“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.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.“
My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
I read this book about a year ago, and I won’t lie, my memory is a bit fuzzy. I can’t remember the exact course of events, really. I mostly remember the characters, the atmosphere, and the ending, which (usually) are some of the most important parts of the book.
Characters-wise, this book is solid. Adelina Amouteru is basically a young woman who has been mistreated all her life. Her father believes her an abomination, her sister loves her but abandons her during their childhood, the Daggers use her for her abilities, and her country rejects her. She’s been used, abused, lied to, and betrayed. You sympathize with her every step of the way, even as she slowly becomes a powerful villainess. She tries her best to help everyone, but for some reason, everything she does is no good. Marie Lu did an excellent job creating a villainess you can support. You may feel bad about cheering her on in her dark endeavors, but in the end, there’s no other way to feel about it.
Other notable characters are Enzo and Raffaele. Enzo is the prince that recruits Adelina, and even though he is charming, he is also ruthless, untrustworthy, and purely dangerous. Raffaele appears to be a gentle soul, but he is not at ALL as he seems. It’s easy to both love and hate these characters (well, it’s easy to just hate Teren), and so it’s quite the feeling to be reading a book in which NONE of the characters are purely good.
In short, this book will make you question the meaning of good intentions and will also make you consider the importance of decision and behavioral choices.
From what I remember, the action was very good (nothing spectacular), the romance was subtle but satisfactory, and the political intrigue was strong enough for a YA. I really enjoyed the fantastical Renaissance Italy setting and the ending was quite a shock. There’s room for growth but I highly recommend this book!
- Pap: 368 pages
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
- Publication Date: October 7, 2014
- Genre: YA Fantasy