I have been waiting for this book to come out ever since the buzz caught my eye over at Deviant Art. So many concept drawings and excitement really piqued my interest. A huge fan of fantasy, I was so excited when the book finally dropped.
Let me just say that Mary Lu's world building, much like her Legend series, is phenomenal. The story is breathtaking in its pace and exploration of emotional treachery.
Here's what Goodreads has to say...
"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.
Marie Lu, author of The Legend Trilogy, uses her fertile mind and mighty pen to create a dark story in The Young Elites.
Set in a fantasy realm filled with intriguing villains, magic, and betrayal, this book is by far one of the most intense stories I’ve read in the YA Fantasy genre.
Adelina Amouteru’s world barely survived a devastating fever that left strange markings and mysterious powers on those that lived. Adelina is scarred and because of that is considered by her family and those around her as one who brings misfortune. What she finds out, however, is much worse when she discovers that there is something very different about her.
Thrust into a situation where she cannot trust anyone and one misstep will mean her own death, she struggles to make her way in a world that seems to have no good guys at all. Striving to understand her own dark impulses and the rules of a game where she is the pawn, Adelina is a memorable and haunting character that will stay with you long after the last page.
Some story elements are very dark and the situations the young characters must deal with are disturbing, but I believe that contributes to the tension Marie Lu uses to keep the story so intense. Because of the content, I would recommend the book for older teens to adults.
Mary Lu gifts us a wonderfully created world with riveting characters, this book is a killer start to what looks to be a promising series.
I give it 4.5 stars out of 5.
By +Raquel Byrnes