leads me to my other point - Eddie and Jill. If you read Bloodlines (which I hope you did, otherwise you're going to be spoilt!) then you'll know that Eddie has a thing for Jill. I am not too sure how I feel about this. I mean, she is 15 and he must be nearly 19 by now, if my calculations are correct. I think that's way too big of an age gap. For now, at least. No me gusta.And the final thing that I hated about this novel was that Sydney kept talking about how good looking Dimitri was. Not just that, she kept going on and on about how he was an awesome fighter. Yes, Sydney, we have been told at least ten times by now. You don't need to mention it fifty more. Seriously, she said something about Dimitri in EVERY. SINGLE. SCENE. he was in. I couldn't deal with it, I had to keep skimming those parts.Anyway, overall this is amazing. The good outweighed the bad by far, and I am DYING to read the next book in the series because of the way this one ended. There are so many questions raised, and so many answered. I NEED MORE.