Adelina Amouteru is about to be burned at the stake.
Her crime? Murder. Let's rewind a little bit before we get to the barbecue. Several years previous, Adelina fell ill to a mysterious ailment known as The Blood Fever. Most people died from it, but some of the survivors were left with strange markings.
These children were known as the Malfettos, and are considered worthless by society. Shunned by her family, Adelina's father tries to sell her off. She tries to escape, and accidentally kills her father in the process.
So here we are, back at the fire pit. As the flames lick her shoes, Adelina becomes acquainted with the Dagger Society, a group that tracks down Malfettos and hides them from the government.
Adelina escapes her execution and goes on the run, vowing revenge against those that have wronged her. First, however, she must learn to survive the Dagger Society, which has its own hierarchical rules and systems.
She isn't exactly trusted by the group and must prove her worth. In addition, he has a sister that is still out there somewhere, and Adelina makes it her mission to find her. Through her time with the Dagger Society Adelina learns that she not only possesses strange marking from the Blood Fever, she also has magical abilities that will not only aid the Society, they will put her in great danger.
The Young Elites is the start of a giant fantasy world that Lu is building and I know our students will be excited to go along for the ride.
The Final Empire is the first in the Mistborn trilogy. I was drawn to Sanderson's work with his YA novel Steelheart, which I loved. I was instantly drawn into the world of the Final Empire as well.
In this world, there are people known as the skaa, they are treated like slaves, and are routinely executed for breaking the smallest of rules, rules that are handed down by The Lord Ruler.
The Lord Ruler is god to most people because he's been in charge for over a thousand years. Beside him are the Obligators and a frightening group of creatures called the Inquisitors. Inquisitors are seemingly indestructible and have spikes for eyes.
As with most great epic fantasies, the lowly skaa are given hope by a hero called Kelsier. Kelsier is a Mistborn, a person who can control metals through a magical force known as Allomancy. Kelsier scours the streets, assassinating noblemen who are loyal to the Lord Ruler and looking for like-minded people to join his rebellion.
Through his team he finds Vin, a sixteen year old skaa thief whose luck has seemingly run out. Kelsier senses that Vin is special, and he's right. He recruits her and together they put together a team of misfits to take on the most powerful force in the kingdom.
I loved this story, it has amazing character development and a very detailed plot line that requires your attention but isn't complicated at the same time. Taking down a thousand year ruler takes more than simply kicking the door in at his castle. Kelsier is a brilliant yet careless leader while Vin, the young upstart, slowly learns that she has a lot more skills than she thought and becomes a huge asset to the team.
For me, this is one of the best fantasy books I've read in a very long time.