Title: The Rose Society
Series Details: The Young Elites #2
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Imprint: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Blurb from Goodreads:
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.
Hands down! Hands. Down. I did anticipate a darker sequel after how things ended in The Young Elites. But I haven’t expected it to be this dark and this intense. The first book effectively built and arranged a good foundation for Adelina’s dark transformation in this installment—creating darkness so thick and heavy around her story. It’s also very interesting to see old characters play a bigger role in this book as well as new additions who has all sorts of intriguing things to put in the table. And yes, motives too!
Someday, when I am nothing but dust and wind, what tale will they tell about me?
Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.
Fueled by her avenging spirit and with betrayals, hate, and unpleasant memories in the mix, Adelina continues to fall deeper into the dark side leaving death and destruction in her wake. She finally comes to full power in this book. And while it’s intriguing to see what she would do to her wrongdoers now that she isn’t so powerless, it’s also achingly sad seeing her heart harden like that, turning her into someone so ruthless. It is extremely heartbreaking knowing that such thing wouldn’t have happened if only the world had been a little kinder to Adelina and to all the malfettos. Even with all her power, Adelina still has fears and I really felt it in her narratives.
“The only way to get what you want in this world,” I say, “is to do it yourself. No one else will help you in this.”
The sisterly relationship between Adelina and Violetta is still the most realistic and relatable thing in here. It’s a very complicated relationship and I think that’s what made it so compelling. They’re both loyal, and protective, and ready to give their life for the other. But the huge difference in their personalities slowly tears them apart. Adelina’s long history of envy, jealousy, and bottled up grudges against her sister only adds to the strain on their relationship.
Violetta might be the only remaining light that prevents Adelina from being completely swallowed by her darkness. Her presence kind of made me still hope for a brighter ending for Adelina despite how twisted she’d become. So it really puts an ache in my chest when Adelina started seeing her as a threat because of what her powers can do. Poor Violetta.
The irony of life is that those who wear masks often tell us more truths than those with open faces.
I’m most impressed by the massive development of each of the characters in this book—from the main down to the supporting ones. Lu really stepped up her characterization game here. The characters were noticeably fuller and more distinguishable compared to The Young Elites where, at some point, I had a bit of trouble remembering who’s who and who’s got what power. The new characters were just as awesome as the old ones. They may be new but each of them plays an equally important role and holds their own personal agendas, wrapping the story with more layers of complexities.
There’s so much growth happening in this book especially with each character’s powers and how they got strong by the minute but I love seeing the serious limitations to their powers too. Using it comes with a heavy price. It shows that they can all be vulnerable which makes you fear for their lives even with all the powers they posses.
“We are drawn to stories,” he says in a soft voice, “and every scar carries one.”
This book presents a new possible romantic relationship for Adelina and I’m so into it! You go, Magiano! I wasn’t a big fan of Enzo being Adelina’s love interest in the first book. Sure he’s handsome, he’s hot, and he’s a prince, but his energy only feeds Adelina’s darkness. Magiano on the other hand is lovable for so many reasons: his cheerful personality brought a bit of vibrancy to the book’s gloomy world. He’s cute when he’s jealous. Most importantly, I love his effect on Adelina. His joyful attitude and his positive energy balances her alignment to darkness. The sight of Adelina forgetting the weight of all the hate she keeps inside her whenever she’s with Magiano is really heartening.
It is better to have an enemy who will fight you in an open field then a lover who will kill you in your sleep.
We also meet Sergio, the Rainmaker. His past easily made him one of my favorite character to watch out for. He’s also awesome in a way that if you take all the malfetto’s power away Sergio would still have a deadly skill. There’s also Maeve whose powers could possibly turn the story in a direction we didn’t fully expected. I wasn’t very interested with her character though.
We also see more of this fictional world as our characters run off and took refuge on other kingdoms. And while we get bits and pieces of political histories between Kenettra and these kingdoms, I feel like these newly introduced places weren’t fully developed. Like, this part wasn’t fully explored. I think it would have been nice to know more about these kingdoms—their cultures and traditions, their political and magic systems, their take on malfettos. I’ve really been excited about seeing Beldain knowing that it’s a kingdom that reveres malfettos. But when we finally get there we didn’t even see a single Beldish malfetto living in harmony with the unmarked. It’s kind of disappointing because who didn’t want to see such a peaceful scene? Also it would have presented a vision of what Kenettra would possibly look like when ruled by the right person. Aside from that though, everything else is so good and still worthy of a five star rating.
They were the flash of light in a stormy sky, the fleeting darkness before dawn. Never have they existed before, nor shall they ever exist again.
The last part of the book was a bomb so intense it’ll make you feel a lot of emotions—fear, anger, loss, guilt, sadness, loneliness. But strangely there’s also the feel of satisfaction in the midst of all that as Adelina stood up, vicious and heartless. It’s both frightening and fascinating seeing Adelina rise to power with a great deal of vengeance in mind. It’s also painful to see her move further and further away from the path of redemption. But so long as she has Magiano I’ll have hope. Jeez, I’m shipping them so hard it’s insane.
So this has been a splendid follow-up to The Young Elites and I’m getting obsessed with this series. I honestly don’t have any idea how things will turn in the final installment but hopefully it’s massive. I think this series would be perfect for fantasy lovers—especially dark fantasy. If you haven’t had your first bite on dark fantasy this would also be a wonderful series to start with.