Title: The Rose Society
Author: Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites, #2
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd UK
Release Date: October 6th 2015
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 goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.