The Rose Society

The Rose Society

Title: The Rose Society

Author: Marie Lu

Series: The Young Elites, #2

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd UK

Release Date: October 6th 2015


Four Stars

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she flees Kenettra with her sister to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good when her very existence depends on darkness?

Bestselling author Marie Lu delivers another heart-pounding adventure in this exhilarating sequel to The Young Elites.

– Blurb courtesy of

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“When you’re all alone in a world that hates and fears you, you want to find others like yourself. New friends. Elite friends.”

After failing to stop Teren and causing Enzo’s death, and after having her betrayals revealed to Raffaele and the remaining members of the Dagger Society, Adelina has been cast out. She has lost everyone save her sister Violetta so now she seeks revenge; she wants to see Teren pay, wants the Inquisition Axis to bow down to her, and for that she needs more Young Elites on her side.

The Rose Society opens right in the middle of the action and introduces a powerful new Young Elite as Adelina and Violetta try and track down Magiano, a boy more urban legend than real life. The two sisters have been reunited, and they’re safe though on the run, but it’s not enough for Adelina who wants power. Before she can convince Magiano to join her new Society she needs to prove she is worth following, that she is more than the empty promises he has heard before from other Young Elites.

“Enzo inherited a throne. Giulietta relied on her royal blood. Queen Maeve rules Beldain because she was born to it.
But true rulers are not born. We are made.”

Meanwhile, across the sea seeking shelter from Queen Maeve, Raffaele and the rest of the Dagger Society are making their own plans. Their goal is the same one it’s always been, the throne of Kenettra, and Maeve is offering them a chance to bring Enzo back from the dead so he can overthrow his sister and rule over the malfetto’s the way they’ve always planned. But Adelina is making her own play for the throne, and with her sister and Magiano at her side she’s not going to let anyone stand in her way, not Teren and the Inquisition, not Raffaele  and the Dagger Society, and not Enzo.

The Rose Society was probably my favourite book in this series, I loved reading how things changed for Adelina the closer she came to the throne. This book shook up so many things, and the characters and the story went places I never thought they’d go. It made for a thrilling and unpredictable read because I truly had no idea what the next chapter would hold for Adelina and all the characters I loved.

…The Characters

“I have always done the best I could, and yet, somehow, it has never been enough. No one cared what I did. They always turned their backs on me.
Why can’t I be like that?”

Adelina lost everything when Enzo died, and now she is driven by her alignments with fear and ambition. She wants the Dagger Society to pay for casting her out, for turning their backs on her when she needed them the most, and she wants Teren to pay for the role he forced her to play in Enzo’s death, for making her betray her friends. However, there is a fine line between power and madness, and it seems to be a line which Adelina walks too closely to in this book.

“You left me to suffer our father alone. Do you know what it was like for me, to lie bleeding on the floor, while he showered you with dresses in the next bedchamber? Do you know what it was like for our father to threaten to kill me, and then for me to murder him in return? No, you don’t.”

After everything that happened Adelina has closed her heart to everyone save her younger sister. The relationship between Adelina and Violetta was one I really enjoyed reading because it was such a complicated relationship. After years of her sister taking her power, leaving Adelina at the mercy of their father, Adelina fears that Violetta could do the same again, leaving her powerless when she’s gotten used to having her illusions at her fingertips. As much as Adelina loves her sister she also can’t forget that Violetta essentially left her vulnerable to their father all those years.

Violetta hates the cruel ways Adelina uses her power, but she never truly stands up to Adelina. With her powers Adelina is undefeatable. She knows they make her a force to be reckoned with and she uses them to make her enemies fear her and her allies respect her and what she offers them in return. Violetta feels guilty over those years smothering her sister’s ability, but at the same time she sees that light in Adelina that proves she can be a better person.

“He is not Enzo, I remind myself. But I don’t want him to be. With Enzo, my energy yearned for his power and ambition, all too happy to let him take me into the darkness. But with Magiano…I am able to smile, even to laugh.”

I loved the introduction of the new Young Elites, especially Magiano. He doesn’t seem to take anything too seriously, he has no ties or connections to anyone but himself, and he’s an unrepentant Thief, but he’s also loyal, and while Adelina thinks he’s only after the treasure she promised him there’s more to Magiano’s loyalty than gold. The Dagger Society, now with Raffaele  leading them, still play a large part in this story. While Adelina can’t forget they were once her friends they seek to stop her using any means necessary, it makes the bond they share a complex one.

A lot of the time in trilogies the second book can feel like a filler story, but that wasn’t the case with The Rose Society. In fact I’d say this was my favourite book of The Young Elites series. Adelina’s journey would make her the villain in any other story, but seeing the events unfold through her eyes just adds so many layers to her character, and it’s this book more than the other two that explores those layers.

What did you think of The Rose Society? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

28 thoughts on “The Rose Society

  1. Fabulous review Beth! And I completely agree that this book was not filler. In fact, I think it’s the strongest in the trilogy. It certainly is my favorite. I loved to see Adelina’s descent into darkness and it was fascinating watching her walk that fine line between ambition and madness. Also, her relationship with her sister was the most complicated yet most compelling aspect of her development into a vengeful villainess with a tender but sensitive soul. I thought Marie Lu did wonderfully in establishing her character as both sympathetic and malevolent. And Magiano was a welcome addition to the cast. While not perfect, there were so many good things about this book that improved on aspects of the first book and enhanced Adelina’s character as a whole. Again, great review! Excited to read your thoughts on the last one. It was probably my least favorite of the three, but I thought it was still pretty well-done, all things considered 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Azia! 🙂 ❤️ Yes this one was my favourite of the trilogy. It just felt like it really pushed the characters and the story more than either the first or the third and I loved it so much. Adelina is a fascinating character, I feel like I could read another series about her actually! 😀 There was so much to her character and the development Marie Lu gave Adelina and the relationships she had with those around her was amazing. Seriously I can’t think of any other book that’s fine something similar in terms of character development. I love Magiano, and yes this book was a perfect sequel to The Young Elites. I will say I agree with you on the third being my least favourite of the series, but it was still a solid ending for the trilogy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Marie Lu certainly does know how to get into the mindset of a anti-heroine. Adelina is one of the most fascinating YA characters I’ve read in a long while because of it!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review, Beth! Well, I have to admit that I skipped it at some moments, since I didn’t want to be spoiled too much for what happens next. I am so glad this was your favorite of the series and ended up being so unpredictable! I can’t wait to read itttttt 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie. 😀 ❤ Oh that's definitely understandable, you don't want to be spoiled for this book because it's amazing, I'm sure you'll love it as well and it'll definitely be an experience reading it. 🙂
      You'll have to let me know when you have read it what you think, and whether once you've read the whole trilogy this one was your favourite like it was mine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. 🙂 Yeah I read the Legend trilogy, it was actually the first series by Marie Lu I picked up. I did really enjoy it, normally I’m not a fan of love triangles but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the books or anything. Hopefully it’ll be the same for you if you do pick up the series. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review Beth! Glad that you liked this book. It sounds like this series has some fascinating characters.
    I am on the fence about Marie Lu right now. I am slowly making my way through the Legend series- I read the first book and liked it, though I wasn’t amazed by it. Have you read this series?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sophie! 😀 Oh there are some incredible characters in this series, and I think one of the strengths of Marie Lu’s Young Elites series is the character development. Honestly I never know what to expect from them.
      Yeah I read the Legend series, I actually really enjoyed it so hopefully you will as well, but even if you don’t you should definitely check out Warcross because that’s my favourite of Marie Lu’s books so far. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay 🙂 I will give Marie Lu another chance then. I’ve already added Warcross to my TBR, and after hearing from you, I now feel more motivated to continue on with the Legend series.

        Liked by 1 person

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