The Young Elites Summary

Marie Lu

The Young Elites

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The Young Elites Summary

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The Young Elites is the first book in a young adult dystopian trilogy of the same name by Marie Lu. First published in 2014 by G.P. Putnam’s, the story centers on a teenage girl who survived a terrible blood fever but now possesses magical abilities that may save her world. The series is popular with its teenage audience. Lu is the author of many young adult fantasy and dystopian novels. Ironically, she was born in 1984 and used to work as the art director at a video game company.

The heroine, sixteen-year-old Adelina Amouteru, survived a plague that spread across the world a few years ago. She lost her left eye because of the infection, and she has bright silver hair. Her sister, Violetta, is very pretty and still has her old hair color because she never developed the infection.

Adelina feels that she disappointed her family by surviving the plague. Her father tells her she’s an abomination, “marked” as a plague survivor. He believes she hasn’t any prospects and will always be a burden to him. One day, he decides to sell her to the only man who will have her as a mistress. Adelina tries to escape, but her anger and fear literally manifest around her, killing her father.

After her father’s death, officials arrest Adelina. They plan to execute her. They don’t just want to execute her for killing her father, but because she’s a Young Elite. Young Elites are teenagers who’ve developed special powers after surviving the plague. Because she’s particularly powerful, it’s imperative she dies before she harms anyone else.

On her execution day, the inquisitor lights the pyre and she starts to burn. However, her powers return, and she distracts the crowd with illusions that frighten them. This buys her time to look for a way off the pyre. A young boy in the crowd, Enzo, rushes forward to free her. Enzo is known as the “Reaper.” He leads the Dagger Society, a group of Young Elites who protect each other from these inquisitors.

Enzo was heir to the kingdom throne, but the queen exiled him after he survived the fever and developed these strange powers. Enzo knows that Teren, the inquisitor who tried to execute Adelina is also a survivor. He has betrayed others like him because he’s obsessed with Enzo’s sister, who’s recently been crowned the new queen. Together, they try to eradicate all survivors.

It’s obvious to the other Elites that Adelina possesses a dark power triggered by fear and hate. Even though it disgusts her, she thrives on how intimating she is, which helps her power grow. However, it’s not long before Teren finds her and demands she spies on the Dagger Society for him. He wants to know what they’re planning so he can tell the queen. Adelina doesn’t want to help him, but he’s kidnapped her sister, and he won’t give her back until Adelina complies.

Meanwhile, not all the Elites trust Adelina. Some are gravely afraid of her, and others think she’s too powerful to control. Enzo is always defending her, but the others know it’s because he’s attracted to her. No one suspects that she’s a spy for Teren. When one of the Elites, Dante, tells Enzo to get rid of her, Enzo says he doesn’t care about her, but she’s too powerful to let go. They can use her as a weapon.

What Enzo doesn’t know is that Adelina overheard this conversation and runs to Teren. Dante catches her before she reaches, Teren, and she accidentally kills him. She knows, however, that no one will believe it’s an accident. When she reaches Teren, he lets her see Violetta. However, when they try to escape, Violetta’s own powers manifest. Adelina’s shocked but delighted to have someone she loves who is just like her.

Later, Enzo and Teren faceoff, causing chaos. There’s a full-scale battle on the streets between the Elites and the inquisitors, and Adelina helps the Dagger Society. In the midst of battle, she uses her powers to cast illusions, distracting the inquisitors, but her power is still raw and out of control. She accidentally causes too much confusion, which results in her hurting Enzo. This gives Teren the time he needs to stab Enzo. It’s not clear if Enzo survives.

The Dagger Society finds out that Adelina worked with Teren, even if she didn’t plan on all of this destruction. They don’t want to know Violetta, and they banish Adelina from the group. Adelina doesn’t feel this is fair, and she’s determined to prove she’s stronger than them. Together, she and her sister form a society called the Rose Society, the focus of the second book in the trilogy.