Legend (Lu novel)

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Legend
Legend Marie Lu Book cover.jpg
AuthorMarie Lu
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesLegend Book 1(series)
GenreDystopian young adult
PublisherG. P. Putnam's Sons, Penguin Books
Publication date
2011
Media typePrint (Hardcover and paperback)
Pages305
ISBN039925675X
Followed byProdigy
 
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Legend
Legend Marie Lu Book cover.jpg
AuthorMarie Lu
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SeriesLegend Book 1(series)
GenreDystopian young adult
PublisherG. P. Putnam's Sons, Penguin Books
Publication date
2011
Media typePrint (Hardcover and paperback)
Pages305
ISBN039925675X
Followed byProdigy

Legend is a 2011 dystopian young adult novel by Marie Lu. It is the first book of a trilogy, followed by Prodigy and Champion.[1]

Plot[edit]

Day, the Republic's fifteen-year-old most wanted criminal, breaks into Los Angeles Central Hospital in hopes of stealing a cure for the plague that threatens his family. He also kills Metias Iparis, a military captain, as he struggles to escape and loses his special pendant.

June Iparis, a fifteen-year-old prodigy, is chosen to find and capture Day, who is charged with the murder of Metias Iparis (June's older brother), amongst other crimes against the country. Though born into an elite family in one of the wealthiest districts in the Republic, June poses as a girl from the slums in order to search for Day, coincidentally collecting Day's fallen pendant as she observes the crime scene. When attempting to lure Day by pretending to be a merchant with a plague cure that doesn't work, June decided to look for Day herself.

After getting injured in a 'Skiz' fight, June is circumstantially taken into the care of Day and his young partner in crime and only friend, Tess. Day and June realize that they're falling for each other, they kiss, but still keep their true identities secret. Though Day trusts June almost blindly, June gradually realizes who her companion is through several clues, including the occasion when Day subconsciously reaches for his pendant at his throat - the pendant June has in her pocket. She follows Day to his home and notices a marking on the door of his house which indicates that someone inside is infected with the plague. Remembering her hatred for Metias's murderer, June then turns Day over to the authorities.

The next morning, military medical trucks and soldiers surround Day's home. As Day rushes to save his family, June follows him, but the military captures Day's family, forcing Day out of hiding. He tries to resist capture, but Captain Thomas, Metias's and June's close friend, shoots Day's mother under order, killing her. Day reacts by trying to kill the soldiers in vain. Commander Jameson, June's commanding officer, shoots Day in the leg.

Day wakes as a captive of the Republic. After June returns from her mission, Thomas starts pursuing her romantically. Day is questioned by June, Commander Jameson, and eventually Thomas, who has a personal hatred for Day because he kissed June.

The more Day speaks with June, the closer they grow and the more they come to understand each other. She finally researches Day's real identity - Daniel Altan Wing - and discovers he scored a perfect score on his Trial, just as she did. The authorities have told Day that he had failed his Trial, which is what Day has come to believe. While June was moved into a prestigious program because of her high Trial score, Day was experimented on and abandoned, supposedly dead like the others who failed their Trial.

Day insists that he did not kill Metias. June takes a closer look at the pictures of the scene of her brother's murder and comes to the conclusion that Day is indeed right, and suspects that Thomas was the murderer. Along the way, she discovers a series of coded messages from her brother, who had stumbled upon a conspiracy and knew his life might be in danger. Metias had learned that their parents (who supposedly died in an automobile accident) were murdered after investigating the truth about the plague - that it is genetically engineered by the Republic in order to kill off people with "weak genes." It is then revealed that Thomas did indeed kill Metias.

June seeks out Kaede, who is the one who injured June in the Skiz fight and one of the Patriots, a group of anti-Republic rebels. She finds that Tess has taken refuge with them after Day is taken by the Republic. June negotiates with the Patriots for their help, freeing Day on the morning of his execution. The plan does not perfectly execute, as Commander Jameson moved up the execution time, and Day's older brother John sacrifices himself by posing at the execution as Day so June and Day can escape.

Three days later, June and Day take shelter in an old train car and plan to go to Las Vegas, where the Patriots are, so they can check on Tess before heading out to find Day's little brother Eden. Day also explains why he chose his nickname, saying that everything happens each day, and that everything can be possible the next day. "'You try to walk in the light.'"

Characters[edit]

Background[edit]

Lu has said that she was inspired by the movie Les Miserables, and sought to recreate the conflict between Valjean and Javert in a teenage version.[2]

Reception[edit]

Susan Carpenter, writing in the Los Angeles Times calls Legend "a taut and exciting romp for all readers with enough inventive details to keep things from becoming cliché",[3] while The New York Times' Ridley Pearson called it "[a] fine example of commercial fiction with razor-sharp plotting, depth of character and emotional arc."[4]

Film adaptation[edit]

Legend's film rights have been sold to CBS Films, with Twilight producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen to produce. Jonathan Levine, director of 50/50, is currently set to direct the film, with newcomers Andrew Barrer and Gabe Ferrari writing the script.[5]

References[edit]