by Marie Lu
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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 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?
Bestselling author Marie Lu delivers another heart-pounding adventure in this exhilarating sequel to The Young Elites.
I AM SPEECHLESS. If there’s something I didn’t expect, it was to meet a female-lead who could equal Jorg of Ancrath‘s dark ambition.
Saying that I didn’t have great expectations before starting The Rose Society would be an understatement. Indeed I was part of the (very) few who weren’t convinced by The Young Elites, mostly because I felt that what I read wasn’t what I’ve been sold : I found the first installment boring, tame, in a word : disappointing. That’s why I’m glad to tell you that none of my complaints are still relevant.
➊ The pacing improved grandly : This sequel is an exciting journey whose pacing never wavers, letting you on the edge of your seat all the way. Although Marie Lu chose to write her story in several POV (which can be a no-no for me, if not handled well), there was NEVER a moment when I wasn’t hooked and eager to know what would happen next. No more useless and boring parts : the story was highly compelling through and through.
➋ What a formidable tale of ambition and revenge. Gah. Jorg would be so proud. While the first book only set the (needed, I realize) foundations of Adelina’s story, I didn’t care for the romance there (I know, I know, I’m such in a minority on this, but Enzo is flat in my opinion) View Spoiler »I STILL DON’T CARE ABOUT HIM, and really, if they are together in book 3, I will be pissed, because the guy is CREEPY and represents only the past « Hide Spoiler[I STILL DON’T CARE ABOUT HIM, and really, if they are together in book 3, I will be pissed, because the guy is CREEPY and represents only the past (hide spoiler)] and her relationship with Enzo didn’t make much sense to me. Great news! The plot finally focuses on her ascension and no matter how painful some steps were (I sure don’t condone all her actions), the events taking place brought so many raw feelings that I can’t find in me to complain. Granted, the world-building is still a little sketchy, and there were inconsistencies in some parts, but Marie Lu managed to make them believable. (Please don’t make Magiano suffer
too much, though) (I have a soft spot for LOVE this little thief)
➌ Truth is, what can be annoying is also great : this is my second book by Marie Lu, and I can safely say that I don’t get her – I can’t wrap my head around the direction she takes her stories, and it used to make me lose patience in The Young Elites, especially during the boring middle. But. Here it definitely played in her favor, because I could never predict what would happen (I still can’t). Also, the twists were brilliant. Of course I loved that (I’m worried, though) (I did read Emperor of Thorns, you know).
➊ Adelina is a true villain in training : When my boyfriend asked me why I was so happy with Adelina and her Elites (why yes – clapping might have been involved at some point), I told him, “because they’re no good”. He raised his eyebrows (a little worried, I think), not sure of what to make of my answer (I swear, I’m a nice woman – most of the time). Really, though? I genuinely think that my fascination for unusual and darker characters lies in the large number of books I read. See, had I read 10 books in my whole life, hell, had I read 10 YA Fantasy series in my whole life, even, I would probably not seek this kind of characters out (or maybe – I’ll guess we’ll never know *smiles slowly*). But there’s only so many farmer boys soon-to-be heroes I can take, and in this ocean of one-dimensional super-villains whose goals are often vague as fuck, I thrive on meeting multi-layered and dark characters who twist the tropey rules and make their owns.
After The Young Elites, I didn’t think that Adelina had it in her to become the free female-lead I wanted her to be. I was wrong.
*cackles with glee*
Yes she threatens my boundaries and her decisions make my skin crawl sometimes, but I get her, I really do. I’m not sure what that says about me, though.
➋ Give me some sarcastic and unapologetic male-lead, pretty please : I loved Magiano (I can’t be the only one who roots for him, RIGHT?). Where Enzo’s passion seemed too similar to Adelina’s for me to really care, Magiano adds something different to the story, and if I’m not sure I understand all his reactions yet, he is endearing, mischievous, and he makes me laugh.
Let it be known that his smile brightened my day and that I would defend him like a wolf.
Do. Not. Touch. Magiano. OKAY?
➌ Every one of these characters – Sergio, Teren, Violetta, Maeve, Raphaele – are fleshed-out, complex, and interesting to follow. None of them is wasted or one-dimensional.