The Midnight Star (Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu (2016)
YA Fiction | Historical Fantasy | Villain’s Story
“There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.
Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.
Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.
Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina’s story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series.”
Read Book one: THE YOUNG ELITES
pooled ink Review:
Oh my goodness, I am both thrilled and sad that the final installment to this epic fantasy series has arrived.
The Young Elites were the flash of light in a stormy sky, the fleeting darkness before dawn. Never have the existed before, nor shall they ever exist again.
This book went by really fast for me. It actually felt surprisingly short, perhaps because it moved so quickly. In some ways I wish it was longer, took me on more of a journey instead of a blur of fate, even so its brisk pace kept my attention and the plot left no room for boring nonsense inserted simply to stretch out the page count. Although I did feel like some developments/moments/plot points/characters were rushed or brushed over, overall the pacing was pretty good. Definitely not slow anyway lol.
Basically, in this third book we get to see what Adelina has been up to since crowning herself queen at the end of The Rose Society (book two). Most of it seemed to focus on Adelina and her conquests as well as her growing internal battle against the dark voices in her head. Violetta is gone and it has only worsened Adelina’s condition. Magiano sticks around, blinded by love, and he becomes the only barrier between light and the all-consuming darkness within Adelina.
This third installment in the trilogy does not waver or skimp on the growing darkness, action, battle, rage, and power that has so defined the main character’s, Adelina’s, story. Of course, her tale could not end with her conquering the entire world and never seeing the Daggers again. Instead her ruthless quest is interrupted, once again, by the Daggers only this time she joins them. Enemies full of hatred they share only one thing, or at least one person, in common now: Violetta. And Violetta is in trouble.
As the mystery of the Elites and their powers resurfaces taking the forefront of the story it forces their battles, feuds, and rampages to cease-fire. A very tenuous alliance is formed to save Violetta, and to save the mortal world.
There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.
Adelina, Adelina, Adelina. She is both a hero and a villain…she’s an antihero, I suppose.
Watching Adelina’s transformation and warpath over the course of this trilogy was exciting. I loved it. It’s a villain’s story and that fact alone sucked me in. The Young Elites is her origin story, The Rose Society is her rise to power, and The Midnight Star is her legacy.
We witness betrayals and heartbreak from all sides and we watch as it twists everything that should have been. Adelina was supposed to be a powerful ally of the Daggers, but too many things worked against that epic destiny. Differences of opinion, of agenda, of priority, and far too many betrayals have occurred to let that option ever resurface for her. Not that she’d accept it anyway.
Let the people love you a little, mi Adelinetta. -Magiano
It’s interesting to read the villain’s story because it gives us a chance to almost understand. We watch as Adelina grows harsher and more ruthless, and although we see the wrongs she is committing that she is blind to we also understand where she is coming from. In some ways Raffaele was the tipping point that sent Adelina down this destructive path, which just makes him all the more infuriating because he also is one of the very few who understand her so well…but only when it was too late. He gave up on her, turned his back resigned, and it cost them all.
While most people only see the villain, Raffaele sees her suffering. He sees the mistake in judgment that he made. He tries so hard to be his sweet self, he is so calm and wise and understanding, and yet part of me wants to stand beside Adelina and scream at him that it’s his fault and demand he apologize and recognize what he’s done. …But he does know. He’s thought about it more than once, if only briefly. And furthermore, it is not all his fault. Even so, he chafes me. He’s a great character overall and he’s very wise and caring but we shall never be friends, I’m afraid. He lost sight of the light within the girl of darkness.
You are light…And when you shine, you shine bright. -Violetta
The light in Adelina…because there is light hidden inside of her. Raffaele allowed fear and sorrow to blind him to it until the very end but the two who never lost sight of the girl Adelina once was are Violetta, her sister, and Magiano, her true love.
Magiano is someone Adelina needs and if he wasn’t in love with her or so determined to stay by her side then Adelina would have been lost the moment her sister disappeared. I’m glad he is there protecting her and I am glad that he can see the girl beneath the armor of nightmares. I just wish he got more development and one-on-one time with the story. He’s such an important character and yet he’s mostly living in Adelina’s shadow (both as a member of her Rose Society and as a character in this book).
Violetta, the love and bond between her and Adelina is the strength that kept Adelina’s darkness at bay for as long as it did. It is the goodness and innocence and undying love of Violetta that finally brings peace to Adelina’s warring soul.
I will not tell you how this book ends, but I will say that it was perfect. The end of the story of the Elites is so sad but so perfect.
I really must say, the Daggers drew me in as easily as they did Adelina back in the beginning of this series, so when they turned their backs in The Young Elites I felt the same sting and anger that she felt. I understood her unforeseen demise in the first book, where everything somehow went horribly wrong. I smiled both with fear and with glee in the second book as she showed everyone her power and wrath, proving everyone wrong (while simultaneously proving them right). But then she went too far. She forgot what she needed, what her people needed, who she truly was inside, and Adelina ended up lost. And it is from this abandoned darkness that we watch her rise in this final installment of the trilogy.
The Midnight Star wades through hatred, kneels before fate, and rests in peace. It concludes the legend of the young Elites, the story of a queen bound by darkness, and the love that binds souls through Hell or high water. Dazzling, thrilling, and stained with unbidden tears, read the fantastic final installment of the trilogy, The Young Elites.
P.S. My favorite part of this book just might be the very last two pages. They tell of a folktale told by all and passed down through the ages, it is the tale “The Midnight Star.” This book really was an emotional ride towards the end and my eyes may or may not have shined with tears. The folktale at the end was just the final straw. An incredible story, Marie Lu. Thank you.
Purchase here: The Midnight Star