Adelina, survivor of the blood fever, has to fight for her life again after running away from her home and being hunted by the Inquisition Axis. The plague has marked her as a malfetto with silver hair, her left eye missing, and special powers that make the Young Elites notice her.
The Dagger society, a group of Young Elites, and Adelina soon realise that her powers are dark and have the potential to be the most advanced yet. She struggles to keep her dark thoughts buried deep inside her but at the same time, they make her powerful so she can take revenge on all the people that wronged her.
The Daggers and their leader Enzo Valenciano are determined to free the nation from the king and queen and their attempts to kill all malfettos with the help of Adelina. She tries to trust Enzo and his group but she is plagued by doubts and when she meets Teren Santoro, the leader of the Inquisition Axis, she must decide which side she is on as he has a secret that has the potential to ruin everything.
It’s hard to write this review as I am really torn about how I feel. I can‘t really describe what it is that makes me feel this way. I heard so many good things about the book that I maybe went in with too many expectations.
I think first of all, from the synopsis on the book I was somehow expecting something different, a more badass main character Adelina and a real secret of Teren that the reader does not know until very late in the book.
I thought Adelina would be ruthless and trying to get revenge no matter the cost but she is a character that struggles with her dark side and does not want it to take the better of her but because it enables her to fight, she is using that power. I don’t necessarily have a problem with this kind of character but I just could not see the ‘desire to destroy all who dare to cross her’ which I was promised… Aside from that, I really think it makes sense that she is the way she is, wanting to take revenge but also just be free and safe from people like her father and the Inquisition.
My problem with Teren’s secret is that it not really is a secret because the reader is informed about it very early on in the book, it’s just that other characters in the story don’t know about it. This is not an issue with the character itself but more with the writing and how the story is developed during the book. Nevertheless, Teren was kind of the only character I wanted to know more about, his background and why he became the way he is now.
This was exactly the opposite for Enzo although he is quite mysterious with the way he is acting and because we don’t really know what he is doing when he is away from the Dagger’s hideout. But still I could not bring myself to be thoroughly interested in his character. I also felt the connection between him and Adelina to be developing too fast as they don’t really talk a lot and it feels fuelled only by the mystery between them. I have my aversions with insta-love and as they don’t spent a lot of time together, this comes awfully close to it.
Apart from the protagonists, I had a problem with the world building, mainly because of the writing style I guess. I It is very straight forward and to the point which isn’t bad at all but somehow it took the imagination of how the world looks like away. It seems very Italian with the names, the buildings and the things that happen in the world, at least to the extent that the reader gets to know.
Although there is quite a lot I found not to my liking, I still overall liked the book, which is a little weird. I did not read it in one sitting and had to take brakes while reading but due to the writing style I made it through very quickly and it did not feel time consuming. I am interested how Adelina’s story continues and the epilogue left me rather intrigued by what could happen. I am hoping that the Rose Society can convince me more but I don’t want to go into it with too many expectations again to not be disappointed again.