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Review: Legend by @Marie_Lu

Legend is the first in a trilogy. The second, Prodigy, was released earlier this year. The third, Champion, will be released in November.
LegendBorn into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Legend is written from both June and Day’s view, alternating every other chapter. Each perspective has its own font and ink color, in case you have any doubt whose head you are in.

The Republic is the future western United States, which has been at war with its neighbors, the Colonies. June is the only person who has ever received a perfect score on the Trial. After her parent’s died, her brother is the only thing left in the world. So it’s perfectly justifiable his death fuels her drive to catch her brother’s murderer.

Metias also leaves some clues for June to discover late in the book. Even though she solves them within a handful of pages, the level of difficulty is right for someone of her brilliance. A small detail, but it lended to the plot’s credibility.

After Day failed his Trials, he lived on the streets as the Republic’s most wanted criminal. He will do anything to keep his family safe from both the Republic and the plague ravaging the country.

I enjoyed hearing about the Trials. At first, due to the scoring, I pictured it as a giant SAT—with much more disastrous consequences for a bad score. Later, when the Trials are described, we see they deal with the psychological and physical, not just brains.

I loved Day’s unique ethnicity—Mongolian and Caucasian. We don’t see many ethnic heroes in dystopian lit. I also loved the development of Thomas, a subordinate on Metias’ patrol, who moves from the background to a key role in June’s life. June is kind of like a Katniss in that her radio is not tuned to boys’ signals very well.

I’m also partial to June and Day because those are the names of two main characters in my own book, 12. Except, Day is short for Dayvina, who is a girl and a secondary character.

You might not like this book if you enjoy completely original methods of murder (ie: plagues have been done before) or if you prefer hot and heavy romances. You’d probably like this book if you enjoy thought-through characters and action.


Be sure to check out Lu’s sketches of Day and June here.
Read the NYTimes review of Legend here.
Check out Lu’s website here.
Follow Lu on Twitter here.
Like Legend on Facebook here.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. This book is intriguing, but I must say that I balked when you mentioned the different fonts. The Power of Nine does that and there are three different points of view. It was so distracting that I had a difficult time keeping track of which was which. I can understand the author not labeling the chapters with the character’s name, but there must be a less gimmicky way to do it. Did you find it distracting at all?

    1. Storytimewithbuffy, I actually didn’t. Maybe because I had been introduced to it before with The Power of Nine? What did throw me at first was the typesetting of the POV characters’ name at the beginning of each chapter.

      Instead of chapter numbers, the POV character’s name spanned the entire top of the page in blocked, clear font. So I didn’t notice it at first and was wondering why the setting and font had suddenly changed. Once I flipped back and forth between the first and second chapters a couple times, I realized there was a POV switch and noticed the characters’ name across the top.

      I’m wondering if it was more distracting because I had never seen it before.

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