The Young Elites is one of those books I’ve always seen everyone raving about on Goodreads, but never got round to reading myself. I’m always quite wary when starting a YA series that has a lot of hype behind it, as the majority of the time I end up disappointed. However, when I spotted the trilogy on sale I decided to bite the bullet and see what all the fuss is about.
I loved the concept of the book: it’s set in 1361, years after a blood fever swept through the land that killed adults and left the affected children with strange markings. These children are called malfetto’s, and are treated horribly. A small number of the affected were left with unique powers – The Young Elites. Feared by society, the Young Elites typically stay hidden, but there is a small group who have begun to fight back. Although the books switch between several POV’s, our main character is Adelina Amouteru. Adelina is a malfetto, identifiable by her silver hair and missing eye. She lives with her abusive father and her beautiful little sister, who she has a complex relationship with. A couple of chapters into the book, she discovers that she is a Young Elite, blessed (or cursed) with a dark power.
The book follows Adelina as she tries to understand and control her powers, with the help of the Dagger Society – a notorious group of Young Elites. There’s Enzo, the passionate and mysterious leader of the group, and Raffaele, the beautiful consort who helps train Adelina. There are also four others in the group, but we don’t spend as much time with them. Making her time difficult is Teren, the head of the Inquisition – the Royal Army. He’s determined to destroy all malfetto’s, and plans on using Adelina to help him.
One of the best things about The Young Elites is that there is no obvious good or bad characters. Everyone has their secrets, and everyone has different motivations. I particularly loved how dark Adelina’s character is. She has the best intentions, but she also gets pretty bloodthirsty as the book goes on. Teren is also a really interesting character, as although he does awful things, the chapters in his POV almost make you sympathise with him. I get Warner from Shatter Me vibes from him (although of course, no one is as great as Warner) and have a horrible feeling that as the books go on I’m going to end up loving and rooting for him.
There’s also some light romance in the book between Adelina and Enzo, which to be honest, I wasn’t that interested in. I was actually more interested in the scenes between Adelina and Teren, I have a feeling that they may end working together as she either gets more corrupt or he gets nicer.
I really loved the ending of the book, and immediately started on the sequel. Overall, I thought The Young Elites was an enjoyable start to a series that has a lot of potential.
P.S: I bought the three book set for £6 from The Works, which is a complete bargain since the RRP is £23.99! You can order them online here (this isn’t an ad, I just thought I’d share the link for my fellow bargain book hunters!).