Adelina is where she wants to be after the first two installments of this trilogy and that is as the White Wolf ruler. She has reversed all prejudice and killings of the marked (those with powers) and has reversed the hatred she and her people faced and now in pure revenge fashion, aims it towards her former perpetrators. She, along with her Rose Society of warriors, ensures that all marked (those formerly dubbed the ‘malfettos’) are respected in society. Her anger, and the voices in her head, make her self-conscious, paranoid, and cruel.
A few countries away her sister Violetta’s health is failing and a prediction given earlier that the Elites will lose their powers and die seems to be coming true. Violetta is protected by a powerful group of Elites – the same group that used to work with Adelina. The Daggers know Adelina has gone off the deep end with her quest for revenge. They are another group vying for power.
Then there is Queen Maeve, one of the best female characters since Lady Macbeth, who harbors the two men that she brought back from death – and not with their former humanity. Enzo, the former Malfetto Prince is still as powerful, but will kill more easily and Maeve must realize that her youngest brother, the one she always protected, is now more harmful than she realized. Better think twice before bringing people back from the Underworld. So Maeve, her soldiers, and her half-dead violent men are the third group.
Soon all sides collide in a battle of skill, power, and death. People are captured by the other side and no one seems safe from each other or from the new threat they all face as marked malfettos, but a larger issue faces the powerful marked leaders: they are losing their powers. A prophecy that was shared in the second book of the series seems to be coming true and now these strong leaders and enemies must come together for their own survival. As battles continue, more people die (seriously – it’s like a Game of Thrones season), we wonder who will survive, who will retain power, and who will be the last leader standing. As the Elites travel to find the Gods and into the Underworld in order to learn why their powers lessen, more die on their journey. This is a conclusion to the series that was focused on power and ruling an empire, but resolves in characters finding forgiveness, peace, love, and loyalty.
All in all after a violent, power hungry series, the Elites all finish mostly happily – if they were lucky enough to survive – and it’s a sweet ending, full circle all the way.