The “Legend” series by Marie Lu takes place in a future version of the United States (2100s) when the country has divided into two countries, the Republic and the Colonies. After a big flood destroyed most of the East, people started migrating to the West. The west couldn’t deal with migration, so they tried to stop it by creating a strong army. The colonies declared war on the Republic, and formed their own government run by corporations. The main characters are Day, the most wanted criminal of the Republic, and June, a prodigy of the Republic army. Their paths cross and they change the Republic in an exciting and emotional turn of events. Their story is chronicled in three books: “Legend”, “Prodigy” and “Champion”.
The adventure starts when Day discovers that someone in his family is infected with a plague (which is really common in the Republic, except for rich people). He decides to steal medicine from a hospital, but barely escapes from several soldiers. The next day, June receives fatal news that her brother was killed, and the Republic accuses Day of killing him. That’s when June is assigned to capture Day and she is determined to do it. They meet without knowing who they are, they fall in love, but then June finds out he is Day. She betrays him and he gets captured in the most cruel way possible. When he is interrogated by June, he swears to her that he didn’t kill her brother. She doesn’t want to believe him and is blinded by her loyalty to the Republic. But she eventually discovers a secret journal her brother left for her where she discovers that the Republic killed her parents and her brother, and many other unexpected things. She helps Day escape his execution with the help of the Patriots (a group of rebels) and they escape together ready for the next adventure. The first book is a 10/10. It is full of action that can easily be made into a movie. It has many deaths that will bring tears to the reader’s eyes. It has mystery, a love story, lots of tragedies, it has jaw-dropping moments, and it will leave the reader asking for more.
After escaping from death, June and Day join the patriots. They are asked to be part of a plan to assassinate the new Elector (president) and change the Republic in its entirety. June must go back to the government and tell the Elector the patriots are attempting an assassination. She is to pretend to lead him to safety, but she is actually leading him to his assassination. After spending time with the Elector, she realizes that he is not like his father. Anden actually wants to make the Republic better. June signals to Day to stop the assassination, and he does. They decide that the best way to end the chaos in the Republic is if Day gives a speech to the people (since he is considered a legend/hero) and speak about his support for the new elector. The book ends with Day receiving bad news from doctors that he’s dying and he decides to leave June to not hurt her with the news. This sequel is also a 10/10. It is at the same level as the first one. It has even more action, it is full of intense fights (physically and verbally), it revives emotional moments from the first book, and more secrets are discovered. It has a sad ending that leaves readers wanting a third book so Day and June can come back together.
In the last book, the two countries are about to sign a peace treaty, but a plague created by the Republic breaks out in the colonies, so they declare war once again. The whole book is about the war and the different things the elector, June, and Day try to do to win it. At the end, they win the war, but Day is shot and induced into a comma. When he wakes up, he has amnesia and can’t remember June. She thinks it’s for the best since they have been through many hard times together. She just wants Day to be happy. Ten years later, she comes across Day again in an opportunity to get to know each other again without their pasts full of tragedy. This was an amazing conclusion to the series. Even though it ends with another cliffhanger, the reader can infer that Day and June are finally together and happy, without any Republic issue to bother them.
All in all, this series was one that needs to be made into movies. It had everything that a good book should have. The reader will be at the edge of their seat through all of it, anticipating Day and June’s next move.