- Release Date: October 13th 2015
- Audiobook Hours: 11 hours 7 minutes
- Genre: Historical Fantasy
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Son (Penguin)
Child sex trafficking, slave camps, genocide and a one sided love triangle ?
Yep, I must be reading a fantasy YA novel !
We’re back in Marie Lu’s vaguely Italian 12th century where the scarred children who survived a blood fever are known as malfettos and some malfettos known young elites have developed special powers. After the events of the last book all malfettos have been banned from the city and forced into refugee camps for the safety of the city (stop me if you’ve heard this one). There is a lot going on in this book but most we follow along while our heroine Adelina Amouteru goes off to find other young elites outside the city.
The Rose Society has to be one of the most subversive and creative YA books I’ve ever read. I liked the first book in this series but this second book has really hooked me. Marie Lu is breaking a lot of the typical YA fiction rules and I am here for it.
You get your usual Marie Lu mix of young rulers, pretty boys with hur to the floor and badass women but between the writing and world building this book is working a whole different level with the attention to details and complexities. My favorite scenes in this book are all big fights scenes when all the Elites are using their powers against each other, seriously Marvel needs to hire her (well, I guess DC Comics kinda did).
Can we talk about the characters in this book ? Because seriously EVERYONE is an anti-hero, especially the female characters,this book is teeming with #notsorrynotsoryfeminist rage,
I have to give a special shout out to the leader of the royal military, Teren Santoro. Teren is like a worst case scenario gamergater. He needs Jesus. Or Buddha or like a hug or something. He sees malfettos as abominations who should all be killed…even though he is one. (stop me if you’ve heard this one). Teren’s an elite whose body heals itself after it’s been cut so you can imagine how much fun this book has with that. His scenes in this book had me on the edge of my seat because you don’t know what he’s going to do.
The only place this book lost me is when it started to attempt to explain the elites powers with a lot of talk about energy and some of the plot arcs revolve around characters overhearing things but the character development was so good I genuinely don’t care.
Marie Lu has hit it out of the park with this series and I see she has both a duology about video game hackers and YA standalone historical fantasy coming out so seriously:
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.