The Rose Society by Marie Lu
Published by Penguin Books on October 13, 2015
Series: The Young Elites, #2
Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, young adult
Format & Length: e-book, 416
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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.
The Rose Society was everything I had hoped for, and then some. It was a breathtaking and thrilling story of Adelina’s spiral into darkness, and I flew through this sequel to The Young Elites.
I still like Adelina. An incredibly sympathetic villain in the making, I can understand how the suffering she has endured at the hands of others makes her want to lash out and get her revenge. Haven’t we all felt that way at one point or another? We may not always act on these feelings or have the special powers that she does, but it makes for a complex and dimensional character.
I also enjoyed seeing the story from different characters’ perspectives. Adelina is not the only layered character here. It was insightful to see the same story through these other perspectives, and also learn about these other characters’ backstories a bit more. With all this switching of perspectives, I appreciated how the chapters are named as their names, so that you always know through whose eyes you are looking.
Towards the end of The Rose Society, we also learn more about the Elites and their powers. Not so much how they came to be, but more about how they utilize their energies and how it affects them. This aspect is particularly intriguing to me and I do hope (and expect) to find out more about it in the third book, The Midnight Star.
One particular quote from this book stands out to me:
“Someday, when I am nothing but dust and wind, what tale will they tell about me?”
Really, isn’t this something we all ask? How will our legacy live on? How will we use our skills or talents to change this world, one way or another? It is this overarching theme that makes The Rose Society so relatable despite its intensity and darkness.
Lu has a way of ending a story so that you have to know what happens next. While it is decidedly an ending to this particular book, you know there is more to come and can’t stop wondering about it. Unfortunately, since The Midnight Star isn’t available until October, I will be waiting and wondering (im)patiently until then!