The Rose Society by Marie Lu is the dark sequel to The Young Elites and continues to follow Adelina as she struggles to use her powers for the right reasons in a world that seems to really dislike her. I gave The Young Elites 5 stars, so it is probably understandable that The Rose Society was unlikely to live up to my high expectations. However, I still feel like it didn’t click as well as the previous book did unfortunately. If you are a fan of the dark direction things were starting to go in The Young Elites though, I think you’ll be happy with the tone of The Rose Society! (Also there will be MAJOR spoilers for The Young Elites below because they are unavoidable.)
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Rose Society from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Rose Society by Marie Lu (The Young Elites)
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on Oct. 13th, 2015
Genres: Dark Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 416 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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 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 that murdered her love, the Crown Prince Enzo Valenciano.
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?
- The magic of this world is probably still my favorite thing about these books! Adelina’s powers to create illusions are cool, but there is so much more going on with how these powers came to be in the first place. Remember that whole blood plague illness that has to strike a malfetto first? I’m really excited that Lu has clearly thought out how these powers work and what the consequences of them might be ;-).
- There are also new magic powers to discover as new characters enter the scene :D. I like that the powers Lu is introducing aren’t the typical ones too. It’s easy for super-power magic systems to slip into the typical manipulation of elements and such, but Lu makes sure to put unique twists on each of the powers she creates, score!
- The Rose Society is seriously action-packed. I read it in pretty much one day once I actually had time to devote to it and never hit a slow spot. There is always some new problem cropping up for poor Adelina, haha.
- I’m a fan of dark characters (though grimdark fantasy has managed to get too far even for me), so Adelina’s continue descent into a not-so-great mental place is fun for me to watch from the outside though I just want to give her a hug sometimes. There are other elements that add to the darkness of this book too, but I won’t spoil them ;-).
- There were some things I had been wondering about from The Young Elites that are finally answered in The Rose Society, yey! I’m really happy to see that Lu doesn’t just have a cool idea for a super-hero fantasy, but has also thought through different aspects of the world and powers and is apparently going to torturously reveal tidbits throughout the series.
- So I loved Adelina in the previous book, which makes it strange to me that I had so much trouble connecting to her this time around. She just didn’t seem as vivid to me I guess, instead seeming more like a stereotypical villain-in-training.
- Remember how The Young Elites had a great cast of interesting characters in the gang? The Rose Society doesn’t keep that up very well despite the addition of new faces. I just didn’t like the new characters as much as I missed the old.
- There are some major love triangle warning signs lighting up and I DO NOT APPRECIATE IT! Adelina doesn’t need a man, let alone two!
The Rose Society has some really cool elements to it, but it didn’t live up to my hopes coming off of The Young Elites. It suffers a bit from second-book syndrome and a bit from trope-overload unfortunately. It is definitely still worth a read because it is fast and the reveals at the end are epic. I’m of course still dying to read the final book, sigh.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
The Rose Society by Marie Lu
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