SPOILERS FOR “THE LEGEND TRILOGY” BEYOND THIS POINT
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.
ASDFHJKL I AM NOT OKAY.
Well I have officially finished the “Legend Trilogy”, and I am definitely emotionally compromised. Historically, the final books in YA dystopia series are usually giant piles of depressing sadness, so I was going into “Champion” already expecting a load of character deaths, and emotional pain. And while it definitely wasn’t as painful as the endings of certain other series that shall not be named because spoilers, it entirely succeeded in ripping my heart out with feels, and at being, at least in my opinion, a great conclusion to the series. Even if it did continuously hurt the characters for whom I have an intense emotional attachment.
SPOILERS FOR “CHAMPION” AND “THE LEGEND TRILOGY” BEYOND THIS POINT
So right from the start we have an eight month time skip since the events of “Prodigy”. I always tend to get kind of worried when time skips happen because there’s all this time full of events and character development that we don’t get to see, but this one was handled pretty well, and in the scheme of things it wasn’t that long. My main issue is that within all this time June and Day are still separated, and have barely, if at all, made contact with each other.
On top of that, Day is still dying from the experiments, and you can just tell it is hitting him so hard, physically and emotionally. It is ridiculously painful to watch him being affected through this whole book, especially since he was always such an active and determined. He is possibly the most powerful individual in the Republic, at least with the people, and at the same time he is so powerless against his illness. Seriously, every time he blacked out after an action scene I would start having this small panic attack, like “No, you cannot kill this fictional character, this cannot happen. STOP HURTING THIS CHARACTER.”
Meanwhile June is still with Anden training to be a Princeps, and I have to say that Anden really grew on me in this book. He really was trying his best to fix his father’s actions, and a lot of the reforms were happening. It’s kind of weird to think, but the Republic kind of went from being the evil dystopia at the beginning of the series to being this place that’s improving and that we want to see win against the Colonies, and that’s something I haven’t seen in a lot of dystopia series.
I am glad that June did eventually realize she didn’t want to be the Princeps. I couldn’t see her being happy in the world of politics and stuff like that, so it’s good that she realized she belongs in the field.
So anyway we get onto the plot and find out that a plague has broken out in the Colonies, and they’re threatening war if they aren’t given a cure. Furthermore it’s believed that the disease is from the plague experiments they did on Eden, and now they want to test him to find an antidote. And they want June to convince Day to let the Republic test his brother. And now I’m thinking three things.
- This poor eleven year old child has gone through enough crap.
- WELL THAT’S A PAINFUL WAY TO GET MY OTP BACK IN THE SAME PLACE.
- Day is not going to go for that. There is no way in hell he’s going to go for that.
Yeah, there’s no way that was going to end well.
Meanwhile, June finds out that Thomas and Commander Jameson were both sentenced to death and finds out about when Metias died, and it was so seriously upsetting. I didn’t really mention the whole thing about Metias being in love with Thomas in my “Prodigy” book talk, but I can say that it added an entirely new dimension of sad to the whole situation. I just feel so bad for Metias, and so angry at Thomas for using Metias’s feelings against him, and I can’t stand Commander Jameson for orchestrating the whole thing. Also, I really couldn’t figure out if Thomas felt anything for Metias or not. Honestly though, I think Thomas’s only love is the Republic, and he does die for the Republic in the end, so I guess that was a good resolution to his story arc.
So the plot goes on, June and Day finally talk, she learns that he’s dying but there isn’t as much time for all the drama I thought would ensue because the Colonies attack right after they start talking about it. After that there’s this great stretch of action scenes, and we see Tess and the Patriots again, so that’s pretty cool.
But then we get to my main issue: June and Day were separated through most of the book. Don’t get me wrong, the book was great, but one of the best parts of this series was seeing these two characters work off each other, and now they spend a good few chapters apart, with Day working against the Colonies with the Patriots, and June going to Antarctica to work politics with Anden.
Speaking of which I need to talk about this whole thing with Antarctica. Apparently Antarctica is going to be the wealthiest place in the world in the future, and seeing the way it was run was this strange balance of really cool, and really weird. They had the whole number system where you get a score based on the amount of good/bad things you do, and that score dictates your place in society, and on one hand it was really cool that it had essentially eliminated crime and all, but there was also something kind of odd about it. Like how does this system know exactly what everyone is doing at all times to give out scores? Either way I just thought it was really interesting that this series actually mentioned parts of the world aside from North America. A lot of times in dystopias they don’t really address the existence of the rest of the world, so it’s kind of cool that there’s not a “Hunger Games” type situation where you think about it and it’s like “is the rest of the world concerned that North America is murdering 23 teenagers on a yearly basis?” or anything like that.
So meanwhile on Day’s side of things the Chancellor of the Colonies gives him this ultimatum that if he does not get the people to start a revolution, June and Eden will not be killed when the Colonies take over, and I am so irritated, because they are freaking using the people he loves against him again. It’s just, through this whole series we have this character who just wants to protect the people he cares about, and then he is completely thrown into an insanely powerful position that puts him and all of said people in constant danger and oh my god none of this is okay. And on top of that he has to watch Eden volunteer himself to be used to find a plague cure (even though I did really like seeing Eden making his own decisions. I got attached to him in this one, he definitely has his brothers sarcasm and stubbornness), and we find out that Tess has the plague. What a fun book.
But then in the midst of everything literally going to Hell we get this amazing scene where June and Day are finally reunited, and they both realize they are still in love with each other and they spend the night together AND OH MY GOD, I’M SORRY BUT I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF MY OTP GETTING BACK TOGETHER.
Right in time for everything to go wrong of course, because I guess that’s just what happens in the end of dystopia trilogies…
From this point it’s pretty much non-stop action, and oh god, it is so well written. I know I’ve ranted about this in my other book talks on this series, but Marie Lu writes action so well, and it shows so much in this climax. We have the Colonies invading right after they realize June’s illness may have been the root of the plague, so there’s this awesome scene where June has to fight her way out of the hospital with Eden, and at the same time Day is acting like he’s going along with the Chancellor’s plan, but then he’s giving the speech and turns the people against the Colonies and throws himself out of the airship and oh my god everything is so epic and intense and I honestly couldn’t stop reading.
BUT THEN I get to the part where it’s in June’s POV, and she’s going after Commander Jameson, and Jameson is aiming her gun at Day and Eden, and for a second I was really scared that the book was going to do that thing that a certain other book did and kill the younger sibling, but then Day shields him and IS FATALLY SHOT. REPEATEDLY. And we read this FROM JUNE’S POV AS SHE WATCHES THE PERSON SHE LOVES BEING SHOT. Thank god Jameson was killed right after, because she deserves it after all she did to these characters, and June finally did see her brother avenged.
BUT THEN we switch to Day’s POV and he’s injured and fading out and hearing his mother talking to him and oh my god historically, based on certain other books, whenever a character who has just repeatedly been shot sees visions of their deceased mother near the end of the last book IT’S NEVER A GOOD SIGN. OH MY GOD THIS IS NOT OKAY
So I’m going to skip ahead and say that thank god, Day doesn’t die, BUT he goes into a coma and doctors have to operate so he won’t die from the experiment results, and because of that he loses the majority of his memories on recent events, including everything about June. And I am officially emotionally compromised.
I mean, I know the memory loss thing has been done before, and I should be glad that neither of them died or anything, but this is so freaking sad. Like, they just got back together and now they are separated again. And on top of that, it isn’t really clear how much he remembers, like does he know about his involvement in fighting off the Colonies, or his influence over the people, or how much does he remember about being Day? How much is going to be explained to him. Is anyone going to explain about June at all? I’m sorry, I’m just really emotionally messed up over this ending. I know this is a dystopia series and something sad was bound to happen at the end, but I guess part of me just wanted June and Day to both survive and end up together and find a safe place to live with Eden and Tess and Ollie the dog, but I guess that wouldn’t have as much of an impact, and it was a good ending, just really emotionally painful. Overall I’m just like:
We did get an epilogue, even though it takes place TEN YEARS LATER, and we see that everyone has gone on to be successful and there’s a hope spot at the end where they reintroduce themselves to each other and he’s still wearing the paper clip ring and there’s a chance that they’ll get back together, but we don’t get to see it, and this is another thing that I would love to see a novella of, but I also think that was a really good place to end the series.
So overall I absolutely loved this trilogy. I know it doesn’t show in my infrequent updates, but I read the entire series in about a week because I was so addicted. I loved the characters, especially the two protagonists, and the plot had a lot of cool stuff that you don’t see in some other dystopias. My only issue is that now I’m in book withdrawal from finishing the series too fast! Well, anyway, I am super glad I finally got around to reading this series, even though it repeatedly ripped out my heart with feels.
Well that’s about it for my rants on “The Legend Trilogy”. Thanks for reading!