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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Review: Champion by Marie Lu (Legend #3)

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Author:Marie Lu
Publisher:SPutnam Juvenile
Publication Date:November 5th 2013

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He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

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: 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.


Champion takes place about a year after Prodigy (yes, a WHOLE year!) and centers around the social unrest that is starting to brew in the Republic after they've been called out by the Colonies for releasing a branch of the plague among their ranks. It is suspected that the cause of this plague is Day's younger brother, Eden and because of this, June, one of Anden's new Princeps-Elect and the love that Day thought he had left behind must now call him back into the fold and ask an unspeakable favour of him, lest the Colonies wage war on the Republic. Day and June must navigate their world, fighting the forces trying to destroy it in the EPIC conclusion of the Legend trilogy.

A brief summary of my feelings after reading this novel:

Champion was everything. It was everything that Legend and Prodigy was but MORE. Firstly, let's talk (but not really talk because I'll spoil you) about the ending and the central conflict surrounding Day. Let's discuss Day and June's relationship and the fact that they are a year older than they were in Prodigy. Let me tell you how mature Day's little brother Eden has gotten and let me fangirl to you and scream my feels about the action in this novel!

Prodigy ended with some cry-worthy news about Day, my baby and I cried, I really did. It is further explored in this novel and is a source of conflict. It is difficult to discuss this without giving too much away. He...wasn't himself throughout Champion. Even though he tried to be, he physically couldn't and at the end, it did not matter because it didn't solve anything and crushed me. The ending was so sad but happy and refreshing at the same time because issues were...solved and there was a chance for a new beginning. I was satisfied but I wasn't because now it's over. Vague, I know but it was the best I could do.

June and Day's relationship deteriorates at the close of Prodigy and sees no real improvement at the beginning of this novel as the one year time frame between the two books is not only symbolic of the maturity of June and Day but also a growing apart as they haven't spoken in a year. Because of this, it is quite interesting to see them interact for the first time and sort of get back into the groove of working together and rediscovering why they cared so much for each other. I know that I said that I did not enjoy the romance in my review of Prodigy but this novel made me change my mind. I still think that it was rushed but it's pure and sweet and there's something fitting about it; a poor slum sector boy somehow finding love in a previously snobby Ruby sector girl.

Much of Legend and Prodigy was centered around finding Day's younger brother, Eden, who was described as being weak and innocent. That is not the case in the novel. Maybe it was the suffering that he endured at the hands of the Republic which caused him to lose most of his eyesight or his memories of the harsh times in the slum sectors, but he blossomed into a brave, noble little boy and I loved it. He adapted a Day-like mentality and he fought (figuratively) when his brother literally couldn't. I thought it was an ironic change albeit a cute one.

I knew that Marie Lu was NOT to disappoint with the action in the novel. I had high expectations and I was not let down! Picture the guns, fighter jets and roof-scaling action from the first two novels, then multiply that by 10000 and you have Champion. A very accurate picture of me while reading this:

I can't even describe how much this trilogy as a whole meant to me, specifically this novel, without babbling like an idiot and I know that this review doesn't have any particular organization or structure and I sincerely apologize for that. I have so many more things that I want to say but when I try to write them down, I sound like the dullest person alive. Hopefully, the message is clear. I love this trilogy. I think Marie Lu can do no wrong and I would recommend it to literally anyone.

Final Sentence in the Novel
"Hi," I reply, "I'm June."

Favourite Lines from the Book
  • “Then Day reaches out and touches my hand with his. He encloses it in a handshake. And just like that, I am linked with him again, I feel the pulse of our bond and his story and love through our hands, like a wave of magic, the return of a long-lost friend. Of something meant to be. The feeling brings tears to my eyes. Perhaps we can take a step forward together."
  • “You drive me insane June. You're the scariest, most clever, bravest person I know, and sometimes I can't catch my breath because I'm trying so hard to keep up. There will never be another like you. You realize that, don't you? Billions of people will come and go in this world, but there will never be another like you.” - Day
  • “I can feel his presence here in every stone he has touched, every person he has lifted up, every street and alley and city that he has changed in the few years of his life, because he is the Republic, he is our light, and I love you, I love you, until the day we meet again I will hold you in my heart and protect you there, grieving what we never had, cherishing what we did. I wish you were here.
    I love you, always.”
  • “Hi," he says. "I'm Daniel."
    "Hi," I reply. "I'm June.”
  • “Where I come from, we're more about efficiency,' he replies. 'A knife like this'll skewer food, smear butter, and slit throats all at the same time.” - Day
  • “Day, the champion of the people, the one who can't bear to see those around him suffer on his behalf, who would gladly give his life for those he loves.”
  • “I always knew, on some level, that I wouldn't live long. It's simply not written in my stars.”