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.
I absolutely loved the Legend trilogy so I was excited to dive into Marie Lu’s latest trilogy and it didn’t disappoint. I couldn’t put this book down. This novel is told in three point of views but Adelina’s point of view is the only one told in first person narration, which I enjoyed because her mind is a very interesting place. Going into this novel I knew that it was about a villain and yet I struggled to see Adelina as a villain and instead saw her as a victim of her circumstances. She definitely has some questionable morals and a dark power that can’t seem to be controlled but I’m not sure I believe that means Adelina is a bad person, which is what I love about this book. Even though Lu tells us Adelina’s a villain, Lu has developed this character so well that I still find myself asking, But is she?
Besides Adelina, Raffaele is my favorite character. Teren annoyed me but I liked having his perspective and honestly I had very mixed feelings about Enzo, which I won’t go into because I don’t want to spoil it. I will say there is a bit of romance in the novel but it’s definitely very minimal and not at all a driving force in this novel, which I found very interesting, in comparison to the Legend trilogy. It’s clear this series is very much about the characters own personal journeys about what constitutes as right or wrong.
For Teren that comes with his religious beliefs, for Adelina it’s choosing between fighting the darkness inside her or embracing it, and for Enzo it’s the question of how far he’s willing to go to take back what’s rightfully his. I really liked how complicated these characters were and how I never knew who I wanted to root for because they’re all so flawed. That’s why Raffaele is my favorite. He’s the least problematic character in this novel to be honest.
Overall, I was really drawn into this story and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. I’m really interested to see where Lu takes this story. In most novels you typically want to see the villain defeated but I don’t want a bad end for Adelina. I’m not sure if a happy ending is possible for her but I kind of want it anyway.
Have you read The Young Elites? Let me know you thoughts about it in the comments below.
“Be true to yourself. But that’s something everyone says and no one means. No one wants you to be yourself. They want you to be the version of yourself that they like.”