Series: The Young Elites #2
Author: Marie Lu
Published: October 13, 2015 by Putnum Young Readers (Penguin)
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: 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 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?
*** This is the second book in the series. There are not spoilers in this review but you should read The Young Elites before you read this. It's fantastic so just read it, okay. ***
Last year when I read The Young Elites it wrecked me. I mean this of course in the best possible way. It was one of my favorite reads of 2014. Never before have a read such a dark and entrancing YA fantasy with such complex characters. I usually don't love first books in a new series but The Young Elites I did. So when I started The Rose Society, I was both and nervous to see where the story would go. But Marie Lu has done it to me again. She has upped the ante and created another dark and enthralling fantasy read that has left me reeling.
But the plot is not the only thing that is darker about this this book. The characters too are even darker. While this is the kind of book that has multiple perspectives let's be honest, it's all about Adelina Amouretu. And wow, do I love her. She's has gained some understanding and mastery of her powers and it's amazing to see her use them but they are taking their toll on her mentally and emotionally. She's such a complex and deep character. Deep, dark, damaged, and delightful. This is essentially a villain origin story and by the end Adelina descends into into a madness so extreme that it is both terrifying and exciting. What I like most about Adelina is that she's a character doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons but it feels so right. In The Young Elites it was like a peak into her past. It showed all the bad things that led up to her being evil and because you are along with her through all of it you want her to fight back. She's just a product of her environment after all. I shouldn't support her ruthlessness but she's still so sympathetic. How do you do that Marie Lu? How?
But that may be because all of these characters are devious and self-interested. Every. Single. One. We get more time with some old characters who have development that makes you love and hate them at the same time. Of course Teren Santoro is back being crazy and terrifying. His self-loathing and his devious actions are pretty next level here. Raffaele is also back and manipulating people with his powers. His character arc throughout this series is such an interesting one. And Violetta is back as well. She seems to be the only person who is keeping Adelina grounded. Their relationship is so complex. You can tell they love each other but they both don't always know the best way of showing it is. Violetta is a character I wish had POV chapters to be entirely honest. I want a look inside her head. Then there are the new characters. We get to see Maeve more who was introduced at the end of The Young Elites and I want more of here, she's really interesting. And we also get some new Elites who are pretty dark as well. Like I'm pretty sure even Marie Lu's lovable rogue, a thief who helps Adelina, is dark and devious.
And I'm definitely invested in The Rose Society. Once again Marie Lu blew me away with this dark fantasy world. The characters are complex and devious, the plot is action-packed and full of shocking twists, and the world is interesting and unique. But be prepared when you read this book, it will hit you right in the feels.
I give The Rose Society by Marie Lu 9.5 out of 10
Have you read The Rose Society? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!