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.
I have had this book on my shelf for quite a while now, and I kept saying to myself that I was going to read it, but then I forgot and would read something else instead. Then I saw that the second book The Rose Society was due to be released in October which prompted me to finally read it!
You think with it being a YA Dystopian type book that we are going to get the typical Katniss/Tris etc type character. Strong female lead with a good heart ready to save their world. But Adelina is nothing like this, at all. She has a darkness inside of her, and a need for revenge which fuels her. Her powers are powered by fear and fury and there are times when she seems to enjoy causing others fear or even pain. She is quite refreshing as a character but at the same time I found myself totally conflicted as to whether I actually liked her, especially as the story developed and her thoughts and actions got even darker.
“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.”
Enzo and Raffaele, my two favourite boys in this book but both for different reasons. Raffaele kind of reminded me of the ‘gay best friend’ kind of character. He was the person she felt that she could confide in the most, and the times when she is feeling uncomfortable in the passion house it’s always Raffaele that she looks to. Enzo on the other hand is the man that she looks to for her pleasure. He is her trainer, her mentor but that time spent together builds a more passion filled bond between them and there is a nice, slow burning love between the two of them that burns through this first book in the series.
“It is pointless to believe what you see, if you only see what you believe.”
I kind of wish that we had gotten to see more of the Dagger Society and it’s members because I really liked the idea of it. But like with Adelina they weren’t your typical rebel group. They didn’t seem to care about helping the ‘little people’ and instead very much concentrated on the ‘master plans’ that would save everyone. There were some members with awesome powers that I would have loved to have seen more of/learnt more about but I guess there are always the sequels for that.
“To love is to be afraid. You are frightened, deathly terrified, that something will happen to those you love. Think of the possibilities. Does your heart clench with each thought? That, my friend, is love. And love enslaves us all, for you cannot have love without fear.”
Marie Lu does another spectacular job of creating a word so detailed and filled with so much history and culture that I couldn’t help but get immersed. Her writing is incredible and the story just flows perfectly. There were a few twists and reveals in the last few chapters of this one that I am a little unsure how they are going to play out, but I guess this is whats going to make me want to read the next book!
“Everyone has darkness inside them, however hidden.”
I loved Marie Lu’s Legend Trilogy and this one has started out just as strong. I love the world building in this book, the history and culture. Plus the map inside the cover is gorgeous and gives us a hint that there is so much more that could be explored in further books. Sadly for me, although the story started strong I wasn’t feeling as much love by the end of the book and I think that it was due to Lu’s decision to make Adelina a darker character than the usual heroines we encounter in YA and in Lu’s previous series.
I would recommend this book to fans of: YA Dystopians, Marie Lu, The Legend Series, a different kind of female protagonist, characters with powers.