The White Rose is the second book in Amy Ewing's Lone City trilogy, and it picks up directly where The Jewel left off: with Garnet promising to get Violet out of The Jewel. In quick succession, a character gets killed, to show how Serious things are, and then the escape attempt is made, with a rescue and meeting or two along the way. Over the course of the book, Violet learns why she is so important to Lucien's plot, what the Auguries really are--or are supposed to be--and about a rebellion brewing within the walls of the Lone City.
This book did not thrill me, and I don't think I'll be picking up the third one. First, Ash continues to be a prominent character, and I was so, so hoping he was going to get killed off. Meanwhile, the characters who seem to offer the most promise--aka Garnet and Raven--are sidelined, and are made out to be some "aw, how cute" side romance (though nothing really develops between them in this book). I would much rather read about Garnet and Raven than Violet and Ash, who are both incredibly boring. The magic system is ultimately nothing new, and isn't even really presented in an interesting way. I love elemental magic, but this feels like Ewing just got sick of the Auguries (which were interesting) and decided to replace them with something else, so she just stuck in elemental magic for kicks. Violet also reads some documents explicitly stating that the Lone City has not always been there, and that there are other lands, and yet...this doesn't seem to pique her interest at all. This is so confusing, because certainly if things are so bad, it might just be better to leave?
There's also a "plot twist" at the end that really didn't seem very twisty at all to me. It's become such a trope in these YA dystopian novels that the siblings become used as tools against each other, and honestly, I'm so over it that I was completely emotionally unaffected by this turn of events at the end of the book. It just feels like a story that had a lot of promise, and then immediately ditched all of that promise to become a run-of-the-mill dystopian. It's pretty easy to see where the third book is going to go from here, and consequently I don't really see a need to read it.
2 stars out of 5.