The Legend Series is a book series written by Marie Lu. The series includes three main books (Legend, Prodigy, Champion) and one side novel (Life Before Legend). The first book in the series, Legend, was published in 2011, the second book, Prodigy, as well as the side novel, Life Before Legend, was released in 2013. The third and final installment in the series, Champion, was released in 2014.
- main article: Legend
What was once the western United States is now home to The Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June Iparis is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Legend is set in dystopian Los Angeles, in a time where North America has devolved into two warring countries: The Republic and The Colonies. Mixed into this fight is a rebel group, known as the Patriots. Legend centers around Day and June, two 15 year-olds from opposite sides of the economic spectrum. June is a military prodigy (with a perfect score on her Trial, the method of determining a child's physical and mental capabilities), born into an elite family, and "groomed for success in the Republic's highest circles." She has a habit of getting into trouble with her superiors, as her stunts at her military college are often rather dangerous. With no parents to rely on (they were killed in a car crash years before), she can always count on aid from Metias], her older brother.
That is, until the day Metias is mysteriously murdered while guarding a hospital. The prime suspect is Day. Day is a 15 year-old boy born into the meanest slums of the Republic and the country's most wanted criminal. Day's crime spree started early on, after his father was beaten. But this would have most likely meant nothing had he not failed his Trial. He was sent to the Republic's "work camps," which turned out to really be labs to experiment on the supposedly worthless children who had failed the Trial. The Republic took samples from Day's body and left him for dead, but he managed to escape. From then on, he led a life of extreme poverty, living on the streets with his friend Tess, a 13 year-old orphan who had been found three years prior to when the story occurs. Day hated the Republic, and used his phenomenal athletic and intellectual capabilities to harass them, attacking their military bases and hospitals, and generally causing chaos. It is during one of these attacks that Day supposedly murders Metias.
June is sent to find Day, and turn him in to the Republic. After posing as a girl from the slums, Day rescues her from a fight, and he and Tess help heal the knife wound she was given during the fight. After a little while, Day and June realize that they're falling for each other. However, neither of them know who the other person is. They wind up making out in an alley, unaware of the circumstances. But then, as Day is falling asleep, June sees him reach for the pendant that he had once had around his neck. The pendant he lost at the site of Metias's death and the pendant that June has in her pocket. June makes the connection, and suddenly, all her emotions conflict. She says nothing, but follows Day when he wakes, watching him enter his house. Based on the marking on his door, she knows that someone (that someone turns out to be Eden, Day's little brother) has the Plague, a deadly disease that spreads through different sectors of the Republic every so often.
June decides she has no choice but to report Day, and she calls back to her superiors, notifying them that she's found Day. The next morning, military medical trucks head for Day's family's house, and he heads off to save them. June goes after him, but not before telling Tess to hide. Day tries desperately to keep the military from taking his family, but June has already tipped them off. They capture Day's family, forcing Day out of hiding. He tries to resist capture, but Thomas, Metias's childhood friend, and the new captain of Metias's old military unit, shoots Day's mother in the head, killing her. Day goes into a rage, trying to kill the soldiers, but Commander Jameson, the leader of all the units, and June's commanding officer, shoots Day in the leg. Day awakes, a captive of the Republic. His brothers John Wing and Eden have been taken captive, his mother is dead, and he was betrayed by June, the girl he thinks he might love. He is in a Republic base, however, and there is little he can do to resist. He is questioned, with a great level of violence, by June, Commander Jameson, and eventually Thomas. His leg is still sore, and he can't even stand, making the beatings worse.
Eventually, his execution date (for his crimes against the Republic) is set to be four days away. However, the more he talks to June, the closer they grow, and the more she trusts him. He insists that he did not kill Metias, and she, believing it possible, takes a closer look at the pictures of her brother's corpse. She realizes that there are two knife wounds, one in the shoulder, where Day says he hit Metias with the knife, and one in Metias's chest. June looks closer at the knife, and sees rifle grease on the handle, the same grease that was on Thomas's forehead the night of Metias's death. She realizes that if Day was right about not killing Metias, he could be right about other things. For instance, he had a theory that the Plague was spread by the Republic, not by natural causes. The more June mulls it over, the more she comes to accept it. She eventually strikes a deal with the Patriots for their help, freeing Day on the morning of his execution. However his brother, John, dies in his place.
- main article: Prodigy
June and Day arrive in Las Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With The Republic edging closer to Commander DeSoto (Razor) chaos, the two join a group of the Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother, Eden and offer passage to the Colonies. They want the nation to give voice to the people who have been silenced for far too long.
But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if, truly, the new Elector can change the Republic for the better? What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?
Day and June meet the Patriots after Kaede discovers them. Razor (the head of the Patriots) makes a deal with Day and June: Day's leg can be fixed by them and they will help find Day's brother, Eden, if they both help to assassinate the new Elector Primo. June and Day share an intimate moment together; they learn the details and jobs of each person after speaking to Razor. After Day's leg is fixed (which is now partly metal), they make a plan that June would be be the one to gain Anden's trust and lure him into the trap. This is because Razor notes that Anden has taken a liking towards June, thus it will be easier to gain his trust.
According to the plan, June is taken to the Vegas airship hub where Thomas discovers and captures her. Day is taken to a city called Lamar. Kaede shows Day a series of tunnels between the Republic and the Colonies, where they see the world outside of the Republic.
June is questioned by Thomas, but she stubbornly insists to talk to the new Elector, Anden . Thinking accordingly to the plan. When June meets Anden at the capital city of Denver, she realizes how different Anden is from the previous Elector. They both have dinner together and chat together. She also tells him about the fake assassination plot that the Patriots are planning (in order to get Anden's trust). At the end of the dinner, Anden questions whether June is being honest, which she replies that she is telling the truth.
June takes a lie detector test in order to prove her honesty, which induces many flashbacks about Metias. She passes successfully, but barely (in her opinion). When she is resting at her room, Anden comes over and whispers in her ear (in order to prevent people from hearing) about the changes he would like to make. He tells her how the (fake) assassination plot had turned out, which makes him trust her even more. He whispers that he plans to release Eden because the biological testing was ridiculous. He also plans to do that in order to get Day's trust. At the end, Anden steals a kiss from June and leaves the room. Knowing that the Patriots are watching through hidden cameras, June touches two fingers to her eyebrow, a signal meaning "stop" which only Day knows. She does this in attempt to inform Day that they should stop the real assassination plan.
The next day, on the train ride, Anden tells June the history of the Republic and the good reasoning behind Trials back then. Eastern United States was flooded and went underwater because of Global warming, and thousands of people fled to the west. Then the Republic was formed by the military and the Trials were formed. The Trials previously were optional and reasonable but as time passed by, it became biased and went to select the best people for military. Also the trials later on were in order to control population and those who failed were practically useless. Anden states to June about how he wants to change the Republic. June believes and trusts that what Anden says is genuine. She also feels that Razor was lying to her about something.
Previously, Day was in the fake attack of the train in order for June to prove that Patriots were planning an assassination plot. He does not understand June's warning signal when he saw the video (without audio) of June and Anden in the room. He thinks that June is in love with Anden. He is jealous of Anden, while Tess shows that she is jealous of June. Tess and Day have an argument over June.
Day also finds a train carriage with a boy locked inside in the thick glass. Day thinks that the boy is Eden, but it turns out he is one of those mutated victims who have the mutated plague (like Eden). Day tries to get the blind boy out but he fails because of the Republic soldiers marching by.
It is the day of the assassination, and June tries to do her best to prevent the assassination of Anden. She actually feels a slight bit ill, but she fakes a faint. Commander De Soto (Razor) sees what June is trying to do and orders that the car must be taken to the assassination area instead of the hospital - which is against Anden's orders. June gets out of the car, to shield Anden, successfully stopping the assassination plot, and runs away with Day through the tunnels between the Colonies and Republic. Day feels guilty because he has abandoned Tess.
When they find shelter, June and Day have a big argument. Day argues and complains about her for her relationship with Anden, and her reason why they canceled the assassination plot. He also is angry about getting separated from the Patriots, and openly blames her for his mom and brother's death and being a traitor. June argues back, but Day stubbornly refuses to accept her point of view. They take a break from each other. June indirectly apologizes to Day by teaching him how to fight. Through that, they forgive each other, and Day feels guilty that he blamed her since June is getting even more ill.
They run away again when there is an alert that someone is approaching. They finally reach the the Colonies. Day is able to take June to the Colonies hospital and Day is treated by the people of the Colonies as a celebrity. In the crowd with Day's cheering fans, he sees Kaede's sign warning him that this was an emergency and they have to talk. Meanwhile, June is dreaming and it seems that she has found a logical reasoning between this mystery.
Kaede tells Day that she figured out that Razor is in fact working for the Republic, where the Republic senators hired Razor to assassinate Anden the Elector. Kaede tells Day that Anden has survived. Day sees soldiers running by and realizes that they came to capture June because she worked for the Republic (and they were enemies). Day and Kaede are able to help June escape from prison and Kaede (who was a former pilot) takes a jet and flies to the Republic. Unfortunately, Kaede dies from a gunfire. Day and June are forced to leave her behind and escape to the Republic.
When Day and June arrives at the Republic, Day runs up to a tower and makes a speech to the revolting Republic telling them about Anden's good intentions and that they should support Anden. Since Day was able to win them over, this in turn gives Anden the peoples' support.
At the end, Day is reunited with Eden. Day is later informed by a doctor that the Republic's experiments on him in his younger years after failing the Trials has led a fatal brain disorder, which will cause him death.
Anden visits June and thanks her for her help. Anden also tells her that he hopes that she can become the Princeps-Elect (which is his second-in-command). June is thinking about refusing the order, but Day tells her that she should take the offer. Day gives her a ruby necklace, and he also tells June that their relationship should stop since it is impossible because of their previous history. Day doesn't tell June about his serious medical condition (since he doesn't want June to grieve about this). Day kisses June, who is distressed and deeply saddened, a final time. June feels hollow when Day leaves.
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Life Before Legend
- main article: Life Before Legend
As twelve-year-olds struggling to survive in two very different worlds within the Republic’s stronghold, June was starting her first day of school at Drake University as the youngest cadet ever admitted, and Day was fighting for food on the streets of the Lake sector.
Day's short story was about his first kiss when he was twelve years old. He sees a sign on the Jumbo-Trons about a girl named June getting a perfect score of 1500 on her Trial[ Then Day steals some food, saying he hadn't eaten in two days. A sixteen year old girl named Charlie catches him and agrees to let him go without saying anything if she would work for her dad for three days - and give her a kiss. He kisses her, does the work, and tells her his name is Ed (he likes to keep his name a secret). Charlie also said he could work for her dad for longer to get money and food, but he hesitantly declines. In a random time, Republic soldiers come and take away Charlie and her dad's shipment, however Day spreads sharp objects across the road to bust the wheels of the truck taking away Charlie's dad's shipment in attempt to stop it. The attempt turned out to be successful, and all the canned food spread across the pavement and road. People than poured onto the streets, taking as much food as they could. Before Day leaves, Charlie tells him that "I bet the Republic hasn’t seen the last of you.”
June's story was about her first day at Drake when she was also twelve years old. She was the youngest student ever admitted at Drake, a university for students 16 and above. She arrives late at the university because of the traffic created by Day when he bust the wheels of a truck carrying food away.