Marie Lu


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 wealthiest districts, 15-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, 15-year-old Day is the Republic's most wanted criminal, motivated to locate a cure for his plagued family. June and Day, from distant worlds, have no rationale to coincide - until Day becomes the prime suspect in the murder of June's brother, Metias. Now engaged in an intensive game of wait-and-see, Day is in a race for his family's survival as June seeks to avenge Metias's death. That is, until a shocking turn of events uncovers the truth their government has been suppressing from them all.


Legend is set in a dystopian Los Angeles in an era where the United States has devolved into two warring nations: The Republic and The Colonies. Inside of the Republic is where Legend lays its story. Instead of freedom and equality, the new America is one where kids are denied higher education, poor people are forced to work until death, and the government runs Trials on all citizens to determine their futures. This setting portrays a dog-eat-dog mentality - no one looks out for anyone. Unfortunately, everyone has to watch their own backs to make it out alive.

Main Characters

June Iparis

The Young Prodigy, June, is the only person to have ever scored a 1500, a perfect score, on her Trials - and she did it twice. She is in college much earlier than anyone has ever been, and there is no denying she is the smartest and the best of the best. When Metias, her brother and guardian, is murdered, devastation hits hard. However, she is quickly rehabilitated when she is promoted in rank into the military circle. Her first mission: bring the guilty to justice in her brother's homicide. She must track and detain the Republic's most wanted criminal - Day.

Daniel Altan Wing, "Day"

At the age of fifteen, Day has become a legendary criminal. He is a ghost - wiped clean from the Republic's files. They persistently try to hunt him down, with hopes of ending him. He is a threat to the Republic, but they cannot stop him. The Colonies, on the other hand, want to recruit him for the subversive attacks he has gotten away with on the Republic. Day is clever, infamous, and bold; he is agile and quick to flee when necessary. To the outside world, Day is just a figure; no one knows his real name or what he looks like. All they have are his fingerprints and a title, the legend.


Tess definitely occupies the little sister role in Day's life. Because Day can no longer reside in a normal family position, he brought Tess in even when she could've been a burden. As time passes on, he comes to find that she is helpful and provides a much-needed companionship. They have come to rely on each other as a family. Day never doubts that Tess will do whatever she can to save him. She would never abandon day - they're family now.

Book Reviews

From USA Today...

From Marie Lu, a dystopian ‘Legend’ in the making

By Bob Minzesheimer, USA TODAY

November 28, 2011

Legend, a page-turning if formulaic debut novel by 27-year-old writer Marie Lu, is the latest addition to the overflowing shelves of dystopian teen fiction.

It's getting more attention than most debuts because the movie rights have been sold — with a producer from theTwilight franchise attached.

First in a planned trilogy, it's set in the future amid the ruins of Los Angeles in the Republic of America (pop: 20 million). The Republic is at war with the Colonies that are east of a no-man's land stretching from the Dakotas to West Texas.

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From The New York Times...

Post-Apocalyptic Teenagers in Love

By Ridley Pearson

DEC. 2, 2011

Overpackaged, overhyped first novels are done a disservice by their publishers, with untested authors expected somehow to justify all the gloss and glitter of a full­bore prepublication promotional blitz. Too many just don’t merit the attention. I could only stand up and cheer, therefore, for Marie Lu’s “Legend.” A fine example of commercial fiction with razor­sharp plotting, depth of character and emotional arc, “Legend” doesn’t merely survive the hype, it deserves it.

What “Legend” delivers is a walloping good ride with an emphasis on believability. This is no easy feat given that its setting, Los Angeles, has been reduced, postapocalyptic style (by an environmental disaster? We’re not told), to the Land­O­Lakes and those living with the resultant plague find their homes marked with a large red X by the military. (Marking doors has historical precedence that is not easily translated into entertainment, but don’t tell Lu.) That I gasped aloud at one daring plot device showed me the strength of Lu’s conviction: she will follow where the story leads her, even at the risk of alienating some readers. This alone deserves applause.

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About the Author

Marie Lu is the art director at Online Alchemy, a video game company, and also owns the children's brand Fuzz Academy. She was first inspired to write Legend while watching Les Miserables one afternoon and wondering how the relationship between a famous criminal and a prodigious detective might translate into a more modern story. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 2006 and lives in Los Angeles, California, where she spends her time stuck in traffic.


If you enjoyed the Hunger Games or even Divergent, you will love Legend. To me, this book is easy to read. The word choice is great and the concepts are fairly simple to grasp. I really enjoy the way the author presents this story - that from the different perspectives of two vital characters. On one hand, you have June, who is focused completely on avenging her brothers murder; on the contrary, you have Day, the Republic's most wanted criminal fighting for his family. Marie Lu, the author, does an amazing job with originality and keeping you on the edge of your chair. I definitely recommend this book for friends, family, and anyone else looking for a thriller/suspense novel.