The Young Elites by Marie LuThe Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Young Elites

byMarie Lu

Paperback | August 25, 2015

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An explosive new series from New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy, Marie Lu  
 
Darth Vader, Voldemort, Maleficent. Witness the rise of a new villain.

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.


Books in the series:

The Young Elites (The First Book of The Young Elites)
The Rose Society (The Second Book of The Young Elites)
Marie Lu (www.marielu.org) is the author of the New York Times bestselling Legend series. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry, working for Disney Interactive Studios as a Flash artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin’s Cree...
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Title:The Young ElitesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8.25 × 5.44 × 0.98 inPublished:August 25, 2015Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0147511682

ISBN - 13:9780147511683

Customer Reviews of The Young Elites

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME are you tired of reading books featuring the hero-who-is-destined-to-save-all? do you want to read about the villain instead? or a group of dangerous superhumans? if yes to any, then the young elites is a great book for you. marie lu challenges herself by writing adelina, not your every-YA-novel heroine. she's got a vendetta of her own, and that is the only the beginning of a wild ride of a trilogy.
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from yes Such an inspiring and interesting read, simply could not put it down! Great job!
Date published: 2017-09-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from eh Wasn't too thrilled but felt that it was a good start
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from glad i read it i originally wanted to read the legend series before starting this, but i'm happy i read this first (read legend if you haven't yet!! just as good as the young elites trilogy) adelina's character was well described and her development from a naive young lady to a teenager who's seen and experienced the real world was well paced. i had to re-read the ending over and over because i couldn't believe what had happened! this book is definitely worth your money.
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good! Going into The Young Elites I wasn't too sure what to expect. At best, probably a better than average story about teens with powers, considering it's written by Marie Lu. Instead I got a book that was a hell of a lot more dark and grim than I could have anticipated. And I loved it all. A basic background of this story is that there was a blood fever that swept the country and either killed you, or if you were young, left you with strange markings. In extreme cases, some children were even left with mysterious powers. They came to be known as the Young Elites. The best thing about The Young Elites is that no single character is all good or all bad. I can't think of anyone who hadn't done something questionable and had me wondering if I could trust them, or even like them. Adelina Amouteru is the epitome of this. On one hand, she wants nothing more than to save herself and her sister from the Inquisition, those who seek out malfettos, or marked ones, considered to be dangerous abominations. On the other, Adelina is tired of being afraid and abused. She has a darkness inside her that threatens to dominate everything, and she's not so sure that's a bad thing. Enzo Valenciano is similar in that he wants malfettos to rise and demand respect from those who have made them suffer but his means to do so are bloody and ruthless. It's this battle with darkness that made this book so enjoyable for me. There's something about dark books that just reel me in. They play with my emotions and have me questioning everything that is written. There's no way the characters can be considered "good" people but there are relatable moments that demand sympathy, or at least empathy. Without a doubt, lots of feelings are involved. I wouldn't go into this book expecting a standard fantasy/paranormal. Granted, there are some tropes here, but it's a step up from most. The conclusion left me with a ton of questions and a couple ideas as to where the story is headed, so I'll eagerly be anticipating the sequels.
Date published: 2017-08-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Young Elites Not as blown away by this one as her previous books but the darkness of the characters is definitely intriguing
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SO AMAZING!!! The young elites is honestly one of my favourite books ever. It is such an amazing book, and the characters are amazing! Plus, the main character is not cliche at all. Very unexpected!
Date published: 2017-08-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Doesn't compare to Legend I adore the Legend series, but I just couldn't get into this one. It's a lot slower than the Legend series, and I wasn't able to get into it. However, I did like the fact that Adelina isn't the typical protagonist, and is quite the anti-hero.
Date published: 2017-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Different Perspective Action, the supernatural and adventure in an environment different from many other popular teen novels released. I loved how the main character battles not only with others, but with her own morality. She struggles to choose between good and evil, contrary to many other literary protagonists. Absolutely recommend it to anyone.
Date published: 2017-07-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Anti heroes I liked how Adelina's character was explored.
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE I loved it! I loved Adelina & how things just go horribly wrong by the end of the book!!
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating book My friend recommended this to me and this book was amazing. The powers in this book are different than other books and this book is very suspenseful.
Date published: 2017-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book was amazing! The concept is unique and the powers are different.
Date published: 2017-04-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good This was my first Marie Lu novel. I didn't really get into this book until half way through, but once I did I quite enjoyed the world and characters. I wished their could have been more interactions between Adelina and the other elites though. I didn't really care for certain events that took place in the ending of this novel, but I'm definitely going to be continuing with this trilogy to find out how it ends.
Date published: 2017-03-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from More than disappointing I had decent expectations for this novel. I was promised a badass heroine with nice powers and some decent storytelling. I didn't expect the best YA I've ever read, but I didn't expect it to be so bad. DNF around 40% and skimmed through it for the rest (so I know the ending and the major events). What I expected vs what I got Adelina : Anti-hero who has a lot of anger and bitterness towards an unloving and unfair world. (A bit like a debut Magneto or Malcom X). What I got was a whimpy protagonist who is bewildered by how pretty she can be and how pretty the dresses are (yada yada yada...) My initial feelings were mixed as she didn't seem like such a bad character: I could see the reasons behind her "dark" side. But about 30 pages later, the author keeps telling me how "dark" she is, but she never showed it to me. The writing/overall feel of the novel: I expected something well-written. Not some melodramatic sentences thrown here and there to try and make me feel as if it's badass. It's not. Not when the pacing is wrong (I'll come back to it in a second) and the writing feels tacky. The pacing/story: I started reading this novel thinking I would love it. I adore stories with "a group of people got strange powers through a plague/mutation" prompt. It's fun and it can lead to some nice storytelling. Well, not here apparently. In around 50 pages, major events come around for Adelina and it felt rushed. I can understand, the authors often has a grand detailed idea and it's difficult to pace it. But here, it just feels flat. You don't really have the time to like the characters that you're supposed to weep for them. Oh and a quick point about the "romance" there. It felt flat and forced and I didn't care shit for Enzo and when Adelina was suddenly blushing because he put his hands on her shoulder, it felt forced and unprecedented. Like : "oh here's your romantic interest that you have absolutely no chemistry with." The only character who seemed to have a bit of depth was Raphaele, whom I would have liked to know more than how pretty he was and how he was dressed. Basically, I didn't bother with this book. Maybe I would have loved it a couple of years ago, but now, I expect more than mediocre writing. Gotta give a thumbs up for the concept though.
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark books are my favourite books The story is so dark I loved it. It honestly captured my intention so instantly. Adelina's character was refreshing and intriguing as she was hell-bent on getting revenge. With a world full of magic, a unique cast of characters, and action packed scenes, this book was truly amazing. Adelina is a complex character that is truly a sight for readers as we get to see her transformation. She faces hurdle after hurdle. The challenges just doesn't stop thus ultimately creating this dark bloodthirsty revengeful character.
Date published: 2017-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nothing But Love This book was dark, let me tell you that. Adelina Amouteru is officially my favourite character
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mixed feelings When I heard that Marie Lu had released another book I could not wait to read it. I am going to be quite frank with you guys; I'm not so sure I liked it. I thought it was pretty hard to really get into it and when I did get into the book, it was barely the end. The ending is very good and I love the chemistry between the two principal characters, but I don't think I am ever going to be buying the sequel though. I'm quite disappointed with the book. I had such great expectations since I absolutely loved the Legend series and I am really sad to say that it wasn't up to my expectations at all. Now don't get me wrong, it isn't a bad book. I just got a bit disappointed with it, but overall, it is a good book.
Date published: 2017-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love it This is a really good book. Marie Lu's writings are so engaging and gripping. It's refreshing to read from the perspective of a character that has her mind set on revenge.
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh I have read a lot of books in the fantasy/fiction genre and this is one at the bottom of my favourites. There is no emotional connection to the characters that I can grasp. I truly went into this series with an open mind, as I do with all books. The climax points in the book were not that exciting for me! :/
Date published: 2017-02-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Mixed When I first picked up this book, I was so excited. I heard great things about Marie Lu and this was the first book of hers that I started reading. But the closer to the ending I got, the less I liked the story. It was unlike anything I had ever read before. I love the world, but I wish that the story was different. I liked all the characters (except the really aggressive members in The Dagger Society *cough* Dante *cough*), but there was no REAL connection to any of them; and when Adelina Amouteru decided she would try to save her sister on her own, I knew that she would ruin the Guild. I became really stressed. I loved the whole blood fever plague and how not many lived to become malfettos, but I couldn't see why malfettos were treated like second class citizens - sure they had horrible scars from the day that the blood fever almost killed them, but for surviving such a terrible sickness (and discovering special powers) should be celebrated, not feared. I think the malfettos are so beautiful despite their physical imperfections! Another thing that I disliked was the villain transition that Adelina went through : it was forced and felt unnatural to the character. The ending was all over the place. I would not recommend this series to a friend.
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING love love love seeing the villains transformation, from good to revenge. you feel the hurt and anger an pain the whole time. a sweeping breathtaking story. i could not put this down. marie lu is an absolute artist.
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good The Young Elites was good in my opinion, but not great. I definitely had high expectations for this one, after Marie Lu blew me away with her Legend trilogy. The premise and world building within this novel were fantastic, but I didn't feel a true connection to the characters, and was a little let down with the ending. I hope I'll enjoy the second book more!
Date published: 2017-01-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great I picked it up because it was Marie Lu, and she did not disappoint with her awesome world-building. The characters are all very interesting. 9/10.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good New and exciting. A good way to start off a new series.
Date published: 2016-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unique! Loved the perspective of the story
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Uninteresting It was very difficult to follow through with this book and I did not develop a connection with the characters.
Date published: 2016-12-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pulling No Punches Wow. When Lu said she was setting out to write the villain's story, she wasn't kidding. There is literally no way this is going to end well. Yet I am completely emotionally invested, even though I know my heart is going to be/already has been trampled on (and is it wrong to be rooting for her when you know she's gonna end up an evil overlord?) I am so conflicted and hurt and invested and this is only book one. Seriously, the series is going to kill me. Points off for times when I felt like Adelina was crossing the line from wounded misunderstood protagonist to whiny self-obsessed/entitled child, or the distinct lack of world building that left me a bit confused and unsatisfied. I mean, there is a lot of name dropping (although it doesn't mean much, because you don't actually KNOW any of the names) and vague references to world details, but I was confused often enough that it began to annoy me. While it was incredibly emotionally investing, I feel like more could have been done towards the plot and the setting to strengthen it. I'm hoping more of that comes through in the next book. Overall, super pleased, and heartbroken, and amazed, and, while there are definitely things to improve on in the next book, I have every confidence in this series and I can't wait to have my heart properly put through a meat grinder with the next two books.
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Start to a Good Series I loved this book, it was new and exciting. It is a great start to a great trilogy.
Date published: 2016-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark, but fascinating The overall story was a bit dark, but it was very good and I enjoyed it a lot.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Hyped Up I was disappointed in this book. I have't ready anything by Marie Lu, so I didn't have Legend to compare it to. I honestly just didn't like it. I thought the main character was selfish and immature (yes I know it is a YA book, but she makes decisions ALL THE TIME without thinking of the consequences). The book has a lot of potential and I liked the concept behind the story, I just couldn't connect with the main character.
Date published: 2016-12-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good The prose were a little wanting, but a good story overall.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Action-packed This was a super fun book and I breezed through it. The writing was simple and yet conveyed very strong thoughts and emotions. I didn't know that Adelina was supposed to be a 'villian' until the end of the book. But it was oh so good. It was cool to read from her point of view. Great book!
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Darkness Awakens Never have I read such a dark and brooding series of books. It was refreshing and scary to be in such a mind set with the main character. It brings out the darkness and pulls you in.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Darkly Amazing Some of the most unique characters I've ever come across! This world, as well as the world in her Legend trilogy, is so intriguing. I love dark books and this one certainly has some dark elements in it that only add to bring the characters to life. Each character is different and the dynamic they have when interacting with each other is amazing.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MY FAVE This is a unique series with the villain as the main character and its's so interesting and I just love Marie Lu's writings. She writes fast-paced, plot-twisting stories that really pulls at the heartstrings. I love it.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Its a villains origin story! There that should of sold you! It has a unique cast of characters and magical system. The main character although not a hero, you cannot help but side with her at times. Its a page turner for sure. I was not able to put it down and I finished it in two nights. So yes do yourself a favour and pick this up! Also Marie Lu is genius so go read all her books!
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Page Turner I absolutely loved this book and it is my all time favourite. It was the first Marie Lu book that I read, and after I read her other book, it couldn't compare. It was intense, and frustrating because there were so many plot twists. The characters were amazing. The protagonist was so dark. It definitely played with my emotions and made my whole vision of novels change. I recommended it to my friend and she loved it just as much. It is a must read!
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not What You Expect Well, this was definitely not what I was expecting to read. That said, I remember why I love Marie Lu. She's not shy about putting her characters through emotional and physical hell. She's not scared to break the mould and create a brand new world with intense characters, dangerous stakes, and a thousand twists you won't see coming. Right from the get-go, we're thrust into the dark life of Adelina Amouteru. Immediately you know she's not your typical heroine. She's not traditionally beautiful and has a devastating dark power–– a power that gets her the attention of the rebels of the Daggers Society. I was captivated by this book and am so excited about what comes next. The world is incredible and detailed, the action is intense, and I love how things just keep going wrong. Maybe that's sadistic of me, but I enjoyed it (the ending aside). As mentioned, the characters are unique. Adelina is temperamental and dangerous and while she's the main character, I can't help but wonder if we're seeing the rise of a villain? Watching her lose control of her powers is thrilling, and seeing what it costs her is devastating, especially at the end which takes a major twist. The side characters are complex and diverse, especially Enzo and Raffaele. Teren, wicked as he was, is also a very interesting character to watch. The whole story was dark and deadly and exciting. I'm aching to see what happens next!
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Like all of Marie Lu's books, I really enjoyed this one. It was exciting and charismatic, with an excellent cast of characters and a riveting plot. Adelina's anger and (what I read as) C-PTSD felt so, so real. It was hard to read about the abuse she endured, and I loved how she lashed out at the world for it, it rang true with me. Enzo was delightful and dark and just the right touch of mysterious. The relationship between Violetta and Adelina was perfect, a sisterly mix of complicated, sneering, and loving. I can't wait to read the rest of this trilogy, and then binge-re-read the whole thing in the future.
Date published: 2016-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Marie lu for the win I've read all of Marie Lu's book but this is my favourite one
Date published: 2015-10-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing I love dark books, I find them intriguing and this one was no exception. I didn't realize it until the end but this book is written from the point of view as a villain. If this story was told by any other person we would have had no doubt Adelina was a villain but with Adelina telling the story we can see how she sees the world and how she isn't a true villain she is just trying to get by with the crappy had life has dealt her. Another interesting thing about this story is how it focuses a lot on Adelina's internal struggles and as a result of this there isn't a lot of character development outside of the main characters which was a little annoying but I still like the way the book was written. All in all I loved it and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Kelley Armstrong's Sea of Shadows.
Date published: 2015-10-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The young elites Really enjoyed this book! Exciting read, and beautifully written! The story reads fast paced with intesity and interesting charcters.
Date published: 2015-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from crazy amazing! This book kept me on the edge of my seat through the whole thing! I think I've felt every emotion possible in the two days it took me to finish this. An emotional rollercoaster for sure, but an enjoyable one. This book is amazing, and refreshing! I recommend it to everyone who enjoys a little suspense in their lives!
Date published: 2015-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating ATTENTION FANTASY FANS! Do you want a book tht will draw you in and hold you captive with its beautiful characters and shattering journey? Then The Young Elites is the book for you! The character developement is thought out astoundingly but hits you all at once. The story is heart breaking and heartmending. An amazing read.
Date published: 2015-02-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A thrilling new read When I first heard about a new book from Marie Lu, I HAD TO read it. I loved Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy and I was read her next work. And I am super glad to be able to say that The Young Elites does not disappoint. A decade ago, an illness spread through Adelina’s world, and many lives were lost. Those of the infected who survived are now showing strange symptoms. Adelina’s hair has turned silver and she has a jagged scar where her left eye used to be. To top it all off, her father believes shes a malfetto, an abomination. But young people exhibiting strange symptoms after surviving the plague are now rumoured to have strange gifts and there’s a secret society of them called The Young Elites. I honestly loved Adelina, she’s strong, tough, and she grows so much throughout the novel. I don’t want to give anything away about that so that’s all I’m going to say. I also loved Adelina’s family life, and seeing how her early childhood heavily influenced her later in life was awesome. I loved reading her interaction with The Young Elites, and seeing how they influenced her heavily. Enzo, the leader of the Elites, was also just a delight to read about. The world-building of The Young Elites was just fantastic, and compared to most fantasy novels I’ve read, the world wasn’t hard to comprehend which made it a delight to read. The plot was fast-paced at times, and sometimes a little slow, but overall everything felt smoothly and quickly. Overall, The Young Elites is a fantastic novel by a fantastic author. The main character was fantastic, the romance was indeed very swoony and the world-building was great but not too confusing to read. I recommend this one for fans looking for an intricately-written and character driven novel.
Date published: 2015-02-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting A quick read. I wasn't fond of the layout though. Although I was interested to see what happened, I found few of the characters likable. The main character was particularly annoying for me.
Date published: 2015-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Marie Lu does it again! When I first heard about a new book from Marie Lu, I HAD TO read it. I loved Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy and I was read her next work. And I am super glad to be able to say that The Young Elites does not disappoint. A decade ago, an illness spread through Adelina’s world, and many lives were lost. Those of the infected who survived are now showing strange symptoms. Adelina’s hair has turned silver and she has a jagged scar where her left eye used to be. To top it all off, her father believes shes a malfetto, an abomination. But young people exhibiting strange symptoms after surviving the plague are now rumoured to have strange gifts and there’s a secret society of them called The Young Elites. I honestly loved Adelina, she’s strong, tough, and she grows so much throughout the novel. I don’t want to give anything away about that so that’s all I’m going to say. I also loved Adelina’s family life, and seeing how her early childhood heavily influenced her later in life was awesome. I loved reading her interaction with The Young Elites, and seeing how they influenced her heavily. Enzo, the leader of the Elites, was also just a delight to read about. The world-building of The Young Elites was just fantastic, and compared to most fantasy novels I’ve read, the world wasn’t hard to comprehend which made it a delight to read. The plot was fast-paced at times, and sometimes a little slow, but overall everything felt smoothly and quickly. Overall, The Young Elites is a fantastic novel by a fantastic author. The main character was fantastic, the romance was indeed very swoony and the world-building was great but not too confusing to read. I recommend this one for fans looking for an intricately-written and character driven novel.
Date published: 2015-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from EPIC I was recommended this book on Goodreads by a friend, and it was probably the best thing that has ever happened to me. No, maybe the second, cause the first best thing will be when the next book comes out. If you love fantasy, and just general awesomeness than you need to read this book. It follows a 16 year old girl names Adelina who was one of the many who were affected by the blood fever. Now known as Malfettos who are believed to be gods of the underworld and possess demonic powers, most fear them and are continuously being put to death for being deformed or believed to be a part of the Malfetto society of Young Elites. Adelina believes even though she has the markings and is labelled a malfetto that she does not possess the power of the young elites, until she is provoked and her life in jeopardy do her powers make an appearance. This leads The Young Elites to recruit her as one of their own. With unknown loyalties and a budding romance, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat through all the action and final cliffhanger that will leave you wanting more. This is my first book by Marie Lu and it surely won't be my last. I'll be counting down the days until the second book is released.
Date published: 2014-11-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Darkly Sinister "The Young Elites" by Marie Lu blends the darkly paranormal and a tragic romance into a fantasy that begins in the politically unstable atmosphere of Kenettra where some malfettos the survivors of a ravaging fever have been left with strange markings and powerful abilities. Adelina Amouteru is one of the disfgured with her silver hair, pale lashes and a scar where her eye used to be. Unlike her sister Violetta, an innocent and beautiful fourteen year old who's considered a valuable investment to their father, Adelina is spurned and abused. When their father is killed and Adelina is arrested for murder by the leader of the Inquisitors, a fanatic who wants to see all malfettos disposed of, little does she expect to be rescued from a fiery death by Enzo Valenciano, a member of the Dagger Society, a sect of rebellious Young Elites. What Enzo sees in Adelina is her bitterness and fear, a darkness so profound that she can create illusions that terrify anyone she attacks. Her power is so unique and so dangerous that some of the Elites fear her and want her dead. In this action-packed story Marie Lu sets the stage in Kenettra where the Queen believes her brother, the rightful king, a malfetto is dead. To stabilize the political atmosphere of the kingdom she has married a duke who's as unfaithful as he is a poor leader. To hide his ineptitude the royal court over the years has blamed the malfettos for any of their troubles and has used the power of the Inquisition Axis to persecute them. Where there's injustice rebellions arise but the Dagger Society is self-serving, protecting elite malfettos with powers they can use. The plot is dark and menacing as a power is being trained that is more dangerous than the Society or its leader could ever have imagined. Intrigue and suspense builds as events unfold in this intoxicating plot especially after Teren Santoro threatens Adelina with her sister's death if she doesn't reveal the identities of the Young Elites. But the romance blossoming between Adelina and Enzo at times seems manufactured. There's little chemistry between the two until he begins facing an uncertain future. Adelina draws closer to Raffaele, a consort at the Fortunata Court and her trainer until the truth undermining their relationship is revealed. Although the plot is incredibly dark, hopeless and menacing the characters draw you into the pathos and calamity that plagues the lives of the young Elites, Teren and Adelina. Enzo Valenciano is the hard, unforgiving princely assassin who burns with anger and vengeance. Yet underneath his aloofness and rebellion there is a vulnerability and guilt that few can understand. Adelina Amouteru haunted by abuse is a broken sixteen year old who yearns for love and acceptance, but to many in the Dagger Society is nothing more than a risky asset. In contrast her sister Violetta is an innocent hopeful young girl with a rosy temperament who masks her own secret. Teren Santaro the lead Inquisitor is a cold and confident murderer whose as secretive as he is vicious. All the characters in this story add to the drama, passion and power that keeps the reader riveted. Although as yet I can't say this is one of my favorite novels, it is well-written and mesmerizing and I intend to look for a future sequel.
Date published: 2014-11-01

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13 Juno, 1361City of DaliaSouthern KenettraThe Sealands * * * Some hate us, think us outlaws to hang at the gallows.Some fear us, think us demons to burn at the stake.Some worship us, think us children of the gods.But all know us.—Unknown source on the Young Elites  Adelina Amouteru I’m going to die tomorrow morning.That’s what the Inquisitors tell me, anyway, when they visit my cell. I’ve been in here for weeks—I know this only because I’ve been counting the number of times my meals come.One day. Two days.Four days. A week.Two weeks.Three.I stopped counting after that. The hours run together, an endless train of nothingness, filled with different slants of light and the shiver of cold, wet stone, the pieces of my sanity, the disjointed whispers of my thoughts.But tomorrow, my time ends. They’re going to burn me at the stake in the central market square, for all to see. The Inquisitors tell me a crowd has already begun to gather outside.I sit straight, the way I was always taught. My shoulders don’t touch the wall. It takes me a while to realize that I’m rocking back and forth, perhaps to stay sane, perhaps just to keep warm. I hum an old lullaby too, one my mother used to sing to me when I was very little. I do my best to imitate her voice, a sweet and delicate sound, but my notes come out cracked and hoarse, nothing like what I remember. I stop trying.It’s so damp down here. Water trickles from above my door and has painted a groove into the stone wall, discolored green and black with grime. My hair is matted, and my nails are caked with blood and dirt. I want to scrub them clean. Is it strange that all I can think about on my last day is how filthy I am? If my little sister were here, she’d murmur something reassuring and soak my hands in warm water.I can’t stop wondering if she’s okay. She hasn’t come to see me.I lower my head into my hands. How did I end up like this?But I know how, of course. It’s because I’m a murderer.* * * It happened several weeks earlier, on a stormy night at my father’s villa. I couldn’t sleep. Rain fell and lightning reflected off the window of my bedchamber. But even the storm couldn’t drown out the conversation from downstairs. My father and his guest were talking about me, of course. My father’s late-night conversations were always about me.I was the talk of my family’s eastern Dalia district. Adelina Amouteru? they all said. Oh, she’s one of those who survived the fever a decade ago. Poor thing. Her father will have a hard time marrying her off.No one meant because I wasn’t beautiful. I’m not being arrogant, only honest. My nursemaid once told me that any man who’d ever laid eyes on my late mother was now waiting curiously to see how her two daughters would blossom into women. My younger sister, Violetta, was only fourteen and already the budding image of perfection. Unlike me, Violetta had inherited our mother’s rosy temperament and innocent charm. She’d kiss my cheeks and laugh and twirl and dream. When we were very small, we’d sit together in the garden and she would braid periwinkles into my hair. I would sing to her. She would make up games.We loved each other, once.My father would bring Violetta jewels and watch her clap her hands in delight as he strung them around her neck. He would buy her exquisite dresses that arrived in port from the farthest ends of the world. He would tell her stories and kiss her good night. He would remind her how beautiful she was, how far she would raise our family’s standing with a good marriage, how she could attract princes and kings if she desired. Violetta already had a line of suitors eager to secure her hand, and my father would tell each of them to be patient, that they could not marry her until she turned seventeen. What a caring father, everyone thought.Of course, Violetta didn’t escape all of my father’s cruelty.He purposely bought her dresses that were tight and painful. He enjoyed seeing her feet bleed from the hard, jeweled shoes he encouraged her to wear.Still. He loved her, in his own way. It’s different, you see, because she was his investment.I was another story. Unlike my sister, blessed with shining black hair to complement her dark eyes and rich olive skin, I am flawed. And by flawed, I mean this: When I was four years old, the blood fever reached its peak and everyone in Kenettra barred their homes in a state of panic. No use. My mother, sister, and I all came down with the fever. You could always tell who was infected—strange, mottled patterns showed up on our skin, our hair and lashes flitted from one color to another, and pink, blood-tinged tears ran from our eyes. I still remember the smell of sickness in our house, the burn of brandy on my lips. My left eye became so swollen that a doctor had to remove it. He did it with a red-hot knife and a pair of burning tongs.So, yes. You could say I am flawed.Marked. A malfetto.While my sister emerged from the fever unscathed, I now have only a scar where my left eye used to be. While my sister’s hair remained a glossy black, the strands of my hair and lashes turned a strange, ever-shifting silver, so that in the sunlight they look close to white, like a winter moon, and in the dark they change to a deep gray, shimmering silk spun from metal.At least I fared better than Mother did. Mother, like every infected adult, died. I remember crying in her empty bedchamber each night, wishing the fever had taken Father instead.My father and his mysterious guest were still talking downstairs. My curiosity got the best of me and I swung my legs over the side of my bed, crept toward my chamber door on light feet, and opened it a crack. Dim candlelight illuminated the hall outside. Below, my father sat across from a tall, broad-shouldered man with graying hair at his temples, his hair tied back at the nape of his neck in a short, customary tail, the velvet of his coat shining black and orange in the light. My father’s coat was velvet too, but the material was worn thin. Before the blood fever crippled our country, his clothes would have been as luxurious as his guest’s. But now? It’s hard to keep good trade relations when you have a malfetto daughter tainting your family’s name.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Marie Lu’s The Young Elites:A New York Times bestseller!Five starred reviews!An Amazon Best Book of 2014 – Teen & Young Adult!An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2014!“By permitting her characters some grand failures, she raises the stakes in the best way possible…There is clearly more to know, and I look forward to it. This is a world worth revisiting.”—The New York Times Book Review“Lu pivots from the ‘coming of age via romance’ formula to pry apart the many emotions that pass under the rubric of love… There’s nothing easy here, for Adelina or readers—there are no safe places where the pressures of betrayal, death threats, and rejection aren’t felt.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review“Readers should prepare to be captivated—and to look forward to a continuation of the Young Elites series.”—Booklist, starred review“A must for fans of…totally immersive fantasies.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review“A Game of Thrones meets X-Men in this 14th-century fantasy from Marie Lu (the Legend trilogy), in a world where ‘fear is power.’ … The overriding epic fantasy will keep readers hooked for book two, which teases to be a game-changer. Bring it on.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review“The taut, tightly packed narrative provides an engaging mix of pulse-quickening fight scenes, heart-stopping near escapes, touching interpersonal interludes, and devastating betrayals.” —BCCB, starred review“Lu weaves her magic across the page as she unfolds the story of Adelina and the Young Elites. Nothing is as it is expected.”—VOYA“Lu seamlessly melds an unforgettable and intoxicating historical fantasy narrative with a strong female protagonist that grapples with an issue experienced by all young adults—acceptance of one’s self… Lu’s new series will be a surefire hit with old and new fans alike.”—School Library Journal