It seems that this book is made for me.
Last month I posted a discussion post about why I love villains and it seems that right around the time I was itching to read (or write) a villain origin story, I decided to finally read The Young Elites and BOY AM I HAPPY. I really loved reading Adelina’s change from scared, malfetto to this very dedicated and (almost) ruthless villain. There was a little bit of a romance, but honestly it wasn’t even that important and I personally felt like it was kind of in there to garner some kind of sympathy and interest in Enzo other than being the leader of The Daggers.
In terms of world building, I felt like it was done quite well. It’s pretty close to how our world works or would’ve worked in the past. The Inquisitors are named appropriately because they seem to be law enforcement, but strictly for malfettos. They don’t really seem to be inquisitors of anything else. So I’m curious to see if there is any other kind of law enforcement for regular law enforcement things… This is me thinking in hindsight. While reading this, I never had this thought. Most of the time I went, “Haaa Inquisitors. I get it. Because they’re burning malfettos at the stake thinking that they’ve got magic powers.”
I think the best part of this novel is seeing where Adelina becomes this villain like character. She joins the Daggers because she thinks they will be there to protect her. They are these people who are just like her, but from the very beginning they’re against the idea. They all seem to be against her except for Enzo until about halfway through the novel. I completely understand why, but from the start I saw it going sour. That coupled with the fact that there are some things that the Daggers stand for, yet contradict that push Adelina further towards resentment.
Overall I think this is a pretty good series starter. There’s a lot of heartbreak and a lot of beats where I see Adelina moving towards the darker part of the spectrum. She starts to slowly embrace the darker part of her heart and it’s really interesting to think of where this can go. I’m probably going to pick up The Rose Society. This isn’t really my most favorite series, but it’s definitely a very interesting one. I recommend giving it a shot.
Photo credit goes to Poison Apple Printshop. Go check them out! They’ve got some cool things that I’m probably going to buy someday.