Title: Legend

Author: Marie Lu

Series: Legend, #1

Publisher: Penguin

Release Date: November 29th 2011


Four Stars

From different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths…

Until June’s brother is murdered, and Day becomes the prime suspect.

In a shocking turn of events, the two uncover what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths to which their country will go to keep its secrets.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine.”

He knows he should stay away from them but Day continues to watch his family from a distance. As the most wanted criminal in the Republic it can only ever be from a distance but he does what he can to help, and when Day discovers his younger brother has caught the plague he makes a very reckless decision. Breaking into the hospital for whatever he can get his hands on to suppress or cure the plague Eden has caught Day is nearly captured. He manages to escape, but only after injuring the captain who nearly caught him.

Later that night June discovers her brother has been murdered by the infamous criminal Day. Shocked and grieving June is immediately pulled out of university and put on the trail of Metias’s killer. No one has ever succeeded in catching Day before, the Republic doesn’t even know what he looks like, but as the Republic’s Prodigy with a grudge against him June is determined to hunt Day down and make him pay for Metias’s death.

“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.” He looks toward the railway car’s open door, where streaks of dark water blanket the world. “You try to walk in the light.”

However as June gets closer and closer to Day she starts questioning his role in her brother’s death, and questioning her country in ways she never thought to before.

June and Day live on opposite sides of the Republic. June is a Prodigy. She scored 100% on her trial and since then has been the Republic’s golden child; given the best training and the best schooling to prepare her for her military career. Day on the other hand is the Republic’s most wanted criminal. Ever since failing his trial he has lived on the streets; his mother thinks he’s dead while the Republic offers rewards for any information on his whereabouts.

Legend was a re-read for me, but I was surprised how much of the story I’d forgotten. I guess this is what happens when you try to read a series in the middle of a reading slump. Sometimes in debut books of series you find the action pushed to one side to introduce the characters, the situation and the world, but in Legend that wasn’t the case. The characters and the world were still incredibly developed but the action was fast-paced and addictive from the start until the end.

…The Characters

“My mother used to hope that I would rise up from my humble roots. Become someone successful, or even famous.
I’m famous all right, but I don’t think it’s what she had in mind.”

Day is smart, after all he managed to evade the Republic for years without leaving any trace of himself behind before nearly getting caught at the hospital. Day learnt some hard lessons on the streets, and knows how to take care of himself, but despite that he still opens up to people. He visits his family in secret regardless of the fact that it could put him and them in danger, he looks after Tess despite knowing an orphan girl is the worst liability to have on the streets, and he still reaches for June when she’s in trouble.

“In the mirror, I look the same. But I am a different person inside. I am a prodigy who knows the truth. I know exactly what I’m going to do.”

June was a great characters to discover. Her whole life she has trusted the Republic, believed what they told her about the trial and what they mean for all people living under the Elector. She’s never had any reason to look beyond the surface until her brother died. With Metias’s death June is alone in the world and although she believes Day to be the person who killed her brother she can’t help but keep looking for more clues, more places where her brother’s presence can still be felt.

What I enjoyed the most about reading June’s chapters was her view of the Republic. A lot of time in dystopian novels we see the POV of characters like Day; people on the outside who are already distrustful of their government, people on the down and out who have no other choice but to rebel. June has been given everything by the Republic, raised to respect the Elector and to believe the lies fed to her. Reading her inner turmoil as she uncovers their secrets made for some very interesting character development.

“What a joke! Poor little rich girl’s fallen in love with the Republic’s most famous criminal.”

Both Day and June are the same person born into two very different circumstances. If Day had had the opportunities June had growing up it would be easy for him to have become the Republic’s Prodigy as well as, or instead of, June. There is something that draws these two characters together, despite June thinking Dare killed her brother and despite Day not knowing much about June at all.

Family is very important to Day and June. June lost her parents when she was young so Metias was all she had left. Her brother was her world and when he dies it’s like her world has been torn apart. Metias’s death shakes June enough that she starts looking for secrets inside of the Republic she may not have discovered had he lived. Day lost his whole family when he went on the run, but he still looks over them and you can see how much he cares for them in how much he is willing to sacrifice for them.

…The Setting

“If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system. That’s much more powerful than rebelling outside the system.”

We get a lot of information on the Republic in this book; how it’s organized and run by the Elector and the military, what the trial is and what it means for the children who pass and those who fail. All this information was well-written and well integrated into the story so it never felt like info-dumps but also never left me with unanswered questions. Still there is a lot I want to learn about this world, about the history of the Republic and what happened to America that split it in half and turned the two halves against each other. The Republic is fighting a war again the Colonies, however we see very little of the war in this book. Instead we focused on the immediate parts of June’s and Day’s lives; the privilege of June’s and the squalor of Day’s.

It took me a long time to get back around to the Legend series after I first picked it up, but it was well worth the wait. This is a thrilling first book to the series, and I can’t wait to get back to Prodigy and then get started on Champion. June and Day are incredible characters to follow, and after the way this book ended I’m excited to see where the information they’ve learnt takes them next.

What did you think of Legend? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

44 thoughts on “Legend

  1. I have not yet read this trilogy or any of Marie Lu’s books but own them all SMH LOL! my hubby read this series but felt that the last book fell a bit flat so I’m working up to reading them lol. I’m glad to see you enjoyed the characters, extra motivation for me lol. Great review Beth! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I owned these books for a fair while before picking them up, I had them on my Kindle long before I brought them in paperback as well. Oh that is a shame, I really loved the third book so it’ll be interesting to see what you think of it when you get around to it.
      Thanks Lilly! 🙂 ❤


  2. Love this series! And fantastic review, Beth! I thought Legend was a really strong start to this series. Marie Lu did an amazing job un finding a balance between effective world-building and potent character development. June and Day are two of my favorite characters in YA. Their differing views and circumstances are what makes them so complex but also relatable. And I also really appreciate how family is an important part in their lives. Glad to see you enjoyed this one! And this was a good refresher for me. I forgot a few of the details you mentioned 😀 You make me want to read it again haha. Again, awesome review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Azia! 😀 Legend is just an incredible start to the series, and I think reading it now while not in the middle of a reading slump has made me appreciate that fact a little more. Marie Lu is an incredible writer, and now I can’t wait to start on the rest of her books. June and Day are amazing, the development they both go through throughout the whole series was wonderful to read, they’re definitely complex characters! 😀
      That’s good to hear, it was a while since I first picked up this book for the first time and yeah I was surprised by how much I’d forgotten about it.
      Thanks again! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love Marie Lu. She has very complex characters you can easily relate to and her world-building is always well-done. Can’t wait to read Warcross!
        Np! 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely review, Beth, I’m really glad to hear you enjoyed that one! 🙂 I haven’t read this series yet, but I started reading The Young Elites series (only read the first book so far), and I enjoyed it so much, I put Legend on my TBR right away because I knew I wanted to try out more from this author. I hope to get to that one soon 🙂 And I certainly hope you’ll keep on enjoying that series until the last book! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie! 😀 Oh I’d definitely recommend this series in that case, I haven’t read The Young Elites but it’s on my to-read list, and I’m sure it’ll be just as amazing as this series is. I’m glad you enjoyed it as well. I have a feeling Marie Lu is going to become a favourite author of mine.
      I actually finished the series earlier today, and safe to say I enjoyed it right until the very end! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohhh you are such a fast reader, Beth, it’s crazy ahah. 🙂
        (Also, this is out of topic, but I sent you an email regarding the #SFATW project a couple days ago, I don’t know if you saw it?)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do have a lot of time to read which helps. 🙂
        Yes I saw it. I need to reply still but I’m a lot more behind on my emails than I am willing to admit. 🙂
        I totally think I got the best person for this project, I’m so excited! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Legend is one of my favorite trilogies (definitely my favorite dystopian one). I love the pace of the plot and the character development. Your review has refreshed my memory of the book!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Agh, the Legend trilogy is definitely a favorite series of mine! Day and June are SUCH amazing, developed characters, as are the others. The plot is well-paced and has plenty of action, and I love the two POVs we get! I don’t think this is your typical dystopian — something about it just differentiates it! I agree that reading June’s inner struggle was enlightening; it really adds another perspective to dystopian.

    Great review! I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of Champion. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s quickly become a favourite of mine as well. Honestly there was nothing that didn’t happen in this book, the characters were beyond amazing and the plot had me hooked from the first page. Yes it was quite unique as far as dystopian series go, which is something I’m always looking for in that genre so definitely a plus.
      Thanks so much May, I finished Champion today so I’m going to try and start my review for it in a bit. Let’s just say I have a lot of feelings about that book! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve owned this trllogy for waaay too long and have not started reading 😦 Have to pull on my big girl pants and get organised.Thanks for posting a great review and putting this series back on my radar.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Legend is definitely a favorite of mine – the series has been a favorite ever since I got my hands on Champion. It makes me so happy to see that you enjoyed Legend as much as I did! Great review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s fast becoming a favourite of mine as well, there’s so much happening I honestly don’t know where the story is going to go in Champion (which I am currently reading).
      I really did, it was a brilliant book and I can see why so many people love this series. 🙂 Thanks Elena! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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