Legend - Summary

Marie Lu

Legend Book Cover


In the dystopian novel “Legend” by Marie Lu, readers are transported to a future where the United States has been divided into two warring nations: the Republic and the Colonies. This thrilling tale follows the lives of two protagonists, June and Day, who come from vastly different backgrounds but find themselves entangled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse. As their paths cross and their destinies intertwine, Lu explores themes of love, loyalty, and the corrupting nature of power. Through a captivating narrative filled with suspense and action, “Legend” paints a vivid picture of a society on the brink of revolution.

The Republic and the Colonies: A Divided Nation

In the world of “Legend,” the former United States has been split into two distinct factions. The Republic, located in the western part of the country, is a militaristic regime that values order and control above all else. On the other hand, the Colonies, situated in the east, represent a more democratic society, though they are often portrayed as corrupt and exploitative. This division sets the stage for the conflict that drives the story forward.

Meet June: A Prodigy of the Republic

June, the first protagonist introduced in the novel, is a prodigy of the Republic. Gifted with exceptional intelligence and physical prowess, she is the perfect embodiment of the Republic’s ideals. June’s journey begins when her brother, Metias, who is also her only family, is murdered. Consumed by grief and a thirst for revenge, she becomes determined to find his killer. As she delves deeper into the mystery, June uncovers shocking secrets about the Republic’s true nature, leading her to question everything she once believed in.

Day: A Symbol of Resistance

Day, the second protagonist, is a symbol of resistance against the Republic. Born into poverty in the slums of the Republic, Day becomes a notorious criminal who fights against the oppressive regime. Driven by a desire to protect his family and seek justice, Day embarks on a mission to expose the Republic’s corruption. When his path crosses with June’s, their initial animosity slowly transforms into a complicated bond that challenges their loyalties and beliefs.

A Dangerous Game of Cat and Mouse

As June and Day’s paths intertwine, they find themselves caught in a dangerous game of cat and mouse. June, now an elite soldier of the Republic, is tasked with capturing Day, who is believed to be responsible for Metias’ death. However, as June gets closer to Day, she begins to question the Republic’s narrative and the true nature of their mission. With each encounter, the lines between right and wrong blur, and both characters are forced to confront their preconceived notions about each other and the world they inhabit.

Love and Loyalty in a Time of Turmoil

Amidst the chaos and uncertainty, love and loyalty play pivotal roles in “Legend.” June’s loyalty to the Republic is initially unwavering, but as she discovers the truth behind her brother’s murder and the Republic’s oppressive regime, her allegiance is tested. Similarly, Day’s love for his family and his desire for justice drive his actions. The growing connection between June and Day adds another layer of complexity to their already precarious situations, forcing them to question their loyalties and make difficult choices.

Themes of Power and Corruption

One of the central themes explored in “Legend” is the corrupting nature of power. The Republic, with its authoritarian rule, exemplifies the dangers of unchecked authority. Through the character of Thomas, a high-ranking official in the Republic, Lu portrays the allure of power and the lengths people will go to maintain it. The Colonies, though initially presented as a more democratic alternative, are not exempt from corruption either, highlighting the inherent flaws in any system of governance.

The Power of Choice and Individual Agency

Lu also delves into the power of choice and individual agency in “Legend.” Both June and Day are faced with difficult decisions that have far-reaching consequences. Their choices not only shape their own destinies but also have the potential to impact the fate of their divided nation. Lu emphasizes the importance of personal agency and the ability to challenge the status quo, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

The Impact of Society on Identity

Throughout the novel, the impact of society on identity is a recurring theme. June, as a prodigy of the Republic, is initially defined by her exceptional abilities and loyalty to the regime. However, as she uncovers the truth about the Republic’s oppressive nature, her identity begins to shift. Day, on the other hand, is shaped by his experiences in the slums and his resistance against the Republic. Both characters navigate the complexities of their identities, highlighting the ways in which society can shape and mold individuals.


“Legend” by Marie Lu is a captivating dystopian novel that explores themes of love, loyalty, power, and identity. Through the intertwining stories of June and Day, Lu crafts a narrative filled with suspense, action, and thought-provoking moments. As readers delve into the pages of this thrilling tale, they are reminded of the importance of questioning authority, making difficult choices, and the enduring power of love and loyalty. “Legend” serves as a reminder that even in the darkest of times, hope and resilience can prevail.

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