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Legend by Marie Lu

February 11, 2019

Daniel Altan Wing’s (Day’s) family thinks he is dead. In reality he is the Republic’s most wanted criminal. After failing his trial to become a Republic soldier, he is sent off to the labor camps and is expected to die, but manages to escape. When he returns to his hometown he sees a plague symbol on his family’s door and takes action. He raids the hospital and, during his escape, throws a knife at Captain Metias Iparis, allegedly killing him.

June Iparis is the first person ever to score a perfect 1500 on her trial,  but soon after joining the Republic’s force she finds her brother, Metias Iparis, dead. Enraged, she starts planning to chase down and get revenge on Day. During her search, she is dragged into a fight, stabbed, and taken in by a boy on the street. What she doesn’t realize is that Day is hiding in plain sight. Will she figure it out? And if she does, what will she do?

Readers will love the way Marie Lu develops both of the main characters in this work. In the beginning June is very naïve about the republic and the world outside of it, but as the story progresses she becomes increasingly aware of the problems in the world. Day, on the other hand, is very skeptical of the Republic throughout the entirety of the novel, but as the book continues he becomes more tuned into the problems outside of the Republic, as well as the ones inside of it.

The perspectives switch between a character inside of the government and a character fighting against it which is an effective feature as it gives readers the point of view of each side: their opinions and how they see the issues within their cities and outside of them. Lu also avoided showing the same scene from each character’s perspective, which let the story continue at a fast pace and kept the reader engaged throughout  the entire book.

The first person narrative  that Lu used was extremely effective as it helped the reader focus in on the complex issues faced by both characters in the novel. This also helps readers delve into the minds of the characters and really understand what is happening in each of their lives at the moment.

Lu did a great job of explaining all the rules in the new world of the Republic within the first few pages so that she could get directly into the plot of the book. Since the whole novel takes place in a world similar to ours, but with a much more advanced civilization and a different set of rules for the citizens, Lu had to teach readers everything about the new world in order for the plot to be understood.

At the end of this book I found myself rushing into the sequel, Prodigy, and the final book, Champion. I rated this book a ten out of ten and would recommend it to fans of Divergent, by Veronica Roth, as there are some similarities in the plot and genre. Be ready to enter a new world from the perspectives of June and Day with a gripping plot that will not let you put the book down.


Speak, 352 pages

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