A new series—fantasy, this time—from the author of the best-selling Legend dystopia.
Twelve years ago, the blood fever raged through Kenettra, killing all infected adults and leaving the surviving children marked with scars, patterned skin and unnaturally colored hair. Malfetto, the survivors are called, and everyone knows they are terrible luck. A few malfettos are rumored to have great and mystical powers, and these Young Elites are sought by the Inquisition even while the common people secretly cheer on their defiance against a cruel and ineffectual king. Adelina is a 16-year-old malfetto, tormented by her abusive father until her own Young Elite power reveals itself. Both the Inquisition and the Young Elites want to use her, but Adelina wants only to protect herself and her beloved sister. She’s no heroic savior; Adelina’s Young Elite strength is honed by a decade of abuse and torment that’s turned her into a force motivated foremost by rage and terror. Shifting points of view reveal the forces that treat Adelina as a pawn in a game much larger than she can understand, driving her to an extremely unusual lead-in for Volume 2. In a gorgeously constructed world that somewhat resembles Renaissance Italy but with its own pantheon, geography and fauna, the multiethnic and multisexual Young Elites offer a cinematically perfect ensemble of gorgeous-but-unusual illusionists, animal speakers, fire summoners and wind callers.
A must for fans of Kristin Cashore’s Fire (2009) and other totally immersive fantasies. (Fantasy. 13 & up)