It looks to only get darker for Adelina Amouteru as we read the first chapter in the final book of The Young Elites series by Marie Lu.
We don’t know what The Young Elites author Marie Lu has in plan for her characters for the final book, but in this excerpt from The Midnight Star, the first chapter proves that it’s not going to get any easier dealing with how Adelina Amouteru is handling her newly gained role.
As readers, we have the tendency to want to read all the dark and gritty stuff, but leave the story with a sense of completion and satisfaction. And we’re hoping that whatever happens to Adelina, that it ends with some sort of understanding and believability of the character. Marie hasn’t steered us wrong yet, so it’s hopeful this will be a good final book of the series. Here’s what Marie had to say about Adelina now that she’s done with the series:
“Saying farewell to Adelina was a weird thing for me,” she says. “She has such a dark history and harsh journey that telling her story — living her harshness — was a challenge. Even though I was sad to leave her at the end of this, I still felt kind of happy for her, and proud of her.”
“I do miss her deeply, though, and the rest of her crew,” Lu says. “It’s like saying goodbye to old friends.”
For Marie Lu fans, don’t worry, as she already has another series lined up to start next year, with the first book titled Warcross.
Until then, read the excerpt for The Midnight Star below:
I saw her, once.
“She passed through our village, through fields littered with dead soldiers after her forces overwhelmed the nation of Dumor. Her other Elites followed and then rows of white-robed Inquisitors, wielding the white-and-silver banners of the White Wolf. Where they went, the sky dimmed and the ground cracked—the clouds gathered behind the army as if a creature alive, black and churning in fury. As if the goddess of Death herself had come.
“She paused to look down at one of our dying soldiers. He trembled on the ground, but his eyes stayed on her. He spat something at her. She only stared back at him. I don’t know what he saw in her expression, but his muscles tightened, his legs pushing against the dirt as he tried in vain to get away from her. Then the man started to scream. It is a sound I shall never forget as long as I live. She nodded to her Rainmaker, and he descended from his horse to plunge a sword through the dying soldier. Her face did not change at all. She simply rode on.
“I never saw her again. But even now, as an old man, I remember her as clearly as if she were standing before me. She was ice personified. There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.”
—A witness’s account of Queen Adelina’s siege on the nation of Dumor
The Village of Pon-de-Terre
28 Marzien, 1402
Tarannen, Dumor: The Sealands
Moritas was sealed in the Underworld by the other gods. But Amare, the god of Love, took pity on the young, dark-hearted goddess. He brought her gifts from the living world, rays of sunshine bundled in baskets, fresh rain in glass jars. Amare fell in love—as he was frequently wont to do—with Moritas, and his visits resulted in the births of Formidite and Caldora.
—An Exploration of Ancient and Modern Myths, by Mordove Senia
Chapter 1: Adelina Amouteru
I have had the same nightmare for the past month. Every night, without fail.
I am asleep in my royal chambers at the Estenzian palace when a creaking sound wakes me. I sit up in bed and look around. Rain lashes the windowpanes. Violetta sleeps next to me, having crept into my chambers at the sound of the thunder, and under the blankets, her body is curled close at my side. I hear the creaking again. The door of my room is slightly ajar and slowly opening. Beyond it is something horrifying, a darkness full of claws and fangs, something I never see but always know is there. The silks I’m wearing turn unbearably cold, as if I am neck deep in a winter sea, and I cannot stop myself from trembling. I shake Violetta, but she does not stir.
Then I jump out of bed and rush to close the door, but I can’t—whatever is on the other side is too strong. I turn to my sister.
“Help me!” I call to her desperately. She still does not move, and I realize that she is not asleep, but dead.
I startle awake, in the same bed and same chambers, with Violetta sleeping beside me. Just a nightmare, I tell myself. I lie there for a moment, trembling. Then I hear that creaking sound, and I see the door is starting to open once more. Again, I jump out of bed and rush to close it, shouting for Violetta. Again, I realize that my sister is dead. Again, I will bolt awake in bed and see the door opening.
I will wake a hundred times, lost in the madness of this nightmare, until the sunlight streaming through my windows finally burns the scene away. Even then, hours later, I cannot be sure I am not still in my dream.
I am afraid that, one night, I will never wake. I will be doomed to rush to that door over and over again, running from a nightmare in which I am always, forever, lost.
A year ago, it would have been my sister, Violetta, riding at my side. Today, it is Sergio and my Inquisition. They are the same white-robed, ruthless army that Kenettra’s always known—except, of course, they now serve me. When I glance back at them, all I see is a river of white, their pristine cloaks contrasted against the somber sky. I turn around in my saddle and return to gazing at the burned houses that go by as we ride.
I look different from when I first took the throne. My hair has grown long again, silver as a sheet of shifting metal, and I no longer wear a mask or an illusion to hide the scarred side of my face. Instead, my hair is pulled back in a braided bun, jewels woven into the locks. My long, dark cape billows behind me and down my horse’s quarters. My face is fully exposed.
I want the people of Dumor to see their new queen.
Read the complete excerpt at Bustle.