A Legendary Series: The Legend Trilogy
Set in a dystopian future where the United States of America does not exist any more, the Legend Trilogy explores the contrasting lives of two teenagers and how their lives intersect with each other. The story takes place in the new nation, known as the Republic, which is perpetually in a state of war with its neighbors. Born in one of the wealthiest districts of the Republic, fifteen year old June has been groomed from a young age to join the highest echelons of the Republic’s military. On the other hand, 15 year old Day, who has been born in the slums of the Republic, is also the nation’s most wanted criminal.
Though it seems unlikely that there is anything common between the two, their lives are influenced by each other when Day is accused of having killed June’s older brother, who in turn is tasked with finding Day and bringing him to justice. The series focus on the relation between June and Day, who initially meet under different guises, but slowly realize who they are actually dealing with and the feelings they have for each other.
The Legend Starts
The first book in the series introduces us to the two protagonists of the story, June and Day. As mentioned above, June seeks to bring Day to justice for murdering her brother and poses as a poor girl in order to get closer to him. However, when they first meet each other, June does not even realize he is Day and develops feelings for him. When she does finally realize Day’s true identity, she has him arrested in order to answer for his part in her brother’s murder. It is only after Day is apprehended that the truth about the Republic begins to reveal itself, showing that what seems obvious may not be true after all.
The book, which was author Mary Lu’s first, was critically acclaimed, with particular praise lavished on the plot as well as the depth of the characters. The general consensus was that the author inventiveness and creativity allowed her to escape the clichés that tend to hound fantasy novels and create memorable characters, whose emotional depth endeared them to fans of the book.
The Legend Continues
The second book of the series, Prodigy, sees June and Day attempt to overthrow the Republic’s Senate by assassinating their new leader, Anden, son of the previous Republic leader whose untimely death saw Anden ascend to the position of supreme leader. Once again, the book serves to remind us that everything may not necessarily be as we observe it to be and the truth may be hidden. This book also further delves in to the relationship dynamic between the opposing personalities of June and Day, and whether they are able to reconcile their differences or grow completely apart because of them.
The plan to assassinate the new leader as well as the conflicting feelings of June and Day make for an exciting, fast paced novel, which has been lauded by critics, who consider it as one of the few sequels that are actually good. Favorable comparisons to Hunger Games have been drawn, with many praising the plot of the book amid the whirlwind romance between June and Day.
About The Characters
Knowing about the characters is important in order to understand their motives, actions, logic and emotions.
June is a fifteen year old girl, who scored a 100% (i.e. a 1500/1500) in her trial, which is a mandatory test, held by the Republic. She has spent all her life being readied for life in the Republic military. Even though she belonged to a very financially well off family, her brother Metias took care of her ever since her parents died in a car crash under mysterious circumstances when she was young. Later, her brother is also killed, while supposedly tracking Day. This leads everyone to believe that Day was the killer and motivated by revenge, June plans revenge on Day, only to later develop feelings for Day once she finally meets him. The author manages to cleverly execute her plan of portraying June as both a friend and love interest of Day.
Her attributes include exceptional intelligence and street smarts, which allow her to survive in dangerous situations, though she also sometimes very uptight. She has long, dark brown hair which she prefers to wear in a high pony tail, while she also has brown eyes, though with golden specks in them.
Daniel Altan Wing, better known as Day, is also a brilliant fifteen year old prodigy, who was born in the slums of the Republic. He is also the Republic’s most wanted criminal while also being wanted in the murder of June’s older brother Metias, where he is the prime suspect.
Day is part Caucasian and part Mongolian, who wears his blonde hair long and has blue eyes. Even though he believes he failed the mandatory Republic test, future events dictate otherwise. He is considered to be strong and agile, even surpassing June in this ability, while also being considered as stubborn and confident. He carries a limp in his left leg, while experiments performed on him while he was young have left him with an imperfection in one eye.
About The Series
With the first book coming out in 2011, the Legend Trilogy is a bestselling series, propelling its author, Mary Lu, into international stardom. Rights of the books have been sold in an astounding 26 countries all over the world.
The series have been inspired by ‘Les Miserables’, the French historical book published by Victor Hugo in the 1880s. In fact, very few people know that June was initially intended to be a boy, as it was the author’s idea to use her book’s characters and recreate the tension and conflict between two of the main characters of Les Miserables, Jean Valjean and Javert. The final novel in the series, Champion, was released in January 2013 to critical acclaim, in what many regarded as a fitting end to an enthralling series.
In fact, the popularity of the books has seen them picked up by CBS for movies to be based on them, thus increasing the audience that will witness the romance between June and Day amid the problems that threaten to disintegrate their relationship.