The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Publishing Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 368 pages
The Premise: In a Renaissance-fantasy setting, the story follows three characters: Adelina, Teren and Enzo. In their nation, a deadly illness has swept the lands leaving some children alive with strange markings and powers. These special children are called The Young Elites. Adelina who is one that has yet to discover the true power of her gift is hunted because these groups are looked down upon by the King and Queen. She joins Enzo, who is a member of the Dagger Society and he helps her hone in her skills as a Young Elite. Meanwhile, on the other side of it, there is Teren who is the leader Inquisitor for the King and he hunts the Young Elites, but there is something troubling about him as well. All three character's paths intersect at one point or another and it all comes down to navigating the true strength of these special gifts some children have, the relationships they all form together and why exactly Teren is so determined to destroy them all.
My overall thoughts and review: This was my first time reading anything by Marie Lu. I own the other series which she is mostly known for, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I went into this story, basically knowing nothing about it but except for the fact that it takes place in a Renaissance type setting which I was excited about. The notion of special gifts and those with special markings who survived the deadly illness is incredibly intriguing. I really enjoyed that Lu gave the reader three perspectives to follow from and three very different perspectives. You have Teren who is essentially ~the baddie~ who works for the King and Enzo, who is well, the opposite and is trying to bring justice for those like him with special gifts. Lastly, there is Adelina in the middle of both, who is trying to do right by her family, but also by those who also share the gifts. It is a fast-paced action packed book which focused more on the real root of the problem, and that is why the King and Queen are so against these ~malfettos~ and less on the love relationship which I was thankful for. I am honestly sick of love triangles, so I was really happy that Lu did not go that route. The book does set up nicely for sequels to come, which I am hoping there will be some! Overall, I really enjoyed it. It was action packed, well-written and had a lot of great characters. I am curious to see how the story will unfold however, and I hope that she will look at secondary characters more in depth next time. My favorites were specifically Adelina's sister Violetta and Raffaele. If you are a fan of Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series, I think you would enjoy this, because it is along the same lines but with supernatural powers involved!
My Rating of the Book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)
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Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Penguin Canada for consideration/review. All opinions are my own.