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The Young Elites
Cover of The Young Elites
The Young Elites
The Young Elites Series, Book 1
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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series 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...
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series 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...
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  • From the New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series

    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.
 

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Excerpts-

  • From the book

    13 Juno, 1361
    City of Dalia
    Southern Kenettra
    The Sealands

    * * *

    Some hate us, think us outlaws to hang at the gallows.
    Some fear us, think us demons to burn at the stake.
    Some worship us, think us children of the gods.
    But all know us.
    —Unknown source on the Young Elites


    Adelina Amouteru


    I'm going to die tomorrow morning.

    That's what the Inquisitors tell me, anyway, when they visit my cell. I've been in here for weeks—I know this only because I've been counting the number of times my meals come.

    One day. Two days.

    Four days. A week.

    Two weeks.

    Three.

    I stopped counting after that. The hours run together, an endless train of nothingness, filled with different slants of light and the shiver of cold, wet stone, the pieces of my sanity, the disjointed whispers of my thoughts.

    But tomorrow, my time ends. They're going to burn me at the stake in the central market square, for all to see. The Inquisitors tell me a crowd has already begun to gather outside.

    I sit straight, the way I was always taught. My shoulders don't touch the wall. It takes me a while to realize that I'm rocking back and forth, perhaps to stay sane, perhaps just to keep warm. I hum an old lullaby too, one my mother used to sing to me when I was very little. I do my best to imitate her voice, a sweet and delicate sound, but my notes come out cracked and hoarse, nothing like what I remember. I stop trying.

    It's so damp down here. Water trickles from above my door and has painted a groove into the stone wall, discolored green and black with grime. My hair is matted, and my nails are caked with blood and dirt. I want to scrub them clean. Is it strange that all I can think about on my last day is how filthy I am? If my little sister were here, she'd murmur something reassuring and soak my hands in warm water.

    I can't stop wondering if she's okay. She hasn't come to see me.

    I lower my head into my hands. How did I end up like this?

    But I know how, of course. It's because I'm a murderer.
    * * *
    It happened several weeks earlier, on a stormy night at my father's villa. I couldn't sleep. Rain fell and lightning reflected off the window of my bedchamber. But even the storm couldn't drown out the conversation from downstairs. My father and his guest were talking about me, of course. My father's late-night conversations were always about me.

    I was the talk of my family's eastern Dalia district. Adelina Amouteru? they all said. Oh, she's one of those who survived the fever a decade ago. Poor thing. Her father will have a hard time marrying her off.

    No one meant because I wasn't beautiful. I'm not being arrogant, only honest. My nursemaid once told me that any man who'd ever laid eyes on my late mother was now waiting curiously to see how her two daughters would blossom into women. My younger sister, Violetta, was only fourteen and already the budding image of perfection. Unlike me, Violetta had inherited our mother's rosy temperament and innocent charm. She'd kiss my cheeks and laugh and twirl and dream. When we were very small, we'd sit together in the garden and she would braid periwinkles into my hair. I would sing to her. She would make up games.

    We loved each other, once.

    My father would bring Violetta jewels and watch her clap her hands in delight as he strung them around her neck. He would buy her exquisite dresses that arrived in port from the farthest ends of the world. He would tell her stories and kiss her good night. He would remind her how beautiful she was, how far she would raise...

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books spinnypeeps - This story follow the dark tale of Adelina Amoteru, a mistreated- sixteen year old and survivor of the plague. The plague has left her "marked" with silver hair and took away her left eye. She is violently abused by her father while he treats her perfect little sister like royalty. Under these unfair conditions, Adelina has developed an uncanny blackness in her heart that she is not aware of. One day, she decides to run away from home and her father catches her by the arm, threatening to kill her. Anger bubbles inside of her and suddenly three black shadows appear, scaring the horse Adelina was riding on and causing it to kick her father through the heart. Soon, Adelina is put in prison to be burned on a stake- when a mysterious stranger wielding daggers appears and saves her. Who is this stranger and what does he want? And why are his hands flaming? Watch as mysteries unfold and Adelina travels down her dark path in the suspenseful first book of the . Definitely FIVE STARSSSSS!
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 18, 2014
    In this series opener, Lu (the Legend trilogy) pivots from the “coming of age via romance” formula to pry apart the many emotions that pass under the rubric of love. Adelina Amouteru, once-privileged daughter of a merchant, is irrevocably changed by the blood fever, an epidemic that wiped out infected adults and left most child survivors permanently scarred malfettos. A handful also underwent mutations that conferred strange, often lethal powers. All malfettos are persecuted, but these mutant Young Elites are special targets. Harrowingly, Adelina discovers that she is one. Rescued by a masked firebrand from certain death under the government’s Inquisition, she awakens in the custody of Raffaele, a male prostitute, and Enzo, malfetto aspirant to the throne. A beautiful woman surrounded by beautiful men, Adelina nevertheless is not defined by romance. Warped family bonds shape her consciousness and yearning for acceptance, and the men are out to get what they want from her. There’s nothing easy here, for Adelina or readers—there are no safe places where the pressures of betrayal, death threats, and rejection aren’t felt. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from September 15, 2014
    A new series-fantasy, this time-from the author of the best-selling Legend dystopia. Twelve years ago, the blood fever raged through Kenettra, killing all infected adults and leaving the surviving children marked with scars, patterned skin and unnaturally colored hair. Malfetto, the survivors are called, and everyone knows they are terrible luck. A few malfettos are rumored to have great and mystical powers, and these Young Elites are sought by the Inquisition even while the common people secretly cheer on their defiance against a cruel and ineffectual king. Adelina is a 16-year-old malfetto, tormented by her abusive father until her own Young Elite power reveals itself. Both the Inquisition and the Young Elites want to use her, but Adelina wants only to protect herself and her beloved sister. She's no heroic savior; Adelina's Young Elite strength is honed by a decade of abuse and torment that's turned her into a force motivated foremost by rage and terror. Shifting points of view reveal the forces that treat Adelina as a pawn in a game much larger than she can understand, driving her to an extremely unusual lead-in for Volume 2. In a gorgeously constructed world that somewhat resembles Renaissance Italy but with its own pantheon, geography and fauna, the multiethnic and multisexual Young Elites offer a cinematically perfect ensemble of gorgeous-but-unusual illusionists, animal speakers, fire summoners and wind callers. A must for fans of Kristin Cashore's Fire (2009) and other totally immersive fantasies. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2014

    Gr 8 Up-A rollicking series opener from the author of the "Legend" series (Putnam). Imagine surviving a plague of fever, only to be marked as an abomination by your countrymen. Most survivors of the sickness that vanquished thousands in this alternative medieval world possess a strange and unique marking, whether it be a facial coloring, oddly tinged hair, or, in Adelina's case, a missing eye. Called malfettos, some are endowed with magical gifts that enable them to control wind, fire, earth, and even humans. All Adelina has ever wanted is to feel accepted and loved, but she's ignored by her father, and her sister doesn't have the power to save her. When the teen escapes an unwanted proposal, she unwittingly becomes a member of the Dagger Society, an Elite group of malfettos bent on using their supernatural abilities to escape the Inquisition's genocide and place their leader, Enzo, on the throne of Kenettra. Adelina struggles with an increasing distrust of Enzo, her fellow Elites, and herself, all while learning how to control her powers of illusion and disillusion. Lu seamlessly melds an unforgettable and intoxicating historical fantasy narrative with a strong female protagonist that grapples with an issue experienced by all young adults-acceptance of one's self. Well written, fast paced without being confusing, and enjoyable enough for teens, reluctant readers, and even adults. Brimming with engaging battles-physical and emotional-and meticulous backdrops, Lu's new series will be a surefire hit with old and new fans alike.-Amanda C. Buschmann, Atascocita Middle School, Humble, TX

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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The Young Elites Series, Book 1
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