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Friday, October 17, 2014

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

368 pages, YA Fantasy
The Young Elites #1
My Rating: 4 Stars


I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. 

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen. 

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

My 2 cents

This was an awesome fantasy read! I was so looking forward to this new book by Marie Lu, as I loved The Legend series. I was afraid I'd be comparing it to Legend the whole time, but I shouldn't have worried! The story kept me more than engaged and everything else fell away!

The thing that stands out about this book is the MC, Adelina, is actually not really the hero of the story. She definitely tries to be, but she's more the villain than anything else. Not through her own fault, more as a victim of circumstance. She is raised by a cruel father and deep down believes him when he says she is worthless.

When her powers finally start to emerge, she tries to join the "good guys" but is soon stuck between a battle between two young men--Enzo, the former crown prince and leader of the Dagger Society, and Teren, the head of the Inquisitors. Both are at cross purposes, and they both use Adelina to fight their battles.

I found this dynamic to be the best part of the story. There is no love triangle here--Adelina is realistic and can read what's really going on. But all three of these characters were so intriguing. They each thought they were doing the right thing, but they all are flawed characters. 

The rest of the characters mostly faded into the background. We really didn't get to know any of them very well. I'm hoping we learn more in upcoming books. 

The setting, the world building, and the basic plot itself were very well done. I was totally sucked into this world. Overall, this was a very good fantasy. Fans of Throne of Glass and Graceling will enjoy this one!

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