by Marie Lu
Amazon / Goodreads
Plot Summary: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.
Review:Wow, this story is dark! It takes chances and has lots of twists and turns that I was really not expecting for this genre. Which is so refreshing and delightful. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride this book took me on.
The story mainly follows Adelina, although there are chapters from other characters' POV. I didn't mind when the story switched to a different POV because those chapters were usually short and it was interesting to get into the heads of Teren and Enzo. And I think it was important to understand the motivations of those characters because it adds so much to the suspense. The characters and members of the Dagger Society were all so different and intriguing from the beginning - so much mistrust, fear and doubt is mixed together in the narrative to create a darkly emotional story.
The story's setting is richly textured - there's a realism to the world-building and the rules of the magic that added so much to the depth of the story. I could easily imagine the setting, and the way the magic the Young Elites possess was described made everything more exciting and tangible. The mechanics of it seem very realistic - down to details of how using the powers affects them physically and emotionally. I really appreciated how well-written every aspect of this story was.
There are some big developments in this story, that I think set the stage for a very exciting trilogy, especially with the epilogue which revealed a major shock. Adelina is a character that has a long journey to go on, and it's not easy to see where it will lead her. I was so invested in this wonderfully detailed and developed book - I can't wait for the next one to find out what happens next!