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 and her sister flee Kenettra 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 Young Elites was awesome enough, but the Rose Society is a sequel that blows your mind. Adelina literally goes – throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the back – in this book. After all that betrayal and the Daggers turning their backs on her, she now vows vengeance against the Inquisitors on her own terms; alongside this, her inclination towards power gives her the desire to take the throne for herself. On the other side of the sea, the Beldian Queen is also aiming for Kenettra’s throne and the Daggers, who want to get the current Kenettran Queen out of the way, decide to back their old patrons. Meanwhile, the Underworld is being unleashed via Elite powers and – oh my gosh, so many things happen in this book!
Adelina is on a slippery slope towards going full-on villain, but it is also understandable from her past that it is the only path she has known to work for her. When she was good, she was tortured; when she was innocent, she was victimized; now she has the power, and she doesn’t want to let go. The book takes her to the dark places in her mind, her guilt, revulsion and desire for violence both culminating in a paranoia borne from feeling helpless. There is good within her, but it is slowly being stamped out by the viciousness she has learned to love. Her sister, Violettta, is perhaps the only one who can keep her in check, but there is a tense agreement between the two of them, one borne from a history of inaction and the other out of fear. Adelina forms her own society, but you see that ultimately for all her allies, she is still alone where it matters the most. Magiano was a fabulous addition to the plot, a way to show that perhaps she need not embrace the darkness, but since this story is determined to stay dark (and I love it for that) I feel that it is going to be his downfall. I love Raffaele’s POV more this time around, because it gave a better sense of his character development, and his bond with Enzo speaks of a far better relationship that the romance that Enzo and Adelina had.
The climax was particularly fraught with so much tension and packed with action, that my nails are again back to stubs (ah darn!). Seriously, Midnight Star can’t come any sooner, knowing that hint given away in a chapter quote. Overall, a great sequel and an amazing anti-heroine to root for.