Yay! Finished a book on my TBR!
This review is not going to contain many spoilers. But if there are then I will warn you beforehand.
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Genre: Fantasy/Dystopian/Young Adult
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Recommended Age: 13 and up
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.
Wow. Marie Lu really gets darker and sexier with this book!
This isn’t as much of a Dystopian novel as I had believed before I read the book. It is more of a dark fantasy world with magic, complex villains and characters, and a prince looking to reclaim his throne. Plus people trying to get over a blood fever that has long since swept through their land. And this is unbelievably good.
I loved Adelina. Well, now I do.
When I first started reading this book, I was a little wary of Adelina. I thought she was going to be one of those whiny, heroines who was a little dark but a little bit helpless. Boy, was I wrong!
“I am Adelina Amouteru. I belong to no one. On this night, I swear to you that I will rise above everything you’ve ever taught me. I will become a force that this world has never known. I will come into such power that none will dare hurt me again.”
If this quote doesn’t prove it then I’m not sure what will. Adelina has spent most of her life being abused and wronged by her father. And she also has a complex relationship with her younger sister. Don’t get me wrong, she loves her but is constantly jealous of her father’s love towards her. When she unleashes her magic, all hell breaks loose.
The Young Elites Enter the Picture
The Young Elites are a group of people who have powers and are trying to get control of the throne.
I love most of the characters in this book. Even the crazy, evil, manipulative ones.
This book has many elements that I have grown to love. A light romance Not too much though not too little. (well, there is this one scene… SPOILER AHEAD)
“He places a gloved hand against the small of my back and stops me. I stand still for a moment, trembling in his grasp. Rain shines on his lashes. His other hand tilts my chin up. I only have time to glance once at his face before he brings his lips down to mine. Then he’s kissing me, really kissing, reaching deep down for more...He pins me to the damp wall, so that his body is pressed solidly against mine. In this moment, I can’t seem to remember anything. I push myself up on my toes and wrap my arms around his neck...My hand slides from the back of his neck to the part of his throat exposed by his shirt...He takes my hand, pulls it away from his skin and pins it firmly to the wall over my head. His kisses wander down to my neck…”
And yeah...I did skip some but oh gosh. I could take lessons from Marie Lu on how to write kissing scenes.
There’s also a dark, physically scarring main character, beautiful friendships (well….), a couple complex ‘villains’ and a plot to take over the kingdom.
Back to The Young Elites. They are lead by this handsome stranger named Enzo.
“An instant later, I realize I recognize his eyes-dark as midnight, with thick lashes. This is my mysterious stranger. Now, instead of wearing that silver mask and his hooded robes, he’s clad in finely spun linen and a black velvet doublet trimmed with gold, clothing exquisite enough to belong to the wealthiest aristocrats. he’s tall. He has the warm brown skin of northern Kenettrans, and his cheekbones are high, his face narrow and beautiful. But his hair holds my attention the most. It looks dark red in the light, so dark it’s almost black, a rich shade of blood…”
Ugh, why so many handsome people in this book….
The setting is also done really amazingly. You can really believe it exists and you can be utterly immersed in this book.
I love the characters so much as I have said before.
Adelina is a total heroine. Well, she is supposed to be a heroine but I have a feeling that’s not going to work so well in the next book considering all she’s been through in this book.
She doesn’t wait for someone else to do her dirty work. Instead she carries it out herself. No matter how terrible.
“I will take back my throne soon,” Enzo whispers. “And malfettos will no longer live in fear.”
He’s ready to get what he wants but he doesn’t want to hurt innocents no matter how much torture they have put him through. But he will do a lot of things to get it back. Including hurting Adelina. And their romance (Is it one?) is so darkly seductive and beautiful. Even though he does things like this: (SPOILER AHEAD)
“She is nothing to me,” he snaps with a careless gesture of one hand. “Nothing more than a Dagger recruit. Just part of our plans.” The ice in his voice hits me hard.
Don’t you dare mess with him or his friends though. You’ll get it.
Then there’s Torin.
Oh god. Yes, I know he’s supposed to be the bad guy but he’s hella hot. And I think he could be good if someone gives him a chance.
He kneels on the floor. Lifts the whip. Holds his breath. Then he snaps the whip over his head. The blades rake deep into the flesh of his back, ripping jagged lines across his skin. He lets out a strangled gasp as pain floods him, robbing him of his breath.
I am a deformed creature, he mouths silently, repeating the words he once said as a twelve-year-old boy, an Inquisitor in-training, kneeling before the sixteen-year-old Princess Giulietta
And he’s very misunderstood. You don’t really understand that he has problems of his own until later on.
And the fights are awesome. They are described very well and you can seriously feel the pain of the people who are in it.
Overall I loved this book and you should NOT be surprised when I have it on a later TBR next year.