The Rose Society – Marie Lu

The Rose Society The Rose Society by Marie Lu
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Young Elites series. Adelina has been cast off by the Dagger Society and the darkness in her heart is consuming her. Accompanied by only her sister, who she discovered is also a Young Elite like her, Adelina sets out to form her own version of the Dagger Society – the Rose Society. The crown prince is dead and Adelina focuses all of her rage and vengeance against Teren. She and Violetta have been practicing with their abilities and are stronger than before.

About one-quarter of the way through the book and it has hit its stride already. It is more immersive than the first, which seemed to suffer from slow pacing. Now that the plot has been established, it seems to allow the author more freedom with writing and storytelling. A number of new characters are introduced like Queen Maeve and her brothers, an unnamed charlatan, and the infamous Magiano.

Magiano is a greedy thief, but you can’t help but be a little charmed by him. Adelina plans to surround herself with other Elites so that her Rose Society can flourish. She sets her sights on Magiano whose power is (view spoiler) Unfortunately, he is not eager to abandon his life of solitary thievery and challenges the sisters. If they succeed, he will join them. Will his skills as a thief give him victory or will Adelina be able to weave enough illusions to secure herself an ally?

Her acts may even gain her the support of others, thus growing her society. But mercenaries aren’t the most loyal of followers. Adelina causes chaos during the theft and must flee with Magiano and her sister. During the course of their escape, they discover another Elite, called (view spoiler). Her Society may be called Rose, unlike the Daggers she left behind, but she is much more ruthless and cold than her more violent sounding counterparts.

Queen Maeve has the ability to (view spoiler)

Adelina’s love for Enzo and introduction of Magian leads to a typical love triangle. Enzo may have died, but Adelina still pines for him and it show. Despite those feelings, she forms a connection with Magiano and it complicates their relationship because “caring for a scoundrel is a dangerous thing.” Magiano plays the role of the rogue with a hidden heart of gold, like Sinbad, Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles or Flynn Rider (*cough* Eugene Fitzherbert *cough*) from Tangled. He is a thief and a trickster, who is seemingly on in it for the money but over the course of the novel his heart gets in the way.

The battle is painted so vibrantly that it plays like a movie in your mind. The anticipation is palpable, each attack makes you catch your breath – who is going to die? Who will be victorious? The action and revelation in the book keep the reader hooked until the end.

Recommended, but you need to read the Young Elites first book for the story’s foundation to be build… otherwise the story won’t be as affecting and probably won’t make sense. The conclusion of Rose Society leaves the reader intrigued and wondering what happens in the third novel.

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