The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Published October 7, 2014 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genres Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic
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 turned pale and 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 Elite. 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 them all. Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of the 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 to 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, it is my turn to hurt.
Long synopsis, I know. So when we first meet Adelina, she is still living at home with her abusive father and her sister, Violetta. When she overhears her father one evening, basically selling her a mistress to an unknown man, she decides she will run away. Her father comes after her, which results in the first time she realizes she possesses powers. The Inquisition catches up to her and arrests her, putting her in jail to await her execution. The day of her execution her powers manifest themselves again and to her surprise, the Dagger Society saves her from being burned on an iron stake. She awakes days later in an unfamiliar building where she beings to understand not only who the Dagger Society is, but who the Young Elites are, what their mission is and how to gain control of her own powers. As her training progresses, she learns a great deal about herself and her abilities and feels herself drawn more and more to Enzo. When another problem occurs, she must decide who she is loyal to and who she trusts.
This is the first book I have read by the author, Marie Lu, and I wish I had picked it up sooner because I loved it. The world building is amazing and this also had an Ancient Rome feel to it between the elaborate descriptions of the character’s clothing and appearances to the descriptions of the buildings within the city of Kenettra. It sounded so beautiful, with the gondolas in the canals, the balconies and everyone dressed in flowing silk robes and gowns. I also enjoyed all of the main characters but especially Adelina, Enzo and Raffaele. The book is told from mainly from Adelina’s perspective but it also switches to Teren’s, Enzo’s and Raffaele’s perspective throughout the book, so it gives you a few different views of what is going on during the book. Teren’s perspective was interesting because we get a point of view from the other side. I really liked Adelina; it’s nice to have a main character in a YA fantasy book who isn’t perfectly beautiful and also struggles with dealing with some of the trauma from her past. Without giving away any spoilers, I also thought the romantic scenes were quite well done throughout the book as well. I was a bit surprised by the way this book ended, it’s not what I was expecting at all. However, as soon as I realized I loved this book, I ordered the second book, The Rose Society so as soon as finished reading The Young Elites, I immediately started The Rose Society. Overall I really liked this book and I wish I had read not only this series, but anything by Marie Lu sooner. Happy reading!