Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Champion

Champion

Marie Lu
Fiction  Series
For ages 13 and up
Penguin, 2013   ISBN: 978-0399256776

Eight months ago Day and June were able to prevent the assassination of the Elector of the Republic of America. They took a huge gamble because they believed that the young Elector, Anden, would be good for the country, that he would be able to bring an end to the war that had been raging between the Republic and the Colonies for so long. The two young people, having achieved what should have been impossible, then went their separate ways. Though they loved each other, their history made it impossible for them to be together. Day moved to San Francisco with his brother Eden to get proper treatment for the young boy, and June went to Denver with Anden to serve as one of his Princeps-Elect.

Aside from the damage done to his eyes by the Republic’s horrific former regime, Eden is now doing well. Day is not. Like his brother, Day was experimented on, and as a result his brain is now damaged. Doctors are doing their best to help him, but the prognosis is bleak and in all likelihood, if the injured part of his brain does not get smaller, he will die in about a month or two.

Having not heard from June for so long, Day is surprised when she calls him. He cannot help feeling strong emotions when he hears the voice of the girl he still loves so strongly. June tells him that the peace deal between the Republic and the Colonies is in trouble. A plague has broken out in the Colonies and government officials are saying that the sickness is “an official act of war against them.” There is a good chance that this plague was indeed fabricated by the former Republic government, which had planned on using biological weapons to cripple its long time enemy. June asks Day to meet her in Denver so that she can explain further what she needs from him.

When they meet in Denver, Anden tells Day that the peace treaty is at an end and soon war will be declared by the Colonies. They need a cure for the plague, and because of the experiments that were carried out on him, Eden’s immune system could contain the cure that they are seeking. Day flatly refuses to allow the Republic to use his brother to develop a cure. The boy has been through enough and still has not fully recovered from their abuse. Anden is in no position to force Day to hand over his brother because Day is the people’s man. One word from him and the people will rise up against Anden and his government.

Then an attack is launched on Denver and at the same time three prisoners escape from prison. It is assumed that the prisoners, all of whom were sentenced to die for treason, are behind the attack. Since planes from the Colonies are seen in Republic skies, it is assumed that the prisoners have been secretly working with the Colonies, perhaps for months.  Day joins members of the Patriot group to fight against the Colonies soldiers and their allies, and Anden and June travel to Antarctica to try to get the leadership of that powerful country to help them defeat the Colonies in this new war.

Anden and June are bitterly disappointed when the leaders in Antarctica make it clear that they are not going to offer the Republic any military aid unless the Republic finds a cure for the plague and unless they give Antarctica some Republic land.

To everyone’s surprise, Eden, in spite of what was done to him, wants to help. He agrees to undergo experiments to see if the cure for the plague can be found in his body. Though Day desperately wants to protect his brother, he agrees to let the boy volunteer for what is going to be dangerous and uncertain medical procedures. What else can he do now that the Colonies are on their doorstep? When the Chancellor of the Colonies contacts Day, Day’s situation, and that of his country gets even more precarious. Day has come a long way from being a street kid. Now the future of his country rests on his shoulders.

This final title in the Legend trilogy brings Lucy Liu’s extraordinary tale to a close. The tension between June and Day is painful to witness, as are the choices the two young people are forced to make. Try as they might, it would seem that their relationship is doomed, as is the future of their country. Or perhaps they still have a trick or two that they can play.