(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: Warcross
Published by Penguin on October 13th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
From New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu comes the second book in the exhilarating Young Elites seriesOnce 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 and her sister flee Kenettra 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. From the Hardcover edition.
Hooooly crap…that was so good.
You guys…I’m saying right now – In my opinion Marie Lu can do no wrong. I mean I should have known that The Young Elites series would be another favorite because of my love for the Legend series. At this point Marie Lu could write out her grocery shopping list and I would read it. Because I don’t want to ruin this for anyone I am going to do what I can to keep this review spoiler free…don’t hate me if something comes across as super vague.
The Rose Society picks up shortly after The Young Elites ended and we are pulled back into Adelina’s story pretty quickly. After being told by Raffaele and the Daggers that she couldn’t be one of them, Adelina and Violetta make the decision to find the notorious Magiano and convince him to help them get revenge against the Inquisition. Once they find him, he challenges Adelina to prove she is worthy of his support and if she can beat him at his own game, she will have him on her side.
Magiano turned out to be one of my favorite characters. He is a perfect balance of trickster and serious guy. He definitely has his quirks and his love of money is one of the things that Adelina tends to hold over him but I thought he was a great counterpart to Adelina. He pushes her to see that there is more to her than her markings and that she can be whatever she wants to be. I loved that about him but I also loved that he supported her even if he didn’t fully agree with what she was doing/did.
As Adelina learns more about what the Daggers are doing with Maeve, the Beldish queen, she begins to realize she needs to do something – and man, does she ever. Adelina continues to struggle with her powers and the fact that she feeds off of the fear of others only creates a challenge for her to keep herself in check. Add to that her alignment with ambition and things definitely take a turn when she realizes that with her army, she can take the crown from Giuliana.
I know Adelina is not the hero but that doesn’t make her unlikable – at least to me. I was actually rooting for her the entire time and I think it is because she really does struggle with who she is and her reactions. She never really sets out to do the bad things but because they happen and she doesn’t necessarily try to stop them, she is pushed into this role of the “bad” one. Even after everything that happened in this book, I still like her. When things go down with the Daggers, things definitely turn for Adelina and she separates herself even more from those around her.
Just a few other character notes – Teren is still Teren and he finally gets knocked down a bit which was great. I wish the Daggers had approached Adelina a bit differently. I am convinced that things could have gone differently for all of them had Raffaele and the group not cut Adelina off completely. It will be interesting to see what the Daggers and the Beldish queen, Maeve do next.
Lu does a fantastic job of continuing to build out the world that these characters live in and she also balances this with a lot of action. From the moment that first page was turned, I found myself unable to put the book down and I admit, the run ins between Adelina and the Daggers were some of the more intense moments of the book.
If you haven’t started this series…get moving on that. I can’t wait to see what Lu does with these characters and the rest of the story. You will notice that I didn’t say anything about what really happens and that is because I really can’t. So much happens in this book that if I were to mention anything else, I might give something away and I can’t do that to anyone. Just know that you should read this book as soon as you possibly can and then find me so we can talk all about it. Now…don’t mind me while I sit over here and patiently wait for the next book.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!