Legend by Marie Lu
In a shakespearean twist of fate, poverty and privilege find common ground in Legend.
Two districts, each unlike in prosperity,
In the Republic, where jurisdiction is to demean,
From governmental grievance to societies mutiny,
Where civil blood makes military hands unclean.
From forth the mutual losses of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take control of their fate;
Whose misinformed sorrows and woes
Do with their lives bury their caste’s disparate.
The fearful passage of their souls-mark’d free,
And the continuance of their rebellion’s rage,
Which, but their sacrifices’ end, nought could flee,
Is now the first tomes’ traffic of our page;
The which if you with patient eyes attend,
What here shall miss, Lu’s series shall strive to mend.
It’s hard to make anything sound bad written in Shakespeare’s footprint. But Marie Lu’s debut novel is a wonderful blend of WOW inducing words that makes you want to live, fight, rebel, and know love in all it’s forms.
Legend isn’t the type of book you put down and think, well I didn’t see that one coming. Lu employed a lot of basic and typical devices used in most popular YA fiction today. While there were pops of the unexpected here and there the real strength of Lu’s Legend is in it’s relationships. She’s built a harsh world and isn’t afraid to make some sacrifices. This book is as much about tragedy as it is triumph and maybe Lu could have delved deeper into the bonding and betrayal sequences drawn them out a little more. But nevertheless the emotional connection is there. Her characters are steadfast and interesting. Day and June really draw you in with their personalities. The most compelling aspect is the goodness in the characters and their motives. You can’t help but want them to succeed, to win, to overcome.
I experienced Legend through the wonders of audible. Mariel Stern narrated June’s chapters which started off a bit jarring at first. Stern had that Type A personality spot on, but the annoying overbearing quality of her performance soften as I became more acquainted with June. Steven Kaplan does a wonderful job narrating Day’s chapters. Day has a more quiet personality, he’s not as noticeably intense as June, and plays he’s part perfectly. Their readings really brought the words to life and drew me in.
Any fan of Hunger Games and Divergent will love this world and it’s characters. Legend is a well crafted emotionally stunning thriller. The book’s biggest downside is having to wait for the sequel.
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