cover image Champion


Marie Lu. Putnam, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-399-25677-6

The conclusion to Lu’s Legend trilogy opens on a stage set for personal resolution, maybe even a happy ending. With the political transition established and the Patriots quiet, June and Day appear to have the opportunity to close their romantic distance. But there are lessons neither has learned about how much power to grant the past, and it’s easier to focus on the virtues of separation. That is, until geopolitical reality comes roaring back to complicate every bond and every choice. Moments of technical awkwardness, rare in Lu’s work, do crop up, such as a lengthy spoken confession by June’s old colleague Thomas (“A blade of guilt twisted painfully in my chest, but it was too late to turn back”). The story, however, remains masterfully true to its themes of loyalty, necessity, and dreams, eschewing any easy outs that the plot could offer. A happy-ever-after glow was never in the cards for these two, but Lu displays a hint of Charlotte Brontë in the resolution her characters find. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency. (Nov.)