** SPOILER ALERT!!! **
This is the second book in Marie Lu’s new trilogy. She is the same author who wrote Legend, Prodigy, and Champion, which are all set in a futuristic society. In this new series, though, readers are taken into the 14th century. In the kingdom of Kenettra, a blood fever wiped out most of the population. Any adult with the fever died brutally and painfully, but some children survived. These surviving children were marked in some way… with vivid hair colors, loss of limbs, discolored eyes… and became known as malfettos. The luckiest malfettos were granted exceptional powers in addition to their physical scars. And the most powerful of these became known as The Young Elites. In the first book in this series, we learn that Adelina Amouteru is a powerful Young Elite. She is an illusion master, and can make people see, hear, smell, and feel whatever she wants. She can use this power to create happiness, or use it to cause intense suffering. In addition, her powers feed off of terror and rage, so she is actually at her strongest when others are in pain. Terrified of this darkness, the rest of the Young Elites cast her out as an exile. And that is where this story opens. As Adelina writes of her own story, “Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all…”. This book is beautifully written, and readers will feel horrified as they watch Adelina turn into the villain of her own story.