The Rose Society: The Young Elites, Book 2

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Rose Society: The Young Elites, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Tale of superpowered court intrigue grows darker.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Set in a fantasy world that resembles Renaissance Europe, The Rose Society has little connection to the real world. Nevertheless, its themes of betrayal and the consolidation of political power could be used as springboards for discussion.

Positive Messages

The pursuit of power for its own sake can lead to disillusionment, tragedy, and heartache.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters in The Rose Society are a ruthless bunch. They may observe their own loyalties, but they're also quick to punish anyone who stands against them. Adelina, in particular, grows increasingly vengeful and manipulative as the story progresses, while Violetta attempts to help her understand just how out of the control she has become.


The Rose Society has many violent scenes, including stabbing, arson, a brutal beating, and battles between superpowered characters.


Sexual content mostly limited to kissing and passionate embraces, including one such scene between two female characters. One male character is a former "consort" at a brothel, and it's implied that another teen character demands he demonstrate his prowess for her.


Strong language is limited to a few instances each of "damn," "hell," and "bastard."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Rose Society is the second volume of the saga begun in The Young Elites by Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy. It's a fast-moving fantasy novel about young outcasts who develop magical powers in what seems like an alternate Renaissance Europe. There's a fair amount of violence: stabbings, beatings, poisonings, arson, and torture with illusions. The language is uniformly mild (a couple uses of "bastard," "hell," and "damn"). Sexual content is mostly limited to flirting, kissing, and passionate embraces, including one between two female characters.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byIlove12343 June 22, 2019
This story has exceptional writing, however the story is really quite dark. The first book made me slightly uneasy but after this one I had no desire to read th... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 26, 2016


This book really carries on from how betrayed Adelina felt from the first book; without missing a beat it continues on to the next part of the villain's li... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 17, 2020


This book is absolutely amazing, it’s not your typical “hero goes on a quest to save the world”.. it’s much deeper than that. There is violence and darker theme... Continue reading

What's the story?

Cast out for having betrayed the Dagger Society, the only "family" she's ever known, psychic illusionist Adelina Amouteru travels with her sister Violetta in search of other superpowered Young Elites. Now known as the White Wolf, Adelina plans to strike down the Inquisition that killed Enzo, the man she loved. But as her plans come to fruition, Adelina loses control of the situation and her powers. Can she prevail without destroying everyone she used to love?

Is it any good?

Focusing on the development of a villain is a risky strategy in YA fantasy, but author Marie Lu makes a strong case in this tale of self-deception and corruption. THE ROSE SOCIETY follows Adelina as she reconsolidates her power and exacts revenge on those who have wronged her. Her single-mindedness sometimes makes for uncomfortable reading, but there's no denying that her narrative is action-packed and filled with unexpected twists.

The supporting characters could be better defined, but Adelina puts a stranglehold on the reader's attention. Readers will be eager to see whether she receives her comeuppance in the next volume.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about physical disfigurement. Why are people with severe facial injuries sometimes feared and discriminated against?

  • If you could choose one superpower, what would it be, and why?

  • Is revenge ever a worthwhile goal? Does anything good come out of acts of vengeance?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

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