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355 pages, Hardcover
First published October 7, 2014
I know who you really are. Who will ever want you, Adelina?
My fury heightens. Everyone. They will cower at my feet, and I will make them bleed.
You tried to escape from me, he says, but I found you. You have lost and I have won. I tell him that I’m glad he’s dead. I tell him to go away. But he stays.Adelina Amouteru is a murderer, justified. Adelina has a shitty life. She is like Cinderella, without the stepmother, but with a father like hers, who needs a wicked stepmother? There is only one word to describe daddy, and that word is motherfucking asshole. Ok, make that two words. Whatever.
It doesn’t matter, anyway. I’m going to die tomorrow morning
I am Adelina Amouteru, the phantoms whispered to my father, speaking my most frightening thoughts in a chorus of voices, dripping with hatred. My hatred. I belong to no one. On this night, I swear to you that I will rise above everything you’ve ever taught me. I will become a force that this world has never known. I will come into such power that none will dare hurt me again.And that, my friends, is how Adelina becomes a murderer. Totally justified. You go, girl! Way to self-defense!
And just like that, the black clouds twist—they scatter into a swarm of a million moving flecks that swirl across the sky and then dive down, down, down at the crowd. A nightmare of locusts. They descend on us with merciless efficiency, their buzzing drowning out the people’s cries.That takes a lot of energy. Maybe an entire package of Oreo's worth of energy. Can't blame a girl for fainting after that.
The word was that he had nearly died from the blood fever. He came out of it marked instead. Unfit to be heir to the throne. Enzo’s older sister stripped Enzo of his crown and banished him permanently from the palace, never again to set foot near the royal family.Kind of. Not really. That's because, he, too, is a malfetto, and since the public has been told that malfettoes are BAD EVIL NO GOOD, it would be kind of problematic to put one of those people on the throne, right? So his uncle, the King...is not fond of the prince, to put it lightly.
If for some reason I can’t control my abilities, they won’t just cast me out of the Dagger Society. I know too much. A weak link in a world that wants us dead. That weak link could be me.The Setting: I do believe the best word for this setting is plush. It has a very Renaissance Italy feel to it, and there is plenty of bling. The main character is rescued from a somewhat poor existence and boosted into the lap of luxury. The setting is oftentimes luxurious. There are secret lairs. And there are pretty pretty dresses and I DON'T EVEN CARE. I loved it all.
If I cannot pass their tests, then they will do to me what they must have done with the boy who could not control the rain. They will kill me.
As I stare silently back, I feel something powerful stir inside me—a buried fire, subdued during childhood and long forgotten. I have lived all my life in the shadow of my father and my sister. Now that I’m standing in the sun for the first time, I dare to think differently.I love a strong, dark, bitter, angry character (who's not afraid to kill), and I can only describe Adelina as totally kick-ass. She has a darkness inside her that I love, and she is physically scarred, which I also love. Adelina is missing an eye. She is good-looking, but the book never makes it overwhelming. She has doubts, she has fears. She is haunted by the ghost of her own guilt.
The broken butterfly has been made whole.
I do this because I love you, my father’s ghost whispers. You may not understand it right now, but it is for your own good. You are a monster. I still love you. I will set you right.She has worries about her own self-worth.
They are only good to me because they need me. Just like Enzo. Kindness with strings attached. Would they have befriended me if I were worthless?She is not afraid to get revenge. Adelina is no pussy-ass weakling female character, and that is the most important thing. I also absolutely love her relationship with her sister.
“I will take back my throne soon,” Enzo whispers. “And malfettos will no longer live in fear.”The man with the plan. The Boy Who Would Be King. He wants his birthright, and he'll go through anything to get it. Adelina be damned. His romance with her...is it a romance?
“She is nothing to me,” he snaps with a careless gesture of one hand. “Nothing more than a Dagger recruit. Just part of our plans.” The ice in his voice hits me hard. Nothing more. A rip appears on my heart.Is it love, or manipulation? There is only one goal here. Enzo may have a noble purpose...but he is no saint. He can kill with the best of them, and don't you dare cross his friend.
The next morning, Inquisitors find Count Maurizio Saldana’s dismembered body nailed to his front door, his mouth suspended in a scream, his corpse burned black beyond recognition.
He kneels on the floor. Lifts the whip. Holds his breath. Then he snaps the whip over his head. The blades rake deep into the flesh of his back, ripping jagged lines across his skin. He lets out a strangled gasp as pain floods him, robbing him of his breath.Mad, obsessive, worshipful love. Teren is alternately a pitiful and terrifying creature. He has been in love with beautiful young queen all his life, he is utterly devoted to her. He will do anything for her, including find and destroy Adelina Amouteru, using any tactic possible, however dirty.
I am a deformed creature, he mouths silently, repeating the words he once said as a twelve-year-old boy, an Inquisitorin-training, kneeling before the sixteen-year-old Princess Giulietta.
“You have three days,” he says in a low voice. “If you go back on your word again, I will shoot an arrow through your sister’s neck and out the back of her skull. She’ll be lucky if that’s the first thing I do.” He smiles, his teeth flashing in the night.Talk about evil! Talk about madness for love. Talk about a low-sense of self-worth! Enzo, the evil guard, is the "villain," of this book, if it has one. He is so filled with self-loathing.
His hair, black and shining, drapes across one of his shoulders in a loose, silken braid. His olive skin is smooth, flawless, glowing. The faint musk of night lilies envelops him in a veil, intoxicating, promising something forbidden.I like him because he's pretty. I like him because he is a male courtesan. I like him because he wants a better life, and he has a kind, gentle heart. Beautiful boy!
English major problems: you get hung up on stuff like this because Words Mean Things. The villains calling them Young Elites is like everyone in the US government suddenly deciding Al Qaeda and ISIS will now be referred to as Servants of Allah. They sound like far less violent groups, right? EXACTLY.
“Some hate us, think us outlaws to hang at the gallows.
Some fear us, think us demons to burn at the stake.
Some worship us, think us children of the gods.
But all know us.
“I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside. It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.”
“I hereby pledge to serve the Dagger Society, to strike fear into the hearts of those who rule Kenettra, to take by death what belong to us, and to make the power of our Elites known to every man, woman, and child. Should I break my vow, let the dagger take from me what I took from the dagger.”
❝The darkness bows to me, eager for my embrace. I close my eye, open my heart to the feeling, and soak in the delight of vengeance.❞
“Everyone has darkness inside them, however hidden.”
“I am tired of losing. I am tired of being used, hurt and tossed aside. It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt. My turn.”
“No one wants you to be yourself. They want you to be the version of yourself that they like.”
“Dark thoughts swim in the far corners of my mind. Something is alive in those whispers, clawing for my attention, beckoning me deeper into the shadows.”