The Young Elites – Marie Lu


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 Rating: 5 Stars

Well, Marie Lu has done it again. Her Legend series is one of my all time favorites – I re-read it frequently. Unless this series goes downhill quickly, I am going to need to clear up some space on my favorites shelf. While I do prefer to review books written from multiple perspectives by character, I think that the main focus of this book was Adelina, so I’m going to write about just her.

It has always been my opinion that the best villains have rich backstories and a slow decline into evil. I LOVED that Marie Lu chose to write this series from the villain’s perspective – and that she made her into a likable character that I really found myself connecting to. When Adelina and her sister were young children, the blood fever swept through their kingdom, killing adults and “marking” children. Some children merely developed abnormal eye or hair colors, some, like Adelina, were scarred, and a lucky few, developed powers. Her whole life, Adelina’s father has treated her differently because of her scars. Having a daughter affected by the blood fever has affected his business as a merchant, as his daughter is considered to be bad luck. Because of this, and the fact that her mother passed during the fever, Adelina does not have an easy childhood. While trying to escape her father one night, Adelina’s powers suddenly make an appearance and he is accidentally killed.

This book begins with Adelina awaiting her execution for the murder of her father. Before she is burned alive, by Teren, the Young Elites, a group with powers, save her and take her to one of their safe houses. As the book progresses, Adelina learns more about her abilities and while the nature of her powers isn’t necessarily dark, the way that she accesses them through fear is. All Adelina  wants is to be accepted instead of used by those closest to her.

I think what I was most impressed with, was the fact that I found myself wholly on Adelina’s side – I absolutely understood why she felt the way she did and just wanted for her to find a way to quell the darkness inside her. While I enjoyed the Young Elites as secondary characters, and really wish that things with Enzo had happened differently, I never felt as attached to them as I did to Adelina.

For my fellow lovers of romance: there is romance in this series, but it isn’t at all a typical romance. While I generally have a harder time getting into a book that doesn’t have a strong love interest from the get go, I found myself flying through this book and was not at all disappointed that the romantic portions of the story maybe only took up 1/8 of the book. Considering how the book ended, I’m not sure how much romance will be present in the final two books of the series, but I look forward to seeing where Marie Lu takes Adelina.

My Takeaway: If you enjoyed Marie Lu’s Legend series, you will love this book. It was easy to slip back into her writing style and I honestly felt that she created a more engaging world in this series. I’ve already started The Rose Society and plan to have a review for it posted by the end of this week!

2 thoughts on “The Young Elites – Marie Lu

  1. I haven’t read Marie Lu’s Legend series, but I’m getting more and more excited about this one. The whole concept of having a villain as the main character is so original and interesting and seems like something I’d definitely enjoy. I think I’ll get the books & wait until I have time to binge-read the three books together, bc this seems like the kind of series that’s totally suitable for that.

    Great review!
    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques


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