The Rose Society by Marie Lu


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?

Wow, wow, wow.

The Rose Society is deliciously wild, exciting, and a monster of a book. It is not a book that suffers from middle-book syndrome; it is fast-paced with meaningful action, it introduces incredible new characters, and the story grows thicker and darker. The Young Elites was good, but The Rose Society was, without a spot of doubt in my body, better in every way.

Betrayed by those whom she once called friends, Adelina is set on an insatiable path for revenge. Lu has written one of the most compelling protagonists I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Gone is the girl who wanted forgiveness and acceptance. In The Rose Society, Adelina is as tortured as they come – she is the hero turned anti-hero, and the saviour turned bringer of destruction. And I loved Adelina’s narrative. The narrative carries itself with an acute self-awareness, and yet, Adelina’s connection to her darkness, her hate, her pride, and her fear are as inherent as the beating of her twisted heart. The darkness is what gives her life and purpose — and the symbiosis was incredibly fascinating.

Someday, when I am nothing but dust and wind, what tale will they tell about me? Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Lu has flawlessly built on the first book by expanding the world-building, the brewing conflict between associations and nations, and the bloody power struggle within Kenettra. The Rose Society is gritty, and it offers a intriguing story that is difficult to put down. The plot is thrilling, addictive, and intertwines seamlessly with Adelina’s own personal journey. As well as its fantastic character study, The Rose Society also explores the lightless depths of one’s mind, the demons born from betrayal, and the loneliness of revenge and hatred. I am not typically fussy with my action scenes, but there are some incredibly written action scenes in The Rose Society. They flowed perfectly, the movements effortless to follow, leaving me short of breath, invested, and immersed.

A handful of characters are introduced, and some from The Rose Society are developed into complex individuals with desires, ambitions, and fears. Even the antagonist, who I initially wrote off as boring and dull, is shone in a new light that made me rethink my judgment. I particularly enjoyed getting to know Violetta and Maggiano – two characters who share a very engaging relationship with Adelina. Their interactions with her were stained with a healthy fear, reluctant respect, and a bittersweet love. Of course, the magic and magical powers tinted and shaped the dynamics between the characters, but I also craved to see the extent and potential of their powers.

What is so great about being good?

Here’s the kicker: The Rose Society doesn’t have a cliffhanger, but no book ending has made me want to read the sequel more. The ending is a dawn of a promised dark day, the revelations deeply unsettling but absolutely exhilarating. Suffice it to say, The Rose Society is an amazing story, a satisfying contribution to The Young Elites series, and is truly a unique reading experience.

Rating: 4/5

Book Information
Book Name: The Rose Society
Book Series: The Young Elites #2
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Format: eBook

The Rose Society in:
Goodreads | Book Depository | FoylesMy review on Goodreads

Something I learned when doing the book art for The Rose Society: If you get an amazing idea, give it a chance and do it. BUT GUYS, read The Rose Society!! It’s amazing. Midnight Star comes out soon so there’s your reason!

  • Have you read The Young Elites and/or The Rose Society? What did you think?
  • Do you like anti-hero narratives? What is it that you like or don’t like about them?

18 thoughts on “The Rose Society by Marie Lu

  1. I’ll admit that I haven’t read your review fully because I was scared of spoilers, but, funny story: I went into a bookshop today and saw that book series around, and wondered whether I should buy it or not, and now it seems like it’s a GREAT series and I NEED TO go back and buy it, haha. Your art is absolutely gorgeous <3

  2. Ooooo I liked The Young Elites, but it’s been a while since I’ve read it. I really need to read The Rose Society, especially since the third book (right?) is coming out soon. :-) Glad to hear you speak so highly of it!

  3. Did you make that picture up the top!? It’s amazing! And yessss, I adored this book. Even more than THE YOUNG ELITES, which I loved. Adelina was such a fabulous characters (although I wanted to shake her more than once, haha.) I can’t WAIT for THE MIDNIGHT STAR. Lovely review.

    • Hi Kara! Yes, I did! I draw all my art from scratch — and thank you! ^_^ I was really happy with how this one turned out, so I was very proud of it. :D

      Haha, I know what you mean! I love Adelina but she is just so consumed by vengeance. I can’t wait to see how her character develops (and what will happen!) in The Midnight Star. <3

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