Legend (2011) – Marie Lu


Thanks to my Sweetie, Amanda, this book found it’s way into my hands, and I was more than happy to dig into it, I do love a good book, and as always there seems to be lots of fun storytelling going on in the ‘young adult’ genre.

Legend takes us to the future, a so-far unspecified date, in North America. The United States has fallen, with the spoils being split up and fought over by the Republic and the Colonies. The Republic is everything you would want it to be, as long as you’re compliant, smart, and born in one of the wealthier sections of the country.

If you aren’t, you end up living a nightmare in a this terrifying tyrannically run state.

At the age of 10, if you live that long, you face the Trials, which sound like some very vicious SATs, with a terrible fate if you fail. There is also a rampant plague afflicting the less well off, while those who live comfortably never seem to get sick.

As unbalanced as it seems, things are about to get much worse, as there is something even more dangerous going on behind the scenes, something we get a glimpse of in this, the first book in the trilogy.

We are introduced to characters on both sides of the line, Day is an infamous criminal who keeps his face hidden from the public eye, but when the plague strikes at home, he needs to go out and steal a cure… During the escape, violence ensues, and a young Captain, Metias, ends up dead.


Metias’ brilliant sister, June, is the only person to score perfectly on the Trials, she has resources, wits and a razor-sharp intelligence at her disposal, and she is going to be the one who brings Day to justice.

But, as happens, when the two meet, there are sparks, and maybe together, if they don’t betray one another, they can find love, and the truth about what is really going on…

This book flies along, though I thought I would have a problem with it at first, as chapters alternate between the two leads, and is told in the first-person, but subtle differences in typeface, and text color, keeps the characters nicely separate, and tells their story very nicely.

And while there isn’t anything really new in the offering, the story is very engaging, and Lu has created a completely realized world, and seems to know, right from the beginning, where the trilogy is going to end up.

Both Day and June are strong characters, even if they are both surrounded by the occasional, but seemingly necessary cliches. Lu’s writing style lets you overlook them, or at least acknowledge them, without losing the drive and enjoyment of the story.

I’m looking forward to digging into the next book, Prodigy!


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