**POSSIBLE SPOILERS: Do not read this review unless you’ve read The Young Elites**
Summary: 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?
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
My thoughts: The Rose Society follows Adelina and her sister as they struggle to survive on their own now that they were cast off by The Young Elites, who blamed Adelina for many of their struggles they were put through in the first novel of this series. This story also follows alongside Teren as he works with his lover/queen as they plot to rule the kingdom together. Except Teren begins to repeatedly make fatal actions that disobey his queen’s orders which leads to some horrible consequences he must eventually face. Another POV follows Rafaelle who is now leading The Young Elites attempting to overthrow Teren and his queen while also working against Adelina and her new crew. Told in multiple perspectives, The Rose Society takes readers on a journey with Adelina where she explores the limits to her dark powers and how far she is willing to go to claim the kingdom as her own.
The first hundred pages where pretty slow for me because it was mostly playing catch up with all the characters, picking up where they left off in the first novel, The Young Elites. The whole plot line had a slow burning tension that didn’t really grip my attention until I reached the middle of the book where I became engrossed in Adelina’s journey as she embraces the darkness inside her even more than she did when she trained to be a Young Elite.
Adelina and her sister, over time, find other Elites hidden in the kingdom who she convinces to work alongside her in an attempt to claim the realm as her own. Each new character that was introduced really helped the book progress and all had an interesting aspect that helped take the book in an unexpected new direction that I really enjoyed. I didn’t know that Marie Lu was capable of creating even more compelling characters but she managed to make me fall even more in love with the new cast that was woven into the story. Friendships were made throughout this novel, new and healthier love interests were introduced, and allies soon became enemies in this dark book.
This definitely was the most ominous book in the series so far (and I’m hoping it only gets darker from here on). Adelina doesn’t hold back with her wickedness in this novel which lead to some intense action scenes along with some detrimental choices that she made to benefit herself in the end. There are so many twists and turns that this book takes, keeping the reader guessing to what was going to happen next at each flip of the page. I really did enjoy this novel, especially because its protagonist isn’t the typical good character that is always trying to do the right thing. The Young Elites series is definitely engrossing and addictive to read, especially because there is no telling what Adelina is going to do in order to make herself queen. I really did love this story, despite the slow start, and my favorite part had to be the new characters introduced who immediately gripped my heart the moment they appeared on the page. I highly recommend you read this novel, because this is a series you do not want to overlook!