“The Young Elites” is a series of three novels set in Europe during the 1400s that follows a group of malfettos who, after the blood fever, are left with not only markings such as silver hair and scarring, but also supernatural powers derived from their godly parents. In the series, there are 11 people who wield various magical powers, most of whom are recruited by Raffaele Laurent Bessette into a society called the Daggers.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIE LU

PHOTO COURTESY OF
MARIE LU

The novels are narrated from the point of view of Adelina Amouteru, who wields the power of illusions and is born of the goddess of fear and fury. Her power is dangerous not only because she can weave simple material illusions, but also because she can evoke pain from large masses of people. These young elites, including Adelina, are unnatural because they have godly powers that shouldn’t be in the mortal world, and therefore the immortal world is slowly leaking into the mortal world; their powers have extreme consequences. Adelina is starting to hear whispers of all the people she has killed and is also experiencing other out-of-control illusions.

In the epic conclusion to the series, Adelina joins forces with the Daggers in order to convince them to give up their powers and mend the bond between the mortal and the immortal world.

This series is unique and amazing because not only is it a piece of historical fiction based on old folk tales, but also because it is told from the point of view of an obviously evil female protagonist. It is not often that a story is explored through the eyes of someone with such a dark soul, and the reader gets to experience Adelina changing from a naive girl who is scared and doesn’t know how to control her powers into a conquering queen who is feared by all for her methods of torture and evil.

For some, the last installment of the series might not be as dark as they had hoped for. Though Adelina has been getting darker, towards the end of “The Midnight Star,” she sees all the people that she has killed, and she starts to feel empathy. In my view, though, the ending is deeply satisfying.