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 Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.With the couple-from-the-opposite-sides-of-the-tracks theme, Legend has a Romeo and Juliet vibe, but romance takes a backseat to this action-filled dystopian.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias' death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
And in this case, Juliet is a kick-butt soldier type.
The U.S. is divided into warring factions of East (Colonies) and West (Republic). June is a military prodigy for the Republic, her mind filled with all the rhetoric that goes with it. When her brother is killed, supposedly by the all-evil Day, she is sent in pursuit. Undercover in the slums, June meets up with Day and the story starts rolling.
With alternating points of view you get to know each character well. I loved June. Her development is a bit different. Instead of the softie who finds her inner strength, June is a hardnosed believer in the cause who softens over time as she and Day uncover the truth of the malevolent government conspiracy.
Who wouldn’t? Day is an adorable sweetie, cast in this role of nefarious criminal when he’s really just trying to protect his family and live a peaceful, happy life. But this is dystopian, guys, so life sucks and few get what they want.
A horrific plague runs rampant (and threatens Day’s loved ones), the Republic is a police state where the poor are under the government’s thumb, and everyone’s life hangs by a precarious thread. Mystery and intrigue abound, June’s whole belief system turns upside down, and the story provides plenty of thrills and chills, as well as death and mayhem.
The plot is often predictable – you can figure out who Metias’ real killer is in the first few pages, and overall the “surprises” aren’t really surprising. But who cares when the story is this engaging!
The action, drama, machinations, and political maneuvering, as well as captivating characters you’re happy to invest in (especially June), make Legend excellent entertainment.
I'm excited for the sequel because even though many secrets were revealed, I know there’s a bigger story lurking in the shadows just itching to be told!