Book: The Rose Society
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: ALL OF THE STARS
“We are both drawn to stories,” he says in a soft voice, “and every scar carries one.”
What has Marie Lu done to my soul????????
FIRST OF ALL, if you haven’t The Young Elites (how many times will I have to ask you this, why on earth haven’t you read The Young Elites?), do me a favor, stop being a little piece of poop and leave this post, lest you read a spoiler and bring hell upon me wHEN I CLEARLY JUST WARNED YOU.
I AM NOT CALM.
When I started this book, I was simply an innocent soul, overly excited to finally be able to continue reading one of her favorite stories, if not her favorite. Now… I’m deeply, emotionally scarred.
I have so many feelings and I don’t know how to organize them into coherent opinions.
Let’s see… Where do I start…
WHERE WE LEFT OFF:
The Young Elites ends with Adelina being kicked out of The Dagger Society, thus causing her to have a… I guess you could call it a freak out. Violetta, her sister, finds her in the midst of this freak out, while she’s madly cutting her hair with a knife, sobbing. They have this beautiful sister moment in which they promise to protect each other, to stay together, for they are sisters, and they need to trust each other.
The Rose Society starts about three weeks later, when Adelina and Violetta are out in the island of Merroutas, searching for other Young Elites, for allies. Or one specific Young Elite. Magiano.
MY FIRST AND STRONGEST THEORY WAS TRUE. I KNEW HE’D BE THE ONE FROM THE MOMENT HE WAS MENTIONED IN THE FIRST BOOK.
Right away, when Adelina and Violetta see the gambling operator and she mentions his heavy purse and that he surely hasn’t lose in a long time, I knew it was him. How else would he win over and over again if he wasn’t cheating and/or tricking people.
We find out his power is mimicking other Elites’ powers! ISN’T IT AWESOME?! Oh, how useful he proves to be. Oh, how I love him.
He’s… God he’s perfect. He’s such a playful, mischievous, joyful soul. I’m a person who’s naturally drawn to joyful souls. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate a “bad boy,” but I personally prefer someone who’s filled with joy and happiness and everything related. And Magiano is exactly that. It’s like he can’t help laughing, or smiling, or joking around, or filling with delight and excitement, I love that. I love his appearance, from his slitted, cat-like, golden eyes, to his long dark braids. I love his whole demeanor and personality, and how he cares so much for Adelina and is so protective of her.
“And … sapphire.” My voice fades into a whisper. “For the angel of Joy.”
“Joy?” Magiano smiles, gently this time.
“Yes.” I look down, overwhelmed by sudden sadness. “Because I can see so much of it in you.”
He’s truly stunning, and I cannot believe Adelina can’t see how good he is for her, constantly pushing him away, refusing to let him in. He brings calmness and brightens up her life, he’s able to lift up some of the darkness in her soul, and he’s the only person with which she’s felt her power be completely still and not missed it.
How can she be so blind?
Whenever she’d push him away, whether consciously or not, and she’d describe the disappointment in his face, where
there’s normally joy, my heart would break into a tiny million pieces. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And whenever he’d get close to her, being sweet and gentle and patient, and whenever he’d appear out of nowhere to protect Adelina, my heart would melt into a warm, sweet puddle. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
“Something flickers in the darkness─and an instant later, Magiano appears before me, drawn out by the sight of my blood. His pupils become slits as he looks at Teren. “Keep your filthy blades off her,” he snaps. “It’s rude.”
HOW CAN SHE BE SO BLIND?!
Just thinking about this makes me so angry. He’s pERFECT AND HE LOVES YOU AND CARES FOR YOU! HE BRINGS
LIGHT TO THE DARK, SHITTY HOLE THAT IS YOUR SOUL! HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT!?
*takes deep breath*
I’M NOT FINE. I’m fine.
BACK TO THE STORY:
So, Adelina and Violetta find Magiano and ask him to join them, and he, playful as he is, decides that they will have a little competition, for he doesn’t work with the unworthy. If he wins, he won’t join them, but if THEY win, then he’ll join them. The mission is none other than stealing the humongous diamond that the king of Merroutas, the Night King, uses as a pin.
Fast forward a little bit and they have gained an audience with the king, disguised as dancers. Adelina has woven an illusion over the damaged side of her face. They are stunning. They catch the attention of the king, and when they reach him, SURPRISE, Magiano seats beside the king, pretending to be some sort of mercenary, with the intention of stealing the diamond pin first. They make eye contact. She creates the illusion of a diamond pin. He falls for it, and takes it. He gets an idea.
“This dancer is new to the city, my friend. I’ve seen her perform before. She’s very good─she is court-trained, I hear.”
Clever little mimic. Little does he know that Adelina was, IN FACT, court-trained. Trained by the greatest consort there has ever been, Raffaele himself. She dances and walks with such grace, flirts at the right moments, she’s got the king in the palm of her hand (and Magiano too *giggles*). She weaves the illusion of wine intoxication over the king, he believes himself to be drunk, he’s infatuated with Adelina. She takes the real pin.
One little slip, Adelina loses control of her powers. OOPS! Fast forward, she took her chance and killed the king, Magiano has disappeared. Mercenaries are fascinated with her, astonished, they’ve realized who she is, they pursue her. Magiano reappears and he rescues their butts.
They’ve won themselves an ally.
Fast forward, she receives a note from a mercenary. He offers them transportation to the outermost lands of Estenzia.
While on their way to meet with the mystery mercenary, Adelina has a little… Extreme insanity moment, in which her illusions start to affect her. She sees her father, she sees Enzo, burning the place to ashes, she sees herself being dragged to the underworld, and she can’t seem to realize that these are her own illusions. Violetta takes away her powers, she’s dragged back to reality.
Throughout the whole book we see how much Adelina’s illusions are affecting her, and how, stubborn as she is, she refuses to let go of them. We have all these little episodes in which her illusions keep tearing her apart and making her suffer, or making her more ambitious, and more drawn and attached to the darkness within her, and it’s honestly quite exhausting, reading from such a dark, raw, insane, torn apart point of view. I was so, so, so mentally exhausted when I finished this book, and it was solely because Adelina’s point of view is a LOT to take in.
And the thing is, I WANT TO HATE IT BUT I LOVE IT. SO MUCH. I CAN’T.
A NEW ADDITION TO THE ROSE SOCIETY:
Fast forward, they reach the ship. TURNS OUT, the mercenary is actually that one boy, now a guy, who Raffaele had talked about. The boy who could not control the rain. The one who had been kicked out of the Daggers, supposedly killed.The Rainmaker. And THIS, my friends, is the Rose Society.
Now, I really liked Sergio’s character. I liked that he had something against the Rose Society because I think that made the whole joining Adelina’s side a whole lot better and it was worth more. I loved the explanation of how his power worked. The whole gathering threads of moisture in the air to create storms, and the huge amount of concentration it took.
“He’s calling the rain,” she says as she approaches. “Weaving it, you might say.”
It may not seem like it, but I believe it to be a very unique power. It’s not just simply making a storm, as one would think. It’s putting it together. I love it.
SERGIO AND VIOLETTA:
Sergio and Violetta are OTP.
It’s impressive how even when Violetta attracted the attention of so many men, HER attention was attracted by Sergio. It’s very cute. They’re very cute. I ship it.
I wish we could’ve gotten to see more of them, and from their point of view. I wish we DO get to see more of them in the third book, although who knows if that’ll be possible with the way this book ended.
Nonetheless, the Rainmaker and the Puppet Master are OTP.
You know, I think this part was my favorite in the whole entire book. The one moment in which The Rose Society came to be, officially. It was so simple, which made it so much more beautiful and valuable in my eyes. And the fact that everyone contributed something to the pledge was so lovely, it made my heart swell up with pride and happiness and love for these characters.
“I pledge myself to the Rose Society,” I begin. “Until the end of my days.”
One by one, the others call out the same thing, murmurs at first that turn into firm words.
“To use my eyes to see all that happens,” says Sergio.
“My tongue to woo others to our side,” says Magiano with his savage smile.
“My ears to hear every secret,” Violetta continues.
“My hands,” I finish. “To crush my enemies.”
“I will do everything in my power to destroy all who stand in my way.”
THE DAGGERS… PLUS MAEVE:
We also learn that the Daggers have made an alliance with Maeve and her Elites, aaaaaand that they want to bring Enzo back. NOPE. I loved Enzo with a fiery (pun intended), bUT THE DEAD SHOULD STAY DEAD! Bringing him back to life was seriously asking for trouble, specially if we take Maeve’s brother as an example. And even more so, when his life had to be tethered to someone else’s. NOPE.
Then there’s the Maeve factor. She’ll do whatever the hell she wants to get what she desires. And even when Raffaele wasn’t keen on the idea of bringing Enzo back, she did it anyways. AND THUS THE REASON WHY I’M NOT MUCH OF A MAEVE FAN.
I mean, how the Daggers, except maybe Raffaele, don’t realize that Maeve is simply using them to get to the throne of Estenzia is beyond me.
And then Adelina heard of their plans. Oh boy. This just… Adelina’s plan was incredibly clever. Brilliant. BUT I JUST DIDN’T WANT HIM ALIVE!
REASONS WHY ENZO SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE:
- Magiano. Magiano should Adelina’s ONLY love interest, and having Enzo back created some sort of love triangle that I didn’t appreciate very much.
- Almost every single thing Adelina did was biased by her past feelings and love for Enzo, thus making her more stubborn than she already was, and more blind to the fact that Enzo will never be the same, that he’s not there anymore.
- Whoever gets to keep Enzo will ultimately use him to get to the throne. No matter how much they deny it, this is all
about getting to the throne, not about Enzo’s well being. BECAUSE IF IT WERE ABOUT ENZO’S WELL BEING, HE WOULD’VE STAYED DEAD. The only person in this book who truly cared about Enzo’s well being was Raffaele, but of course, his opinions and concerns didn’t matter. OF COURSE.
- If bringing back Enzo increased his power tenfold, then it’s obvious that he’ll be a danger to everyone! There was no predicting what he would do. And even with the tether to Adelina’s life, he’s ultimately too power, thus being able to control her and go against her, even if she’s the one that’s supposed to have the power over him.
- Having Enzo back just made the whole grudge between both sides of Elites a million times worse! They’re basically destroying each other over a dead guy! Over a throne too, but you know.
- Believing Enzo would simply join Adelina’s side was stupid from her part. Completely stupid. He created the Dagger Society, for crying out loud! She couldn’t just expect him to ditch his friends, his family, to join her, past or no past.
MY PREDICTION. I KNEW IT. SOONER OR LATER ADELINA WAS GONNA USE HIM AS AN ALLY.
I could feel myself slowly growing more satisfied when Teren got farther and farther apart from Giulietta, because it meant he would turn to Adelina, or vice versa, sooner or later. And, I mean, Teren is not a good character. He’s very hateable, in fact. BUT, he’s a very interesting and intriguing character. This may be an unpopular opinion but I really, really want to see more of his character. Like really badly. I want to know more of him, of his past, of his reasons to feel the way he does and do the things he does. I want to know if he’s really as bad as he seems.
THE FINAL WAR-BATTLE-END-OF-THE-WORLD-CHAOTIC-MESS:
Here’s a compilation of Jack Sparrow gifs that expresses my feelings throughout this whole part quite adequately:
There were so many things happening here and there, so much death, so much destruction, sO MANY FEELINGS, that I felt like my brain was going to explode. It was so fast paced and chaotic. I pretty much felt like I was there, right in the middle of chaos. My body was a lump of poop comprised of feelings, and angst, and tension, and I just… WHAT EVEN IS LIFE?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?
THE ENDING AKA WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT:
Can we just take a moment to talk about the ending? WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!
OKAY, VIOLETTA, LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. So what you’re telling me is that basically all Elites are bound to die young because of deterioration from their power? What? What??? BUT WHAT ABOUT MY DEARLY LOVED WICKED FREAK, ADELINA? AND THE NEW-FOUND LOVE OF MY LIFE, MAGIANO? WHAT ABOUT RAFFAELE, AND SERGIO, AND EVERYONE????WHAT??????
WHAT DO YOU MEAN ALL ELITES ARE BOUND TO DIE YOUNG?
I can’t. I can’t deal with this anymore. My heart. My soul. Nope.
The worst part is that Adelina is deteriorating faster than the others because she keeps exploiting her powers more and more, letting the darkness eat away at her soul, slowly making herself go mad. SHE’S THE CAUSE OF HER OWN INSANITY ANd I don’t know if it’s because I’m reading from her point of view and she’s in denial, but I refuse to believe this. In my heart, I know it’s true, I know it, bUT I REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT WILL HAPPEN.
THERE MUST BE A SOLUTION, I JUST NEED TO FIND IT.
And then she just… She just… The ending… Violetta… It’s as if Marie Lu wants to make it incredibly evident that Adelina’s going insane (AS IF I DIDN’T KNOW THAT ALREADY). So insane that it’s driving her apart from her friends and family. *sobs*
It completely shatters my heart to see Adelina end up in such a dark state of isolation, and the fact that she doesn’t realize it’s her own fault. IT SHATTERS MY HEART, I TELL YOU.
“I force a smile onto my face. In the silence, I sit alone on my throne and wait eagerly for all the satisfaction and triumph to hit me. I wait, and wait, and wait.”
“But it doesn’t come”
Look, I wish this review had been more organized and coherent but I’m still a wreck because of this book and I simply cannot be civilized about this at the moment. I probably forgot so many important things that I wanted to talk about in a civilized manner, but I just can’t get my shit together. I CAN’T. Maybe I’ll take it upon myself to write a shorter, more civilized review of this book, but for now, THIS IS WHAT YOU’LL GET. RAW EMOTIONS FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY STILL SORE SOUL.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION.