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Review #3: The Midnight Star

Hello everyone, today's review will be on one of the darkest, most heart-wrenching books I've ever read. It's The Midnight Star, the third and final volume of Marie Lu's trilogy, The Young Elites. Marie Lu has written many good young adults but I feel there's one element that makes The Young Elite trilogy stand out: the main character is a villain. A trope that could have ruined the novel but made it unique instead. Adelina is violent, cunning, ambitious and vengeful, despite the sacrifices she'd be willing to make for the few people she actually cares about. The blood fever, that killed so many in her land, scarred her face and gifted her with the terrible power of creating illusions, a power that by the third book she has fully mastered and uses to reign as a cruel and feared queen. After the end of the second book, one that left me with no idea of how to feel about it, nothing seems to stand in her way, not the enemy queen Maeve, not the lead inquisitor Teren and definitely not the Daggers, the society of young people gifted with power that used to be her friends and now wish her dead. But the whispers in her head are driving her closer and closer to madness and after her sister Violetta leaves, not even the love of the joyful Magiano will be enough to redeem her.

Marie Lu is amazing in entwining so many elements together in her story and does it flawlessly. Through the book the reader fully gets in touch with Adelina's craziness, the whispers crowding her head, and even understands her. She is not a good person but we can't help rooting for her and sympathizing with her point of view. She rapresents that dark side that each one of us hides deep within ourselves and I think that's what makes her so fascinating.

All the other characters, despite none of them being perfect or heroic at all times, really left a mark on me and were wonderfully explored. From gorgeous Raffaele to strong, hard Maeve, from happy Magiano to haunted Enzo ( back from the dead after the second book), from sweet Violetta to obsessive Teren, I don't think a single one of the Adelina's friends and enemies can be considered simply as a side character. The human relationships between them were also very complex and interesting. Adelina and Violetta's sibling relationship for example is very complicated, especially in this third book after the distance that settled itself after the end of the second, but they also clearly care deeply and truly for the other. Their love for one another will play a major part in the ending.

As for the story itself, I really liked the magical, godly setting and the theme of the quest that willl end up being for Adelina's redemption. The plot was less well structured than the first two books but to me the book's ending made up for it a lot. Despite leaving me in tears and being an emotional blow, it was the absolute perfect way to finish the book, a circle that was finally closed, and probably one of the endings that has left me the most satisfied, no matter how bittersweet. Everything about it made the whole trilogy more worth it in my opinion.

This book is meant for someone who doesn't mind characters with ambiguous morality, likes stories set in magical lands and that talk about wars and missions. It's an easy read very worth the time!


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