Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend, #3
Release Date: November 5th 2013
June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic – and each other – and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
It’s been months since June and Day last saw one another, months since Day discovered he was dying. After everything the two did for in Prodigy they now have high positions within the Republic, and are watching as the Elector tries to usher in an age of peace with the Colonies. However the peace talks Anden is trying to negotiate come to a halt when a plague breaks out on the front lines, infecting the Colonies’ soldiers and seen as an attack by the Republic. After all the plague infecting the soldiers can be traced back to one biological weapons; Eden.
There’s no cure on hand, not without Eden’s blood, and without the cure there is no hope of resuming the peace talks. The Colonies have given Anden a deadline, and either he hands over the cure or their war resumes, but things look bleak when Day refuses to hand his brother back to the people who already experimented on Eden and ripped their family apart.
When the Colonies attack the Republic and take Denver, heedless of the deadline they gave Anden, needs to act. Together with June and the other Princeps Elect he travels to Iceland seeking help, while Day stays behind with the remaining Patriots to try and delay the Colonies’ forces anyway they can. However as Day, June and Anden are pushed back to Los Angeles they need to come up with the cure or risk having to surrender; either to the Colonies or Iceland’s demands
This was the first time I picked up Champion, having previously read Legend and half of Prodigy a few years back, and as such my expectations were high but I wasn’t let down. Marie Lu has a way of writing stories that throw you right into the heart of the action, you fear for the characters as Lu refuses to pull any punches. I was terrified for June, Day, Anden, Tess and Eden throughout as they struggled to fight back against the Colonies and save the Republic, I never knew what to expect and the ending, though bittersweet, was a perfect one for this book.
Day is still very much the same character he was in the first two books, but the tumour in his brain gives him a certain vulnerability in Champion that wasn’t as visible in Legend and Prodigy. When it comes down to it Day is still only a teenager, he’s been through so much and just when his life seems to finally be getting better this happens. He doesn’t want to leave Eden or June but there’s only so much the doctors can do and Day is very aware of that. Besides with the Colonies closing in it may be the war that kills him before the tumour does.
The Republic worship Day. He’s their legend and they look up to him in a way they don’t to June and Anden who have always been of a higher class and so are unable to understand their way of life. Day is a natural leader, the love he feels for the Republic and for the people he shares circumstances with make him the perfect person to fight in their corner when no one else can.
June had an incredible character journey in Legend and Prodigy, and while her development was interesting in Champion I felt this was definitely Day’s book more than June’s. As one of Anden’s Princeps Elect’s June has a place at the heart of the Republic. She knows the Republic in a way no one else does and Anden knows he needs her on his side. However June struggles with sitting back with the rest of the Republic put their lives on the line fighting the Colonies. All her life June has been following in her brother’s footsteps, ready to put her life on the line fighting, now she is forced to sit back by Anden’s side and rule alongside him from the shadows.
Once Day discovered he was dying he pushed June away, and the two of them have drifted apart as June throws herself into Princeps Elect training and Day hides in San Francisco with his brother receiving treatment. Despite the distance they’re drawn to one another, regardless of their many differences. June knows the way Day thinks and in turn Day leans on June when he is at a loss for what to do next. However there is a lot still standing in their way; Day is grieving the loss of his mother and older brother, and although June didn’t pull the trigger herself she played a large role in their deaths that Day cannot forget.
I was really pleased to see Tess’s character develop more in Champion. She grew up a lot and the dynamic between her and Day changed tracks again to something I enjoyed reading a lot more. Additionally I loved seeing more of Eden. In spite of everything he’s been through he’s still a happy child, and like Day Eden wants to do everything he can to help the Republic, even if it means putting himself in danger. Anden was an interesting character to see more of. He is a strong ruler, but he struggles with what is the right thing to do in the face of many hard choices. It’s not easy but he is constantly trying to do right by his people.
In my reviews for both Legend and Prodigy I mentioned that we didn’t see much of the war between the Republic and the Colonies, well in Champion that all changes. With the peace negotiations between the Republic and the Colonies having come to a standstill the ceasefire has ended, and as June stands by Anden’s side trying to find a way to reinstate the talks and Day works to halt the Colonies process we see the front lines of the war. There were also hints at what the rest of the world is like in this new dystopian world Lu has created, I only wish we’d seen more. Iceland seemed like it would have been an incredible country to explore, however we were only given a small glimpse before June and Anden had to return to Los Angeles.
The Legend trilogy has quickly become a favourite of mine. Normally I’m not a fan of dystopian series but there was something unique about this one that had me hooked, and had me loving every single chapter of all three books. Champion was a bittersweet ending to the trilogy, I was on the edge of my seat so many times, terrified for my favourite characters, but I couldn’t see the story ending any other way for June and Day.
What did you think of Champion? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.