The Rose Society is the sequel to The Young Elites, Marie Lu’s second series with her first being the Legend trilogy. The Rose Society continues the power struggle that began in The Young Elites, with all of the characters wanting the throne for themselves and all of them making alliances with each other in attempts to do so.
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 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?
The Rose Society does, much to my excitement, explore more of Marie Lu’s world. We spend some time in Beldain, where the elites are worshiped as children of the gods along with the island state of Merroutos. I loved this extended view of the world and liked how all the cultures interacted with each other.
Where The Rose Society really shinned however, was in its highly complex plot. The basics of the plot is that everyone wants the throne, however it is so much more complicated than that. The characters now know each other, and have a history together. This is used to make the alliances and rivalries all the more real. The constant power struggle and instability of who will win is what keeps driving this novel forward.
Another thing that makes The Rose Society stand out from the crowd is the well developed characters. The characters we met in the last book continue to grow, each demonstrating a variety of strengths and weaknesses. We also meet some new characters, some of whom were mentioned in the previous book. My favorite introduction is Magicano, a mysterious thief who has interesting motivation.
Overall, I would recommend this book to everyone. Despite the slow start in The Young Elites I thoroughly enjoyed The Rose Society. I felt like the payoff for the slow first novel was worth it. The bonds the characters formed increased the tension and made me feel more attached to the characters. I rate The Rose Society 4 out of 5.