My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Book Review: The Rose Society by Marie Lu


Synopsis (From GoodReads):
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?

To say that Adelina, the main character in The Rose Society, is no heroine, is the understatement of the year century!  This teenager has been through abuse, abandonment, and betrayal.  She has had enough.  I found it very hard to follow Adelina's journey (given how disturbed she is), as one cannot root for her.  But I found this novel, by Marie Lu, to be entertaining, and full of intrigue.

What I liked:
As much as I found Adelina's journey into madness unsettling, I think her character is very well written.  It's like going into the mind of Hitler.  I could see how she justifies her vengeance and brutality.  And there is a very credible reason given for her erratic behavior at the end of the story.

The person I was really rooting for was Adelina's sister Violetta.  She is also a Malfetto and has just begun to show her powers at the end of the first book in the series, The Young Elites.  She actually is a quite complex character.  When Adelina was being brutalized by their father, Violetta seemingly does nothing to aid her sister.  We later learn that she does something that she thinks will be helpful, but it doesn't really work.  But she feels guilty for essentially standing by and letting Adelina get the brunt of their father's attacks.

She almost bends over backwards to try to make it up to Adelina now.  I wish she would have shown more backbone against her sister's actions.  But I can totally see why she would behave the way sh did.

I also liked Magiano, a new character whose kindness confuses Adelina.  Is he just acting nice to use her (as so many others have), or is he genuinely interested in Adelina?  But he is more than just a way for there to be a love triangle in the story.  He is a spendthrift who uses his powers to acquire more and more gold.  But it is never enough.

Each character in this story is feeding a need to get more (power, revenge, money, love).  No matter the cost, no matter the outcome, their needs are never satisfied.  Teren seeks absolution from the "sin" of being an Elite.  Adelina is hell-bent on revenge, Magiano can never get enough money, and Rafaelle can't let go of Enzo. 

With so much happening, I am amazed it wasn't confusing.  But this made the story a fast-paced tale.  I loved that the various groups had some of the same goals, but were still at odds with each other due to their motives.  While they agree that the current regime is bad, will either of their solutions be any better?

Once again, the rich Renaissance Italian inspired world is stunning.  We also get to see another nation in this universe, Beldain, where Malfettos are treated as favored by the gods (Their queen, Maeve, wants Kenettra for herself, and The Daggers go to her for assistance).  I enjoyed seeing how other nations had different ideas about the powers of the Elites.

What I Was Mixed About:
Adelina was the narrator and the center of the novel, but I found it very hard to have any empathy toward her.  While there is a very plausible explanation for what's behind her behavior, I still wanted someone to kill her!  She was so selfish and couldn't see how much Violetta and Magiano cared for her.

The final book in this trilogy, The Midnight Star,  is now out, and I will be reading it soon.  Despite having a problematic main character, this universe is mesmerizing and I am eager to learn the conclusion to this story.




Release Date:  October 13th, 2015

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Source:  Public Library

Format:  Audio Book

Recommendation:  If you liked the first book, The Young Elites, you will definitely be entertained by this next chapter. 

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1 comment :

  1. Nice! I still need to read this one! Read The Young Elites when it first came out so it's going to be tough getting back into the story! But I feel like I felt the same about Adelina back then too. Looking forward to returning to this world sometime soon! Nice review!


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