A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Young Elites, by Marie Lu, author of the Legend trilogy, is a fast-moving fantasy novel about young outcasts who develop magical powers. There's a fair amount of violence -- an accidental trampling by a horse, a murder committed by hammering a wire into the eye, a few magical duels -- but the graphic details are usually not described. The language is uniformly mild (a couple of uses of "bastard" and "damn"), and sexual content is limited to flirting, a character who works as a "consort" in a brothel, and two passionate embraces that get cut off before things progress too far. The protagonist becomes slightly inebriated on wine in one celebratory scene.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
A survivor of the blood fever that devastated the kingdom 10 years ago, 16-year-old Adelina Amouteru lost an eye and gained a jagged scar on her face, marking her as a "malfetto" -- an abomination. Trying to escape from her cruel father one night, Adelina discovers that she has an unexpected power, the ability to create horrific illusions. Soon she attracts the attention of the Dagger Society, a group of "Young Elites" with mysterious magical abilities, sworn to bring down the corrupt king and queen. Can she trust them not to turn on her once they've achieved their goals?
Is it any good?
THE YOUNG ELITES is a promising start to a new fantasy series, with an appealing young heroine and a strong cast of antagonists, companions, and potential love interests.
Author Marie Lu keeps the action and suspense high and engineers enough twists to keep her readers engaged all the way to the surprising and heart-wrenching climactic scene. The setup is a little too "Medieval X-Men," but most of Lu's audience won't mind.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about people who are disfigured. Why are they sometimes feared and discriminated against?
If you read Marie Lu's Legend trilogy, how does this start to a series compare? Think you'll stick with it?
Is revenge ever a worthwhile goal? Does vengeance ever achieve justice?
- Author: Marie Lu
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
- Publication date: October 7, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 368
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.