The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Summary: 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.

My Review: After reading Marie Lu’s Legend Trilogy, I was excited that she is writing another series and instead of writing another dystopian novel, she goes for the high fantasy genre, and I am impressed with what she has written so far. She also explains that this series is  a journey from hero to villain.

Adelina is what I wanted Cealena from Throne of Glass to be. While she does start off as a protagonist I like that she always had a dark side to her, especially after what her father does to her. I feel that her only center is her sister Violetta, and how she has to do whatever it takes to protect even if that means working for Teren and reporting the activities of the Young Elites to him. As the book goes on you see her decent into darkness after what happens to her, and you really feel for her after all the things she does.

I think Enzo and Teren should have been a bit more developed. I know they had a few POV chapters, but I would have like to have seen more from them and also develop the other Young Elite members.

I also felt the book started off a little slow, and I know it is high fantasy so the world building does take time to adjust, but once the story actually picks up, then the book starts becoming good. Seeing some of the abilities that the Young Elites have and seeing how sometimes emotions can tie into their powers. If I were to describe the story it would be Xmen set within a high fantasy universe.

In the end I think this was a strong start to hopefully a good series and that Marie Lu doesn’t disappoint.

Grade: 3.9/5

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