BOOK REVIEW: The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2)
by Marie Lu
Publication date: 15 October 2015
Goodreads: Adelina Amouteru’s heart is set on 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. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.
But Adelina is no heroine. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends at 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?
So after only two of her books, I’m starting to think that Marie Lu must be the queen of dark YA novels because wow. The Rose Society was a crazy dark book for the YA genre. The Young Elites was dark but The Rose Society manages to be even darker, even wilder. Lu even begins the Acknowledgements with “The Rose Society is the darkest book I’ve ever written.”
The Rose Society does not suffer the age old problem of being the filler middle book. How many times have you read a sequel and it’s just bland and there for the sake of being there? Well, fear not because The Rose Society is not that. The narrative flows beautifully and Lu brings us back to an intriguing and gritty world. The story is jam packed with action scenes that are wonderfully written. They’re intense and immersive. Lu writes with amazing detail and keeps the reader’s interest.
“But true rulers are not born. We are made.”
Adelina is, without a doubt, the anti-hero. Despite the terrible things that she does, it’s hard to dislike her and so much easier to be sympathetic toward her when you remember everything that she has experienced. However, I did start to question some of her actions in the book. Not from a judgemental perspective but more in the sense of “Adelina if you keep doing that bad, bad, bad things are going to happen”. She has spiralled so far into her darkness and powers that there may be no return for her.
“I sense their fear, and use it to build my strength back up.”
We see the return of some familiar faces and are introduced to some new characters who add to the thrill of the plot. Lu writes complex characters with their own goals and ambitions to fulfil. They all have a part to play in the story. My favourites were Maggiano and Violetta. I loved seeing the dynamics of their relationships with Adelina. They both care for her but there is an underlying sense of fear as well.
I can’t stop thinking about how amazing Lu’s writing is, she has a real understanding of what herreaders want and how to play into those wants. There’s no cliffhanger but new revelations create a sense of urgency to pick up the next book. I can’t wait to see how the series ends.